Even though the new year can sometimes feel a little bittersweet because it’s the end of something, it’s also very exciting because it’s the beginning of something else. And even if you’re like me and resolutions aren’t really your thing, there is still something refreshing about a clean slate. Clean slates look like do-overs. They look like fresh starts. And we all like those.

As a small group leader, the summation of your job is to lean into the lives of your few so that their faith is given more opportunities to grow through relationship and example. And you do this all kinds of different ways—showing up every week, sending birthday cards, working events, and being a shoulder to cry on. You do that by giving, and giving, and then giving some more.

But nothing spills from an empty cup.

Healthy leadership looks like giving out of excess—not giving from lack. And when we consistently tip over a cup to spill the contents without ever replenishing it, we eventually wind up with an empty cup.

When you listen to a student bare his or her heart about something deeply personal and then offer insight or wisdom, you’re tipping the cup.

When you work week after week in the nursery with boys or girls who are a little fraying on the nerves, you’re tipping the cup.

When you volunteer your time at a week long camp and subject yourself to a very specific kind of sleep deprivation, you’re tipping the cup.

I want to encourage you to fill your spiritual cup. Remember why it is you do what you do. Remember who you’re doing it for. Even Jesus took time (sometimes away from people) to pray, refocus, and refill His cup. And he was the Son of God. So if He needed it, then we definitely do—especially when we’re leading kids and students who are paying close attention to how we live our lives. They notice when we’re happy. They know when we’re tired. They’ll even notice when we’re not buying all of the things that we’re saying. If you want to be the best small group leader you can be, then tending to your own relationship with God is so very important.

And the truth of it is that refilling your cup isn’t just for the benefit of your few. In fact, that’s not even the most important part! Tend to your relationship with God because it’s your relationship with God. That’s between you and Him. And it’s worth tending to because it’s the most important thing.

Being spiritually healthy is the best way to be there for your few because their faith is, in some way, inspired by your faith. And that’s why it’s so important to make it personal. 2018 is only half gone. That means there’s still have a year left. It’s a great time to refocus and refill your cup.

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Adriana Howard

Adriana is the Lead Editor for Weekly at Orange. She has a degree in English education and has taught literature, drama and creative writing. She also spent nearly ten years working with her husband as youth pastors. She loves books, traveling, the ocean, old typewriters, and she’s passionate about Jesus.

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