I love light.

In the evening, as the sun sets, I walk around my house and turn on a few lights and lamps.

I’ve never been a fan of dark. Maybe it’s some childhood heebie-jeebies lingering from my past.

I remember feeling like the biggest chicken as a kid when I visited my grandparents. When bedtime rolled around, I had to make the dreaded trip up a dark staircase to the room where I slept. I imagined all kinds of things lurking in the darkness ready to pounce on me when I reached the top. My stomach would sink and my hands would sweat every time I faced that dark ascent.

All I needed was a light to illuminate the darkness and I’d be fine. Then my grandpa showed me a trick. The light switch. I had no idea it was there because it was obscured by a decorative plant. Who knew?!

Life changed for me after that revelation. Fear of going to bed was immediately eliminated. Whatever it might be that mysteriously ‘lurked’ in the darkness, was easily dispelled with a little light. I just needed to know where to find it.

As a SGL, you are a giver of light.

When you show up predictably in the lives of your few, you create an opportunity to shed a little more light into their world. To look them in the eye, smile and invest encouraging words into them.

Most of us have no idea what is happening in the lives of our few once they leave our church. But we know they face their own ‘dark staircases’. If you take the time, you’ll probably learn about some of them.  Yet many will remain off your radar.

But you don’t have to know about the ‘dark staircases’ to help them. You only have to show them where to turn on the light.

Because you choose to Be Present by showing up predictably and mentally in the lives of your few, you position yourself to invest more light into their hearts. Your words hold the power to illuminate the truth for them. When you encourage your few, you invest that light into their hearts.

And with every week you invest those words, that light grows brighter.

And with every week that light grows brighter, the more they want to know about the Source of that light.

Being a small group leader has less to do with managing a group of kids through a series of activities while their parent(s) attend ‘Big Church’. It’s more than just an hour of babysitting.

Being a small group leader is being a conduit of light from your Heavenly Father to your few so that over time, they learn how to connect to Him, too.


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Gina is the Children’s Pastor at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Gina is driven by the idea of equipping, encouraging & empowering parents for the journey of teaching their kids to love and be loved by Jesus. Based upon her experience as a mom, she identifies with the everyday challenges of parenting. Gina and her husband, Kyle, have three kids, Keegan, Josie and Connor.

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