Editor’s Note: While this post uses a new school year as a frame of reference, the content is applicable all year long!

Let me set the scene for you. It shouldn’t be hard to imagine. We’ve all been there. Imagine that summer is coming to a close. Imagine back-to-school supplies are on display in every store we enter. Imagine that school buses will be crowding the roads in just a couple short weeks. We all know that feeling because we’ve been students, we’ve bought school supplies for our children, or we’ve listened to our few talk (in equal parts dread and excitement) about the summer coming to an end. And if you’re a parent, your days are filling with registrations, teacher meetings, and school shopping. The time between the last day of school and the last day of summer vacation feel like the blink of an eye. But isn’t just like life and change—sometimes, inexplicably slow and other times, inexplicably fast?

Life isn’t just changing for the school-aged kid and their parents. Life is about to change for you—the small group leader.

If your church is like most churches, you are headed straight toward something like a promotion week where all the 3-year-olds become 4-year-olds, all the 5th graders become middle schoolers, all the 10th graders become 11th graders. The climate of the whole ministry changes with the presence of newcomers and your own small group changes as they enter into a new year of day-to-day schedules.

So how can you start this year off on the best foot? We are here to help!

When we first launched this blog site, Reggie Joiner wrote a blog post called “Why Lead Small”  introducing the idea that when we “lead small”, we are able to do for a few what we would like to do for many. And some of you may already know this blog site was launched in conjunction with the release of a new Small Group Leader resource written by Reggie Joiner and Tom Shefchunas called Lead Small.

This book highlights five “big ideas” or ways for you to become successful as a small group leader:

• Be Present
• Create a Safe Place
• Partner with Parents
• Make it Personal
• Move them Out

We believe these are the foundational pieces you will need to know, understand, and put into practice as you begin this fresh new season in your group. That’s why, through the month of August, we are going to flesh out these five principles so you can better understand what it means to do for a few.

This is a resource by small group leaders for small group leaders. So make it your own through feedback and stories! Ultimately, our hope is to rally a community of small group leaders so we can learn from each other and help each other connect, clarify, engage, nurture and inspire an authentic faith in our kids and students. So put away the sun tan lotion, pull out those trusty number 2’s and get excited about another year with your few!

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Lauren Terrell

Lauren has a degree in elementary education, led the same high school small group for the past 4 years, and will soon be learning the ins and outs of the preschool world as she and her husband clamber through parenthood with their new baby girl.

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