As Small Group Leaders, we know all too well that our students will have different life experiences, different life circumstances, different family situations, and different spiritual backgrounds. It can be easy to forget that the impact we can have on a student will usually take place over the course of years, not days or months. Obviously, the greatest victory is when a student comes to know Christ as their Savior. But, it’s equally important to recognize that there are plenty of other wins to be had along the way—both large and small. Big wins are easy to see, but sometimes a win can be so small, and so subtle, that it passes without notice.

If you are like me, it’s easy to sometimes wonder if you are making a difference in the lives of your few. It seems as though it can be weeks, months, even years before you see any evidence of spiritual growth. However, because we are in this for the “long haul”, defining wins can help us see and take hold of small victories while waiting to lean in during the pivotal moments our students’ will experience for the bigger wins. When we are able to recognize a win, regardless of how small it may feel, we are able to see and celebrate as students start taking steps in the direction of Christ. It’s encouraging. It’s motivating. It’s fuel.

It’s returning a text/phone call.
It’s regularly attending small group.
It’s adding to discussion in small group.
It’s initiating conversation/ being a leader amongst peers
It’s prioritizing the influence of friends within small group over other, non-Christian voices of influence.
It’s showing influence by bringing friends.
It’s praying out loud.
It’s showing vulnerability.
It’s a public profession of faith.
It’s service to the church or community.
It’s participating in a mission trip

Wins are more than a way to assess the growth and success of a student ministry— wins, even the small ones, allow us to see and celebrate the steps our students take in their walk with Christ.

What are some of the wins you have witnessed and celebrated in your time as a small group leader?

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Jeremy holds a B.A. in Communication from University of Minnesota as well as a Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has a passion for connecting with and learning from student pastors, deliberatively researching, reading, and blogging about student ministry and family ministry, dabbling with online technology and experimenting in ministry lifestyle design and productivity in the church. Jeremy and his wife, Mikaela, live in Alpharetta, Georgia, where he serves as an Orange Specialist with the XP3 Student team.

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