Most people dream of finding an opportunity to do something BIG.
To make a BIG change.
To lead BIG.
In fact, most of us believe—
The best way to make a BIG difference is to get a big following.
What if the biggest things are really accomplished
By doing something SMALL?
If we aren’t careful,
we can work so hard at leading big we never experience the power
of leading small.
When we lead small we realize
that what we do for a few will always have more potential than what we do for many.
When we lead small we simply make a choice to invest strategically in the lives of a few over time so we can help them build an authentic faith.
Thank you to everyone who submitted their small group leaders for our contest over the last two weeks to win tickets to OC13. It was exciting and inspiring to hear how the next generation is being impacted by those who choose to lead small in your churches.
Drum roll, please.
And the winners are . . .
Sherri Christopher has led a small group of Freshman girls for the past four years. Sherri has done many things to contribute to the girls in connection to each other, their church, their community, and a personal relationship to Jesus Christ. Recently at a small group leader retreat, Sherri created her own version of the Hunger Games, involving both spiritual and physical hunger. It was memorable for everyone who saw it. She is also the pioneer behind Bags For Beds. Their small group of now freshman girls began collecting plastic bags from grocery stores; cutting them into strips, tying them together, rolling them into plastic bag balls, and crocheting them into beds. Sherri is not an ordinary small group leader. Sherri is a life coach, with a discipleship emphasis.
Charlene Davis, Susan Nadeau and Robin North lead Kindergarten and 1st (Charlene), 2nd and 3rd (Susan), 4th and 5th (Robin) grades. They have been extraordinary over the last three years. Charlene has the bubbliest personality and puts 100 percent of herself in these kids live every week. She comes up with the greatest object lessons to drive home the virtues, lessons and Bible stories each week. Susan makes sure that all of her kids in her group get rewarded for their birthday, cards, cupcakes, prizes, etc. She challenges our kids every week with memory work from God’s Word and loves when kids get it. Robin is one cool cat. She loves teaching our preteens and connects so well with them. Our tweens love her and are always being encouraged by her.
Rodney and Sheri Shelton serve in a depressed neighborhood and the majority of the people attending are dealing with major life issues. In the midst of all this is an incredible team of volunteers who work with limited resources and space to give 100 percent to the kids in the neighborhood. And leading the charge for youth and children are Rod and Sheri. While working full time at his “paying job” and being a dad and husband, Rod led the largest attended VBS this neighborhood had ever seen. They even saw to it that these kids left with their stomachs full. While they gave up their summer to this effort, they were also running Sunday morning children’s services as well. If that wasn’t enough, Rod also dove into starting a youth program for the Junior High kids who live in the neighborhood. Rod is the kind of guy who talks about the kids in his program with such passion and urgency that you WANT to be on his team. Sheri is the kind of woman who talks about the kids in her program with such joy and love that tears will come to her eyes and yours! These two inspire those around them to be more passionate about ministry, to use whatever resources they have to proclaim the gospel to the kids God entrusts to their care, and to truly live as a servant leader.
A huge and deserving congratulations to these leaders! Hopefully, you’ll find their stories as compelling as we did. And while a few sentences can’t sum up their accomplishments, we just had to share a piece of their stories with you. And we certainly look forward to meeting these folks in person at OC13!
Thank you to all the small group leaders out there who think big and lead small.