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6 Ways to Make Small Group Leader Meetings Great

Nick Blevins
Nick Blevins Thursday August 31, 2017
<? echo $type; ?> 6 Ways to Make Small Group Leader Meetings Great

It might seem easy to blame your SGLs for your meeting failures. Have you ever heard yourself say thing like “They aren’t committed enough” or “They are too busy” or “They weren’t even paying attention!”

And maybe you’re right.

But maybe there’s something wrong with the way you’ve been creating your meetings.

I think there are six things we can do to make a GREAT small group leader meeting. Make sure you’ve got all six ingredients, and you’re on your way to making a meeting strategy that works.

We need to invite personally

Inviting people personally means that we think about each individual SGL and what will help them the most. It means planning the meeting far enough in advance so they can prioritize it on their calendar. It means picking a day and time that works best with their busy schedules.

It might require a little more work on your part, but isn’t it worth it if people feel as though they’re a priority?

We need to listen intently.

Have you ever been accused of listening too much? Yeah, me neither.

One thing I know is everyone likes for someone to listen to them. And when we say listen, we mean really hear them because there is a big difference between listening and hearing.

When we think through small group leader training, it’s easy to focus solely on what we want to say to them. But what about the things they want to say to us? We need to make an effort to get their feedback every time we meet. Here’s a few questions to ask them to get started:

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • Where are they facing challenges or frustrations?
  • Where are they gaining some traction or momentum?

We need to help them connect relationally.

In the same way SGLs provide a place to belong for the kids or students in their group, they need a place to belong as well. It’s hard to find space for that when most of their attention should be on the kids and students they serve. That’s why it’s essential to carve out time in every meeting to help leaders connect with each other. It’s a great opportunity for existing leaders to catch up, and it’s a great chance for new leaders to get to know everyone.

Resource: Weekly has social media plans for you to help you better connect with SGLs. Every week, Weekly gives you two brand new social media plans—one for your parents and one for your small group leaders. Just schedule them out and engage with the most important people in your church! Sign up for your free trial now.

We need to train practically.

Have you ever been to a training event or meeting and left it feeling like it was a complete waste of time? We all have, and nobody enjoys that.

When SGLs give us their time, we should make the most of it by keeping it practical. It’s great to talk about principles, but they should always hear about specific things that they can go do right away in order to apply what they’ve learned.

We need to improve collectively.

If we just wanted to help leaders learn something new, we wouldn’t need to gather them for a meeting. We could provide content for them to listen to or work through on their own. That’s still helpful because information is information, but there’s something powerful about coming together as a group and creating a sense of shared accountability

We need to inspire passionately.

Want to know the number one thing that motivates people? It’s knowing they’re making a difference.

For small group leaders, that can be difficult to see. How do you know if a child’s faith has grown? How do you measure faith in a student? It’s our job to remind them of why they do what they do. They should leave our meetings encouraged about what they have done and feel motivated to continue moving forward.

So, just for a few minutes, take a step back. Evaluate your current meeting formula. Think about small adjustments to make your meetings engaging, helpful and inspiring.

Nick leads the Family Ministry team at Community Christian Church in Baltimore, MD. He is married to a beautiful and talented woman named Jennifer and they have two kids, Isaac & Mackenzie. You can reach Nick on his blog, or via Twitter.