Ep. 492 Ten Vital Keys for Small Group Leaders

Ep. 492 Ten Vital Keys for Small Group Leaders

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Shows Main Idea – Small groups have been widely implemented in a local church for multiple decades. When rightly understood and implemented, these groups complement the Sunday sermon, assisting church members in applying God’s Word. Maturation in Christ requires knowledge and application. Here are ten vital keys to help leaders gain the most from their small group experience.

Life Over Coffee · Ep. 494 Ten Vital Keys for Small Group Leaders

Show Notes

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Key Idea #1: Everyone in the group must understand its goal to keep the group focused on its purpose and methodology. The best small group is a sanctification rather than a Bible or book study group. Growing knowledge is easy and safe, but transformation requires more than knowledge acquisition, and a small group is an excellent context for transformation.

Key Idea #2: Before enjoying a loving, meaningful, and intimate relationship with another human being, one must have an in-depth understanding, experience, and practice of the Gospel (Christ) in one’s life.

Key Idea #3: In whatever way you discern that a member of your small group ought to change, you become the picture of that changed life before that person as you prayerfully and dependently expect God’s strength and timing to help him.

Key Idea #4: Each small group member is vetting their leaders. There are two questions every small group attendee is asking their leaders: Can I trust you? Are you able to help me?

Key Idea #5: For change to happen, multiple contexts are needed, not just the small group meeting. Transformation rarely happens in small groups but in smaller contexts.

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Key Idea #6: “Give it a year” is a standard perspective regarding change. It takes a while for a small group member to trust the leaders, reveal an issue, and ask for help. If the group is seasonal, it is nearly impossible to go deep.

Key Idea #7: Sunday’s sermon is the best source material for small groups. The formula for wisdom is knowledge + application. Thus, applying the sermon later in the week will help overcome the curve of forgetfulness, learn what the pastor is teaching, and transform the church.

Key Idea #8: The three group killers are:

  • Fear Is Normal – Will you challenge your fears by being open with others?
  • Isolation Is Wrong – Will you pursue your community while resisting isolation?
  • Sin Is Insanity – Will you ask your group to help you with your struggles?

Key Idea #9: The leader has to be a skilled discipler, not just a facilitator willing to lead. You’re looking for a true leader with a clear gift mix that affirms their leadership gifting.

  • Leader: A facilitator must work from a script, and when a need arises from the group, they are unable to help because they can’t deviate from the prearranged script.
  • Wisdom: When someone hijacks the meeting, the leader must know how to restore order.
  • Courage: The leader must be in charge of the meeting, which may mean confronting someone who is dominating the time or desires to turn the group into something it is not, i.e., Bible study.
  • Discernment: The leader needs to know how to deal with heart issues, which means they can get under the surface of a person’s struggle. This sanctification group connotes much heart work and practical application that moves beyond theory.
  • Replication: The litmus test for any leader is the ability to replicate themselves in another person. If we don’t “make disciples,” we’re not qualified to lead because all we do will cease to exist after we’re gone. Leaders must replicate themselves.

Key Idea #10: Everyone is messed up, totally depraved, not entirely sanctified, so you want to be discerning without being cynical or suspicious as you continuously assess each member while creating a relational bridge to build trust that compels them to reveal their “messed-up-ness” because they trust you and believe you have the competency to help them.

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Call to Action

  1. Does your church offer small groups? If so, are you part of one? If not, why not? If so, what is the purpose of your group?
  2. Why is an animated, passionate relationship with Christ critical to have a dynamic small group experience?
  3. If a leader is not modeling the gospel practically, how may it hinder the followers of the group from maturing in Christ?
  4. Why would a small group member want to know the two vital questions about vetting and competence?
  5. Why is a singular small group meeting and no other intentional contacts points with the small group members a problem?
  6. What’s the value of building for the long haul with folks?
  7. What makes Sunday’s sermon the best source material for sanctification groups?
  8. How do fear, isolation, and sin cripple a dynamic small group experience?
  9. What’s the difference between a leader and a facilitator?
  10. Why is recognizing everyone is messed up is not a cynical, but biblical perspective?

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