If you can learn to be better at these 5 things you will be a better small group leader:

Shepherding/leading a small group is a skill not a gift which is great news because this means you can get better at it! Your giftedness will be expressed in different ways as you lead.

SKILL #1: The skill of vision casting and vision speakingspeaking vision into people- helping people have a larger and larger perspective of what God is doing in the world- a vision that it is not about me- its not about what pleases me

  1. Most people live very small lives focused on “me” and what is best for “me”
  2. Really good small group leaders speak vision into people to help them gain a larger perspective. Here are five tips to do this:
    • Be intentional about doing it
    • This is one aspect of being a good mentor/leader- to make God’s will their primary concern
    •  Two mistakes leaders make is they overdraw their accounts with people-
      • they are calling things out of them but they have not built up a bank account with people
      • some people build up large accounts but never make withdrawals challenging and calling them into greater things
    • A good group leader will look at everyone as someone potential to lead a small group and invests into them that way so they can step more and more into effectiveness
    • A lot of times some people are so beaten down by the world around them that they cannot see themselves as doing anything meaningful for God

SKILL #2: Skill of processingbeing able to process what is going on beyond what is going on -on the surface (skill of reading the room sometimes termed)- take a step back and view the room. (3 Tips to do so):

  1. Reading body language is a part of this-
  2. Active listening- James 1:19- true listening is proactive and requires all the senses-
  3. When conflict happens wondering what is really going on here

SKILL #3: Skill of relational intelligence (12 tips to do so):

  1. Earning the right to be heard- showing people you care so that they will be interested in what you say
  2. Influence is a lot of relational work. See Steve Saccone’s book Relational Intelligence: How Leaders Can Expand Their Influence Through a New Way of Being Smart
  3. Show them that you truly care about them
  4. Learn effective interpersonal skills and apply them
  5. A lot of leaders long to be influential but they do so at the cost of valuing people
  6. Some people know a lot about the Bible but lack the basic people skills to mobilize people- people don’t want to be viewed as a commodity- a means to an end
  7. When people whine or gripe- sometimes people just want to know that they are heard
  8. Investing time with people
  9. You have to motivate people more than ordering them around because you have some position
  10. If you don’t have a relationship with people all you will get out of them is external compliance.
  11. You can command peoples hands but you must win their heads and hearts
  12. Sometimes we put the perceived goal ahead of people not because we don’t care about people but we are energized by the mission- slow down and work on the relationship

SKILL #4: Think ahead and plan back (3 tips to do so):

  1. As a small group where do we need to be going for the next 6 months, 1 year, etc.
  2. Focus on a few particular members and what is their next step they need to take with God.
    • Example- multiplication- plan to reproduce the group so others can experience the life change that comes with connecting in community – talk about it long before you need it- if a group multiplies at 18 months or 2 years talk about it at 6 months and onAnd then plan back to the steps and dates it is going to take for them to actually happen.
    • Not canceling the group meeting just because YOU cant be there- it teaches people to think the leader is needed and that it can’t function without you.
    • Delegating anything and everything you can- delegating individual pieces of your meeting.
    • Choose a week and plan not to be at group on purpose to give others the opportunity to lead and step up- this takes intentional thought.

SKILL #5: The skill of releasing control (5 Tips to do so):

  1. Author Scott Boren stated, the way they had systematized things for their groups required 1 person to do 80% of the work and that person did everything – that way of approaching groups did not teach leaders to release control.
  2. How can we lead to increase ownership beyond just me as a leader- how do we get everyone in the group looking at each other for the success of the group.
  3. highlighted.
  4. The more gifted or skilled you are- the more others look at you to lead and do- you have to learn to restrain yourself from doing it all and let others do things.
  5. Share ownership of snacks, hosting, (if someone falls through- don’t pick up the slack for them- if they don’t bring a snack- you just don’t have a snack that week).