When you ask a SG leader who are they training to do what they do, what is the response?  “Oh, my group does not have anyone.”  “You don’t know my group.” “I ask and no one volunteers.” “We love our group just like it is.”  “My group won’t…”

Well here is a way to Share the Load of Small Group which values people, increases your effectiveness and enables them to have a sense of belonging and importance to the group.  You can do all this on one hand:

First, your pointer finger: always begin with a an opening, ice breaker question.  This type of question will allow everyone to answer because it is a feelings or experience question, not an academic question.  It is not a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer and sometimes it might not relate directly to the subject of the evening.  Part of Community is being transparent and learning about each other.  I have enlisted others in the group to spend the week thinking about a couple of ice breakers…what would you like to know about others in the group.  Then when group gathers, I let them ask their ice breaker question.

Next, Tall-man: (or the one main point) finger: have one main point when you try to communicate the lesson/study/subject of discussion. Every SG has the potential to chase a few rabbits. Sometimes this is good because it increases the transparency of the people.  However, the time you had planned to discuss various aspects of the topic has slipped away.  But if you have discussed the main point of the session with someone prior to the meeting and asked them to help you communicate that one point or at least help you get the group back on track, this increases your chances landing the meeting well.  And this gives the other person responsibility in the leadership of the discussion.

Ring finger: The ring finger represents relationships; make them a priority.  Ask one of your group members to be in charge of making sure the group has a party/event every month.  That way the social butterfly like me has a role in the group and if someone is unable to attend this month, they know there is another one next month.  People travel too much to only have a party every quarter.  Parties, cookouts, lake outings, ballgames, girls night out or a guy’s night, etc give time for community to deepen and once a quarter we encourage groups to focus on inviting friends who may not be connected to a group.

Pinky: The pinky finger represents the mentoring/training/investing your life in someone who will come behind you. You constantly need to have an apprentice, a person you will either hand the group off to or your group will send out in 6-12-18 months to start a new group.  Who is your apprentice? 

Thumb: (Not last, but the reminder) The thumb does not stand alone, neither should you, as Small Group Leader.  EVERY person God sends to your group is a team-player.  It is your job to help them find out what position they play on the team (group) and give them freedom to work.  Many Small Group leaders burn out because they see themselves as having to do it all.  God did not call us to go it alone.  He has gifted each person in your group for a specific role.  Spend time with them, learn their passion, interests, hobbies and talents and work together to establish a place for them on the team.

Every time you are about to say (or hear someone say) ‘My group won’t…”  look at your hand, think about these practices and say ‘My group can…”