5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Leading a Small Group

  • 15 September 2017
  • Keith Reed

Deep thoughtIt's hard to multiply small groups if you don’t have small group leaders. And when churches are flooded with people who want to join a group, the logical solution is to launch new groups—even if there isn't anyone to lead them. This is a "problem" well worth solving because groups carry the potential to be excellent incubators of spiritual growth. But it comes with two obvious challenges: 

1. How to find suitable leaders for new groups (most people don't want to lead small groups)  
2. How to train new leaders before their groups begin 

What should you do?

There are many ways to locate and discern new leaders (here are 10 strategies for recruiting volunteers), so I will focus here on the second challenge: how to train new leaders.

Leadership training is critical to ministry success and an effective way to equip new leaders is by sending them resources that they can access on their own time. Our small groups ministry page is designed with this in mind

However, there might be an occasion when there simply isn't enough time for new leaders to be trained before their first meeting. And even for those who have been adequately trained, the experience of leading a small group will prompt new experiences and questions. After all, no two groups are the same.   

I asked followers of our MinistryLift Facebook page to give their advice to first-time small group leaders. They delivered some wise comments that you can view here (please add to the ongoing conversation).

Here are 5 things I wish I knew before I led a small group for the first time: 

Exceeding Others' Expectations

  • 9 August 2013
  • Randy Wollf

Pavement line goes around fallen branchEven though David felt unworthy to receive one of the king’s daughters as a gift (see “Staying Humble When We’re Successful” post), he was willing to pay the price of 100 Philistines. In fact, David and his men exceeded the king’s expectations by slaying 200 of Israel’s enemies (1 Sam. 18:27).

I tell my students at ACTS Seminaries at Trinity Western University to go beyond the stated expectations of an assignment (not in terms of length). I encourage them to surprise me with a novel combination and/or expression of ideas. I love it when students take up the challenge and submit something truly extraordinary.

Obviously, we need to live balanced lives, but David’s example in this situation calls us to work hard and to sometimes exceed others' expectations.