Here are the 5 commitments I've made as a small group pastor:
1. I will make my own daily, living connection with Jesus Christ a priority—being in community with Him is the foundation for all community.
This is truly where it must begin. How can I have any hope of leading anyone where I am not already going personally? Remember, whatever you want to happen at the member level in your system will have to be experienced by the you first.
2. I will lead an exemplary Christian lifestyle—anyone watching me will see an obedient servant of Jesus Christ growing in maturity.
I have a moment-to-moment opportunity to live the life I am proclaiming to others. In the words of Yoda, "Do or do not. There is no try." See also, 8 Habits of a Life-Changing Small Group Leader.
3. I will convene my own small group regularly (2 to 4 times a month).
How can I call everyone to life in community if I am not in community?
4. I will provide personalized care and development for each of my area leaders (staff and volunteer).
In order to provide appropriate care at the leader and member levels, I must pay close attention to the care being given to coaches and community leaders. Within the constraints of our span of care, I must do TO and FOR my area leaders (men's, women's, couples, etc.) whatever I want them to do TO and FOR the community leaders and coaches for whom they provide care.
5. I will regularly gather our coaching community for training and encouragement.
We all need to pay attention to the examples of the leaders just ahead of us. We also need to meet the needs of the leaders just behind us. Although it is countercultural, we need each other and we are in this together.
While there are other ministry-centric actions and habits that I'm committed to, these five are at the core of what I must commit to as a small group pastor.
I believe deeply that I cannot give anything away that I haven't already personally experienced. Therefore, I am committed to the lifestyle and practices I want the members of our groups to experience. I am always pursuing the ability to honestly say, "Follow me as I follow Jesus."
Do you want the same thing? Long for the same thing?
It has been my experience that I regularly need to begin again. To begin again one more time.
Ever feel that way?
I hope you'll join me for a special kind of journey. More than a mini-course, REFRESH 2020 is designed to help you begin again. And begin again in a way that is fully transferable (nearly communicable).