In yesterday's post I wrote that a very important thing a small group leader needs to know is that they are appreciated by their senior pastor. Can it happen in churches of all sizes? Absolutely. Whether your church is small, medium or large, your senior pastor can do a short list of things that will affirm the value of small group leaders.
5 ways senior pastors can affirm the value of small group leaders:
1. Talk about the value of small group leaders in their weekend messages
This may seem like a small thing, but choosing to make heroes out of small group leaders goes a long way toward affirming their value. Sharing stories about their essential role helps them know they are valued. See also, Life-Change at the Member Level Begins with You and The Role of the Senior Pastor.
2. Be present at small group leader rallies and training gatherings
Merely being present at training gatherings demonstrates appreciation and affirms value. Opening the training with a brief word of encouragement speaks loudly. When the session is followed by warm handshakes and pats on the back, you have a recipe for affirmation. See also, Steve Gladen on the Power of HOST Gatherings.
3. Welcome new small group HOSTs at their orientation
The time to begin affirming the important step of becoming a small group leader is at the moment of the first step. Sending a personalized email to everyone who signs up to host a group takes only a few minutes to set up. Making a brief appearance at new HOST orientations (could be a 2 minute welcome) will go a long way towards establishing the value of small group leaders. See also, HOST Orientations that Launch Groups.
4. Greet small group leaders warmly with a high five or a hug
In smaller churches it may be easy to know personally all of the small group leaders. In larger congregations it may be the simple request at leader trainings and orientations to "be sure and introduce yourself the next time you see me (i.e., "Hi Pastor Mark, I'm Bob Smith and I lead a small group here")."
5. Ask small group leaders about their group
Showing interest communicates loudly about their value. Simply asking, "What's the best thing happening in your small group?" or "What's the most challenging thing about your group?" provides leaders a brief opportunity to talk about their group. More importantly, a pattern of brief conversations affords the senior pastor a window into the life of the congregation's optimal environments of life-change.
You can read about the other 9 things every small group leader needs to know right here.
What do you think? Have one to add? You can click here to jump into the conversation.
Image by Peter Thoeny