Building A Healthy Small Group Leader Culture:
Any healthy ministry is resting heavily on the shoulders of multiple leaders and volunteers. Leaders can either make or break your ministry. No matter how good you are, the size and health of your ministry will always be capped unless you are sharing leadership with and investing in leaders. I love the story in Exodus 17 where Moses needs to hold his arms up so that the Lord will be with the armies of Israel. When his arms grow weary, 2 of his men come along side of him to hold up his arms. This is what leaders can do for you if you cultivate and maintain the relationships well.
- Lead with Vision and Mission: These are the most important things a leader needs to understand and support. A regiment headed out to battle probably disagrees over religion, politics and several other things, but all of that is pushed aside and unity is created around a common goal. Of course there are going to be disagreements over certain issues but as long as the leaders are behind the overall direction and vision of the ministry, you have that rock to build on. For this reason, in training and equipping opportunities, make sure to lead with vision. When you get tired of saying something, your leaders are just starting to get it
- Care about Them: A leader needs to know that they are not just a cog in a system filling a role but that they are now being shepherded as a part of your ministry. They should know that you feel a burden for them and want to be involved in their life. When is their birthday? How is their family? Where do they work? Where are they headed? All of these should be easy questions for you or someone on your team to answer about your leadership.
- Build Friendships: Do not let the level of relationship with your volunteers devolve into a managerial level. The last thing you want is for them to dread answering every time you call because they know it is only going to be work related. We do leader hang once a month where we head out to eat and just enjoy time together without the students. It is a great time and our leaders all look forward to it. Leaders tend to stick around longer, just like students, when they build relationships and find community with the other leaders.