If Small Groups are a vital aspect of your youth ministry, then healthy small group leaders need to be a vital aspect as well. Those leaders need to feel trained and encouraged, and that their role is vital to the ministry. Here are a couple ideas we use that might help your leaders know that they matter.
Okay maybe you don’t have the same love of java I do, but what I consider Coffee Conversations are 30 minutes where all I do is ask questions about them and listen. I don’t ask them questions about their ministry role, I ask them questions about THEM. Their life, marriage, joys, pains and then I pray for them. These opportunities allow me to be a pastor even to them and I learn so much about my leaders.
Ever consider showing up at your small group leader’s home with a gift card on the night of their small group? Try it. You may wanna coordinate this idea with their spouse but try surprising them by giving them a night out. Yes it means someone has to cover your small group, or you blend the two together for a night. But leaders’ eyes light up when they can get a family night to dinner or even an ice cream date with their spouse. This can really communicate your love for them and their family.
Weekly Touch Points
I need my leaders to hear from me weekly. I want them to hear from me a spiritual encouragement, a leadership training idea and what is expected of them that week as a small group leader. For my context this works best via email.
I love when we can get all of our leaders together and just share highlights of what God is doing in our small groups. I look forward to these moments being an encouragement to everyone involved that their sacrifices and energies that they put into this ministry are being used to impact the kingdom. I know that when I have healthy leaders I have also have healthy small groups. When I have healthy small groups I have healthy environments where teenagers can be challenged to think through their faith, be cared for by leaders and share community.