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Help, I’m A Terrible Small Group Leader!

Life Group

The above picture was taken last night, the first gathering of a brand new small group of awesomely awkward 7th grade guys. See me leaning in on the right? The smile on my face masks a ton of anxiety about the year ahead.

– I rarely lead a 7th grade group because should I need to skip a year I don’t want to leave them hanging as 8th graders. Last night reminded me of the VAST difference between 7th and 8th graders.

– I tend to miss about 1/4 of our small group gatherings due to a variety of reasons. This always puts extra strain on my co-leader to pick up the slack. The guy leaning over the back of the couch is Tom…an awesome dad who doesn’t even have children of his own in junior high any more…he just loves this age group. I’ve tried to tell him I’m a crappy small group partner, but he refuses to believe it. He will soon enough.

– The thirteen boys in our group are a true hodge-podge; from a few different schools, different faith journeys and varying family dynamics. Two have Asperger’s, one may die (his words) if he eats gluten, and another seems to have almost zero social skills.

I’m a terrible small group leader. I’m anxious, not very compassionate, and flakey. But I know this is where the good stuff happens; I know that wading into the rarely calm waters of sharing life with this group for the next two years will be life-changing for all of us.

Chances are you are “terrible” at some aspect of junior high ministry, too. It’s understandably tempting to avoid those areas. After all, why subject yourself, or others, to the misery of your efforts! Why? Because it’s when we faithfully enter the rarely calm waters, despite our shortcomings, that the good stuff happens.

One thought on “Help, I’m A Terrible Small Group Leader!

  1. Avatar
    Ben Hoffmaster

    Great great thought.

    “Because it’s when we faithfully enter the rarely calm waters, despite our shortcomings, that the good stuff happens.”

    I feel in my own regard I have never been a great youth pastor/leader in general. It has been something I have needed to grow into. At first I was so terrified, and sometimes still am, but even though I didn’t like crowds or new people I somehow ventured into it and said yes to my pastor when he asked me to help. It seemed like I was deficient in every way, but here recently I have really been able to see fruit of sowing my life, even when I didn’t recognize I was sowing it.

    It seems as if the things that pain us the most at times always bring us to most reward. It is also amazing to see who God uses, I am not saying this as a pat on the back to myself but wow God does do miracles 🙂 At the end of the day if we are scratching our head in amazement wondering how in the world we accomplished what we have, then it is a testimony not only to us, but also we become a walking miracle of what God can do. This may not apply to everyone, but it sure applies to me.

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Help, I’m A Terrible Small Grou...

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