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September 20, 2010

Help Group Leaders Accomplish Less...

...In order to focus on what is really important.


I don't think I have mentioned this on the blog before, but I am currently writing a book for InterVarsity Press with the goal of providing basic training for small-group leaders. It's a great opportunity, and I've been having a lot of fun digging into the writing process.

I'll be blogging about my writing experiences every now and again for the next few months. I'll also be asking for a little help and advice from you, our faithful readers. (And several posts, like this one, will have a little of both.)

Pray More
One of the points I am trying to make early in the book is that small-group leaders need to focus more on spiritual preparation (things like praying for your group members and building your own connection with God) than physical preparation (things like cleaning the house, preparing a lesson, and so on).

We've had a good conversation going on regarding this issue with articles like A Small-Group Leader's Most Important Job, by Jim Egli. But in order for group leaders to have more time to pray, I think they need to spend less time working on the other tasks traditionally associated with leading a small group.

In other words, I think group leaders need to be less productive.

What Can We Give Up?
So the question becomes:

  • What tasks are you performing as a small-group leader that could be let go without damaging the group?

  • What chores and assignments are traditionally connected to leading a small group that are not really necessary when you stop and think about it?

  • What can you cut in order to spend more time spiritually preparing yourself to lead?

I've got a few ideas in mind that we can talk about later, but I would love to get your input on this issue.

posted by Sam O'Neal on September 20, 2010 3:05 PM

Related Tags: Priorities, Time


Maybe the question shouldn't be "What can I give up?" but what can someone else do? Can someone else host the meetings? Can someone else plan social events? Can someone else manage the group prayer list? Can someone else plan and lead worship? My biggest challenge in any ministry is always trying to do everything myself. Whenever I've tried to engage others to help out I'm often pleasantly surprised by their willingness and the creativity they bring to the task. I've also experienced disappointment with someone not following through or not finding anyone willing to take it on. Then it's time to ask, is this necessary?

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