October 31, 2012
Helpful tips from the Nines conference
Last week I had the privilege of virtually attending the Nines conference, which featured many different pastors and leaders discussing hot topics over two days. One interesting topic covered was handling rogue leaders. Brian Tome from Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, offered tips—things he learned the hard way as he dealt with this difficult issue—and two really stood out to me.
First, he said it's crucial that we say the hard things before it's hard to say. In other words, make your expectations clear and speak up about the problem from the beginning. Don't wait until the problem is out of control.
Second, it's important that we play biblical instead of nice. That took a second to sink in for me, but it's true. If we're more concerned about being nice than handling things in the way Scripture instructs, we're essentially rogue leaders ourselves.
If you lead a small-group ministry or coach leaders, you're bound to experience a few rogue leaders, but these two tips can help minimize the impact. If we're clear from the beginning about our expectations, we set a solid foundation. And if leaders step outside those boundaries, we can call them on it. Plus, if we're willing to have the hard conversations at the first hint of something gone astray, we may be able to nip it in the bud.
The second tip becomes key when the situation has developed and we have to deal with it. That's hard to live by for relational small-group ministers and coaches like us. Too often, though, the reason we try to be nice is to protect ourselves: we're afraid of what the leader will say to or think of us, or how uncomfortable we'll feel. If, though, we focus on our love for the other person rather than our own comfort, it may be easier to "play biblical."
What have you found helpful in dealing with rogue leaders? Share with us below.
Plus, check out Ministering to Struggling Small-Group Leaders for tips from others.
October 24, 2012
Don't overlook this incredible opportunity.
As we create our discussion questions, clean the house, and make sure someone's bringing a snack, we may forget an important opportunity that we small-group leaders have: to add value to our group members, to build them up and encourage them.
Heather Zempel, author of Community Is Messy, is incredibly intentional about investing in people and adding value to them. In this article she lists seven ways leaders can invest in others such as make their day, listen, and approach every person as someone who can teach you something.
Read the full article and let us know what you do to invest in your group members.
October 5, 2012
Free playlists to use with your small group
Ever notice how well music can set the mood? Bring the power of music to your small-group meetings. Playing upbeat worship music as you gather and catch up sets the tone for praise. Playing Christmas music during a holiday gathering sets the tone for festive fun. And playing slow, meaningful songs during your meeting sets the tone for serious reflection.
To help you set the tone for your next meeting, SmallGroups.com has been creating some free playlists for you on Grooveshark. We'll be adding more playlists in the coming weeks. Our first playlist for you is our Confession and Forgiveness playlist, which is perfect to use with Fiery Forgiveness, an activity on confession and forgiveness from Keri Wyatt Kent.
Use our free playlists at your next meeting, and let us know what you think.