The One Thing Every Small Group Pastor Must Do…for Small Group Leaders

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Small GroupRecently my friend Rick Howerton posted an article praising Egli and Marable’s research based, Small Groups Big Impact.  Among other principles, Rick referred to a powerful discovery made by Egli and Marable:

“The practice that impacts the health and growth of a small group the most is the prayer life of the leader (p. 23).”

I have that line underlined in my copy of the book, too.  Very powerful statement.  Maybe a no-brainer to you.  Maybe an aha moment.  Either way…a powerful statement.

The Problem

Only one problem.  Do you see it?  Here it is:  How many of your small group leaders actually want to have the kind of prayer life that impacts the members of their small group?

Can you be 100% honest with yourself for a moment?  Here’s the question again: How many of your small group leaders actually want to have the kind of prayer life that impacts the members of their small group?

I don’t know about you, but in my experience very few leaders are preoccupied by the desire to have that kind of prayer life.  Oh, they may have a passing thought now and then (like when their pastor casts that vision).

They’re rarely preoccupied by that thought.  But they need to be if they’re going to have that kind of impact on their members.

The Solution

If you want your small group leaders to be preoccupied by the desire to develop that kind of prayer life, you need to come to a very important conclusion.  Here it is:

Whatever you want to happen in the lives of your members…has to happen first in the lives of your leaders.

Want group members to experience grouplife where they’re prayed for by their leader?  Somehow the leader has to experience it first.

Want group members to experience grouplife where they’re truly known?  Where they’re way more than a face in the crowd or an acquaintance?  Somehow the leader has to experience it first.

Want group members to experience grouplife where they’re truly cared for, loved, held accountable, encouraged, and forgiven?  Somehow the leader has to experience it first.

How Will This Happen?

The size of your small group ministry will determine how this happens.  Carl George was right when he said, “Everyone needs to be cared for by someone but no one can care for more than (about) ten.”

What does that have to do with helping your leaders become preoccupied with the desire to develop this kind of prayer life?  If you want your members to experience all of the good things that grouplife brings…your leaders must experience the good things first.  How will that happen?  It begins with you investing in your small group leaders.


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About Mark Howell

Mark Howell is the founder of SmallGroupResources.net, committed to helping churches launch, build, and sustain healthy small group ministries. He's also the Pastor of Discipleship Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church.  Having served as small group pastor at Woodlands Church and Lake Avenue Church, Mark is a seasoned veteran with experience in both the contemporary and the traditional church. In addition, he served as a consultant with Lifetogether and as a host for the Purpose Driven Campaign Coaching programs. You can read Mark's blog at www.markhowelllive.com or follow him on twitter.

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