Leading a small group is not an easy job. Schedules are full. People are messy. Public speaking is generally considered to be scarier than death. If you have a group leader, you should show them you are thankful for what they do. Here are three ways you can demonstrate your gratitude:
1. Volunteer to read the Scripture. Fast.
Every second that passes between the request for scripture reading and the commencement of scripture reading is a second during which your group leader is convinced of one of three things:
- Everyone thinks I’m an idiot.
- No one in this group loves Jesus.
- My group is 100% doomed.
Just volunteer to read ASAP. You can read. The Bible is good. Your group leader will thank you.
2. Allow only one rabbit-trail a week.
Most seasoned group leaders have at some point asked themselves the question, “How in the world are we talking about Sandra’s cousin’s chicken cacciatore recipe that inspired her to become a Calvinist?” There’s seemingly no limit to how far off-topic a group’s conversation can lead. Show your group leader you are thankful for her efforts by promising not to leave behind the purpose of the Bible study more than once a week. By the way, this limit is for the whole group, not each individual. If someone has already explained why her child’s newest school photo is a precious sign of the nearness of the rapture, save your story for next week.
3. Own the “after-the-group-meeting” group meeting.
Your group leader loves you, but you know what else he or she loves? Going to bed. If your group typically has an hour-long “deeper” discussion after the two-hour “regular” discussion, give your leader a week off from the bonus banter. Insert yourself into the conversation and say, “Why don’t you go home and get some rest?” If you are at the group leader’s home, try saying, “Why don’t we take this conversation to Waffle House and let our fearless small group champion hit the hay?” Your group leader will love you. And your group leader will wonder for the rest of his or her life if you are an actual angel.
Brandon Hiltibidal is a former church planter and multi-site pastor, and he is now part of the Groups Ministry team at LifeWay Christian Resources. He and his wife have two little girls. You can read about his group ministry and his girls on Twitter: @bmhiltibidal.