The phrase “little things mean a lot” is the perfect descriptor for this blog post. Groups pastors need to know that most group leaders are very busy during the holidays and are often with family during this time. They’re running fast and are oftentimes overwhelmed. And so a small gesture will go a long way. In fact, the right encouragement at the right time may say more about how much you honor and are grateful for your group leaders than sending them to Disneyworld. (Okay… That’s an overstatement.)
The truth is that doing something personal for your group leaders over the holiday season will mean a lot. Maybe one of the options below will work for you.
1. Get each group leader a $10.00 Starbucks card. Send a note simply stating that you hope, during this busy season, the group leader will spend twenty minutes at Starbucks taking a breather and pondering how much Jesus loves them.
2. Send an email to every group leader thanking them for their ministry to the group they lead and thanking them for making you look so good.
3. Get up early Thanksgiving morning, Christmas Eve morning, or Christmas Day and send a personal text to every small group leader. Simply thank them for being your friend and let them know how grateful you are for them.
4. Call those group leaders who you know will have an emotionally trying holiday season (those who have lost family members or close friends in the last twelve months, those who are single and wish to be married, those who have had a tough year financially, etc.) and let them know you’re praying for them and are grateful that you have always been able to count on them in spite of the tough times they’ve been forced to live through.
5. Instead of sending a Christmas card, write a personal note to each small group leader wishing them and their family a Merry Christmas. If it is financially feasible, put a gift card in the envelope, enough for the leaders to take themselves and someone else out to dinner. This will take time but will be worth every minute it takes.
Rick Howerton is the Small Groups and Discipleship Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. He has authored many small group studies, is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker, and is the author of Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual as well as A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic. He is also the co-author of Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making and Countdown: Launching and Leading Transformational Groups. But Rick’s deepest passion and his goal in life is to see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.”