When people walk into a group for the first time, they bring expectations with them. As Group leaders, when we begin leading a group, we bring expectations of what we think will happen or should happen in our group.
Our expectations are often shaped by our past group experience, good or bad, or by what has been promised to us in a sermon, in an announcement, from a group leader, or from an invitation from a group member.
Some people walk into group with low expectations. They are either new to the group environment or based on their previous group they assume that:
People won't like them or be like them.
People will be super-spiritual and stuffy.
They'll just sit around a circle discussing some generalities about the Bible.
They'll just share the basics about their work, the weather, or some mild struggles that everyone faces.
After their group meeting they'll head home and maybe see their group members in the grocery store or in the lobby on Sunday. In the end, they'll develop more acquaintances at church and that will be about all they get out of group.
On the flip side, others will walk into group with high expectations. In their past group they developed amazing friendships. Some of the group members were in each others weddings, they got an apartment and became roommates, they met for breakfast every week for accountability, they had complex theological discussions, and they hung out on the weekends at the beach or in the city. As they come to their new group, they expect to develop deep friendships quickly, to share personal struggles intimately, and to take significant steps of growth in their faith.
The high expectations sound pretty good don't they? But are those expectations realistic? Can you expect that to happen in your own Community Group?
As you lead your Community Group, what can you expect?
As we consider our expectations for our own group, I think it's important to first recognize that no group is the same.
"No Groups Is The Same."
Each group has different:
Levels of spiritual maturity
Stages of life
In fact, even we are not the same person from one group to the next. We change and our life changes.
We can't expect our next group to be like our previous group.
So, what can we expect?
As we practice the Group Leader Essentials, we can expect that the people in our group will have an opportunity to:
Read the Bible
Discuss the Bible
Apply the Bible
Meet Christ followers
Watch Godly examples
Be prayed for
Pray for others
Be cared for
Care for others
Grow in faith
As Group Leaders, we create environments where people have these opportunities, but we can't guarantee the outcome. God is the one who heals hearts, knits relationships, and changes lives.
As you consider your own group, be encouraged! No group is the same. Your current group is not like your previous group, and your next group will be different than your current group.
Whether you love your group now or wish it was like your first group, as you lead, you are creating an environment where people can apply the Bible, build relationships, and care for each other.
God is using you make more and better disciples, one week at a time, one person at a time, one group at time.
Are any of these true of you? How you lead now may end up in you not leading later. How can you avoid burn out as a Group Leader?
What do you need to know and do to be a successful leader? Ask yourself this question...
Is your group in a rut? Here are 9 ideas to mix things up and reengage your group.
Do You Have A Question?
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Community Groups Pastor
Life is better connected!