Friday, March 26, 2010

The Art Of Leading A Small Group

By Michael Zigarelli

In the leader guide of
Freedom from Busyness, I shared the 20 best ideas I've seen out there for leading a small group. Here are the first 10 along with a short explanation.

For further explanations and the entire list, you may download a 6-page PDF document with all 20 ideas:
Twenty Tips for Successful Small Group Leadership (150 kb PDF)

Tip 1: It’s Not About You. Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning: leading a small group study is not about you. It’s about God. The more you can remain in the mindset of magnifying God and minimizing yourself, the more others will learn from the study.

Tip 2: Operate in God’s Strength. The best leader is one who’s first a follower. Ask God to empower you to lead beyond your abilities, and return to this prayer often.

Tip 3: Operate in Joy. When you adopt a joyful and celebratory disposition throughout the study, others will follow. When you smile, when you’re upbeat, when you’re genuinely excited to be leading, when you celebrate successes, it will infect the group - and that will significantly improve the experience for everyone involved.

Tip 4: Encourage Accountability. We’re more likely to experience permanent change when we have an accountability partner who will support us, ask us whether we’re keeping up with the studies, and check on our progress. So, early on, encourage people to walk through the study with at least one other person.

Tip 5: Preparation, Preparation and Preparation. If you’re going to facilitate effectively, you need to have mapped out how you’ll begin the group meeting, what questions you’ll cover, approximately how much time you’ll be devoting to each of them, some proposed answers for each question, and a way to bring the meeting to effective closure.

Tip 6: Model the Way. If you want people to listen to one another, then listen closely to people. If you want them to be transparent and candid, then you go first. If you want them to dig deeper to identify root causes of their problems, then model that yourself. If you want them to be accountable to one another, then be sure they know of your accountability relationship. Lead by example, not just by what you say.


Until next time...share the journey and enjoy the ride!