Group leader, do you feel like you’re in this alone? Like you’re the only one preparing and doing all the work while everybody else shows up and enjoys the group experience? If you can relate, you’re most likely “carrying the whole load” of responsibility in your group. While it’s true that as a group leader you have general oversight of the group, it is unrealistic to think that it’s your job to “do it all.” Remember your primary role as a group leader here at The Bridge is to help every member of your group take one next step throughout the season.
Paul wrote in Ephesians that the body of Christ is at its healthiest when all of its different parts are working together. The best groups are those that are like microcosms of the church where everybody is involved using their gifts and abilities and contributing to the life of the church body. And the great news is: no one person gets worn out in the process.
Here at the Bridge, we call that concept Sharing the Load. Here are four practical ways you do that in your group.
Everyone in your group may not have the gift of teaching or exhortation, but I guarantee you, there are some great planners, organizers, and administrators in your group. Give them the opportunity to plan the party, send a weekly group newsletter, or an update in schedule.
If your group shares a meal together, whether it’s potluck or desserts, ask someone to be in charge of coordinating food each week. I once led a group that another couple hosted. Vonda was amazing at planning the food each week. She went so far as to theme each week’s refreshments (Cinco De Mayo, welcome to fall, etc.) She also assigned and enlisted others to prepare the food. As I shared the load, she shared the load. It was a beautiful thing.
3) Prayer Requests
Someone in every group I’ve ever led loves to pray more than everyone else. I’d encourage you to find that person in yours. Ask them to bring a notebook to capture the prayer requests each time you meet and then email them out to everyone weekly. It’s a simple ask, but will drastically change the dynamic of your group.
When people think of Disciple-making, they often picture a wise sage imparting his knowledge to his young padawan. However, disciple-making is actually reteaching what God is teaching you. Find someone in your group in whom you see some leadership ability. Give them an opportunity to take leadership of the discussion from time to time. You’re not only sharing the load of leadership, you’re also preparing the next generation of Bridge Group leaders.
Don’t be afraid to ask people to help. Sometimes as leaders we think others are too busy and already juggling many things. Sometimes that’s true. But most often I find that people are waiting to be asked. The best group leaders only do what only they can do. They give everything else away.
For more on Sharing the Load, check out Group Leader 101.