Have you ever walked into a room and there wasn’t a seat for you? Or have you been invited for dinner and there isn’t a chair at the table for you?
If yes, that’s 10/10 awks and I’m sorry you’ve been through that. Hopefully, most of you reading this won’t have been in that situation!
If you are part of a small group, have you ever rocked up and had nowhere to sit?
My answer to this is most definitely yes!
I have been part of and lead small groups where there isn’t always a seat for someone new. We want to celebrate when small groups have grown and are places of momentum BUT if there isn’t space for someone new to sit in the room the group will likely become stale as there won’t be room to bring a friend that is exploring faith or intrigued by what a small group actually is or who Jesus is.
In Isaiah 54 it says…
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
your descendants will dispossess nations
and settle in their desolate cities."
We need to make space, be ready for growth and ready to see lives changed. One of the best ways to ensure you always have a seat for someone new is to raise up leaders. Be ready to plant out a new small group before you run out of empty seats.
Here are 3 top tips on raising up leaders
Look for good news people
Look for the people that influence and carry the good news of Jesus - you may have some natural leaders in your group but spot the ones who are people of peace, that are kind and gracious. And for the ones who don’t influence from that place, start to teach them!
Take a risk on someone
Someone took a risk when they asked me to start leading, they took a punt on whatever it was they saw in me and created a space for me to pick up responsibility and step into leading. We’re not looking for the finished product of a competent able leader when we ask someone to lead, we are looking for someone we see the early sparks of leadership in.
Give it away, give it away, give it away (now!)
If you are already leading, give away whatever responsibilities you have from worship to teaching, prayer, snacks or hosting, release others to own it, take the lead and develop it. This enables you to spot the potential leaders but also creates space for you to teach and give opportunities for people to grow and learn. Even if you have just started leading today, start giving away... now!
Are you a small group leader? How are you leading your group into growth?
Are you part of a small group? How are you facilitating growth, how can you step up?
Are you not in a small group at the moment? Small groups are ready for you and already creating space for you, go and join one. Trust me, you will love it!
Check out Small Groups Big Mission for more info on transformative small groups.