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Sharing the Leadership Burden

Jim Semradek, a small group leader at a church in Chicago writes:


I recently met a small group leader that said, "No one wants to lead...no one wants to host...it all falls on my shoulders and no one will step up!"

Have you ever felt that way?

I used to constantly struggle with this problem…until something changed…and to be honest, I have never had this problem since.

I learned just two important principles:

  1. From the very beginning of the group...help them discover their spiritual gifts... and have them exercise those gifts within the group every week! If you have never taken a spiritual gift test, then now is your time to begin. [you can get spiritual gift tests in the cove] Then after the class, have each member tell the group their top 2 or three spiritual gifts and encourage each to lead within their gifting every week! If the person is a mercy or intercession, have them “lead” the prayer requests. If the person has a gift of helps or hospitality, have them “lead” foods and snacks or host. If they are an administrator, have them “lead” starting and ending on time…or set up an email list to keep small group members connected. If they are a leader, use them often to begin discussion, encourage action steps for lessons, etc. Every person is a leader within their own spiritual gifts.
  2. Don’t fall into the trap of leading every week. From the very beginning of the group, make it an expectation that everyone will lead at least once over the course of the group. Whatever the person’s gifting may be…lead out of that gifting. Recently when I began a group, I set the expectation that every person would lead at least once. Usually this intimidates people at first, but as time goes on and different people lead, the “peer pressure” of leading will actually become a wonderful expectation. By the end of our group, people actually wanted to lead. By the end of our group, it was amazing how interactive it became. Hospitality people provided the environment and food, mercy people provided the prayer, leaders gave action steps, administrators kept us organized, etc. It was a fun group, because everyone had a place: Everyone knew their gifting, and everyone led through that gift mix!

Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

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