A couple of days ago I was considering handing over leadership of my small group to one of the group members. As I was considering what nuggets of wisdom (such as I have) to convey to the new leader, the statement, “You’re leading people not a group,” popped into my head.
The importance of that statement struck me. It got me thinking about how I’m serving the people in my group, about how I’m helping them develop their faith.
Leading a small group isn’t about making sure that people get together for a weekly discussion. It’s not about sitting in a circle and chatting, discussing, or debating. Leading small groups is about caring for, connecting, discipling, and teaching people. It’s about helping people grow closer to one another and closer to God.
The “group,” the officially organized and named entity, is really irrelevant. It exists only to serve people.
I may be guilty of focusing on the group over the people more often than most. Charged with creating opportunities for discipleship and community through small groups, I sometimes fall into the trap of being more concerned about whether a group itself lives or dies than what is best for the people in the group.
Whether you’re leading a small group or directing a small group ministry, never forget that groups are about and for people, and they’re otherwise meaningless.