Friday, October 08, 2010

Are You Getting Enough Face Time?

How much time do you get with your small group leaders? That’s a question I had to ask myself about two years ago. Do I spend enough one-on-one time them? Am I truly available?

Because face time is important, I’ve made it a personal goal to meet with at least two small group leaders per week. That’s a minimum. Lunch, coffee, a meeting at the church, or a simple drop-in at their place of employment (when appropriate) is the means. Connecting and investing is the goal.

The church where I serve has more than 6,000 participating in worship each weekend. That makes it easy, unfortunately, to miss people for weeks on end. That certainly is not ideal, so I have to be intentional—both about meetings with me and about linking leaders with other leaders.

To do this, I’ve implemented a pair of opportunities that are working well. A quarterly gathering of leaders called a Small Group Leader Symposium and a monthly time called Coffee and Conversation with the Small Group Guy.

The symposium is our venue for ongoing leadership development and for linking leaders with leaders. Each quarter, we examine a specific issue pertaining to small group leadership. You know, stuff like dealing with the EGR (extra-grace required) person in a group, maximizing your time together, and leading your group into God’s presence in prayer. I’ll do a time of teaching and digging into the issue, then provide discussion time for leaders to dive into the issue together and then share ideas. These times are not one-on-one opportunities with me, the small group pastor, but they do provide face time for leaders with me and with other leaders.

The coffee and conversation time is all about face time. Each month, I plop myself down at a local coffee shop for two hours in the late afternoon. The goal of this time is to be available to leaders for dialogue—small-group related or other. There’s no official agenda. It’s simply an opportunity to connect and converse. Sometimes just a couple leaders will drop in during the two-hour window. Other times, I’ll have six or more. It’s about being available!

I believe my role is a small group pastor is to pour into the small group leader as they pour into the lives of those in their small group. So, being available to talk, pray, and discuss issues is critical.

Whether you oversee 10 groups or 100—face time is important. Go out and get some!


Michael C. Mack said...

Great ideas! I like how strategic you are in planning face time with your leaders through the year rather than just "hoping it will happen." Thanks so much for sharing this!

Randall Neighbour said...

Prioritizing face to face contact with leaders as regularly as possible indicates that one's ministry is relational, not mechanical or simply structural support ("We have groups to keep people coming back to our Sunday services")

I cannot count the number of small group pastors with whom I visit that don't connect relationally with their leaders... yet they wonder why the small group ministry is more corporate organization than spiritual organism... ie, no relational evangelism happening within groups, few members desire to lead, etc.)

NRIGirl said...

Well said Pastor! Face time with the leaders is extremely important to stay focused in the mission field be it the streets or at home...

How about some Coffee with Jesus? Needless to say you will get plenty of Face time with Him...


Created For Community said...

Mike and NRIGirl, thanks for your encouraging comments!

Created For Community said...

Randall, I appreciate your thoughts. Isn't it intriguing that anyone would believe a relational ministry like small groups can be grown without relational contact?