By Jennifer Trimble

We all want our small groups to be healthy, but in order to have that, you must have a healthy small group leader.  A healthy small group leader is someone that is submitted to God and is all in with their commitment to disciple the group.  

My church frequently quotes from Axiom: The Language of Leadership by Bill Hybels, which has an axiom that states, Speed of the Leader, Speed of the Team.  To break it down, your small group will display the similar characteristics that you, the leader, cultivate in your own life.

So what are the 4 critical habits a leader should exhibit that will promote a healthy group?

  1. Prioritizing intimacy with God is a must!
    Throughout the Word of God, intimacy with God is prioritized, so why shouldn’t it be prioritized in our own lives (John 6:44).  As small group leaders, it is very important to have unhurried time with our Lord and Savior.  During our unhurried time, God has the opportunity to prune us so that we might bear His fruit (John 15:1-3).  It also allows our “cup” to be filled up so that we might give out of the overflow to our group (Isaiah 40:31).
  2. Confess, Confess, Confess!
    Confession of your own personal sins to God, and sometimes to a brother or sister in Christ is essential to your walk.  True confession is always coupled with humility. Confessing to someone that you trust shatters the power of secret sin (Psalm 32:3-5).  When you confess to someone else, it causes us to be vulnerable, and reveals that we need help.  This world elevates individual successes and rejects weaknesses, and because of this, confessing a sin to someone is very uncomfortable but necessary to bring healing and restoration (James 5:16).
  3. Develop Your leadership skills!
    It is important as small group leaders that we continue to develop and refine our leadership skills.  If you’re reading this blog, you already understand the importance of continuing education units (CEU).  I’ll put it this way, would you feel comfortable going to a physician who graduated medical school and that was the only time he/she educated themselves?  I am hoping you said “no.”  Continuing to build your skills of leadership and your knowledge of God and His Word is absolutely vital!
  4. Spend time with the truthful few!
    To be a healthy group leader, it is important that you have people within your inner circle that have the permission to speak the truth to you, and that there is that expectation.  Remember, being a group leader doesn’t mean that you are perfect. It is so important to our spiritual health to have people in our lives that can encourage us when life and its  challenges are heavy and on us,  and it is important to call us out on those things we might be trying to hide (II Samuel 12).