How do you plan ahead for your small group? Leaders.life.church can help you know what you’re going to do with your small group on the weekend, but how do you prepare for all the times you have to lead kids through things that aren’t on a leader guide?
The best way to lead in the unscripted times is to prepare yourself spiritually so your example is authentic and trustworthy. Watch this video and read below to see what you can do to care for yourself spiritually every day of the week.
Focus on spiritual growth.
- Practice spiritual disciplines that allow God to fill you up during the week so you have something to give on the weekend. When you are regularly spending time with God, you’re in His Word, and you’re reaching out to Him in prayer, He renews your spirit. It gives you the stamina to continue showing up mentally, physically, and spiritually for your small group instead of burning out or checking out.
- Own your spiritual growth so the kids in your small group will own theirs. When you consistently model passion for the things of God, kids pick up on it. They’ll be more interested in what they can do to grow closer to God.
Be in community.
- Godly community brings us closer to God. When you love God, you can love Him back by loving His people. Be a part of a community by regularly attending a LifeGroup or meeting up with Christian friends so you can be there for others—and they can be there for you.
- The kids in your small group need the same type of community you do. When you value being a part of godly community, you model for the kids in your small group the importance of being there for one another.
- Things are better caught than taught. Kids hear what you say but learn from what you do. Lead authentically by being the kind of person you want the kids in your small group to become.
- God can use your struggles to help kids with their struggles. Share what God is helping you overcome, or what He has helped you with in the past. When kids talk about divorce, losing a grandparent, or giving in to temptation, let them know when you’ve been through that kind of thing, too. Always keep it age appropriate by sticking with root issues, like anxiety, being sad, or dealing with temptation. If you realize you need to process your struggles in more detail, reach out to your community of Christian friends, other LifeKids leaders, or campus staff.
Talk through these discussion questions with your fellow leaders and LifeKids team.
- How prepared do you feel when kids ask hard questions that aren’t on the leader guides?
- Name some spiritual disciplines that help you feel renewed, refreshed, and closer to God?
- How have you seen kids in your small group follow the example you set for them?
- Who are you in godly community with? (If you don’t feel like you have a strong, godly community, who can you reach out to so you can get plugged in?)
- Share a time a struggle you faced outside of church helped you be better prepared to lead a kid through a similar circumstance.
A special thank you to Orange and the reThink Group for their ideas and research on their “lead small” philosophy referenced in this guide.