Last Sunday evening we had our Life Group Leader Chili Cook Off. This was a time of fellowship, celebration, and training with our current and future life group leaders. Everyone signed up to bring different ingredients and styles of chili. I wrote a lesson for our leaders and future group leaders and I wanted to share that here. The lesson was called How To Lead a Healthy Life Group.
1. Don’t sweat the sweaty palms.
Maybe you are a little nervous about the prospect of leading a life group. It might make your palms sweat. That’s actually a healthy thing. If you’re not a little nervous or concerned you’re probably over confident. What we find all through Scripture is that God loves to use those who feel inadequate and under qualified. Over and over again in the Bible we find this.
A great example of this is Gideon. The Lord called Gideon one day to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites who were robbing them blind left and right. Where was Gideon at the time? Hiding in fear. His response to God’s call? He reminds God that he’s from the smallest tribe, from the smallest clan, from the smallest family in the clan, and that he’s the smallest in his family. God still wanted to use him and he did.
It’s good to be a little nervous. God uses us in our weakness. In our weakness He is strong and receives the glory.
2. Have a heart for people.
We’ve got this all mixed up in our world today. Instead of loving people we love things. Have you ever noticed how much we love our cell phones? We polish them, pet them, hold them, sleep with them. It’s a cell phone, but we treat it like it’s alive. We’ve got it backwards. We love things instead of people. God wants it the other way around. He wants us to love people and use our things to help others.
Relationships outlast things. So, we open our homes. We let people sit on our couch, people we don’t really know. We listen while they talk, really listen. We look them in the eye.
3. Invite people to you group.
The best groups happen through personal invitation. Think of those inside the church who are new comers. Hand them an invitation with your group’s time, address, and your phone. Think of people outside the church within your circle of influence – friends, neighbors, co-workers. Make a list of 20 names and invite them all. You’ll get at least 8 to 10.
Invite them a few weeks out. Then, 7 days before your first meeting give them a call and remind them by saying something like, “I just wanted you to know again we would really like it if you could come.”
4. Prepare for your group.
Don’t wing it. Take some time to go through the lesson a few times. Take the time to personally write down the answers so you are ready to share. Read through the passages. Pray that the truths in the lesson would be true in your own life. Repent in the areas where you need to repent. Pray for the members in your group that they will be changed through the time together.
Preparation says, “I care about you. I thought enough about you being here that I wanted to make sure things were in order. You matter to me and I want you to come back.”
5. Open up with worship.
Life is challenging isn’t it? It would be easy for you to start your group off by everyone going around and sharing about their needs and struggles. We are all needy people. We all have rough weeks from time to time. Time for sharing needs will come.
I would encourage you start off with worship, making it priority to focus on the greatness of God. May be you don’t have a musician in your group. One great source is you tube. Type in any well known worship chorus and the music and words will come up. You have an instant praise team right there. Take a few moments and start the time off thanking God. (to be continued)