It’s essential that small group point people continually let their group leaders know that they are grateful for them. After all, you’re asking them to pastor a small congregation on your behalf.
Few things are as powerful as a face-to-face verbalized, heart-felt, “Thank you.”
But, that doesn’t connect with every group leader’s love language. A few other options might be…
- Send a hand-written note (not an email or a text). There’s something very special about receiving a hand-written note. It says, “You cared enough to take the time to pick out the stationary or card, seriously considered the words you used, wrote them legibly, placed the note in an envelope, and mailed it. This idea was passed to me by Sarah, a Canadian groups point person last week at The Lobby Canada. She shared with those involved in our conversation that every Monday her team writes personal notes to those in their ministry area. This would be a fantastic discipline for all of us to practice.
- Take a few group leaders out to lunch or dinner. Few things allow more interpersonal opportunity than to enjoy a meal together and share in relaxed conversation. If you do this be sure that you don’t talk about ministry expectations or church situations. Just enjoy one another’s company and be sure to thank your special guests for their service before leaving the table.
- Give group leaders the gift of free childcare four times a year. Small group leaders are often so busy caring for and discipling group members that their family life suffers. Four times a year have childcare at church for all of your group leaders. Send them an email thanking them for their ministry as group leaders. In that same email tell them that, in order to thank them for their sacrificial service, you’re providing childcare at the church, the date and hours that it will be available, and who to contact if they’re going to drop their kids off. Also… be sure to greet them when they drop their kids off and when they return.
- Give group leaders the summer off. As you probably know, there’s great debate when it comes to pausing groups for the summer. While many fall strongly on never calling off groups for any season, I lean strongly the other direction. Because we ask so much of group leaders, a seasonal break not only shows you’re concerned for their emotional well being, it also shows you’re sensitive enough to realize the busy lives they are leading.