6 Excuses (and Responses) to Those Who Say They Can’t Lead a Small Group


Most people are unwilling to lead a small group for one of the following reasons. Knowing which of the reasons will unearth how to “appropriately encourage a potential leader to step up and stop making excuses.”

  1. I’m incapable. In this situation the small group leader needs to ask the individual to be their apprentice leader. Over time, if given direction, coaching, guidance, and opportunity to lead the group, the individual will become comfortable with leadership and will be willing to lead a group of their own.
  1. My spiritual gifts aren’t in line with Small Group leadership. Remind the person that God uses people of all types to lead small groups. People with the leadership gift will lead the group from a leadership perspective. People with the gift of service will be a servant leader and win the respect of group members quickly. People with the gift of mercy will have such deep passion for others that God will use them to care for group members in very special ways, etc…
  1. I don’t have time. Most small group leaders don’t think they have the time because they try to do everything themselves. Teach the possible small group leader the importance of giving away responsibilities. If they will do this, they’ll probably find out that they have plenty of time to lead a small group of their own.
  1. I’m not biblically knowledgeable enough to lead a Small Group. Remind the person who is a possible small group leader that they don’t have to be a Bible scholar to lead an small group. The Bible study material the church uses gives them everything they need to understand the passage of Scripture being studied. Not only that, many of the people in their small group will have study Bibles. When a difficult question arises, in most instances someone with a study Bible in hand can help the group understand what the passage is really saying.
  1. I don’t want our Small Group to break up. Sometimes a small group member is unwilling to take on part of the group because they and/or their spouse doesn’t want the group to start a new mission point/multiply. In this instance, your best bet is to leave the group yourself and start a new small group. This person will then have to step up and lead their own group and the Kingdom will gain another small group that shares the Gospel with more people.
  1. I just don’t want to lead an MC. In this case, you don’t want them leading a small group.

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