We’ve all been to the doctor to get a check-up on how our body is doing. But how do you run a check-up on a Small Group? Whether you are a Coach or a leader, the following nine questions should help:
1. How Are You Doing?
Questions 1-3 are personal. The role of a Coach is to help a leader grow both as a Christian and as a leader. We can’t know how to help or encourage if we don’t know what’s going on in a leader’s life.
2. How’s Your Marriage and Your Family?
Family comes before Small Group. And issues or burdens within the home significantly affect the life of any leader. Let’s lead our families first and our groups second.
3. How Are Your Relationships With Your Group Members?
We can easily overlook the relationship a leader has with the group’s members! Are these relationships characterized by intimacy or formality? Candor or clichés? Humility or competition? Does the leader even recognize these things? We don’t just share God’s Word, we share our lives with those we lead (1 Thess. 2:8).
4. What’s Going Well As You Lead?
Questions 4 and 5 have to do with leadership. Some leaders can be self-critical. It’s appropriate to celebrate what’s going well in the group: both to thank God and also to be probe into why it’s happening and say, “Do more of that!”
5. Where Do You Need To Grow/Get Better in Leading Right Now?
This may be the most important question of all. If we aren’t looking to where we can grow as leaders, we won’t grow. Coaches don’t necessarily point out every area where they see improvement needed. Instead, allow the leader to assess where he or she needs to grow and then help them evaluate and select options for how to get there. Then keep them helpfully accountable to see it through.
6. Are You Living the “Essentials”?
Questions 6 and 7 are about vision. Is your Small Group living out the “Essentials” of a College Park Small Group? Are you helping lead your group in a Christ-Centered Focus on the Word? In being Intentionally Invasive? In Living Life Together? Are you helping them think beyond themselves to be Outward Oriented? These are critical to the health of your group.
7. Are You Raising Up New Leaders?
It’s never too early to talk with someone in the group about becoming a leader. Even if this doesn’t look like a reality now, set them up with owning certain elements of the Small Group so they could potentially become a leader in the coming months or years. A healthy vision for the group is one that includes pointing them toward the future use of their gifts and creating community for more people.
8. Have You Updated Your Roster?
The final two questions are operational. You don’t always need to open with talking nuts-and-bolts, but it’s important to ask occasionally if the leader is keeping their group roster updated. Updating the group roster (in our tool called MobileTools) allows our elders to know who is in community and who isn’t. It’s an important means to help us shepherd and care for everyone in Small Groups.
9. Are You Coming to Equip Nights?
Twice a year, all Small Group Leaders are able to come together to recharge their leadership batteries. These evenings are tailor-made to maximize your time and development: that’s why there is both important interactive content and interpersonal connection with other leaders. Small Group Coaches likewise have two events per year to charge up for what’s ahead.