In 2018 both my wife, Vicki, and I felt the Lord’s leading in two ways:
- For us to individually pour ourselves into the lives of others
- And allow others to pour into us
At the same time, we wanted to become more plugged in, feel more a part of our large church, and meet some new friends. That’s where leading a Small Group came in.
So Many Options, One Great Requirement
We had not led a Small Group in many years, and (if I am being honest) I felt very rusty. There were so many questions:
- What is the best way to lead a group?
- Is a Monday or Tuesday night better for meeting?
- What is the best time to meet?
- What materials do we use?
- Should we provide child care or not?
College Park allows for very wide parameters within which to function as Small Group Leaders, and with that freedom comes many options and choices. Fortunately, there was one decision that we didn’t have to make: when you become a Small Group Leader, you are also assigned a Small Group Coach to assist in leading.
Having been a leader in different contexts over the years, I was pleasantly surprised that this coaching relationship was a core dynamic to Small Groups. To be sure, I felt that I would be able to really stay on the right track (spiritually and in leadership) by having someone to call, text, or email to bounce things off of. If I was going to keep growing as a spiritual leader, I felt that this coaching relationship was a must!
My New Coach: No Longer a Stranger
Enter my Small Group Coach: John Miley. Over my first two years as a leader, I have met with John at least quarterly to:
- Update him on the group’s progress
- Discuss any challenges
- Pray about the group
- And talk about study materials
John has a great listening ear—so I know that when he offers suggestions, they are really tied to what I’ve expressed. He also makes sure to pray for me during these times, because we both know that only God provides the wisdom, strength, and transformation we need as leaders and as men.
How I Feel About My Coach
I appreciate my Coach. During our usual meetings over breakfast or coffee, John has been very helpful. He’s not only helped me to lead better, but through this process John and I have become friends. We share about our lives with each other, and our conversations are always uplifting and enjoyable.
Why Coaches Matter
I certainly see the value of a having a Coach relationship as a Small Group Leader: I need that support and reassurance as I continue to serve the Lord is this ministry.
If you’re a Small Group Leader, don’t miss out on this extra help that’s available. Why?
- Coaches are almost always either a current Small Group Leader or a former one, and they often know first-hand about what you are facing
- It’s important to remember that the evil one doesn’t want leaders to succeed and have healthy Small Groups. He doesn’t want a place where people can come and grow, share, make friends and have a safe place to experience redemptive community
The next time your Small Group Coach reaches out to meet with you, embrace this invitation to receive guidance and instruction. They are an important help to you.
A word to Coaches: keep up the great work! You are providing a huge service and helping the Small Group ministry at College Park be a success. Thanks to each of you, and a special thanks to my friend, John Miley.