At Orange, we talk a lot about the idea of leading small—impacting the lifelong faith of your few. And small groups are an essential part of leading small.
On today’s episode Terry Scalzitti talks about three reasons why it’s so important for small group leaders to be present. Then, we’re joined by Brooklyn Lindsey and Joseph Sojourner for an honest conversation about how churches can start small groups, how they can take their current small group model to the next level and even how social media and technology impacts SGLs.
Welcome to Episode 008 of the Think Orange Podcast.
What is a Small Group Leader: Terry Scalzitti explains (4:10)
How Jesus modeled leading small (6:20)
Small Group Leaders need to be present (8:00)
Show up predictably (8:55)
Show up mentally (11:08)
Show up randomly (13:41)
Dave Adamson, Joseph Sojourner and Brooklyn Lindsay (17:30)
What’s the ideal format of a small group? (18:30)
Why are small groups important for a child’s faith?(20:10)
What can churches do to take their small groups to the next level? (24:00)
How should small churches start to move to a small group model?(27:05)
People are a product of what they’re learning (31:10)
How to leverage technology and social media with kids (34:20)
How important is it for SGLs to connect with parents? (41:16)
How do you know what to report to the church, authorities or parents? (43:10)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
The Orange Tour! Registration opens June 8th. Learn more at orangetour.org
Brooklyn is the Global Justice Advocate for Nazarene Youth International. She builds bridges with churches, youth ministries, and universities around issues of global poverty and injustice. Her priority is to inspire and resource youth to break cycles of poverty through faith in action. Brooklyn has served in full time youth ministry for the last 15 years, authored numerous books, contributes and communicates for Orange Leaders, and speaks at camps and conferences. She, her husband Coy, and daughters Kirra and Mya live in Lakeland, FL where they like being outside together.
Atlanta’s Sojourner aka Sojo has emerged as one of the most promising voices in hip hop. His passionate message of being a generation of people “fighting for others instead of fighting against others” won the hearts of fans young and old.
Terry is the Lead Pastor at Ocean View Baptist Church in Myrtle Beach, SC. Previous to Ocean View, Terry was the Associate Pastor of Adult and Family Ministries at First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale where Terry led almost 50 team members on staff to become one of the nations’ top Family Ministries. Terry travels and speaks to leaders across the country on topics such as leadership, parenting, family ministry, etc… He and his wife Jennifer have a son named Connor, and they enjoy the outdoors and watching Terry’s beloved Chicago Cubs.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
1. There are three ways Small Group Leaders need to be present.
Show up predictably
It doesn’t just mean show up on time, it means show up consistently. It’s letting a child know that you love them so much that they are going to invest in their lives.
Show up mentally
If you want to impact the life of a child, you need to walk into small group each week mentally ready to engage with your kids. As church leaders, we need to make sure that our SGLs are doing this. We only have 40 hours per year to impact a child, don’t sacrifice the hour of experience with kids because you need a body in a room.
Show up randomly
Take a moment to show up randomly in kid’s lives outside the walls of the church. When they know that you don’t just care about their church life, but their entire life… our influence grows exponentially.
2. Don’t just try to be a small group leader, train to be a small group leader
Brooklyn told us a story about Michael Phelps. After winning an Olympic race, he emerged from the water looking frustrated—we later found out that his goggles had flooded and he was swimming blind.
Even though one of the worst things that could happen during an Olympic swimming race happened, his training kicked in and he knew what to do to win. He didn’t just try to be a good swimmer when he was racing, he trained to be a good swimmer.
As church leaders, we can’t just ask our SGLs to try and be good leaders when they’re with their kids, we have to train them to know how to be a SGL. We need to equip them so that when something goes wrong, their training can kick in and take them to the finish line.
Read more about this topic on our blog: How to Equip New Small Group Leaders
3. Leverage Social Media and Technology
In today’s world, you can’t pretend that social media and technology don’t exist. It’s one of the most influential and powerful tools in a child’s life and SGLs need to leverage it for connection.
Joseph recommends choosing just one social media platform that you want to focus on and then communicate to your group where they can find you.
Once you choose your platform, don’t just post…listen. If you stop posting and start listening, you’ll notice what the kids in your small group are excited about, worried about, scared about or confused about just by seeing their comments and likes. Social media provides a window into kid’s worlds, if we leverage it right… it can lead to a lifelong relationship with God.
Not sure where to start? Try the Lead Small App
Conversation Starters For Your Church
Are we adequately training our SGLs to handle any and all situations that come their way?
What are three things we could do in our church to take small groups to the next level?
When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at daveadamson.tv.
Ashley serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and the USA Director of Carry 117. She has worked with students in public education, athletic and ministry settings for the last 12 years. She is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating on stage, developing leaders, working with students and world missions. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.
Join Us Next Week
Thank you for listening to the Think Orange Podcast. We’ll be back next week with a new episode featuring Adam Duckworth and Terry Scalzitti. They’ll be sharing on the five roles of a small group leader.
We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.