RYM 030: Evaluating Small Group Leaders

Small Group Leaders are vital to your youth ministry. If we’re honest though, keeping up with SGLs beyond the kickoff of the year can be a real challenge. But should we really leave such an important part of our ministry unchecked? This week, join ministry leaders and Afton Phillips, Director of Small Group Strategies at Orange, for a conversation about the importance of evaluating Small Group Leaders and what it looks like to set your SGLs up for success in your student ministry’s context.

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One of the major downfalls of most ministries is following up with Small Group Leaders beyond the kickoff. (2:00)

Oftentimes, Small Group Leaders do not know how they are doing. (4:00)

Why is it important to evaluate Small Groups Leaders? (4:45)

You can’t evaluate a Small Group Leader if you haven’t clearly communicated expectations to them. (7:00)

The five Lead Small principles are: Be Present, Create a Safe Place, Partner with Parents, Make It Personal, and Move Them Out. (11:00)

Setting expectations up front can help a Small Group Leader evaluate themselves. (12:30)

Your best Small Group Leaders will have the highest student attendance rates. (14:00)

We need to give Small Group Leaders tangible and practical ways to follow through with the expectations. (16:00)

While we can’t tell leaders exactly what to say, we can model it for them. (17:00)

Having a coach for Small Group Leaders can help with evaluating a leader’s effectiveness. (20:00)

The goal of evaluating Small Group Leaders is not to fire them. The goal of evaluating Small Group Leaders is to help them get better in leading their few. (28:00)

Ask your Small Group Leaders: “What do you want to work on? And how can I help you do that?” (29:00)


FREE RESOURCE: Customizable SGL Goals

Book: Lead Small

Book: Creating a Lead Small Culture

Resource: Weekly (resources to help you connect with parents and Small Group Leaders each week)




CJ is the Managing Editor for XP3 High School and Social Media Strategist for XP3’s blog and social media platforms. CJ has been leading small groups for middle school and high school students at North Point Community Church for the past 10 years. He also placed 5th in his 8th grade class fun run. CJ and his wife, Teri, live in Alpharetta, GA.



Afton has been the Weekly and Lead Small Director at Orange for four years. She spends all day, every day reading, writing, and researching everything small groups. She has a degree in Children’s Ministry, but most importantly, she is a Small Group Leader for second graders every Sunday. She’s married to an introvert, Hudson, and they live with their son, Julien, and two wonderful dogs



Crystal currently leads the XP3 High School initiative at Orange. Before that, she spent 10 years as a high school teacher and student ministry leader, doing everything from leading small groups to speaking to curriculum design. Crystal and her husband, Tom, live in Alpharetta, GA with an ill-tempered chihuahua named Javier.



Tom Shefchunas is the Executive Director of Student Strategy at Orange. In this role, he leads the development and strategy for XP3 Middle School and High School curriculum. Previously, Tom was North Point Ministries’ Multi-Campus Director of Transit, their middle school ministry, for 12 years. And before that, he spent 10 years as a high school teacher, coach, and principal. Additionally, he is the co-author of Lead Small with Reggie Joiner. Tom and his wife, Julie, live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children, Mac, Joey, and Cooper.

If you enjoyed this episode, we would love for you to rate or review the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Your rating and review help us make this podcast better, and help get the podcast in front of other youth leaders and listeners. Thank you for listening!

Orange Conference 2018