The Inconsistent Small Group Leader

That guy.
You know him?

He’s that guy that leaves you scrambling on Sunday to find a leader for your first graders.

Getting him to respond to your scheduling request is like nailing jelly to a wall.  When he does show up, he stumbles in (post team huddle) with just enough time (so he thinks) to look over his curriculum for the day as the kids pile in the room. If you’re being honest, he’s that guy that leaves you slightly discouraged in your leadership ability.

What do we do with an inconsistent SGL and how do we empower our volunteers to buy into the vision we know is oh-so-important? Well, I really wish I could sit across from you with a good cup of coffee and discuss this question for hours. But until then, check out these pointers for working towards this great need we are all feeling!

  1. Make the ask

Within a few months of being on staff, our Early Childhood Coordinator posed the question, “why aren’t we asking volunteers to serve every week?”

Becca soon found out that making the ask would reward a great response.

“I didn’t know WE COULD serve EVERY week!”

Volunteers can’t “Say Yes” to consistency if we don’t invite them. Don’t limit someone (or yourself) to less than what could be.

  1. Help them understand WHY

Asking volunteers to step up for what’s needed in their role is principal, but helping them understand why you’re asking will plant a desire to carry out the commitment. Always lead with vision and remind your volunteers of the bigger picture you are offering.

  1. Make sure you understand WHY

You are leading people with stories full of hurt, shame and real life. Hidden in the depths of their inability to deliver you may find they are barely surviving in their personal lives. Don’t assume someone is just being a slacker. See this as your opportunity to embrace your role as their pastor and know that below the surface of inconsistency you could potentially find a problem you can minister to.

  1. Give them permission to leave

As a leader, you must discern when a volunteer needs permission to step down. Whether it’s a leave of absence, or an alternative serving opportunity, leading your team in the direction of health is vital to the ministry. Working towards every kid having a consistent leader is important. But, don’t let it get in the way of shepherding your flock to where they need to be. We are in the business of leading adults too.

The struggle can be real. But in the end, you have the insane opportunity to revive hope where it may be lost. You get to lead someone to the heights you know they can reach. You get to call out the leader you see in them and help them be all God has dreamed them to be for this world and His Kingdom!

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