About five years ago I heard Orange had a new resource that helps train small group leaders, get them their lessons, and connect them with their few all from one phone app. Since I was spending an incredible amount of time every week editing group content, trying to find developmental materials, and trying to make sure small group leaders had the information needed to show up predictably and randomly in their lives of their kids I needed to know what this was and how to use it right away. After a few webinars, and playing with the app awhile, I discovered that the Lead Small App was created for leaders to equip volunteers with the tools necessary for leading small in the most efficient way possible. Lead Small App helps ministry leaders equip their volunteers with content and resources all while keeping them connected with their few.
Equipping volunteers with their content as early in the week as possible is one of the most important things we can do to prepare for Sunday. Downloading, editing, saving, and sending small group guides every week to volunteers can take an incredible amount of time and use up lots of space on my computer. And then inevitably, someone would call me on Saturday afternoon or send me a frantic text telling me they couldn’t find the email I sent out earlier that week. When I started using the app to handle small group content all of that went away. Orange content can be customized within the app weeks in advance and volunteers can have access to their content six days before they will share with their groups. I moved from frantically editing, saving, and emailing lessons every week to editing and saving discussion guides once per month. It was a huge time saver!
Leading a small group is still a relatively new concept for so many people. I was working at a traditional church and they were well versed in the Sunday school model, and while I have nothing against this, leading small requires something else. It requires volunteers understanding that what they do on Sunday is just one part of how they connect with their few and their parents during the week. It required teaching new skills and showing them how to use new tools. But I didn’t have the capacity (or the knowledge quite frankly) to craft this out of my own wheelhouse. Lead Small App provides coaching tips and training so that leaders can use this to develop volunteers and volunteers can take the initiative to use these items to sharpen their own skills independently. One of the best ways we use the coaching and training tips is in the pre-service huddle each week. Focusing on one coaching or training tip or Lead Small principle each week is a great way to cast vision, keep everyone engaged, and make sure the main thing remains in central focus with our teams.
So earlier I mentioned editing lessons for weekly distribution, but I was also constantly running reports, editing contact information, and then emailing them out to my group leaders so that they could remain connected to their few throughout the week. This method came with too many limitations to name here and the Lead Small App fixed many of those. When small group leaders use the Lead Small App to connect with their few they don’t just have the name, numbers, and grades of parents, students, or kids but they have the really important stuff too like their social media names, their favorite color, their birthday, and a picture slot! And then they were able to communicate with one or all members of the group from this one app.
The Lead Small App is a toolbox that gives ministry leaders what they need to help ministry volunteers lead their few well. This week volunteers will need lessons. Families will need connections. And the ministry leader’s hours will not increase. Lead Small App helps us make the most of our time so that we can spend that time developing and loving on others.