Every small group point person I know is on the hunt for small group leaders. In some small group systems, if you’ve got a pulse, can plug in a DVD, serve some snacks, and read some questions, then you’re a great candidate for group leadership. In other group systems, there’s a long process to becoming a small group leader. Neither system is right or wrong. But if you choose to be a small group leader in any system without first considering some reasons you might need to say no, you may involve yourself in something you’re not capable of doing effectively.
There are at least 5 great reasons to say no to small group leadership:
- My marriage is struggling. I must give my time and effort to stabilizing this relationship.
- My schedule won’t allow it. If you’re working sixty hours a week and have a family, taking on a small group may not be the best thing for you at this time.
- I have a sin issue that, if it were to become public, would cause my church leadership to be questioned about why I was given a leadership role.
- I am already overly involved in other church leadership roles and, if I take this on, none of my ministry responsibilities will be accomplished with excellence.
- I have no passion for group leadership. Each of us is given differing passions. Some are prone to deeply care for the poor, others church finances, others children’s or student ministry. Taking on a role that you’re not passionate about will only lead to frustration and ultimately burnout.
Rick Howerton is the Small Groups and Discipleship Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. He has authored many small group studies, is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker, and is the author of Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual as well as A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic. He is also the co-author of Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making and Countdown: Launching and Leading Transformational Groups. But Rick’s deepest passion and his goal in life is to see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.”