There are as many types of leaders leading home groups as there are leaders. Yet, the type of leader is not the issue. Discipling is the issue. The issue is discipling to make future disciplers. These disciplers are also called spiritual parents discipling future spiritual parents.
As home group leaders lead the way, there are several crucial principles every leader must consider to propel the spiritual growth process forward. How are you doing with these?
First, have the people read the Scripture passages. Yes, you can read and that is an easy way to handle things, but people need those opportunities. For 87% (not scientific) of the people, who are fearful of public speaking, they need the safe environment of speaking to gain confidence in reading the holy Word of God. When the leader has the people read the passage, he gives affirmation to the people that they can be a part of the leadership team.
Second, ask good follow-up questions. The Message Based Discussion Questions offer three types of questions: ice-breaker, digging deeper and message application. Yet, always consider follow-up questions to people who give responses to the questions. In some cases, affirm the answer that was given and do not ask a follow-up question for those who may be unsure of themselves and not used to giving a response. Ask the follow-up questions to those who have a little more boldness, because the follow-up questions help them dig even further to give them confidence of speaking publically and coming up with answers that make sense. That helps most people tremendously build confidence.
Thirdly, give your thoughts only for the ice-breaker and elsewhere to get thoughts going. Do not be fearful of silence. The silence is often necessary to help people prepare to give an answer. The problem with leaders is that they often purposely prepare well ahead of time and they want to share all that they have “discovered.” That may be great stuff, but use it sparingly, because the leader is not the issue. The leader is not there to impress others with how much he has learned. The leader is there to multiply disciples.
Fourthly, avoid going into long comments on personal problems or stories that are not related to the lesson. The leader may really enjoy the story, but that may not be true for those who are attending and participating. If the leader is telling personal stories, people will politely listen, but often think the leader is there so he can have an outlet to talk. The leader must die to himself, be the spiritual parent and realize he is there for the sake of group’s spiritual growth. The leader will grow the most as
he helps others grow the most.
Fifthly, be excited about the responses of people. Just like a parent who gets all excited about little Johnny’s growth and responses to questions, so the home group leader should be excited or at least very interested in the thoughts and comments of the people. Too often leaders are already thinking about what they are going to say next. Consequently, they are not really thinking about what the person in the group is saying. It’s about the people!
These five thoughts are good reminders for leading a home group. They are basic, but need to be considered in order to help people grow through spiritual stages of growth.