We had a great home group leaders meeting on Saturday. There was ownership, excitement and a readiness to put into action what others were learning. We worked through the 1 Corinthians 4:14-16 passage and saw the tremendous opportunity leaders have to be “fathers” to their group, rather than just instructors. There are plenty of instructors, but they don’t have the big impact that fathers do.
Several questions and thoughts were discussed:
First, “our group is low in numbers, what do we do?” Several suggestions were made like: Get to know the faces at Grace. Challenge each person in the group to invite one new person to the group. Challenge each person to pray for one unbeliever for the next year and look for opportunities to bring that person to Christ. Be willing to evangelize, because the Holy Spirit is already working. Lead by example through personally inviting others – don’t just ask the people in the group to invite someone.
Second comment, “we have challenged our group to no negativity.” One leadership team has challenged their group to no negativity in the group as their Code of Conduct. There was one incident that was negative, yet one of the leaders allowed a few comments and then defused it by channeling it out of the discussion. They also gave their group ways to invite neighbors to their group.
Third comment, “we seem to have women who talk more than men.” This comment seemed to involve all of the leadership with input and comments. One shared how much men cannot stand to “fail,” look like a “fool,” or be found out as a “fake.” Men have that “fear” more than women, because they are “wired” as leaders and consequently they won’t stick out their necks by giving an answer. Besides they will just let the women talk as a courtesy to them. Another shared how that has been the way things have been since the time between Adam and Eve. Another shared that how the question is asked can determine if women or men will answer the question. If the question is asked, “How do you feel about…?” or “Who will share……?” those questions evoke greater responses from women. Ask “think” or “thought” questions to get men to respond. Another shared that the leader may have to make contact with the persons outside of the group to encourage or caution participants. Everyone agreed modeling is important.
Fourthly, “we are about discipleship, not only Bible study.” Bible study is one aspect of home group and church. Bible study engages the brain, but may not engage the rest of the life if the person is not filled with the Holy Spirit. Home group gets people involved in the process and helps them gain confidence in the whole process, so that they might see themselves as leading a group.
This gathering was an immensely important step for the home group network at church. Leaders need to see the potential for serving and to hear the opportunities the other leaders are having in their group impact. Keep pressing forward (Phil. 3:13)!