Last weekend, I had the chance to attend my church’s small group leader training (for the small groups throughout our congregation). It reminded me how important I feel the training of small group leaders really is.
In fact, if you need a suggestion on where to put a lot of your “chips,” I’d put them right there. I’d spend time, energy, effort, and excellence in the training of those who lead your college ministry’s small groups. (This post assumes, of course, that your campus ministry has small groups as a major part of its strategy. Most do, but there are complementary models, for instance, that might not.)
In all my own experience serving within and overseeing college ministries, as well as my observations of hundreds of college ministries around the country, this is an area we could probably improve in.
- There are real small group leadership skills that can be learned.
- For most people, training is required to lead small groups well. And if I must say it even more boldly, I can: If you aren’t putting effort into training small group leaders, your small groups aren’t being led well.
- Being a strong Christian collegian or adult volunteer does NOT automatically impart small group leadership skill.
- Having good small group materials is not the same as being trained.
- For most college ministries, this is the most direct level of discipleship most students will experience. It’s the front lines, in other words.
If you need something to take greater priority – even if it means sacrificing other areas – this is an area to consider. Train your small group leaders well, and you’ll be changing your ministry (and your campus) before you know it.