I was incredibly blessed this week to be invited to one of our Life Group’s very last meetings as graduating seniors. They have been together 8 years as a group (so from 4th grade on!) and called themselves the Band of Brothers. On this final meeting the leader bought each of his guys a special ring to symbolize their years together and to commemorate their journey apart in the days ahead. He had invited all of the parents and myself to the ceremony and celebration. They all shared a ton of memories – it was one of the coolest finishes I’ve ever seen to a high school small group.

At the end of the afternoon, the boys and their parents gave Kevin an award as well. It was awesome – we circled up and prayed over them as a group, commissioning them as they head to schools all across the country. At the end a couple of the guys got baptized, too. It was a GREAT reminder of how important and how powerful Christian community can be. Way to go, Kevin!

Oh, and if you’ve ever read the book Doug Fields and I wrote, 99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders – there’s a story near the end that involves Hooters, leadership and how to gain trust back with parents. This was that group! Amazing how God has shaped all of these guys, their leader and undoubtedly how He will use them all in the future as well.

JG

I was at Chipotle hanging out with a volunteer named Kevin this past week. His co-leader Oscar and him make a great team. As we talked, he rattled off 5 or 6 good reasons why he was teamed up with another all-star leader this year in Life Groups. I couldn’t get them all written down in time, but it was genius so I had to share what I could remember! Here’s what I remember from our conversation – 4 benefits of having a co-leader for your small group:

1. Different voices win
For the same reason I share the teaching platform with other speakers, it is important to share the teaching time in groups. We don’t require every group to have 2 leaders (ideal, but not practical), but one of the biggest benefits when it happens that second voice can really be heard loud and clear.

2. Co-leaders encourage each other
It is going to happen – at some point in the year you’re going to get discouraged. Maybe it will be disappointment with a student’s poor choices or maybe attendance will drop off a bit and you get frustrated. A co-leader gives the opportunity to bring the other up in a time of need.

3. Filling in for each other
You’ve got maybe 30 weeks of Life Groups during the school year – from time to time conflict is going to happen. Business trip, family crisis – sometimes real life gets in the way of small groups. A co-leader jumps to the rescue and saves the day. Same thing when there isn’t a crisis and one of you just need a night off.

4. Neither one has to always be the bad guy
Every small group leader has to come strong with discipline sometime during the year – so it’s great to have a second voice to talk through the drama and even play good cop/bad cop as necessary.

Got another benefit to small group co-leaders? Here’s a post that made it into the book 99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders called 4 Signs You Might Need a Small Group Co-Leader that you might want to check out, too!

JG