Mondays on the blog are for featuring an excerpt from a book on group ministry or church leadership. Today I’ve chosen to feature a snippet from the book 3 Roles For Guiding Groups. In this excerpt, the authors focus on the idea that group leaders need relationships with the people they lead:
In the role of shepherd, you will of course want to develop relationships with all the members of the group. Sheep don’t have great eyesight, but they do have great hearing, and they learn to listen for the voice of their shepherd. If several flocks were placed in a pen overnight, all each shepherd had to do in the morning was call for his sheep and they’d follow him out! The relationship with the shepherd was the key. Sheep know the voice of their shepherd because of their close relationship. If your group is a small one, relating to each member will be easier to do. In a kids class, each worker doubles up as a care group leader, dividing the ministry list equally. For a larger group, you will need a larger team of care group leaders. For example, in a small co-ed group with, say, no more than 14 people, you could enlist one male to stay in touch with 7 guys and one female care group leader to touch base regularly with 7 gals…In Eastern culture sheep were led, not driven, and the people in your group will come to appreciate your role as shepherd as you provide an example for them to follow, gently and patiently leading them to care for one another.
I hope you have organized your group so that people receive care. If not, consider organizing your group as soon as possible. People often disconnect from a group or a church when they feel undervalued or overlooked. Don’t let people slip through the cracks in your group! Be a good shepherd-teacher and make sure each one of your sheep receives the care they deserve.