By Steve Gladen
Psalm 119:65-72 gives great insight into the traits we need to lead small groups or a Small Group Ministry. Where are you strong? Where do you need to grow?
New Living Translation (NLT)
65 You have done many good things for me, Lord,
just as you promised.
66 I believe in your commands;
now teach me good judgment and knowledge.
67 I used to wander off until you disciplined me;
but now I closely follow your word.
68 You are good and do only good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Arrogant people smear me with lies,
but in truth I obey your commandments with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are dull and stupid,
but I delight in your instructions.
71 My suffering was good for me,
for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.
72 Your instructions are more valuable to me
than millions in gold and silver.
Trait number one, do you trust in the Lord? So often we forget what God has done for us. Verse 65 reflects on the good God has done…many good things. Have you taken the time to reflect on what God has done for you? Your ministry? When something good happens, do you write it down so you will remember? Do you share those things with your team?
Trait number two, do you have a teachable spirit and a learner? Verses 66, 68 and 72 reflect on focusing on a teachable spirit, agreeing and believing His commands and desiring more. Part of growth is focusing on His word and books that challenge and stretch us; which in turn will stretch the influence our ministry. All leaders are learners. In addition to diving into the Psalms, a book I am enjoying now is Growing Kingdom Character by Tom Yeakley. Are you learning?
Trait number three, are you okay with the disciplines of life…coming from God or those close to you in community? Allowing people to speak truth to you is one of the hardest, but most rewarding areas of growth. Letting people you trust shape you for holiness will help not only you but your ministry. Verse 67 and 68 shows discipline teaches us to avoid the area of temptation and closely follow His words. Who speaks into your life so you don’t wreck your life or ministry?
Trait number four, do you grow through suffering? Verses 69, 70 and 71 and many places throughout scripture show suffering will be a part of our lives. How we handle suffering and respond to it shows our maturity. Whether rightly (through God bringing us back to true North) or from the sin of this broken world spilling into your life or ministry, we need to react in a godly manner. Sometimes the suffering comes from inside the church. When that happens, use Matthew 18:15-17 to resolve those issues and encourage growth.
I pray these traits are in your life as you lead your small group or Small group Ministry.
Steve Gladen is the Pastor of Small Group Community at Saddleback Church. His latest bestselling book, Small Groups With Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities is now available.