One of the keys to leading a successful small group or Sunday school class is to understand the next steps of your students. Knowing where they are and what the next step for each one of them is, helps you know how to plan, prepare, and ultimately lead the group. There are a few steps you can take to assess your group to better understand the problems you face as well as determine solutions that will help your group be everything it can be. Try the following process by answering each of the questions:
- What are the biggest challenges your group faces? Include the biggest challenges you face in leading the group. For example, a problem might be that your students are easily distracted. Another problem might be that the group meeting space is too small. List the biggest problems you and your group face.
- How are you currently managing these problems? Now take the list you have made and write down how you are managing each one. Even if the way you are handling it is ineffective, write it down. The goal is to at least see how the issue might be addressed. An example might be, Students are easily distracted and I handle it by calling them down over and over through out the group time.
- Why am I a small group leader/ Sunday school teacher? This may seem like a simple question, but now that you have identified the issues you face and your current solutions, really affirm why you are doing this in the first place. What is your motivation to be a leader? What is your purpose and goal?
- How do we measure success for the small group/Sunday School class? This is a question that will require input from your ministry. Your pastor, student pastor, or a lay leader might define this for all groups in your church. Maybe you are allowed to define this for your own group. Either way, write down how success is measured so you will know what the “win” is for your group. Some examples are: spiritual growth, involvement (including attendance), how many students go on to lead, etc.
Once you have answered these questions you have the framework to address your group’s needs. If you were unable to answer some of the questions as well as you would like get with a pastor, or other leader and discuss potential solutions. When it comes to managing your problems, for instance, research ways those issues are dealt with by other leaders, or even through an online search. Solutions are available. More than likely, once you have seen the problem clearly you will see a solution arise.
Now implement any change needed. If your measure for success is to see every student serving in the church, what does each of your students need personally in order to get there? What can you do as a leader to help them get there? Model success for them, help them practice it, and then evaluate the results and start again.
You can be the leader God has called you to be. He has equipped you to do the work He has given you. Be proactive about your role as a leader and remember the eternal impact your leadership will have on the lives of the students you lead!