What Every Small Group Leader Should KnowAre you thinking of leading a small group? Please don’t worry if you cannot see yourself as a super Christian or a great leader. Let’s take a look at the kind of people God calls into leadership. This may surprise you!

  • Moses: When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses felt inadequate. Most leaders feel this way when the Lord calls them to any type of leadership. The first time I was ever asked to pray publicly, I read my prayer from a script I had written earlier. I was scared to death because I had not prayed in public before! The first small group I led seemed like a monumental task because I did not see myself as a born leader. But I took a step of faith.
  • Joshua, Gideon and Jeremiah: The Lord had to encourage Joshua continually in his new role as a leader. We do not depend on our ability but upon God’s ability in us! Gideon also struggled with the Lord’s call to leadership in His life. Jeremiah felt the way a younger leader often feels when he or she begins to lead a small group. He thought he didn’t have anything to say because he was too young. But the Lord told him not to say he was too young and not to be afraid of people. God would give him the words to say (see Jer. 1:6-8).
  • Esther: She was an unlikely leader. She was born into poverty and was an orphan as well. But she rose from obscurity to the courts of the king and became queen over one of the most powerful empires in history. She faced difficult choices there, but she never lost her faith in God. Esther realized that everything that happened in her life prepared her for the moment she would stand before the king and plead to save her people. Hers is a story of courage and a willingness to follow God, no matter what.

These men and women felt a profound sense of inadequacy when the Lord called them to leadership, but this is the type of individual the Lord uses—someone who is completely dependent on Him! According to the Bible, God delights in manifesting His strength through our weakness (see 2 Cor. 12:9). I believe there is such a thing as a healthy sense of inadequacy.
We must be convinced that if God doesn’t show up, it’s all over! So, if you feel like you may be called to small-group leadership, but you don’t think you have all the natural gifts you need, or you feel that you have made too many mistakes, be encouraged—you are in good company!

Larry Kreider, What Every Small Group Leader Should Know (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2010).