Wes was a great small group leader. A whirling dervish of activity, he was great at inviting new people and contacting his members. He raised up several apprentices who became effective group leaders as well. He loved to minister and poured himself out in service.

After a few years, he began to feel empty. His group was growing stale. At the same time, he was experiencing some problems with his health and his weight. Things were not always happy at home, and his children were beginning to wander spiritually and make poor choices. He felt tired all the time, and his sunny personality disappeared. He was losing his passion for God and wondered what was wrong.

His small group coach challenged him to set up a personal growth plan. It included activities to keep his spiritual tanks full. It addressed his diet and exer-cise needs. The plan included regular time spent investing in his marriage and kids. He began to grow again. Within a few months, Wes felt much better. Things began to pick up at home. His ministry was rekindled, and his effec-tiveness reached an entirely new level.

The highly effective small group leader must learn the value of investing in his personal growth or he’ll never he able to serve as a small group leader over the long haul.

The eighth habit of the highly effective small group leader: Be committed to personal growth.

Dave Earley, 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders (Touch Outreach Ministries, 2001).