Here are 7 tips for being an effective small group leader:
#1 Proactively prepare.
Read the lesson before club. Pray for God to help you teach and love the children in your group. Come to club early to make sure you are ready and have all your team leader’s instructions before the kids arrive.
#2 Consistently show up.
Be there weekly, and don’t miss club except for emergencies. Be present with your kids both physically and mentally (no distractions!) during your time with them.
#3 Own your group.
Act as the spiritual mentor for your group of kids. Your group should feel like a safe place to belong and be cared for, like a family. Stay with your kids throughout the whole club time, including large group and game time. Pray for them regularly outside of club.
#4 Collaborate with your team.
See yourself as part of a larger vision than just your small group. Work with your team to reach kids in your whole club, to serve the families and the school. Get to know your team members and learn how each person is uniquely gifted and how you can work together most effectively.
#5 Initiate parent communication.
Take it upon yourself to connect with the parents of children in your group. Try to get to know them as they pick up their kids, or reach out to them with a text, phone call, or note in the mail just letting them know how much you love having their child in your group.
#6 Seek to grow yourself.
To be a better leader, find ways to grow yourself. You might want to gain new skills relating to working with kids or you may be interested to increase your own personal knowledge of Scripture. Always be looking for opportunities to improve yourself so that you continue to increase your effectiveness in leading others, inside your small group and beyond.
Sometimes kids do goofy things. Sometimes they seem not to be paying attention. Just relax and keep on loving them. God measures progress in years and decades more than days and weeks. The kids will remember your care and concern for them (i.e. the relationship) way more than any single lesson, so when things aren’t going well don’t freak out. God is still at work.