As we continue our series Four Roles of a Small Group Leader, we’ll look at the third role, Small Group Leader as Mentor. For the rest of the articles in this series, you can search “Small Groups” in the categories on the right-hand column of the blog (or below for mobile browsers).
Four Roles of a Small Group Leader
1. Facilitator – Meetings
2. Shepherd – Care
3. Mentor – Training
4. Leader – Vision
As a mentor, the leader focuses on training the members of the group in Life, Spirituality, and Leadership. These are the areas of mentoring that the leader is privileged to impact.
The Leader also goes through a process of mentoring by acting as a coach, encourager, and resource person.
Areas of Mentoring
Living life can be a complex challenge for all of us. But if we have someone who can come alongside us, that makes a great difference.
Leaders do not need to be experts on living life. They just need to be an encouraging person who can give perspective and focus. When times get tough (as it often does), leaders can help people to have a better perspective.
You might say that you are not a “life coach” in any sense of the word, but eventually you grow into that role. At least for the people you lead, you have impacted their life tremendously.
Every area of the person’s life is connected to spirituality. Every decision is in some way impacted by the person’s spiritual dimension.
Small Group leaders may not see themselves as spiritual leaders, but in the long run, the people’s lives are touched and they see you as such. Learn to accept the roles you grow into and begin to purposefully move in that direction.
Knowing the next step and taking people along in that direction is basic to leadership. As you lead a small group, you grow in leadership skills much beyond anything you’ve imagined.
Process of Mentoring
Leaders take the initiative to come alongside each member as their coach. They do not have all the answers, and they are not perfect, but they can walk along with them.
As a coach, help the person to look objectively at their lives. Guide them along to discern things for themselves. Ask “guiding questions” that will help them to have clarity regarding their choices in life.
In the midst of all the discouragement one faces, look for ways to encourage and build up. Be a voice that propels them forward and a flame that ignites them to action.
So many people have desires and dreams that have been dormant for many years. Whenever they shared these with others, they faced discouraging words. You can turn that around with your encouraging words.
According to the needs of people, you can be a resource person for those in your group. Don’t respond too quickly or too soon. Listen carefully and hold your response.
Once you have clearly understood their words, their needs, and their goals, you can be a resource person to them. Recommend resources that will help them to accomplish their goals and live out their purpose in life.