Leading a small group is not an easy job. Schedules are full. People are messy. And public speaking is generally considered to be scarier than death. So, if you have a group leader, you should look for ways to show them you are thankful for what they do. Here are three easy things you can do, within the group context, to demonstrate your gratitude:
1. Volunteer to read the Scripture. Quickly.
This is so simple and helpful. Every second that passes between the request for Scripture reading and the commencement of Scripture reading is a second during which your group leader may become convinced the group doesn’t like her, doesn’t like reading, or doesn’t like the Bible. This is one extended silence in a group that’s easily avoided.
Just volunteer to read the passage ASAP. You can read. The Bible is good. And your group leader will thank you.
2. Help cut off rabbit trails.
Most seasoned group leaders have at some point asked themselves the question, “How in the world are we talking about Sandra’s cousin’s chicken recipe that inspired her to become a Calvinist?” Or something similar. There’s seemingly no limit to how far off-topic a group’s conversation can lead. Show your group leader you are thankful for his efforts by helping to shift the conversation back to the purpose of the Bible study.
The group will be healthier and the group leader will feel supported if shortening rabbit trails and returning to the text is a group effort.
3. Own the “after-the-group-meeting” group meeting.
Many groups, whether in homes or on church property, tend to have protracted post-meeting conversations. While those can be good for community, they can make it hard for people to know when the group time is really “over.” This is especially true for the leader.
If your group typically has more discussion after the “regular” discussion, give your leader a week off from the bonus banter. Insert yourself into the conversation and say, “Why don’t you go home and get some rest?” If you are meeting at the group leader’s home, try saying, “Why don’t we take this conversation somewhere else?”
Your group leader carries a lot. Helping to carry the occasional post-group time is an easy way to give support.