7 Encouraging Things Veteran Leaders Need to Hear

Just because someone has been leading a long time doesn't mean they don't need a little encouragement from time to time.

1. We are here if you need us.

Every leader is going to need a different level of support. Some leaders have been leading for a long time and just need an occasional check-in. Others may appreciate being checked on more regularly. The important part is that they know you trust them, but are not going to abandon them.

2. It’s OK to take a break. 

Just like all of us, small group leaders need to take breaks from time to time. For a few leaders, they are good if they can take the month of July off every year. Leaders that have been at it for a long time may need to take a whole semester off. They usually come back fired up for the next round. Even Jesus took breaks to replenish his mind and soul.

3. We appreciate you. 

It is easy to start taking veteran leaders for granted. They are already leading and don’t require as much attention from us. They need to consistently know how important they are and what they are doing is making an eternal difference. It’s always good to change up how you do that. One semester, write a hand written card. Invite them to a catered dinner the next. Get creative and they will actually start looking forward to hearing from you.

4. Are the people in your group taking their next spiritual step? 

Our ultimate goal as leaders is helping the people that we lead become more like Jesus. If that’s not happening in a small group, then it’s probably just a social club. Continue to encourage leaders to keep a spiritual pulse on their group.

5. Who are you prepping to lead a group? 

Every leader should be thinking about who is next to lead in their group. I am not a believer in splitting groups, but rather sending out leaders to start new groups for new people. Talk them through this exercise from the book Exponential: “I do-You watch-We talk. I do-You help-We talk. You do-I help-We talk. You do-I watch-We talk. You do-Someone else watches.

6. What are you delegating? 

It’s easy to get burned out as a leader when we are trying to do it all. Encourage your leaders to share the load and allow their group members to be owners. What tasks are you currently doing that someone else should take?

7. How can I pray for you? 

Always a needed and appreciated question.

Chris Surratt
Pastor Of Ministries at Cross Point Church where he oversees and helps guide Kids, Students, Missions & Community Groups across 4 campuses around Nashville, TN.