I know that sometimes it’s our natural inclination to look at someone else’s small group, consider their success, and try to model our small group after theirs. In fact, in some ways this can be helpful – they must be doing something right, right?
But there’s a danger in that, as well. Their small group is probably successful because it has been designed, tweaked, and guided by leaders who understand the specific needs of their small group members. If we blindly copy what another group is doing, we might just end up meeting someone else’s group’s needs, but might completely miss the needs of the people in our group.
No two small groups should look exactly the same. Learn what you can from other small group leaders, discuss with them their successes and their failures, try out some of their ideas, but understand that your small group is best ministered to when you consider their needs, not when you are looking to someone else’s model to implement without discernment.
It would be a travesty if all our small groups looked the same, did the same things, ministered in the same ways, and reached out to the same kinds of people. We are a multifaceted, multi-talented group of leaders. Instead of emulating what others are doing, use your own gifts and creativity to minister to the exact needs of your members. Sometimes things will be a success. Sometimes they will fail miserably. But either way, you live and you learn – and your people will love more just for the effort.
The people in your group believe in you. If they believed in someone else, they would’ve went to someone else’s small group…or simply left yours. So use their support and belief as an opportunity to try out new things, be creative, and though we can learn much from each other, be yourself! Because that’s really what they want from you.