We interviewed Tommy Stoudt who recently started his own small group and asked him what it was like to be a new small group leader.
What made you want to lead a group?
I believe small groups are the best way to build authentic community and make genuine relationship connections.
Why did you choose to lead the type of group that you lead?
I believe we can learn more in a diverse group (diversity of age, gender, economic and marital status, culture, etc.) I also have a love for Lancaster City and thought it would be appropriate to provide an avenue for other likeminded people to connect in the city of Lancaster.
What kind of skills do you need to become a group leader?
I believe it is more about your heart than your skills. Embracing the 4 C's of Small Groups is critical:
Connecting: You need to have a genuine desire to see others connect. The goal is building authentic relationships.
Caring: Having the mindset of carrying each other's burdens. Life gets hard at times; you need a level of sensitivity in knowing when to drop the agenda and extend care.
Challenging to Grow: It is not about having a platform to speak or teach, it's about facilitating/leading discussion and allowing others to contribute to that discussion so we can grow and learn from one another. The discussion outline is already provided!
Celebrating: Be grateful, hopeful, and positive. Celebrate the blessings and challenges of life. Have a "we can do all things" type of attitude. Do you need experience? Experience always helps, but again it is about your heart and the gifts and passions God has given you.
How has leading a group helped you to grow?
I am introverted and more of a private person. Connecting with people does not come naturally to me. Leading a small group stretches me in a good way in this regard. Isolation is not our friend — connecting is! Leading a group helps me to step out in faith in this area of my life.
How have you seen God working through this experience?
We are learning and growing together and praying for each other. It also has expanded our opportunities for more ministry and outreach.
Want to lead a group? We'd love to walk alongside you and help! Contact the Small Groups Office for more information.