One of the benefits of participating in a small group is that a person’s small group often becomes an important care-giving and support network when a group member faces challenging circumstances. While it’s important that group leaders are equipped to provide care and support to their group members, it’s equally important to recognize that there are limits to the kind of care a group can offer. Part of your role as a group leader is to discern when a group member’s needs move beyond the scope of what a small group can reasonably provide.
How Your Group Can Help
Here are some reasonable examples of how a small group leader might mobilize a group to provide care to a group member in need:
- Provide meals during a difficult time
- Visit someone in the hospital
- Commit to pray for the individual and checking in during the week
- Babysit children so the adult is able to have a “night off”
- Do yard work or household chores for someone who’s temporarily unable
When You Need to Find Other Help
Here are some instances when a group member’s needs go beyond the limits of the group. In situations like these, the leader should notify a small group coach and/or pastor right away:
- Someone needs ongoing counseling or a counseling referral
- Someone is in need of financial assistance
- Someone is suicidal
- Couples are looking for help for a troubled marriage
- You find out someone is considering or experiencing a separation or divorce
- There is a death in the immediate or extended family of a group member
- Any situation that is more than the group can handle or feels equipped to deal with
These are just some examples. It might be worth your time as a group leader to have this conversation with your co-leaders as well as with your coach or pastor, and perhaps even with the group itself.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Describe some situations where a small group you’ve been part of has provided significant support for someone in need. What happened?
- Have you encountered situations where someone’s needs were too much for a small group to handle? Explain.
- Look at the list “How Your Group Can Help”. What would you change on this list?
- Look at the list “When You Need to Find Other Help”. What would you change on this list?
- Who will you call when a need arises that is beyond your limits as a leader?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.