I sent a weekly email to our small group leaders today.

When people are moved, by God, into places of ministry and effectiveness, they become targets for discouragement and temptation. Essentially, they are under attack. If your life isn’t being attacked, it may be time to evaluate your effectiveness in God’s kingdom.

That being said, I felt, through my time of prayer this morning, that I needed to encourage our leaders to be advised that their lives will suffer frustrations, set-backs, and temptations because of their desire to lead students to Jesus. I am blessed to partner with such passionate men and women who feel their ministry is to students in our community. God has blessed them with a blossoming desire.

Through these years of small group leadership, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to lead these groups, and to use them to become gardens for changed lives. These are the things I shared with our leaders, and I thought they were worth sharing with you, too, dear reader. If you lead a small group in your church, then consider these words for you, too.

Hey team. Thank you all so much for the great response and energy last Wednesday night! It was one of the largest kick-offs we’ve ever hosted. Thank you for all the prep work, and invitations you made to our students.

As we begin, there are now some new Facebook groups for our huddles. … These are really great means of communication, but there are a couple of things I’ve learned about them.

One, these messages go straight to a member’s email address. Your members may not know that, and to prevent inboxes from exploding, you may want to remind the members. Two, lots of students have migrated from Facebook, even though many of us (that is, many of adults) still use it regularly. There are some strange things happening in the social media world, and the biggest is just being overwhelmed with information. I’ve noticed this trend, in earnest, this summer. And that’s why I redesigned our student and children’s ministry website, since there are so many online options now.

For communication, then, I’ve learned the best way to contact our students is to do it personally. Messages in Facebook, or Twitter, are fine, but nothing ever takes the place of a personal invite.

That being said, you may want to collect phone numbers, and permissions, to text students. I recommend dividing your leaders and students, so you can text the same students every week.

I am praying and fasting for all of you this week. I really believe the changes we made last year, in introducing this “free market” small group concept really released us to discover God’s own purpose for our ministry, and our influence. It was greatly encouraging to see that our attendance, at Huddles, was exceptional.

Good attendance, though, doesn’t always make for changed lives. Strong biblical discussions, and great accountability, are keys. You already know this, but I want to sharpen us a little, and further challenge us to read diligently, and daily, in the Word of God. Feast on it. Let it speak to you. Don’t rely on great books by others, or even music. We must model great stewardship with the Word to our students. Do not ignore its influence. It is the best way to fend daily temptations and selfishness. I know, because it does this for me, every single day.

That being said, you may want to study [with your huddle] a particular book of the Word during the course of this semester — one of the gospels, or even one of the minor prophets, perhaps. We must teach deeper, if we want our students to respond with life-changing moments.

Get ready, though. If we move our lives in this direction, as we teach these kids, we will be attacked. These attacks have already begun in my life, even this morning. That’s why I’m praying for all of us today.

Blessings to you today! If you have anything you would like for me to pray, as I talk to God today, please let me know. It would be an honor to pray for you today.

It made for a lengthy email, but this information daily challenges me. If you lead, lead well!

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