A few months ago, I was speaking with a new small group leader. Due to a recent influx of new members in her group, she is worried that she will not be able to effectively disciple these women. She has a full time job and they did not work near each other, so she was worried she could not effectively guide them in their newfound faith. Then I asked her, “Why do you think you are alone in this?” I shared to her that I found myself in the same position six years ago. I was a new small group leader at Victory Fort and it was the first time for me to handle young professionals. Before this, I handled students and I knew I was not entirely equipped to lead single professionals, who have an entirely different set of issues to deal with. I had five new girls, all of whom needed to go through personal discipleship. I admit, I could not do personal discipleship with more than two people in the same period. I like to focus on one, if possible. And yet, I could not miss the golden opportunity for the rest to grow in their relationship with God.
Honestly, though, we were never taught in campus ministry that we have to do discipleship alone. One of the biggest discipleship lessons I learned from Victory LB is to connect new believers with as many mature Christians as possible. So that night, I asked God for someone to help me. The next day, I saw one of the girls I volunteer in Kids Church with. She was having lunch alone in the cafeteria, and since I usually hate to see others eating by themselves (unless they give off the “Don’t bother me, please” vibe), I approached her and made small talk.
During the course of our conversation, I learned that she was looking for a victory group, since her leader joined a church plant. So, I invited her to my group. And, boy, was she was such a great addition! She helped me with the other girls who were ready for personal discipleship. Moreover, she was also a volunteer in Kids Church and helped me encourage the other girls to volunteer as well. Volunteering together brought us closer to each other, as well as to other people not in our group. This method of teaming up and connecting new people to others became a culture in our group. In the past few years, we’ve travelled together for fun and we’ve gone to missions trips together. We’ve gone through different seasons in life. We’ve been bridesmaids to those who got married and godmothers to their children. We’ve offended each other when we spoke the truth in love and yet resolved those offenses with forgiveness. We’ve prayed through ups and downs and we’ve had one goal in mind: for each of us to honor God and make disciples.
More than just different women placed in the same small group, we have become the greatest of friends despite each one being a leader of a different small group already. We’ve also done our best to connect the girls in our groups with each other. I look forward to more years of shared life with them.
So, if you find yourself becoming a new leader and floundering, know that you need not be alone. Seek to connect by asking God and looking for opportunities to team up with someone. And because this is all for His glory, surely He has prepared a teammate for you already.