Last school year I didn’t have a co-leader for my small group and there were times when I was stretched pretty thin trying to minister to all of them. Most of my group was familiar with Steven and he had come to my small group to teach a lesson and had come to a few of the high school events. I noticed that a few of the guys in my group reached out to him for advice, one of them told me he felt like Steven was the “big brother” to the group.
Over the course of the school year a couple of them would text Steven and ask to meet him for lunch to talk over some problems they were having. It was an awesome set-up; I was in no way bothered that they reached out to Steven. I know they felt comfortable coming to me with their problems, but there were a few issues that, because Steven was closer in age to them they felt more comfortable talking to him.
I made it clear to all of them that I had no problem with them going to Steven for advice or just someone to talk to and I let them know that although Steven and I are very good friends, whatever they talk to him about would be between them.
Last night I met with my old small group, they have all started college this week and one of the things we talked about was their “big brother”. I knew that Steven had an effect on them; I just didn’t realize how much of an impact he had made on them. I also realize that I could not have been as successful with my last group without having the help of their “big brother”. The best compliment one of them said to me was this, “Steven wants to be a youth pastor, but it’s like he already is.”
If you’re leading a small group alone, I would highly recommend you find someone who can be a big brother or big sister to your group. Here’s my suggestions of what to look for:
1. Find a college student with a HUGE heart for student ministry.
2. Find someone your group will feel comfortable with, and someone they will confide in.
3. Find someone who lives their life in a biblical way, someone with integrity who talks the talk and walks the walk. Someone who has the ability to refer students to scripture to help them through a situation.
4. Find someone who will keep confidential what your students talk to them about.