This post is the sixth post in a ten part series ... Small Group Leader Training. For more posts in this series check out the series frontpage.
The Live-it-up stage is the smooth sailing stage in the life of a Small Group. The metaphorical plane is at cruising altitude and the skies are clear. So, what now?
Leadership in this stage is fairly intuitive, but that doesn't exempt us from temptations.
During the Live-it-up stage, Guiding is the ideal leadership behavior. The Leader has become a member of the Group and the Group generally knows what to expect for their time together. The Group needs a Guide, someone to keep them moving and in the right direction.
The Group does not need a Boss to order them around.
The Group does not need a Guru to tell them what to think.
The Group does not need a Superhero to inspire them.
The Group does not need a Savior to fix everyone's problems.
The Group does not need a Party-planner to entertain them.
The Leader continues Pursuing people in the Small Group, but at this point, everyone (or at least most people) is engaging in Pursuing as well. This is also an echo of that Modeling behavior the Leader engaged in through the Start-up stage ... people generally do what they see their Leaders do (if you give them enough time and opportunity).
Guiding is simple. Get discussion rolling, keep it on track, keep it moving, cue transitions between segments (ie. from sharing to Bible study to prayer to 4-Square ... whatever). The skill set includes asking open-ended questions, paying attention to conversational flow, mapping out the main point of a passage, steering conversation into the main point, and encouraging sharing and participation. It's a lot, but it's pretty simple.
What does guiding a Group look like for you?
The next post in this series will explore Visioneering, the leadership stance I find most helpful when leading a Group in the Wrap-up stage in the life of a Small Group. I'll post a link here as soon as it is published.