Don't Just Lead – Learn to Let Others Minister to You

The following article was originally published at SmallGroupTrader.com


A few months ago, my wife and I made a big decision and left the first church we ever went to and joined another church where we live. Up until that time, we’d been running a small group that, due to a variety of circumstances was coming to an end; and after joining our new church, we found ourselves, for the first time in two years, not leading a group.

In some ways it was refreshing. No study to prepare. No questions to email. No house prep… The first couple months in particular were actually a much needed respite for us individually and as a family.

After about three months of getting settled, I decided to join a new small group—a weekly men’s group. Every Friday mornings, I wake up at a ghastly time and grab some breakfast (although I’m not sure it counts as food) on the way over to the meeting before digging into a discussion of the book we’re reading. And to be a part of a group, for the first time in a long time was equally refreshing (and yes, that can happen at 6:30 AM).

Why? Because I realized I had burnt out a bit. I’d been going at top speed, trying to do as much as I could to help as many as I could…but I wasn’t letting anyone do that for me. It’s really easy for leaders to forget that they need to be ministered to as much as they minister to others.

Because of the responsibilities that often come with leading a group, it can sometimes feel like you’re just not part of the group. Maybe, for whatever reason, you don’t feel like you can be as open as others. I know a number of people in church leadership who have expressed that they feel they can’t be a part of a group unless they’re leading it. It’s “expected” of them. Because of this expectation (legitimate or not), these leaders invest, invest, invest… but aren’t being invested in. It leaves them spiritually dry, sometimes a bit bitter, and more than a little exhausted.

So here’s my encouragement to you: Do not just lead a group—be in one. Learn to let others minister to you. No matter who you are—a pastor, a ministry leader, a small group leader—let other people invest in you, encourage you and build you up in your faith. None of us are not so important, so spiritually mature that we can neglect this aspect of our lives. Talk to your existing one and repent if you’ve been doing this. Join another one if you have to. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Learn to let others minister to you.


Thanks to my friends at SmallGroupTrader.com for giving me a reason to write this.

 

Sponsored Message

Get new content delivered to your inbox

  • http://www.hillsbiblechurch.org/ Don

    Aaron, my closest friend is an ex-pastor. He told me that his seminary warned pastoral candidates to avoid forming close friendships within their churches. It leads to all kinds of potential problems was the advice.

    I think I understand the thinking behind this, but I can tell you from my friend’s experience that this kind of thinking led him into very isolated and lonely.

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      That’s something that I’ve heard from a lot of people is that pastoral ministry can be very isolating and lonely. I can definitely understand why your friend was told to avoid forming close friendships, but seems that it does more harm than good, y’know?