Growing a healthy small group system within any church doesn’t solely rely on identifying and training new leaders. Retention – keeping leaders serving in their area of purpose and away from frustration and burnout – is arguably more important than fresh faces.
Without preserving leaders, the system becomes a revolving door of people walking in and out. Such a system appears distrusting from the outside. Why would a church or community member join a group when the leaders don’t even stick around for a while?
While currently in our fourth year of small groups at our church, in the beginning we struggled to keep the same leaders from year to year.
Part of this issue simply came from building and implementing something new, but part of it was our lack of awareness to the obstacles small group leaders face and being prepared to offer scriptural solutions.
No one can deny that more leaders leads to more groups, and more groups lead to more people being pastored, discipled and cared for in a strategic, biblical manner (i.e. Exodus 18).
So, on top of leaning into new leaders, we asked questions to past leaders about why they no longer served. We asked current leaders what frustrations they had that made them want to stop leading.
Overall, recurring statements emerged. Now, we’re better prepared to talk a leader off the ledge when quitting their group over normal frustrations becomes a thought.
Here are seven frustrations that make small group leaders want to resign with seven practical solutions we’ve offered in return: