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Shepherding Your Group

January 9, 2024

The pulse of our missional heartbeat relies on the willingness of our group leaders to shepherd others. 
As Growth Group leaders, God has called us to shepherd those who are in our groups. 

Proverbs 27:23 says, “Know well  the condition of your flocks, and give careful attention to your herds.” This involves more than leading a discussion. Shepherding your group involves knowing those in your group in a personal way and providing care in time of need. 

At Highpoint, the primary context for care and discipleship is in Growth Groups, led by leaders just like you. The pulse of our missional heartbeat relies on the willingness of our group leaders to shepherd others.     
As the Lord shepherds us, He empowers us to shepherd our group members by providing genuine care that promotes spiritual growth and produces growing leaders. 

Let’s focus on the art of shepherding and how to grow in this vital area of your ministry. In our Lead Others training, we talk about 5 practical ways to shepherd those in your group - communicate, celebrate, care, connect, and counsel: 

Communicate: The depth of your discipleship starts with the clarity of your communication. Set up a text thread for your group to use throughout the semester. Make a plan to send out two texts each week - one the day after your group meets and one the day before your group meets. It’s impossible to shepherd someone you have no contact with. Be intention to keep this area strong throughout the semester.

Celebrate: Great shepherds know their people and celebrate their special moments with them - birthdays, anniversaries, baptisms, new baby, job promotions, and answered prayer are opportunities to celebrate what God is doing in the lives of people in your group. 

Care: Being a Growth Group leader involves showing up when a group member is in need. This type of care is practical in nature. Encourage group members to support each other when the opportunity arises. Some practical ways to do that are to create a meal train, throw a baby shower, visit a group member in the hospital, mail a handwritten card, or send flowers if there is a death in the family. It’s been said, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” As a group leader, encourage the mutual ministry of your group members caring for each other in practical ways. 

Connect: Every person that has ever made a spiritual impact on you gave you an invaluable gift - their time. That’s the gift a shepherd gives to their flock. Make it your goal to connect with each person in your group outside of your typical meeting once every six months around coffee or a meal. Sharing your story with them and hearing theirs will take your shepherding to another level.

Counsel: You won’t know when, but inevitably people in your group will need counsel in some area of their life. Growth group leaders do not need to be counselors to provide counsel. Remember, we are undershepherds leading people to their Great Shepherd by utilizing His Word, His Spirit, and His people.

In our Care + Counsel training, we use this method: 

Connect - with empathy, through questions, by listening

Assess - spiritual condition SOS (severity, ownership, support), and heart issues

Respond - with hope, grace, and truth

Encourage - a next step, prayer together, and a care plan

Review our Levels of Care worksheet to know when to counsel inside your group and when to refer outside of your group.

How can you be intentional with implementing each of these five Cs into the regular rhythm of your leadership? What are a few things you can do even this week to shepherd those in your group? 

At Team Night on Sunday, we announced the launch of a new webpage dedicated to our growth group leaders. Check out the many features of this site at highpoint.church/lead. Bookmark this webpage to access our Group leader blog and many other resources.