One of the most important things you can do as a leader is celebrate the change you see in your group members. There's a couple reasons for that.
First, we celebrate what we value. When you celebrate the spiritual growth in your group members, it communicates that growth really is a priority for the group.
Second, people can't always see their own potential. Celebrating change can turbo charge a person's growth because sometimes you're pointing out something they didn't recognize about themselves. Just making them aware can unlock all kinds of potential.
Most of our spiritual growth happens through small steps of faith, so don't just celebrate big events like baptism. But how do you know what small things you should celebrate? Well, here are 4 tips for recognizing change:
- Is someone obeying God's call?
Whether it's beginning to give financially, serve in a Sunday morning ministry, go on an overseas mission trip, or some other step that demonstrates trust in God, obedience is always worth celebrating.
- Is someone practicing (or trying to practice) forgiveness in a difficult relationship?
Jesus made it possible for our sins to be forgiven so that we could be forgiving. When someone moves in that direction, it's a big deal.
- Is someone loving another person in need?
When a group member becomes invested in helping another person navigate a rocky place in life—whether that person is in the group or from some other part of their life—that's a demonstration that they're beginning to see and value others the way God does. Celebrate it.
- Is someone taking practical steps to conquer sin in their life?
We all struggle with sin. You know that. In fact, the struggle is so real, we often jump through hoops to justify or dismiss our own behavior. When a group member begins to confront their own weakness and ask for the group's encouragement and accountability, it's a sure sign he or she wants to grow and is willing to do the hard work to make it happen. That's worth celebrating.
If you're intentional about celebrating the change you see in your group members, it will create deeper relational connection in the group and help everyone to grow faster and in unexpected ways.