Teaching: Building Better Relationships
It is absolutely essential and crucial for the leader of a small group to deepen individual relationships on a personal basis with each person in his or her small group.
There are several ways to make this happen.
• Take one student out to lunch each week and get to know more about him or her through lunch or dinner at a casual sit-down restaurant. This shows your students that they are important and will increase their respect for you as their leader.
• Utilize social networking tools. This may not sound like going deeper, but students communicate this way. Check out Facebook, Twitter, or text messaging services to make this easier.
• Spend extra time with them. Don’t always seem rushed. Don’t check your watch when you’re together. Don’t take phone calls or answer texts. Give them your attention.
• Go deeper with conversation. Your students may act silly much of the time, but they are can also be quite thoughtful. Build your relationships by exploring their insights.
• Respect them first. Don’t get too preachy. You are a leader in their life, but remember that the best leaders serve.
• Don’t talk at them--but engage them in their thoughts and conclusions and let the Bible be their guide.
• Have fun with them. Play with them. Do things they like to do.
• Enlist their help in your everyday routine. Let them get involved.
• Attend their sporting events, concerts, and other activities.
Sit down and brainstorm 5-6 other ways you can involve your life in their lives and deepen your relationship with your students. In doing so, you not only bring your teaching to life--you create disciples for life.