As sailing is a partnership between man and nature, spiritual growth is a collaborative effort between you and God. The term for Spirit is the same for that of wind in both the Old and New Testaments. The Holy Spirit is the wind that provides the driving force of all spiritual growth.
You cannot bring about spiritual growth in your own life or the lives of those you lead, but neither are you a passive bystander. As the Holy Spirit moves, you must become engaged in that driving force. As a small group leader or teacher, you have at least four vital sail-raising responsibilities:
1. Pray for the members of your group. That’s your first and most important job.
2. Be an example to the flock. Let them see spiritual growth happening in your own life by being involved in the spiritual disciplines of worship, Bible reading, prayer, and others.
3. Involve the group every week in practices, such as meeting in authentic community, studying and applying God’s Word together, teaching and admonishing one another, praying together, serving together, and confessing your sins to each other.
4. Shepherd your members outside of group meeting times. Be prepared to mentor them in areas where they need to grow, as God leads you.
—By Michael C. Mack. Adapted from World’s Greatest Small Group