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Getting Your Small Group Leaders to Download the Lead Small App

We all want volunteers who are not only prepared, but also empowered and excited to engage with the few kids and teenagers God has entrusted to them every week. But let’s face it: Your leaders also have schoolwork, jobs, kids of their own, and/or other volunteer commitments. 

You’ve been there before. It’s Sunday morning. It’s a few minutes before service, and you’re confidently standing before a few sleepy-eyed small group leaders—bulletproof coffee in hand.

“Alright, friends, who can tell me this month’s focus!?”

Crickets and blank stares.

“Who can tell me the Memory Verse?”

More crickets.

“Anyone have any questions about the activities we’ll leading today?”

There’s a symphony of crickets and their babies.

Clearly, your small group leaders are unprepared.

Still, you lead the huddle with vision and energy, but can’t help but think to yourself:

“I handed them an entire month’s worth of lesson plans two weeks ago . . .”

“I email the lessons every Monday . . .”

“I texted them a reminder to read it last night . . .”

“What else can be done?”

We all want volunteers who are not only prepared but also empowered and excited to engage with the few kids and teenagers God has entrusted to them every week. But let’s face it: Your leaders also have schoolwork, jobs, kids of their own, and/or other volunteer commitments. 

Today’s pace of life only seems to get faster and busier by the second, so making their job clear and simple is paramount. And in this digital age, smartphones remain at the center of all connectivity. 

Enter the Lead Small app

The free Lead Small app (available on Apple and Android devices)  is designed to place everything your leaders will need to know at their fingertips each week—including lesson guides, their kids’ names, birthdays, and even their goldfish’s name. 

With the click of a button, small group leaders can now conveniently study this week’s Human Maze activity while sitting in carpool, over coffee with a fellow co-leader, or filling the uncomfortable silence in the waiting room of the eye doctor. Whenever it works for them! The newly designed app even includes monthly training videos and discussion questions to keep your volunteers engaged and encouraged year-round.

While Emmert Wolf says, “A man is only as good as his tools,” we also know that a tool is only as good as the person using it.  So how can we inspire our teams to actually download and utilize a tool like the Lead Small app?

Here are five keys to consider:

1. Lead by example

If you have leaders leading your small group leaders (stay with me), encourage them to use the Lead Small app to stay connected to their team. Essentially, a Coach is just a small group leader of small group leaders, so why not have them use the app to keep track of their team’s birthdays and to send group texts (available through app customization)  with important reminders? 

When a Coach is willing to model the app and its features with their small group leaders, the team as a whole sees its value. And if you don’t have a coaching structure set up yet, consider taking this on yourself!

2. Throw a party

Parties demonstrate significance and value, so throw one for the Lead Small App! Order pizza and gather your current small group leaders after church to cast vision and introduce the main features of the app together. 

The Lead Small team has even put together a digital training kit, complete with a teaching script, flyers, videos, and social media graphics to help you create some buzz.  Close it out by having everyone in the room take out their device, locate the app in their app store, and at the count of three, press “Install” together. (Note: party horns may or may not enhance this experience.)

3. Identify early adopters

Launching something new always takes time, but in most cases, you’ll likely have a handful of people who can’t wait to try new things. Once you’ve launched, identify the small group leaders who you (or your coach) see really making the most of the app. (Hint: They’re the ones who have already uploaded photos of their kids before Sunday even arrives.) 

Challenge these eager-beavers to share their stories of how helpful the app can be in building relationships. Leading change alone can be tough, so gather those early adopters, and motivate them to help you spread the word.

4. Add it to your onboarding process

Once a potential small group leader says yes to serving, most of us have a lengthy, step-by-step onboarding process that will best prepare them for the job. Consider making the Lead Small app a part of your agenda during your one-on-one meetings to add an element of practicality. 

For many churches, preparing to serve in family ministry oftentimes requires a lot of paperwork and high-level training on child protection. Give these leaders a break by introducing a free tool that will not only save them time but will increase their chances of establishing important connections early on.

5. Go “green”

Every year, Americans use 700 pounds of paper products per person each year. And if you’re in ministry, you know how the Church contributes to these numbers between bulletins, paper crafts, and small group guides for every volunteer. 

Consider going “green” by eliminating all physical copies of curriculum and relying only on the Lead Small app. Remember, you’ll have to trust that each leader holding their device during small group is actually using the app and not watching the latest TikTok.

But making a major decision like this could significantly elevate the app’s importance and save your church time and money in the long run.

Want to learn more about how you can customize the Lead Small app for your church? Visit, and learn about our 30-day free trial!

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