Why I Don’t Prefer the Name “Small Group Leader”

I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers or title this blog post with something that will get a click. I am thankful for all of our readers, and I hope every topic encourages and equips you, and that you share it with someone because it was helpful.

So, let me clarify that I’m writing this because I genuinely don’t like the name, “small group leader.”

I understand that there are logistics, and many different types of volunteers and titles bring organizational clarity. But the main reason I don’t prefer the title is because titles communicate identity.


Whenever a church or organization asks me to speak or train, I always ask for some time with their “small group leaders and any women or girls mentoring others.” I love teaching them simple, reproducible ways to make disciples in their homes, small groups, jobs, and neighborhoods. My favorite way to end out time together is to commission them with the following:

“Yes, to know which emails you are sent or which folders you pick up, you are a ‘small group leader’ but today I’m changing your title. You are a disciple-maker. Jesus has called you and every Christian to disciple others. The good news for you is you don’t have to search for your disciples. You have girls assigned to you this year! If you have ten eighth-grade girls, you are not simply their small group leader. Your title is Disciple -Maker.”

Y’all. The questions that follow have been amazing! Many women feel like their purpose has been reduced to passing along curriculum or making sure the students have a place for community before “big church.” Many women express joy hearing that they could make a disciple. Also, the relief from church staff that they don’t carry that burden alone is usually voiced, too!

Think about it! I heard a mom say once that she was “just a mom” when asked what she did.

How would her view of God change if she saw herself as useful in the kingdom?

How would her view of her kids change if she realized they were her disciples?

How would her view of herself change when she realizes she is a disciple-maker?

The same applies for every job! You are not simply an event planner. You are a disciple-maker who leverages your creativity and job for God’s glory. You are not just a teacher. You are a disciple-maker who can use your ability to tell stories for God’s glory.

No matter your job, hobby, life season, or the area you volunteer in, we are all called and commanded to be a disciple who makes disciples!