As small group leaders, we will inevitably have a few kids in our group who have won our hearts in a special way. Given a group of 10 kids, certainly, one or two kids will share a kindred spirit. This is normal and good. However, we must have no favoritism in ministry.
Find a way to encourage each student in your group. Jesus was always looking for the fringe individual, that person who struggled, straggled or was an outsider.
My brothers, show no partiality or favoritism as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you were to pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothing and say, You sit here in a good place, while you say to the poor man, You stand over there or sit down at my feet, have you not been made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? - James 2
The passage continues, "If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, you shall love your neighbor as yourself."
We All Want to Be Known
I desire to be known for who I am. I desire for someone to know my name. I desire for someone to celebrate the unique aspects of who I am and the unique contribution I bring to their lives. If this is what I want, and I believe that’s what everyone wants, I should do this for others and fulfill the royal law?
Don’t always choose the kids you know are going to give you the best answer. Include everyone where appropriate. Encouragement is 90% affirmation. Simply affirming someone’s presence in your group is a win. Light up when you see them. It will make all the difference in the world.
Cheer for All, Not Just Some
Every member of any group has something that is worthy of affirmation and celebration. Be that cheerleader for all, not just a select few. No Favoritism in Ministry. Be thoughtful of the lowly.