I have never met a single Small Groups Point Person who said, “You know what, I have too many leaders, what should I do?”
Most Small Groups Point People live in the constant struggle of not having enough leaders. Every now and then we find the rainbow horned unicorn of a person who says, “I have 15 years of experience leading groups, can I lead a small group at this church?”
At this point most of us drop to our knees and praise Jesus.
Then we get back to looking under every rock for leaders. To help you along in your never-ending quest, here are five ideas to help you identify and recruit potential leaders.
#1. Take Recruiting Trips – Visit existing small groups to look for members who have the potential to lead their own group. Talk with your current leaders to help identify potential candidates. Let potential leaders know you will help them get ready to start their own group.
#2. SWAG it up – Give all your existing small group leaders a t-shirt and have them wear it to church services for a month. Let people know that if they are interested in getting a t-shirt you have training ready to get them started leading a group. (Obviously, you better have training ready.)
#3. Get competitive – Start a rivalry with another small group point person in your local huddle. Or another member on your staff. Challenge them to a friendly competition. Whoever recruits more leaders, or a higher percentage of leaders, in the next 90 days wins. Be creative in identifying the winner’s prize. Or the loser’s punishment.
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#4. Shorten the season – Make sure when you ask people to lead, you give a clear start date, and an end date. Knowing the length of their commitment will make it easier for people to say yes. You can, and should, always ask them if they wish to continue leading after their time is up.
#5. Play your rookies – Get leaders in the game as fast as possible. Reduce the amount of training and time to the bare minimum to get leaders started. Then provide coaching to help them deal with issues once they are leading a small group.
There is no guarantee that implementing all five of these ideas will give you a plethora of leaders. However, they will help you have a great recruiting season and create lots of small groups.
One bonus idea. Catch caterpillars, not butterflies – It would be amazing if high-capacity, ready-made small group leaders fell into our laps, but that is not often the case. Look for people with potential. Can they hold a conversation? Do others hang around them? Invite them to orientation/training to find out what starting a small group is all about.
A special thanks to Tim Cooper at Browns Bridge church in Atlanta for the conversation that helped flesh out these ideas.
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