Several variables impact the successful recruitment of small group leaders. The more of these variables that exist, the higher your success rate. When only one or two variables are at work, the process is naturally more difficult. Here are four recruitment non-negotiables that I have found most helpful.
1. Senior Pastor INVOLVEMENT
It’s no secret that the senior pastor carries the greatest influence when casting vision for small group ministry. Regardless of how gifted a small group pastor is, the senior leader typically has greater persuasion in the congregation. However, a senior pastor can also limit his persuasion if he isn’t committed to lead a small group. When people see the senior pastor lead a group, and hear stories from his own group experience, he multiplies his vision casting credibility and effectiveness. The key question is: Does the senior pastor lead his own small group?
2. Small Group Pastor’s INFLUENCE
People may be inspired by a senior pastor’s vision for small groups, but they also know that at the end of the day they have to report to the small group pastor (or whoever is championing groups in the church). If the person in charge of groups has little influence, it will negatively impact any recruitment efforts (his own efforts as well as those initiated by the senior pastor). Building influence requires character, trustworthiness, credibility, competence and time. By building influence, small group pastors personally attract more leaders and appropriately steward the influence leveraged on his behalf by his senior leader. The key question is: Does the small group pastor have influence in the congregation?
3. Small Group Core Team’s INITIATIVE
Leaders need a core team who are willing to take the initiative to execute a small group recruitment plan. When pastors work alone to recruit small group leaders, they limit their pool of potential leaders and weigh themselves down with the workload required to launch a successful small group ministry. A good core team who takes initiative with plans and strategies will propel the group’s recruitment efforts forward. The key question is: Is the core team willing to work hard?
4. Small Group Leader Candidate’s INFORMATION
Small group pastors need an adequate system to assess and on-ramp new leaders. A simple application process will help you gather the information you need to on-ramp the right small group leader candidates. The key question is: Have you captured essential information on all small group leader candidates?
Each of these non-negotiables will help you maximize your ability to recruit small group leaders. Which key are you missing?