Developing Leaders Isn’t An Option!
Moses, one of God’s champion leaders, prioritized the development of leaders. That priority was significant for the young nation of Israel, as Moses died just before leading them into the promised land. Moses’ investment into developing Joshua as a leader was a key component of Israel’s success.
Like Moses, small group leaders cannot lead their groups forever. Careers cause leaders to relocate. Illnesses and injuries regularly limit leaders’ participation. Children’s sports often cause cancellations. Life happens! Often the consequence of these interruptions is the hindering of the group’s spiritual growth. Small group leaders can avoid these consequences by following Moses’ example and developing new leaders.
Developing a Leader Is Not Difficult
Identifying, Partnering & Releasing are the three phases I use to develop a leader.
Identifying a potential leader is as simple as looking for three characteristics of an individual in your group: likeability, listenability, and consistency.
Would I want to hang out with that person outside of group time? Do other people, on their own initiative, seek out a certain individual? If so, that individual has the likeability factor.
Do you and other people in the group listen when this person speaks? Does this person listen to others when they speak? If so, he or she has the listenability factor.
Does this person regularly attend group? Is this individual steadily growing in Christlike character? Does he or she easily maintain good relationships? If so, they have the consistency factor.
If a person has all three of these characteristics, invite him or her to partner with you in leading the group right away!
Partnering is sharing group leadership with another person. My favorite time to initiate partnering is when I am planning to be out of town. A few weeks before I am going to be away, I privately ask the qualified person to lead the group in my absence. After the individual agrees, I spend a short time sharing the nuts and bolts of leading the group and ask him or her to lead a part of the group the two weeks before I am away. We spend a few minutes after those group times debriefing the experience. Then that person is ready to lead in my absence. If the person I have chosen does a fine job leading, I know I have identified a good leader. I now have a parter with whom to share leadership on a regular basis.
Releasing a new leader is easy once you have established that leader as a partner. Since this person has the likeability factor, he or she probably has several solid friendships in the group. Those friends can easily become the nucleus of a new group. In another private conversation with that leader, I encourage them to start a new group with his or her closest friends. I promise this new leader that I will encourage and support him or her as they lead that new small group.
Once the individual has agreed to lead a new group, we share this great news with the entire group and celebrate the group’s life together. Finally, the ones remaining in the group bless the others as they leave to make room for others in a group.
Developing a Leader Is Rewarding!
I love being a dad. My three children make me proud! I also understand that being a grandparent will be even better. I have a sense of how rewarding grandparenting will be because I am a spiritual grandparent. Many of the leaders I have helped develop have already developed other leaders. Watching my spiritual children have spiritual children of their own is an extremely rewarding experience. Many of these leaders have become my closest friends.
Develop a Leader in Your Small Group NOW!
Moses’ legacy lived beyond his lifetime because he prioritized developing Joshua as a leader, as his partner and as his successor. Somehow, Joshua failed to continue the legacy, and the nation of Israel suffered for generations. If we as small group leaders follow Moses’ pattern of developing leaders, we will extend our legacy and be a part of the ever-growing movement of Jesus’ kingdom on earth. If we neglect this practice, the movement ends with us. Start identifying, partnering with, and releasing the leaders in your group today!