Raising up leaders, expectations, applications, & interview
One of the most challenging parts of leading small groups is identifying and raising up new leaders. There are a few reasons why this is challenging. One is that many people who would do a great job leading a group don’t really see themselves as leaders. This is where we (as the Grouplife leader) step in as share the vision of groups and leadership. Then, share with them the reality that we simply need them to facilitate the group. I believe that if people don’t feel like leaders…once they start facilitating the group they will quickly realize that it’s not as hard as they thought. When people say that they don’t think they’re leaders…at times…they might be right. As the champion of groups you need to use discernment to not push people into leadership positions that shouldn’t be there. This is hard especially when you’re in need of leaders…but it’s much easier to pass on a bad leader up front than to pick up the pieces 12 months into a bad group. Another challenge to raising up new leaders is where & how to find them. This is not necessarily something you just post in the bulletin and wait for the calls to come in.
Our primary strategy for raising up new leaders is through the multiplication process. Each group will go for 18-24 months then multiply. Multiplication is when the group comes to the ending time and they multiply into 2 or 3 new groups. Every group should have at least one or two apprentice individuals or couples. These people will serve as co-leaders and/or leaders in the absence of the main leaders. At the time of multiplication, the remaining people in the group will either choose to stay with one of the new groups or join a different group at the next Grouplink. Then, the 3 new groups starting from the multiplied group will come to the Grouplink and start new groups.
Once the group multiplies, I personally meet with the new leaders and conduct an interview for leadership. Prior to the interview I have them complete an application that is online and they also review our expectations from our website. In the interview I try to really assess they’re experience and passion for groups. Encourage them and communicate our vision for groups at New Life. I also communicate our new leader training as well as our ongoing training expectation. At the end of the interview I always cover next steps which is typically the new leader training and then Grouplink. During the first 8 weeks of a new group I always pay special attention to how the group is progressing so we can coach through potential barriers to community in the group. The most important aspect of starting the new group is setting proper expectation and making sure that all the group members count the cost of joining this new group.