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If everything rises and falls on the leadership of your groups, create a plan for recruitment, training and on-going development of your leaders before you launch your small groups. And secondly, who is going to recruit and train the new leaders of these new groups?
Even if you are only starting with a handful of groups, a plan for growth is wise. You may not need a plan for one hundred groups now, but you should be thinking a stage or two ahead. What will change when we move from five groups to 10? Or from 25 to 50?
Choosing the right leader is only part of the equation. Deciding how you will recruit leaders and what expectations you’ll place on these leaders will allow them to know what they are stepping into. Additionally, a clear and consistent plan of development will allow the leader to lead more effectively.
What does the right training look like? How do you help brand new leaders start successful small groups? There is an abundance of resources on training new small group leaders. But if you were to download everything you know about small groups to a new leader, you would overwhelm them. Why?
An exhaustive message will exhaust a leader. The reason is this: adults learn on a need-to-know basis, and this includes your small group leader.
Think through what a new leader would absolutely have to know in the first six to eight weeks of their new small group. What do you need to tell your new leader about the meeting time, how to communicate with their group members, how to lead the new group members through getting to know one another? What does your new leader need to know about selecting their first study, or how to address group expectations?
These are all things that a new leader would need to know in the first weeks of their group. After that, you can address needs as they come up. You can also create a development plan to address some of the more common issues that arise within a group. For example, how do you navigate the over-talker, or lack of attendance, or help the leader walk through a care issue in the group? These are topics that are important, but ones that your leader will need to know over time, and not immediately.
Lastly, do you have a staff member or volunteer who will be devoted to coaching both new leaders and existing leaders? Leaders both need to and want to feel supported by their church. They want to know that there is someone they can go to for help and support. Who is that within your organization?
Our friends at Live A Better Story wrote this post. Live A Better Story provides a strategy for effective adult small group ministry. Try it for free for a limited time! Download the 6-week “Story of My Life” study here.