You are on page 1of 15

Identifying and Launching New Leaders

By Dave Treat, adapted from Identifying and Launching New Small Group Leaders, a workshop presented at the Willow Creek Association Small Groups Conference

www.WillowGroups.com

Contents
Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

Anyone in small group ministry knows it is challenging to find new leaders and get them started. Discover a leadership assessment process that will identify the readiness of each potential leader in your ministry and clarify different training paths to help them move toward leadership.

Training Materials
1. What to Reproduce

Skill and Maturity


2. Harvesting Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready?

Leadership

Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Goal:
To equip small group point leaders to identify and launch new small group leaders by assessing and developing leadership potential in the people around them.

Additional Resources

C H R I S T I A N I T Y T OD A Y
I N T E R N A T I O N A L 2006

AND

Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

LEADERS GUIDE

How to Use Identifying and Launching New Leaders


The following materials can be used for either personal or group training to help identify and launch new group leaders.

Identifying Leaders

Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

Training Others
If you use this material to train other small group leaders, you may want to modify the handouts as necessary. Personalize them by printing on church letterhead or adding your church logo to the design. Each handout can be used in separate, brief training sessions, or you can combine all of the material into one session. Read through the materials and any listed Scriptures ahead of time. Then prepare the materials as needed: Make enough copies for all of the participants. Provide food, drink, and other materials that will make your training sessions more comfortable. Allow five minutes for everyone to read through each handout. Then discuss the questions provided, or consider questions such as: Why are these principles important for a successful small group? How well does your small group currently incorporate these principles? What one or two practical things could we do in the next year to improve in this area?

Training Materials
1. What to Reproduce Skill and Maturity 2. Harvesting Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready? Leadership Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Pray
Pray for your small group leaders, that they will expand their knowledge and practice of prayer.

Ask God to provide clarity and vision to the process of identifying new leaders and getting them off to a good start.

Additional Resources

2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

TRAINING MATERIALS

Identifying Leaders

Define: What Do You Want to Reproduce


Assess potential leaders against a set of desired traits and skills.
A church looking for people to lead in their small group ministry must first look for people who have reproducible lives. The reproducible traits should be observable (1 Cor. 11:1; 2Thess. 3:7,9). In many ways, small group leadership is all about modeling, setting examples and being able to tell people, Follow me. Christ set the example. We are to follow Christ. Then, we can point others to our lives and say, Follow Christ as I follow Christ. The problems come if people are not leading the kind of life that exemplifies what Christs life is about.

Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

In order to identify potential small group leaders, a point leader must define the type of 1. What to life that they want to reproduce. Then, when you are walking around your church and you Reproduce interact with people, you can say, That person has leadership potential. The only way you Skill and can make this assessment is if you already have a picture of what kind of life you want Maturity leaders to model. 2. Harvesting Form this picture by comparing and contrasting leadership pairs. These are not questions of good or bad, but more an issue of what you want to reproduce. First ask, What is it were trying to do in our small groups? The answer will lead to, What do we want to reproduce?

Training Materials

Determine the Role of the Small Group Leader


Teacher or learner? A teacher might be a seminary graduate who knows and applies each members learning styles and develops a custom group curriculum. In some churches, all preaching is from the pulpit and the small groups discuss application. In other churches, content is delivered at the small group level. If your model requires small groups to deliver a lot of content, a competent teacher may be important to you. If your church primarily delivers Gods Word from the pulpit and expects people in small groups to help each other apply it to their own lives, a good leader doesnt have to be a teacher. Instead, you want a learner. A learner is someone who models continuous learning. They are passionate about knowing God and stay one step ahead of the group members. They havent arrived yet; they are on the journey too. Therapist or encourager? A therapist is someone who understands the 12step model. They can legally prescribe drugs if necessary. Some groups may have a more therapeutic bent but not every small group needs the leader to be a therapist. An encourager is a good listener. They can lead group members in building each other up through words and deeds. They listen, point people to Scripture and pray with them. These leaders simply walk through life with others. You cannot get enough therapists on staff to help everybody, but you can have enough small group leaders to help everybody. Guru or shepherd? A guru has answers to every question and allows group members to drink freely from his or her fountain of wisdom. A shepherd is someone who discerns the direction that the Holy Spirit is taking a member and then walks them through their next spiritual steps. A guru can take an atheist and turn him into a missionary, but you dont have to do that in a small group. You have to take people to the next step in cooperation with the Holy
HANDOUT #1 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready? Leadership Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Additional Resources

TRAINING MATERIALS Spirit. A small group leader needs discernment more than they need to have all the answers up front. Commander or servant? A commander knows how to mobilize the troops to support the church staff and the project of the month. They say, Here we go. This is what were going to do. Whos with me? Sometimes you would rather have a servant, someone who understands that service is a function of gratitude. In some of your groups you want somebody with strong leadership skills who can say, Heres the challenge, lets go get it. Other times you just want someone with a servants heart. Facilitator or director? A facilitator can achieve consensus on any topic but stays personally aloof. That can lead to pooled ignorance. A facilitator is by definition someone who can engage people in discussion. They are not nearly as concerned about where they end up as they are about the process of getting there. Your group leader needs to listen and facilitate, but they also sometimes need to be the director and help the members understand and apply Gods truth and guide the discussion to a biblical outcome. When youre discussing Scripture, leaders need to ask members what they think a passage means but ultimately the leader needs to give people the biblical answer.

Identifying Leaders

Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

Training Materials
1. What to Reproduce Skill and Maturity 2. Harvesting Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready? Leadership Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Make a List of Desired Traits


Take a few minutes to think through the traits that you would desire in a small group leader. In your own words, describe these traits and list them in the left hand column on the Skill or Maturity chart below. Some traits are provided but be sure to come up with others that fit your churchs situation.

Separate Traits into Areas of Skill or Maturity


When youre done deciding on the traits that are important in your church context, decide whether the traits that you have written are a function of skill or maturity. A skill is something that can be learned through a class, a book, a tape or through hands-on training. Maturity is something that is formed in someones heart over time. Put a check in the box that best applies to each trait.

Additional Resources

HANDOUT #1 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

Exercise: Skill or Maturity?


Evaluate your potential leaders on the basis of their talents and attitudes.
Desired Trait Has a servants heart Has personal integrity Can plan a meeting Is pursuing Godhas spiritual passion Can guide a discussion X X X Skill Maturity X X

HANDOUT #1A 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

TRAINING MATERIALS

Identifying Leaders

Harvesting Leaders
Some people are ready to lead. They just need to be identified and asked.
In every church there are some people who are ready to lead. These are people who are waiting for you to walk up and ask them if they would be willing to lead. They have the maturity that is necessary to form Christ in others. They already have some small group skills. As a small group point person, you want to learn how to harvest this low hanging fruit and bring them into small group leadership.

Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

Identify Leaders Already on Location


Observe them. Create settings where you can observe people in scenarios where their leadership skills and maturity are brought to the forefront. Watch them interact with others. Look for the traits you want to reproduce. For example, if you want a leader to be a good listener, look at the potential leader and see if they listen to other people. Or do they talk the whole time? Are they engaged in other peoples lives? How do they respond when someone irritates them? See if the potential leader can actually do the things on your skill list. Enlist them to help you with a future event and then see if they can actually do it. The pizza principle. Were you ever in a group of people working on a project together and somebody suggests ordering a pizza? A discussion ensues over what items to order and goes on for two or three minutes. At some point everybody turns to one person and asks, What do you think we ought to do? Theres your leader.

Training Materials
1. What to Reproduce Skill and Maturity 2. Harvesting Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready? Leadership Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Beware of Potential Landmines


Those who think they are leaders, but are not. Avoid grabbing the first available warm body and declaring that person a leader. There are people who ask to be given a small group to lead but cannot pull it off. Encourage these people to begin by building their own group. If they cannot pull people together and form a group, then they are not a leader. John Maxwell says, He who thinks he is leading when no one is following is only taking a walk. Those with their own agendas. Beware of people who want to do something with a group that may not be a part of your churchs plan for small groups. Make sure they agree with where you are trying to take the church. Those with leadership skills but lacking in spiritual maturity. Some people can lead elsewhere, but theyre not spiritually mature enough to lead a church small group. Or they have the spiritual maturity but they dont know how to bring a discussion back to a spiritual conclusion. Those who are unknown. Look out for people who are unknown. Some people will say that they were a leader in their old church and want to lead at your church. You need to ask them if they are in a small group now in your church setting. If someone wants to lead a group but they are not willing to be in one, a little red flag should go up. The only way to be sure about a potential leader is to spend time with them over time.
HANDOUT #2 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

Additional Resources

TRAINING MATERIALS

Identifying Leaders

Growing Leaders
Identify people with potential and help them grow.
After youve harvested everyone you can think of, identify people with leadership potential and help them grow over time into skilled and mature leaders.

Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

Look for People with Leadership Potential


Growing believers who are FAT (Faithful, Available Teachable) Faithful people show up when they say theyre going to. Unfaithful people say they are going to be at an event but something always comes up and they are never there. Available people can rearrange their schedule around being a small group leader. Availability is one key to finding out who is ready and who is not. People need to be able to establish priorities in order to lead. Teachable people do not think they already know it all. They are willing to learn the way you want to do small groups at your church. This is particularly important if the leader has experience with another small groups model. Will they get on board with your churchs strategy or will they have their own plan? Track records. Look at the people who have shown up consistently over time in other ministries. They have a track record of showing up, getting involved, and giving of themselves. Right priorities. Look for people who are already faithful. They already have the right priorities and show it by their use of time. In the Word. Look for Bible tabsthose little devices people put on the edges of their Bibles to find certain passages. Those tabs indicate that the person intends to read the Bible. Some people have Bibles with sweat stains, battered covers or other wear marks. Come up with your own visual clues to find people that look like they are serious about spiritual growth.

Training Materials
1. What to Reproduce Skill and Maturity 2. Harvesting Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready? Leadership Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Other Ways to Spot Leaders


Announcements. Be careful about how you advertise your need for small group leaders. Circulate the following announcement: If you would like to learn how to lead a small group please come to the following room. Do not say, If you would like to lead a small group please come to the following room. Do not make people think you are just gong to hand them a small group. Strategic events. Hold strategic events that might attract potential leaders like leadership orientation classes and leadership training. Then observe the people who show up. Cast vision for the life change that can happen in small groups and dont be afraid to scare them a little bit about some of the difficulties of group life. After the Holy Spirit weeds out the faint of heart, the people who remain are ready for further development or perhaps are ready to serve as apprentice leaders. Just ask. Nothing can replace a personal invitation to small group leadership. Invite them to coffee or breakfast and just ask. Do not ask them if they are ready to lead a small group. It is better to ask them if they have ever thought about being a leader. Then offer to help them.

Additional Resources

HANDOUT #3 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

TRAINING MATERIALS

Identifying Leaders

Are they Ready?


Evaluate leadership potential and determine next steps of growth.
Refer to the Leadership Assessment Tool to help determine where a person needs further development before launching their group.

Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

The Pool
On the left of the page, the shaded circles represent the pool of people in your church. Something has prompted you to consider one individualthe darker dot in the middle to learn how to lead a small group. First, ask the question: Are they in a small group? If not, throw them back in the pool because they are not ready. Help them get in a small group. They need to learn what community is in order to reproduce community.

Training Materials
1. What to Reproduce Skill and Maturity 2. Harvesting Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready? Leadership Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Skill/Maturity Quadrant
In the middle of the page is a square with four quadrants. On the left side of the square is the word Skills. Skills are the specialized abilities people need to lead a small group. Across the top is the word Maturity. Maturity is about Christlikeness: people who can reproduce Christlike characteristics in another person. Moving to the right represents greater maturity. Moving up signifies higher skills. Mature/Skilled People: For people who are both mature and skilled, you mainly want to get them on board. They usually only need some vision about what you are trying to do in small groups at your church. These people are few and far between. What they need: VISION. Growing/Unskilled People: Most people are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They may be hungry to learn but they are neither mature in Christ nor skilled in group leadership. Pair them with an existing strong leader and let them learn in the context of their own small group. What they need: APPRENTICESHIP. Mature/Unskilled People: These people are strong believers but do not know how to lead a small group. The best way to train these people in group leadership skills is to place them in a turbo group. This type of group is a leadership training group that actually functions as a small group. Everything you do in a regular small group you do in a turbo, but at the same time you are teaching potential leaders how to lead. They share in leadership of the group. (For more information on the turbo group concept, see Leading Life-Changing Small Groups, by Bill Donahue.) What they need: TURBO GROUP. Growing/Skilled People: Some people are young in Christ but they are skilled in small group leadership. For whatever reason, they have excellent people skills and may have even led groups in other contexts. However, they need time to grow in their relationship with Christ. These people need intensive discipleship. Help them figure out what God wants to do in their lives and how they can get there. What they need: DISCIPLESHIP.

Additional Resources

HANDOUT #4 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

TRAINING MATERIALS

Identifying Leaders

Observe Your Potential Leaders Progress Over Time


When the people in each quadrant get the things they need, they still may not be quite ready to lead. The circle all the way to the right is a little clock. It carries a caution. Take time before you let them lead. You need a period of time so you can watch how individuals react and respond to a variety of situations. After you have worked through the Leadership Assessment Tool, look over the exercise called Three Scenarios (Handout 4b). Read each scenario and then look at the Leadership Assessment Tool. Walk each mythical person through the assessment. Determine where that person would be best placed on the Maturity/Skills quadrant. Brainstorm a list of next steps they could take to develop as a small group leader.

Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

Training Materials
1. What to Reproduce Skill and Maturity 2. Harvesting Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready? Leadership Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Additional Resources

HANDOUT #4 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

Leadership Assessment Tool

HANDOUT #4A 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

Exercise: Three Scenarios


You have met the following people and have observed them as described below. Using the Leadership Assessment Tool (Handout 4a), assess each person's leadership potential. Are they ready to lead right now or do they need to grow? What is their next step in leadership?

After a small group connection event, you meet a guy youve never seen before with gold chains showing through his unbuttoned shirt. He works his airplane, boat and sports car into your very first conversation. You learn that his daughter is in constant trouble with the law and that the FBI is hunting his former girlfriend. He is a high school dropout who divorced and remarried in the past couple of years. Hes never heard of small groups before but might like to lead one. Assessment: Next Step:

A twenty-something woman seems to be everywhere around the church and is always surrounded by a swarm of others. She seems to be a ringleader of sorts, as others seem to pick up on her suggestions and directions. She comes to leadership orientation and training where she expresses an interest in starting a small group for single adults. Assessment: Next Step:

At a leadership orientation, you notice a guy on the first row asking good questions. He shows up early for leadership trainingwith his Bibleand offers to help pass out materials and serve refreshments. You learn that he is a military academy graduate and former officer, has a very successful white-collar career and lives in an exclusive neighborhood. He has been around the church for several years, but has not yet led a small group. Assessment: Next Step:

HANDOUT #1 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

TRAINING MATERIALS

Identifying Leaders

Preparing People to Lead


Equip potential leaders by helping them progress according to their level of maturity and skill.
Below are additional ideas for helping people in each of the four quadrants take next steps toward small group leadership.

Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

Mature/Skilled
These are mature believers who already have small group skills. The key word for them is vision. Paint a picture of the preferred future: changed lives. Convince them that the most strategic person in the life-change process is the small group leader. When you start talking about life-change and what can happen in small groups, they are going to light up like a Christmas tree. If they have been involved in groups for a while, they have seen life change. All you have to do is tell them what you want to do in your particular setting.

Training Materials
1. What to Reproduce Skill and Maturity 2. Harvesting Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready? Leadership Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Growing/Unskilled
These people are enthusiastic with a lot of leadership potential, but lack spiritual maturity and the abilities necessary to lead a group. They are best suited for apprenticeship, where they learn under the guidance of a mature/skilled leader. Their leaders first priority should be guiding them toward spiritual maturity. In addition, their leader should help them gain group skills. Their leader should let them lead the group when they are ready, then observe and evaluate their leadership. This kind of constructive criticism is needed to take the Growing/Unskilled person to the next level. A small group leader must be very intentional about developing leaders in an apprenticeship. Otherwise the leader decides it is easier to just lead the group themselves. The leader who never gives their apprentice the opportunity to lead creates a problem.

Mature/Unskilled
These are mature believers who may have never been in a small group or are unfamiliar with small group leadership. Steer them into a turbo group, which is a short-term experience that includes skill training in a small group context. The task is to quickly give these potential leaders the skills to lead a small group. A turbo group has three goals: 1) Spiritual formationknow the process of how Christ is formed in another person; 2) Burden bearingknow how to care for someone in need; 3) Guiding discussionknow how to direct a discussion so that helps people come to biblical conclusions.

Additional Resources

Growing/Skilled
These people are young in Christ but may have excellent people skills and prior group leadership experience in contexts outside of the church. These people need intentional discipleship. Discipleship is simply planned spiritual growth and is best done one-onone. The disciple-maker should agree with them about their next steps in growth and then coach them as they mature. A growth plan should focus on three goals: 1) Helping the disciple develop a spiritual passion; 2) Helping them understand the biblical principle of servanthood in leadership; and 3) Helping them grow in personal integrity. Do not be in a hurry with this process. Maturity comes through Gods work in someones life over time.
HANDOUT #5 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

TRAINING MATERIALS

Identifying Leaders

Release Them
Know when they are ready to go and then launch them.
Below are some things to keep in mind as you are launching people into leadership.

Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

PreparationControl Spectrum
Whenever we train people to take on new responsibilities, our training falls somewhere in what educators call the preparation-control spectrum. In small group ministry, it is helpful to understand this concept. For some jobs, there is high preparation and low control. An example here is a brain surgeon. They go to school forever but when they graduate nobody follows them around to make sure they are doing the right thing. For some jobs on the other extreme, there is low preparation and high control. An example is a telemarketer. All they get is a script and a list of phone numbersbut the boss is standing there watching their every move. Between those two extremes is the place of preparation and control that will fit your personality as a small group point leader. You decide how much preparation a new small group leader needs and also the level of oversight they will receive after they start leading. There is no right answeryour comfort zone governs the approach. Do you want to prepare them to the point where you barely need to watch them? Or do you want to give them low preparation but then watch them at every step?

Training Materials
1. What to Reproduce Skill and Maturity 2. Harvesting Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready? Leadership Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Lead Them to Commitment


Be honest about what youre expecting them to do. It is okay to scare them a little bit. Sometimes it is not bad to have someone think they may wind up with Jerry Springer alumni in their small group. If they are not at least a little scared, they dont know what they are getting involved in.

Commission Them to Lead


Commission them to lead. Explain to them that they are the plan. There is no plan B. Christ intended for us to help develop each other in community. The church is with them and for them.

Additional Resources

Provide Ongoing Support


Let your leaders know that if they run into trouble the church is going to be right there to help them. You need to be committed to providing ongoing support for leaders through coaching.

Monitor Their Progress


Give your leaders the care you expect them to give the people in their groups. Address ongoing needs for both personal growth and skill training.

HANDOUT #6 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

TRAINING MATERIALS

Identifying Leaders

Exercise: Next Steps


Zero in on who you want to select and prepare for leadership.
1. Name three individuals you already know who you will contact about taking their next steps toward leadership. Based on the Leadership Assessment Tool, what is their next step?

Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

Name _________________Next Step ___________________

Training Materials
1. What to Reproduce Skill and Maturity

Name _________________Next Step ___________________

Name _________________Next Step ___________________

2) What existing events might you use as fishing ponds for leaders? (Road trips, retreats, banquets, sporting events). What events might you create to find potential leaders?

2. Harvesting Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready? Leadership Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Additional Resources

3) What steps do you need to take to prepare for an influx of growing leaders (Start a turbo group, develop additional training resources, prepare existing leaders to take on apprentices)?

HANDOUT #7 2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com

Identifying Leaders

Additional Resources
Books, downloads and websites to help identify and train small group leaders.

BuildingSmallGroups: Small group ministry training resource from Christianity Today International www.BuildingSmallGroups.com

Leaders Guide
How to Use This Material

Training Materials
1. What to Reproduce Skill and Maturity 2. Harvesting Leaders 3. Growing Leaders 4. Are They Ready? Leadership Assessment Tool Three Scenarios 5. Preparing People to Lead 6. Release Them 7. Next Steps

Building Church Leaders: Leadership training resources from Christianity Today International. www.BuildingChurchLeaders.com Healthy Small Groups Training Theme and PowerPoint Growing Small Groups Training Theme and PowerPoint Spiritual Formation Training Theme and PowerPoint Recruiting and Staffing Training Theme and PowerPoint Building a Team Training Theme and PowerPoint Volunteer Development Training Theme and PowerPoint

WillowGroups: Small groups resources site of the Willow Creek Association www.willowcreek.com/smallgroups

Building a Church of Small Groups by Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson (Zondervan, 2001; ISBN 0310240352)

Leading Life-Changing Small Groups by Bill Donahue (Zondervan, 2002; ISBN 0310247500)

Additional Resources

The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman (Revell, 1993; ISBN 0800754670)

The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Group Ministry by Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson (Zondervan, 2002; ISBN 0310267110)

Unfinished Business: Returning the Ministry to the People of God by Greg Ogden (Zondervan, 2003; ISBN 0310246199)

2006 Christianity Today International and Willow Creek Association Visit BuildingSmallGroups.com and www.WillowGroups.com