I don’t know about you, but I always need more small group leaders! The work God is doing in our congregation is rooted in community, so I have four tips that have proven to be helpful!
Pray For Your Potential Leaders- It’s all about the prepping. Before I even make an ask of somebody to be a small group leader, I pray that they would be stepping into the potential God has for them, not a role I want filled. I usually start this process about two months prior to asking the potential leaders if they would consider leading. Because when I ask someone to be a leader, I want more for them than from them. I want to help them participate in the work of the Lord, not my own work. As a Small Group Director, I am always trying to make our process better and this first step is a continual reminder to me that the work we are doing is fruit that God will establish. My role is to do the planting and make the ask. God’s job is to prime the hearts and develop the fruit. But, how can we accomplish the end goal without prayer?
Engage With Your Environment Watch for potential leaders! There’s a lot you can learn about someone just by observing their interactions. I may watch a potential leader interact with guests on a Sunday, or if I know they serve in another capacity like leading a mission’s team, I may ask the Missions Director about that potential leader. The more I know the individuals’ gifts and wiring, the better I can set them up for success as a leader or co-leader. In addition to observing, almost weekly I am making notes on my phone of names of people who I want to get to know and build a relationship with. Who do I want to know more? Who do I see has potential for leading in the future? Then, I begin to engage with them over the course of several weeks through friendly conversation because even if they say no to leading a small group, I will at least have made a new friend!
Make the Ask– How you phrase the ask can make it or break it. A few guidelines I use:
Want more for them than from them
Express a need and how they can fulfill the need
Describe the great opportunity to be a part of expanding the Kingdom through community
Assure them that they won’t be doing it alone
Follow- Up- The final crucial step is follow-up. We all have good intentions, but sometimes we just don’t follow through. Plenty of people get busy at home or work picks up at the office. They may have said yes to God but forgot to say yes back to you. Don’t let them fall through the cracks and remind them through an e-mail or an invitation to coffee.
Not every step may fit your current small group structure. My encouragement to you is to find the pieces that do work and figure out how you can make the asking process even better. If you serve in a small group capacity, you are likely already comfortable with asking and engaging. But the question is, how can you make it better and more relational instead of just a process?