Remember that aim small means aligning the sight closest to you with the sight at the end of the barrel and the intended target. Aiming group leaders starts by selecting people in your circle, training them to be authentic in how they live and communicate, and giving them spiritual growth targets to aim for.
Small group leader recruitment models vary a great deal in churches. There are churches who require people to have been in a small group for a certain period of time to learn the culture and go through a process of training. There are other churches that small group leaders simply need to open their home, be hospitable, play a video and facilitate discussion. FAT is an acronym often used to help recognize potential leaders. They are Faithful, Available and Teachable.
Use Churchteams to create a Potential Small Group Leader group. Besides contact information, customize the group view to include:
- Notes (Leadership Type)
- Current Group Involvement
- Previous Group Involvement
- Training completion dates
This group is now your dashboard for recruiting leaders. A quick glance and you can see how FAT they are. Use Notes to track your interaction with them including notifying you of planned follow-up conversations. Run the Member Consistency Report across all groups to get an idea of their actual involvement consistency.
Training on authenticity is a matter of culture. Often in church life people are compelled to put their best foot forward and only in extreme cases do they offer the last 10-20% of their sin issues. Confession of sin is a lost art in many churches. Prayer is more for health needs of friends and relatives than sin issues in my life.
The best place to learn these practices are often in the support and recovery side of the ministry. Unless your pastoral team models confession, it is unlikely to be part of the culture even if leader training includes it.
Prayer is the key to recognizing authenticity. This is why the weekly email meeting reports are so helpful. If you are recruiting a leader, pay attention to the prayer requests of a current group they are in. Or email, text or call them to ask for prayer requests. Track these in your notes for them in the software. Then go back and review these notes. A survey of them will help you know how authentic they are in their relationship with you and with God. If you know them well, you might even ask them what sin issue they struggle with that you can pray for. Just be ready to share yours as well.
The target of your disciple-making aim is the reason leaders are interested and willing to invest their lives in leading a group. It is often communicated regularly from the stage, written about in newsletters, talked about in casual conversations, and the focus of training.
You can not make your description of what a disciple looks like too clear for people. In fact, the clearer / smaller you can make it, the better. For instance the keystone habit for discipleship is abiding in Christ. Defining what it means to dwell with Him daily is central to making disciples.
Most churches have some sort of vision statement that is often accompanied by a series of several values, purposes or statements that illustrate what it means to walk with Jesus. You will pick up on these from the email reports you get from leaders, but tracking and helping with these is a big part of the coaching role. Growthfinder is customizable spiritual growth assessment built into Churchteams that helps with this as well. I will talk about both of these in upcoming blog posts.