Few churches have an overabundance of Bible study small group leaders. In fact, almost every church I work with tells me their greatest need is more people willing and able to lead a small group.
In many instances the problem isn’t that there aren’t people willing to be leaders, the problem is that the small group point person at the church needs to know how to recruit these important leaders.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to remember when recruiting small group leaders in your church:
Do’s and Don’ts of recruiting small group leaders:
Do tell them your vision for the small group ministry. Vision, not need, is what captures people’s hearts. Tell them you dream of a time when 90 percent of people in the church are being transformed by being in a small group.
Don’t tell them you “need” more leaders. Remember, vision, not need is what captures future group leader’s hearts. In fact, using the word “need” makes it sound as though the ministry is struggling and no one wants to jump on a sinking ship.
Do let them know what the expectations are of every group leader. Then they know what will be expected of them, making it possible for them to determine whether or not they have the time to accomplish what is being asked of them.
Don’t downplay the expectations of a group leader. You may get them to lead for a while, but they’ll bail on you as soon as possible and never be willing to lead again.
Do ask them to pray about being a group leader for at least a week. You want to be sure they know God is calling them. If you don’t, they may bail on the group the first time there’s conflict or another difficult situation to deal with.
Don’t ask them on the spot to say “yes” or “no” to leadership.
Do tell them you’ll give them the training they need to be an effective small group leader then do what you’ve said you’ll do.
Don’t ask them to lead a group without telling them you’ll train them and give them the resources necessary to be an effective group leader.
Do tell them you’ll call them in a week to see if they’re willing to be a small group leader. If the response is “yes” to group leadership, celebrate. If the response is no, thank them for considering it and let them know how much you respect them for following God’s leadership.
Don’t miss calling on the day you said you’d call them. If you do, you can be almost certain they will not join the small group leadership team.
Rick Howerton has one passion — to see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.” He is pursuing this passion as the small group and discipleship specialist at Lifeway Church Resources.