Apprentices are the key to a Bible study small group ministry that grows numerically while also making disciples that make disciples. An apprentice is a future small group leader who is mentored by the current leader of the group the apprentice is currently attending. In almost every instance, it is best if the small group leader determines who the apprentice for his or her group will be. But very few group leaders know what to look for when determining who will fill this vital role.
- Ask these questions to determine who will be an effective apprentice:
- Are they fully on board with the vision of the church and the small group strategy your church utilizes?
- Are they in agreement with the theology and doctrinal perspective of your church?
- Is the Bible their guide for life?
- Do they have the heart of a shepherd? That is, will they nurture and protect a flock/small group?
- Are they engaged in daily spiritual disciplines?
- Is the possible apprentice a person of integrity? That is, do they live by the ideals they verbalize?
- Do they know and understand the gospel? Are they able to explain it? If not, are they willing to allow you to aid them in learning this essential aspect of Christian leadership?
- Are they teachable?
- Do the other group members listen attentively when they speak? If so, this is a good sign that they are already perceived as having leadership qualities.
- Are they willing to fall under the authority of the church leadership, be directed by them, held accountable by them, and attend training and events that are made available to them?
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.