As I mentioned in my blog post yesterday, I spent last week with small group point people leading small group ministries in Salvation Army
churches/corps. My role wasn’t as much to teach them, as to partner with one of their own, Chip Kelly
to lead discussions with point people doing small groups in their corps (their term for a church). At one point I was to lead a discussion on small group leader training. I was all ears as much of my work is the training of small group leaders. When I asked them about their delivery system for doing training, one of the persons in the room quickly spoke up and said, “I’ll confess, I don’t do training.” There was a long silence then one of these amazing people told me how she did training. She is a small group point person in Puerto Rico. Below you’ll find the step-by-step process that she revealed to us.
Step 1 – I find someone who I believe has leadership potential.
Step 2 – I ask them to be in my group.
Step 3 – As I have tasks that the person I’ve chosen can accomplish, I ask them to do them. These are small things, not leading a discussion, etc… When they have done it well, I thank them and affirm them.
Step 4 – I continue to do step 3. I am building them up as they are working alongside me in my group.
Step 5 – When I have to miss a meeting I ask that person to lead the group. Sometimes they push back telling me their not capable. I encourage them telling them they’ve seem me do this again and again and that they not only know what to do but that they’ll do it well.
Step 6 – When I get back from my trip I ask them how it went and affirm them. I ask them what was difficult for them. After they tell me I make a few suggestions.
Step 7 – Each time I’m gone I ask them to lead the group and then do step 6.
Step 8 – When I believe they’re ready, I ask them to lead a group of their own.
When she finished describing this process I said… “Now, before you started this process, you told this individual that they would someday be leading a group of their own, right?” I wish I could remember the precise response that I got but I cannot. I can tell you this, the theme of the response was, “If I’d told that person they would someday be a leader, they wouldn’t have joined me in this.”
As I looked around the room I realized there was a consensus. The guy who first said he wasn’t training anyone… Sounds like he was using the same model.
This is GREAT STUFF, my small group pastor friends. Read those steps again, integrate them into your system if at all possible. And, if you’re a church just starting to do small groups and you’re wise enough to not get in a hurry to have a bunch of groups immediately realize this… This is the best way to grow a small group ministry.