I was so fortunate to attend the Small Group Network (SGN) “Lobby Gathering” this past March. Being together and talking with other small group leaders who get the joy and challenge of creating, encouraging, building and leading small groups on a church campus speaks my love language…connecting people. If you have not been to the SGN Lobby, I would highly recommend going!
One of the most common conversations I had and was discussed while I was at the conference was “how do you recruit or find good small group leaders?”
I am the life group Director at a church in San Diego. We are 5 campuses, 2500 people and 179 life groups. Our team has been able to grow to a 70% connection rate. Obviously, we did not do this overnight. It took years of prayer, and of course God’s provision. But along the way we learned and adopted some shared best practices. That is what I love about the SGN Lobby, you don’t have to figure it out by yourself. Utilizing these best practices can totally catapult your small group ministry.
So here we go! Four of our Best Practices for Recruiting Small Group Leaders
- Where do I Look? Raising up an apprentice leader in the groups you currently have is by far the best way to grow your life group leaders. No one knows these new people better than your current amazing small group leaders. Your small group leaders are demonstrating what it looks like to be a leader every week. They will know who to look for. Members who take the group seriously by coming prepared, are relational and encouraging to the other members, go on outreaches and just naturally have people following them or seeking them for prayer or guidance. I would also suggest having a conversation with the host home leader. They are most often “people-people” and are able to talk openly and authentically with others. They most likely have other gifts and skills and just need some encouragement spoken into them.
- Vision, do you have one? Do you know how to communicate it within 2-5 minutes when talking to prospective leaders in a passionate way? People will always respond to the vision or the ”Why” of something than a need. Who wants to just fill a spot. People want to be involved with something that is bigger than themselves, which has longevity and makes a difference in the lives of others. When you present the role of a life group leader as an opportunity to encourage others in their gifts and talents and see true life transformation take place that’s exciting, others will be excited too!
- ICNU (I see in you) conversations, are meetings with prospective small group leaders to tell them the potential you see in them. Great characteristics such as trustworthiness, caring, fun, encourager, honest, humble, a great listener… and the list goes on, are all qualities of good leaders. Our words can carry a lot of power, so letting someone know the leadership characteristics you observe in them can help them to see it in themselves.
- Invite them! Ask the question. Don’t underestimate the power of “the ask!” And don’t assume…”oh they’re to busy, “ or “they have little ones,” or whatever excuse we make for them. Ask the potential leader to join you in prayer about the Call to be a small group leader. Be sure to follow-up with them.
Remember, no one leads alone. Reassure your up coming leaders that you or one of your coaches will meet with them regularly for training and encouragement. I pray these points will help you and your team raise up your next small group leaders to discover, develop and dream about God’s mission in their lives.
For more on recruiting leaders, listen to our podcast “Ten Things To Consider When Recruiting Your Team”