You probably know this…but the Twelve were not chosen from the usual suspects. I know for some that line all by itself might cause you to lump me in with the riffraff. Sorry about that. But sometimes the truth hurts.
It’s true, though. When Jesus selected the twelve apostles, they were not first round material. They were clearly the b team. They were the riffraff. They were the ‘am ha’ares; the people of the land.
I like what John MacArthur points out in Twelve Ordinary Men (there’s a first time for everything…I’ve never cited MacArthur before):
“When Jesus chose the Twelve to be His official representatives …He didn’t choose a single rabbi. He didn’t choose a scribe. He didn’t choose a Pharisee. He didn’t choose a Sadducee. He didn’t choose a priest…He chose instead men who were not theologically trained–fishermen, a tax collector, and other common men (p. 7).”
Why am I telling you this?
One of the most significant missteps when planning a small group launch (church-wide campaign or otherwise) is to select leaders exclusively from the core…what I often refer to as “the usual suspects.”
Why is that a misstep?
There are several reasons but the first and most important is that in most cases the folks in the square (to refer to the diagram) will tell you that 8, 9, or even all 10 of their best friends…are also inside the square. To use my friend Allen White’s favorite metaphor, just like a Lego block, there’s a limit to how many people they can connect to…and they’re full! I explain this much more thoroughly in Clue #1 When Designing Your Small Group System.
Second, new leaders recruited from closer to crowd’s edge are more likely to have friends, family, neighbors and co-workers from the community. They often have the exact opposite situation than members from the core and will tell you that 8, 9, or even all 10 of their best friends have never been to your church.
Third, once a church reaches a certain size (not average attendance, but total number of adults in the crowd) it is way too easy for some of the most qualified potential leaders to simply disappear into the shadows. Where’s that number? Hard to say exactly, but when you see people in the grocery store and know that you’ve seen them at church but don’t know their story…you’re there.
What do you think? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.