I get a lot of questions. Most I just answer with a quick email and a link to one of my almost 1900 articles.
Some questions are fairly common, truly a frequently asked question, and they end up as blog posts.
“What can I require of my small group leaders?” is that kind of question.
What Can I “Require” of My Small Group Leaders?
That’s a good question, don’t you think? You may have wondered the very same thing. You may have a small group leader “job description” and wonder whether you’re asking your leaders to do the right things. You may also be wondering if what you’re asking them to do is unreasonable.
I think the answer to the question, “What can I require of my small group leaders?” depends on who your leaders are and what you want them to become.
Who Your Leaders Are
I’ve written before that I want to make it as easy as possible for people to step into leadership and nearly automatic that they step onto a leader development conveyor belt. Should the job description of the new leader be the same as the job description of the veteran? Or could what you expect of your leaders depend on where they are on the leader development conveyor belt?
Example #1: In our last church-wide campaign (Transformed) over 350 people heard our invitation to do the study with a couple friends and picked up a Host Kit at Group Central. We said, “If you have a couple friends you’d like to do the study with, we want to help you, We’ve made it easy and affordable and you can do it.”
What did we require of them?
- They had to fill out a form giving us their name, best email, best phone, and they had the option to indicate the type of group they would be hosting (by the way, that was the only mention of “group” in the invitation or the form).
- They were sent a series of emails with tips, ideas, and information designed to help them (and those they invited) have a great experience.
- They were invited to the Host Rally.
Can you see that filling out the simple form was the only requirement?
Why were the requirements so minimal? We wanted to make it as easy as possible for as many as possible to step into leadership and nearly automatic that they step onto a leader development conveyor belt.
Opening and reading our regular emails encouraged them to step onto the leader development conveyor belt. Attending the Host Rally encouraged them to stay on the conveyor belt.
As the Transformed campaign unfolded these new hosts (and their members) learned about a study we were recommending if they wanted to continue. They could see it at Group Central. If they chose to continue they were assigned a coach. At that point it became the coach’s responsibility to begin to do TO and FOR the host the things we want our leaders to do TO and FOR their members.
Can you see there could be the essence of a job description shift at that point?
Example #2: In preparation for our last church-wide campaign (Transformed) our existing leaders were invited to attend a leader briefing the first weekend of June (to hear about the September launch of Transformed). We had good attendance (about 40% of our existing leaders). We recorded the preview and made portions of it available for replay and then emailed the link to the video to the leaders who did not attend the briefing.
Were our leaders required to attend the briefing? No. They were invited.
Existing leaders are connected to a coach and responsive to requests for information about their group. In order to remain in our system they are required to have a certain level of responsiveness. We don’t keep unresponsive groups in our system.
Example #3: As the Transformed campaign ramped up, existing leaders (of groups in our system) were invited to pick up their DVD and leader packet at Group Central, which was prominently placed on our campus. Only existing leaders (of groups in our system) were allowed to pick up the DVD and leader packet at Group Central. “Leaders” of groups that were not in our system were required to complete a simple form to rejoin the system and receive their DVD and packet.
Completing the form and rejoining the system renewed our ability to send them the series of emails with tips, ideas, and information designed to help them (and those they invited) have a great experience.
Why did we make it that simple? We want to make it as easy as possible to begin and nearly automatic that they step onto our leader development conveyor belt.
What You Want Them to Become
The answer to the question, “What can I require of my small group leaders?” depends on who your leaders are and what you want them to become.
Can you see that what you want them to become is not really about requirements?
Requirements have more to do with what you want them to be.
I believe we have a better chance of keeping them on the leader development conveyor belt if we focus on doing the right things TO and FOR our leaders.
Can you see that I really believe we need to focus less on what we require and more on what we will do TO and FOR the leaders of groups? Focusing on requirements is the wrong angle. Focusing on development results in leaders who will do the right things TO and FOR their members.
Image by thinkpublic