We’ve been taking a detailed look at what I believe are the top 5 small group ministry roadblocks; the things that stand in the way of a truly thriving small group ministry. See also, 10 Powerful Benefits of a Thriving Small Group Ministry.
Today I want to spend some time on a very serious issue: a leadership development disconnect.
Roadblock #5: A Leadership Development Disconnect
There are several threads to this roadblock:
- No leadership development plan
- High capacity leaders aren’t identified
- A lack of awareness of span of care issues
Issue #1: No leadership development plan: Whether your small group ministry system is designed to make it easy to step into leadership (like the HOST strategy) or you have a high bar of leadership that has front end hoops and training, without a leadership development plan, you’ll suffer a similar fate. More than anything…the members of your groups won’t experience what you hope they will.
Solution: One of the most important ingredients in any small group ministry strategy is leadership development. Ignoring the need for a leadership development pathway always sets up a bad outcome. See also, Steve Gladen on Saddleback’s Leadership Development Pathway and Leader Qualification: Raising the Bar, Lowering the Bar or Open Bar?
Issue #2: High capacity leaders aren’t identified: Whether you acknowledge it or not, we’re not all created equally. Instead, we really are created uniquely. And one of the lessons of the Parable of the Talents is that there should be a connection between what we’re given to work with and our ability. When there is a leadership development disconnect…high capacity leaders can’t really play a part according to their ability.
Solution: Recognize the uniquenesses of your leaders and recruit wisely. Utilizing everyone according to their ability engages the highest capacity leaders in your congregation and produces fruitfulness and fulfillment systemwide. See also, 5 Assumptions That Set Small Group Coaching Up to #FAIL and Diagnosis: The Coaches in Your System.
Issue #3: A lack of awareness of span of care issues: Carl George said it well: “Everyone needs to be cared for by someone, but nobody can really care for more than about 10 people.” Derived from what Jethro taught Moses in Exodus 18, both care and leadership development suffer when this principle is violated.
Solution: The appropriate and skillful application of a coaching structure allows for sufficient care while engaging the abilities of higher capacity leaders. A good coaching structure also enables the small group pastor to focus on identifying, recruiting and developing coaches. See also, Span of Care and Building an Effective Coaching Structure.
Miss the beginning of the series? You can read Roadblock #1: A Doubtful or Conflicted Senior Pastor right here.
What do you think? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.