Once you’ve gathered the basic information about the groups in your system, it’s time to find out a little more, to look more closely at the leaders themselves. And as I mentioned in the first article in this series, there is a purpose to this step. From your diagnosis you’ll learn a lot about how to help your leaders and what needs to happen next in the development of your system.
There are several components in diagnosing the leaders in your system.
- How did they begin as a leader? Were they chosen at a connection? Did they volunteer as a host initially? Were they developed as an apprentice and then help launch a new group? Were they a member in a group and then took over as a leader after a previous leader stepped down? As you can see, there are a number of ways that a person might have ended up as a leader. Can you see how understanding the path they’re on might be important to know?
- Do they see themselves as a leader/shepherd of their group? Or do they see themselves as simply a host (someone who just opens their home and turns on the DVD player?
- Are they open to being discipled or developed?
- Do they have an active connection with a coach in your system? Do they have a “name only” connection with a coach? Have they rejected a previous coaching assignment?
- Do they see themselves and their group as an extension of the ministry of your church? Or would they describe themselves as “not really affiliated with your church?”
- Do they actively participate in leader training/encouragement events?
- Does their group participate when there is a church-wide study or alignment?
- Do they actively follow up when a potential new member expresses interest in their group?
- Do they do everything for their group? Or are they actively sharing leadership with other members?
- Do they lead every session? Or are they rotating the facilitation among their members?
- Does the group always meet at the leader’s home? Or are they rotating their meeting place?
These are the basic questions I use in developing an understanding of the leaders in my system. You may have others. The key is to actively develop a better understanding of the leaders who are building the members in your groups.