We recruited HOSTS to open their homes for six weeks, serve a few refreshments and tell a few of their friends…but how does a HOST burn into a leader? Isn’t that more than they signed up to do?
Ever asked that one? It’s a great question and one being asked everywhere that the host idea is being used. Everywhere. So what’s the answer? What’s the recipe for starting with a host and ending up with a leader or shepherd? Healthy doses of intentionality and time are the most important ingredients…with a dash of awareness that there is no problem-free.
What are the issues?
- Recruiting hosts can easily yield candidates that are only available/willing to take responsibility for six weeks.
- Recruiting hosts can easily yield candidates that are outgoing, relational people that aren’t growing spiritually (or ready to commit to much more than they’re already doing).
- You can’t recruit someone to host for six weeks and then expect more (with integrity). You can offer more and make more possible as long as you’re also commending and rewarding a six week commitment fulfilled.
What are the steps to the transition from host to leader/shepherd?
- Reaffirm their six-week commitment at the orientation.
- Prepare your hosts for the possibility that they may feel called/inspired to continue by what God does in their group.
- Connect each host with a "coach" who will begin to form a relationship that could continue beyond the launching series.
- The coach should understand that a win is "doing to the host whatever you want to happen at the member level in the group (praying for members, caring for them, developing transparency, etc.).
- A weekly check-in for six weeks will often lead to enough of a relationship between hosts and coach that it will continue regardless of the host’s path.
- Activities and the beginnings of intentional shepherding can be introduced in the first few weeks that will make it easier to develop a leader/shepherd over time.
- Whatever you want the coaches to be doing to and for the hosts…must be being done to and for your coaches.
Is that a problem-free solution? No. Will it produce more leaders/shepherds than what you’re currently doing? Probably.