Problem-Free Leader Identification and Recruitment

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As we've discussed previously, there is no problem-free.  Every solution comes with a set of problems.  Knowing that, wise people simply choose the problems they'd rather have and select the solution they like based on that.

Is there a problem-free way to identify and recruit small group leaders?  No.  Every method of identifying and recruiting small group leaders comes with a set of problems.  Wise small group pastors simply choose the problems they'd rather have and select their method based on that.

To demonstrate how this might work, let's look at the problems that come with two methods of leader identification and recruitment.

New Leaders Must Apprentice First

Problem Set

  • Apprentices take time to develop
  • Once developed they may decline to leave and launch their own group
  • Apprentice leaders may move away before they launch their own group
  • The church may grow faster than apprentices can be developed

Recruited Via Pastor's Message

Problem Set

  • Unknown people may respond
  • Not everyone who volunteers will follow through
  • Unsuitable people may volunteer
  • Some who volunteer may not be willing/capable of inviting their own group members
  • Not everyone who volunteers will continue beyond 6 weeks

These lists aren't intended to be exhaustive.  In fact, you might come up with additional problems that need to be listed.  Once you have your problem sets completed, the next step is to determine which of the problems could be controlled somehow.  For example, many churches would require new HOSTS to attend an orientation and meet some additional requirements.  That may cause you to be more open to unacceptable volunteers, knowing that there are required steps that may restrict their participation.  At the same time, you may determine that your group system is growing at a faster pace than your adult worship attendance and conclude that you'll be able to develop apprentice leaders fast enough.

Finally, I like to say that there's an upside and a downside to everything.  That said, I routine land on the HOSTS solution to identifying and developing leaders because I like the upside that it presents and I'm willing to accept the downside represented by the problem set.


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