I've written about insights often over the last 15 years. Sometimes an insight will take a long time to clarify. Like the moment when sugar at the right temperature begins to caramelize. It's been gently warming. Patiently. And then suddenly you notice that the white crystals are turning lightly brown on the edges.
Other times an insight develops in a flash; more like a lightbulb experience. An aha moment. One second you were blind to it. The next it seemed like you had always known it.
Here's an insight that might forever change the way you see your percentage unconnected (You read that right. While we usually talk about percentage connected, this insight has to do with percentage unconnected).
First, a tiny amount of math.
As you will remember, the percentage connected is determined by dividing your average adult worship attendance into the number of currently attending group members. If you have an average adult worship attendance of 500 and you have 200 "attending" group members, you can easily figure out your percentage connected by dividing 500 into 200 (i.e., 500/200 = .4 or 40%).
And your percentage "unconnected"? Simple. To find your percentage "unconnected" simply divide 500 into 300 (i.e., 500/300 = .6 or 60%.
Second, a little background to set up the insight.
Normally, one of the first questions you will have after determining your percentage unconnected is "Where will I find enough leaders to start enough new groups to connect the unconnected people in our congregation and crowd?" Another thought is often, "How can I get the unconnected people in our congregation and crowd to give a small group a try?"
Today's insight deals with the first question: "Where will I find enough leaders to start enough new groups to connect the unconnected people in our congregation and crowd?"
The expected answer to the first question? "The leaders we need are currently attending a group." Note: The assumption being, the highest potential leaders are members in a group they aren't leading.
Right? Isn't that what we would ordinarily think?
In fact, we would normally begin thinking about people we know who are official apprentice leaders, co-leaders of existing groups, members of groups who should be leading but aren't.
Tracking with me?
Here's the insight: The leaders you need aren't already in a group.
You read that right.
While there are certainly high potential leaders who are already in a group; (i.e., the men and women we listed previously, official apprentice leaders, co-leaders of existing groups, etc.), the largest number of high potential leaders are not currently in a group. At least not in the numbers you'd need to connect the whole percentage unconnected.
They're not already in a group?
Nope. They're in the percentage unconnected.
Again. Here's the insight: The high potential leaders you need aren't already in a group. They are in the percentage unconnected.
Why is that such an important insight?
This is an important insight for several reasons:
First, you probably don't know many of the unconnected percentage connected.
Think about it. If they're not already in a group, most likely they are slipping in a few minutes late and leaving to pick up their kids during the last song. By the time you get out of the auditorium they're ordering their lunch.
That means you won't be able to tap them on the shoulder and invite them to lead.
Second, your current methods of fishing for new small group leaders probably isn't getting their attention. While they sometimes wish they were more connected at your church, they're pretty content with their current situation. They're not likely to sign up to attend a small group leader training meeting or class. There will be sign-ups for your leader training meeting; just not the highest potential leaders.
That means you won't find them by holding a training or class.
Third, your current group launching strategies will only help if they're of the sort that identifies potential leaders (i.e., the Small Group Connection or GroupLink). All other group launching strategies depend on pre-qualified leaders.
What to do with this insight?
First, pay closer attention to your percentage unconnected. In almost every case your percentage unconnected will be the larger number (and in most cases it will be larger by a lot). See also, How to Design NEXT Steps and FIRST Steps
Second, be sure and allow the size of your percentage unconnected to shape your leader identification, recruitment, and development strategies. See also, What Does Your Percentage Connected Say about Your Ministry Design?
Third, make sure at least one of your leader identification strategies is aimed at unconnected people. If everything you do is aimed at those who are already connected you will always run the risk of missing the always closing window of opportunity to recruit from your percentage unconnected. See also, What's Your Urgency Level for Connecting Unconnected People?
Make sure at least one of your leader identification strategies is aimed at unconnected people. If everything you do is aimed at those who are already connected you will always run the risk of missing the always closing window of… Click To Tweet