I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is smallgroup.com, whose team developed this post.
Imagine with me for a minute. It’s September. You have signed up new leaders and launched your fall groups push. Things seem to be going great—until you start hearing about groups that are no longer meeting, leaders who have given up, and members who are frustrated with your church’s latest attempt at “fostering community.”
Chances are you didn’t plan to lead your new leaders after the launch. We tend to put a lot of time and planning into the launch of new groups but little into the important days after they are launched. If you’re not intentional, your leaders will quickly become frustrated and feel used by the church. Here are four things that can quickly kill off your leaders.
1. Little communication from the staff
New leaders need continued guidance from the church leadership. It’s not possible to over-communicate with a new leader in the first few months of the group. There will be a point where you will be able to give them some space, but they need to know you are walking through this with them. Don’t leave your leaders on an island to fend for themselves.
2. No clear direction on what’s next
If you want your groups to continue after the initial weeks of a study, they will need a plan for what’s next. That’s why leaders need a content plan that guides the group through a healthy discipleship journey. One of the tools LifeWay has developed for this need is smallgroup.com. Smallgroup.com gives churches the content and delivery system to make your groups’ next steps easy and obvious.
3. Lack of appreciation
It’s tempting to move on to the next thing and not take time to appreciate the effort your leaders are putting in now. They will be more willing to do it again if they feel like it was worth the effort. Budget in times throughout the year to show leaders how important they are. A well-timed coffee or meal can go a long way with a struggling or tired leader.
4. No ongoing training
It’s easy to send off new leaders with curriculum and a DVD of basic training. But if you want them to continue and grow as leaders, they will need more than that. Develop a plan for next steps training that helps raise their leadership capacity. This is a great opportunity to start building your small groups leadership pipeline to develop your next leaders, coaches, and pastors.
If you work as hard at shepherding your small group leaders as you do planning the launch, you will have healthy disciple-makers in your church. And that should be the goal.
Register here or in the form below by the end of the day today, June 22, 2016, to win one of the two free annual memberships to smallgroup.com. Anyone can try smallgroup.com free for two weeks by going to smallgroup.com and clicking “Start my free trial now.”