Note: This article has been excerpted from the SmallGroups.com training tool called Recruiting New Small-Group Leaders.
The biggest problem churches face in recruiting small-group leaders is that they are confused about what they are looking for. It is as if they go fishing for trout using the tackle designed for walleye. They either don't catch anything at all, or they catch the wrong kind of fish. Their confusion is caused by their own lack of clarity about purpose.
Small-group leaders are found through eye contact, not pulpit appeals. They want to be part of something big, participate in an opportunity for their own personal growth, and make the world a better place. They are not looking for a job description, but a lifestyle expectation.
So here you are, maverick church, standing alone in a very cold stream, casting a bold vision for life-changing small groups. Notice the repetitive movement. Be patient. Keep casting. If occasionally your line gets tangled in a tree or an ecclesiastical board meeting, don't lose your temper and don't be sidetracked. Keep on casting that vision of serious, profound, spiritual growth and maturity in Christ.
Since that actual "cast" will take the form of a one-to-one, eye-to-eye, conversation with potential leaders, you need a short list of people to approach. If your church uses spiritual gift assessments, look for people strong in the gifts of hospitality, evangelism, or counseling. However, inventories are often too generic to be effective. Use the characteristics below to put together a customized profile of your church's ideal small-group leader:
- Deep, daily spirituality. The leader has a clearly focused faith that pervades both personal and professional life.
- Intentional confidentiality. The leader invites immediate trust and gives reliable guarantees to preserve secrets.