Identifying Leaders in Groups

Questions to ask that'll help you find the natural leaders.

In all human interaction, there are two major ingredients: content and process. The first deals with the subject matter of the task on which a group is working. In a small group, this might be the specific songs picked, the subject of prayers and discussion, the icebreaker, etc. Usually, most people consciously focus on content. The second ingredient, however, may be even more important than content, though people are less likely to think consciously about it.

Process, or group dynamics, deals with such issues as morale, feeling, tone, atmosphere, influence, participation, styles of influence, etc. By looking at these issues, you may be more able to see who might be a good leader than if you just looked at mastery of skills. You also may be able to identify unhealthy sub-groups or leaders that need better direction or correction.


1) Who are the high participators? How about the low?

2) What reasons could exist for low participation on the part of some?

3) Who talks to whom in the group? Who talks to everyone?

4) Who attends regularly?


1) When a person talks, do others listen to him/her?

2) Who is the "advice giver" in the group? Who counsels from the Bible, rather than from experience?

3) Are there any rivalries in the group? If they exist, why and between whom?

Styles of Influence

1) Autocratic: Who tries to lead by indicating theirs is the way to go?

2) Peacemaker: Who eagerly supports the efforts of others? Who tries to smooth over disagreements between others?

3) Laissez-faire: Who gets attention for not doing anything and refusing to participate? Do they have a collective group following them?

4) Democratic: Who tries to include everyone and seeks consensus?

Decision-Making Processes:

1) Who gets talked to ...

Article Preview

This Article is currently available to subscribers only. To continue reading:

free newsletter

Sign Up For Our weekly Newsletter Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles.


Hungry for Transformation

Hungry for Transformation

Ruth Barton shares what it takes to experience life change in small groups.
Thank God for Failure

Thank God for Failure

And use it as an opportunity for growth.
Spiritual Director: Orientation Guide

Spiritual Director: Orientation Guide

Resources for shepherding, guiding, and providing spiritual care

On Spiritual Direction

A seasoned pastor seeks a guide to the interior regions of faith.

What Happens in Group Spiritual Direction?

Learn what it takes to lead, what models to follow, and what fruit to expect.

It Is Good To Praise The Lord

Pray one-sentence prayers based on chosen "Praise God" statements.