There really is no magic formula or secret to developing apprentice leaders. The formula is right in the Gospels! Jesus still provides our best model. The greatest step to take is to pray and ask God for His heart for raising up others to serve in the group, church, and community. Admit your plans are faulty, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. After you have prayed extensively, consider some (or all) of the following steps to form your thinking and action:
1. Recruit people to work and serve. Seek to match those called by God to work in the church to the job God has called them to do.
Ask yourself these recruiting questions:
a. Who is faithful?
b. Who understands your vision (and the vision of the small group ministry)?
c. Who is eager to learn?
d. Who is God "pointing out"?
e. What person/couples seem to be the natural leaders of the group/team?
f. Do they have the ability to train others?
g. What specific skills do they have?
h. What criteria are you going to use to determine whom you release?
i. Who are you going to release and on what basis?
j. What types of "ministry opportunities" do you encounter on a regular basis?
k. Who would be good candidates to be trained to minister along side you?
Visiting group members ___
Praying for the sick/discouraged ___
Fun times ___
2. Train people over a period of time. Your goal will be to develop people who are informed, articulate and skilled in their "ministry area," and transformed in character as a leader.
3. Deploy people while they are still apprentices. Hands-on experience is essential to leadership development.
4. Monitor and nurture each apprentice.
5. Get out of their way and allow them ...