As a Community Group leader, you have the privilege of not only being a part of the story God is writing in the lives of your group members but you also have a front row seat as their spiritual journey unfolds. With this privilege comes responsibilities and opportunities.
If your group has been meeting for longer than six months, now is a great time to put the leadership essential of Replace Yourself into practice. But if you’ve tried throwing out the question to the group, “Does anyone want to be an apprentice?” and you’ve been on the receiving end of awkward silence and averted eye contact, you may wonder how you can possibly replace yourself with anyone in this group.
Well, they say approach is everything, and we agree! Start by asking yourself these questions:
- As you’ve journeyed together, which group member(s) specifically stand out as potential leaders? You’re not looking for someone who is ready to lead tomorrow, but someone who, with a little development, could be a great spiritual role model for others.
- With that in mind, which group member(s) would make a great apprentice? Think through these four qualities for each member in the group.
- Whose best next step in their spiritual growth is leadership?
Hopefully, this approach will help you narrow down who specifically in your group is ready for this next step. Once you’ve identified a potential apprentice (or two or three), how do you invite them into the role with a different outcome than before?
Again, the approach is everything and the invitation can be meaningful, encouraging, and inspiring if you do a few simple things:
- Write down the potential you’ve noticed and the qualities you have seen that would make that member a good apprentice. Also, think through how you personally have grown spiritually through leadership.
- Find a time to connect one on one with that group member.
- In your time together, talk to them about how you have observed his/her leadership potential, the qualities that make you believe he/she would be a great fit for the role and add value to the group, how God has grown you through leadership, and finally how you believe this would be a great next step on his/her spiritual journey.
- Invite him/her to prayerfully consider the role of apprentice and set a time for a follow up conversation.
- End your time together by praying for wisdom and discernment for both of you as you follow Jesus.
At the end of the day, no matter what the outcome of the conversation is, you have taken the opportunity to intentionally invest in the lives of those God has brought into your sphere of influence. You have honored him in response to the privilege that leadership provides. You’ve also taken another step in fulfilling our mission to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus.