In Wednesday's post, I wrote about why identifying an apprentice matters. But how do you know which of your group members might make a good apprentice? It's important to remember that you're not looking for someone who can lead a group tomorrow. You're looking for a teachable group member who has the potential to be a great group leader in the future. Here are four qualities that will help you identify that kind of person.
1. Character Character is what makes a leader worth following. The foundation of character is a growing relationship with Jesus. Can your potential apprentice point to a time when he or she established a relationship with Jesus? Has he or she been growing in a relationship with Jesus for over two years?
2. Competence Is your potential apprentice teachable? Is he or she able to learn the skills necessary to create a predictable environment where healthy relationships and spiritual growth can happen? Does he or she have the relational skills to lead a group at some point in the future? Have you seen your potential apprentice display leadership skills in your group, such as facilitating group discussions, planning socials, or providing care to other group members?
3. Culture Is your potential apprentice a member of the church or is he or she willing to pursue membership? Is he or she committed to the mission and strategy of the church?
4. Chemistry Chemistry matters. You'll eventually be sharing leadership responsibilities with your apprentice. Have you been able to connect relationally with your potential apprentice? Have you seen your potential apprentice connect with the other members of your group? Are you comfortable with your potential apprentice's ability to relate to others?
If you can answer "yes" to all of the those questions, you've probably found a strong candidate for apprenticeship. If you can't, you may want to consider other group members or discuss your concerns with your Groups Director.