[We recently had a series of posts about apprenticing, but I thought it might be interesting to hear from a Community Group leader on the subject. Kelli Spivey leads a women's group out of Buckhead Church. Here's what she has to say about the importance of developing future leaders.]
There are a million good things we do with our time. We lead our weekly group meetings, meet with group members outside of group, and are involved in the personal communities where we find support and encouragement. All of these things are essential, but we also need to make time for apprenticing. It's worth the investment.
As Community Group leaders, we have the opportunity to invest in people and lead them deeper in their walks with Jesus. For some members of our groups, that kind of investment means inviting them into apprenticeship. The goal is for your apprentice to lead a Community Group once your current group ends. This allows for group multiplication rather than just addition. Without an apprentice, you add to your influence as a leader year after year. With an apprentice you multiply your influence as your investment continues not only through your Community Group members, but the people your apprentice invests in.
It's tempting to neglect the opportunity to apprentice because we’re not sure where to begin and we lack the time. The process begins when we model what a small group leader is and does and when we give group members opportunities to lead. This small step allows your apprentice to practice some of the skills that he or she has seen you model for many weeks. With your support and feedback, your apprentice will continue to grow as a leader.
Many people just need someone to believe they have what it takes to be a leader and someone to invest time in them. So, look within your small group and ask God if there is someone with leadership potential. Communicate that you believe in that person. Let your apprentice lead. Have conversations about leadership. Begin the journey of apprenticing.
Take the challenge! If you invest in an apprentice, you will multiply your impact and legacy in leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.