By Bill Search
Once you've discovered the future leader in your group, the next question is what do you do with them? How do you get them involved in the art of leadership?
The first thing you want to do is you want to pray. You want to pray for them and pray that God would pull them towards leadership.
Encourage them in their abilities.
The second thing you will want to do is encourage them and let them know what you see in them. Let me warn you right now, their first response will most likely be, "No, I don't think so." In fact, if you look through the scriptures, most leaders that God called at some point early in the conversation said, "I'm not able to do that." So encourage them. Let them know what you see in them and then start to give them responsibilities. Maybe have them lead the discussion. Maybe give them a bigger responsibility, like coordinating a service project for the group.
Invite them to join you.
One of the best ways they can further learn the skills of a leader is by joining you in the opportunities you have as a leader. Maybe it's a special event. Maybe it's a conversation with your coach or your small group pastor. You say to them, "Hey, I'd like you to come along with me on this one," and insist that they join.
Encourage others to encourage them.
Then get everybody in the group involved in the game. Say to the rest of the group, "Hey, do you see what's happening here? Don't you agree that this guy or girl would make a great leader?" Get them involved in encouraging and pushing them towards that.
Then finally keep praying for them. Pray for them until they lead, and then when they lead their own groups, keep praying for them.
And that is how you get future leaders to become current leaders.
*This is the twenty-fifth post in a series of 27 Tips for Small Group Leaders
BILL SEARCH is the author of Simple Small Groups. He has served in ministry for nearly 20 years. Bill loves spending time with his family, drinking great coffee, listening to jazz, and enjoying the great outdoors.
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