This is Part 2 of this discussion. Click here to read Part 1.
To develop servant leaders right from the start of your small group, you need to learn how to SPOT potential leaders. As you begin your small group, you need to do four important things immediately.
- See each person as a potential servant leader – The truth is that God sees each person as a potential servant leader (Genesis 1:26-28). But what we see with our physical eyes are people with a lot of problems, or who are still immature, or who need to be helped first before they can help anybody. Actually, both are true in God’s eyes. He sees the potential but He also sees the work that needs to be done (John 1:42). We are to see our members from the same perspective. Given God’s help through His Holy Spirit, anybody can be somebody for God’s glory.
- Pray for God to send workers into His harvest field – The second thing you need to do is to pray for God to send workers into His harvest field. This is what Jesus did and commanded His disciples to do (see Matthew 9:35-38). Challenge each member of your small group to get involved in evangelism as soon as possible. In our church, we use the acrostic SHARP to help people choose how they would want to participate in what we call the MP4 process. The person who responds with action (not just intention) is the person whom God is already preparing for leadership. Tell everyone about the need for evangelism, i.e. for reaching out and finding the lost, etc. As you tell them, it would be good to show them by your example that you are also involved in it as well. In other words, you must challenge them both by your words and by your actions.
- Observe if any of your members are ready for leadership development – Not everyone will respond to your challenge. You must continue to pray and challenge everyone in every meeting, regardless of their response. Those who follow your example are the best candidates for leadership development. Pay attention to them. Give them some time to see if this is just temporary or whether God is creating passion in them for the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
- Talk to those who are ready for training – Once a person gets involved in evangelism, and you see their passion for it, then it’s time to talk with that person heart to heart. Tell that person of your desire to develop leaders right from the very start of your small group. Tell him or her about the process (I will discuss this process, which is called TRAIN, in my next blog post). Give him or her at least a week to pray about it, if necessary, so that his or her decision will not be impulsive. In our church, once a person decides to become a leader, he or she will join what we call a Timothy Accountability Group or TAG. This group consists of people who are being developed as leaders. They meet separately as a group, or the small group leader will meet with each one for personal mentoring. As a small group leader wanting to develop leaders, creating such a separate group for leadership development is crucial (Mark 3:13-19).
In summary, the best way to develop servant leaders right from the very start of your small group is to SPOT potential servant leaders. You do this by 1) Seeing each person as a potential servant leader, 2) Praying for God to send workers into His harvest field, 3) Observing if any of your members are ready for leadership development, and 4) Talking to those who are ready for training. Do this by faith and by the power of the Holy Spirit and you will see servant leaders rise up from among the members of your small group right from the start of your small group.
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Click here to read Part 3 of this series.