FAQ: How do you recruit leaders?
Wow-- this is one area that a little more intentionality and strategic planning could help us a lot. I would say that leaders probably recruit us more than we recruit them. But every semester, we have an average of 30 people go through Leadership 101. Of those, about half become new small group and ministry leaders.
Here's our very non-strategic approach:
Group Apprenticeship Recruitment
Most new leaders come from our existing small groups. We don't even have a uniform name for them-- apprentice leaders, potential leaders, leaders-in-training, etc, but it all stems from our "Make One" strategy. Every group leader knows that it's their responsibility to reproduce themselves by raising up new leaders. We reinforce this goal each week as they are asked to list their potential leaders on their weekly group Win Sheet (we'll describe the Win Sheet in our next FAQ installment on communication). About a month before Leadership 101, group leaders will cast a vision of leadership and discipleship for their potential leaders, encourage them to attend Leadership 101, and then help them walk through the Leadership Process. This strategy works like clockwork when a group is busting at the seams and needs to multiply.
Active Leader Recruitment
Every leader knows that part of their mission is to "Make One." Since we drill that into their brains, our best leaders are constantly on the lookout for potential leaders-- even those not currently in their groups. When I meet with people and the conversation turns towards their passions and interests, I often encourage them to look for ways of turning those into disciple-making opportunities and invite them to participate in a group and attend Leadership 101.
Leadership 101 Announcements
We make sure the entire church knows about Leadership 101 and encourage everyone to come. We do this by putting a prominent "ad" in the Discipleship Atlas each semester. And we make bulletin and pulpit announcements 2 weeks prior to the training. While we require that a potential leader be involved in an NCC small group for at least one semester before they lead their own group, we don't require them to be in a group before attending Leadership 101. We believe the sooner we can get them through Leadership 101, the more likely they will be to catch a vision for discipleship, understand the discipleship wineskins at NCC, and step up to lead their own group someday.