How We Got To 80% – part 5 (New Leaders)


With this post, I am going to give a very broad look at the process we have developed for new community group leaders. This is somewhat different from what it looks like for our Host Groups.

  1. Interview – The first step after we have identified a potential new leader is an interview with the new leader(s) and their campus Groups Director. At that meeting they will receive our new leader’s packet, which consists of: Leader FAQ’s, Leader Role Explained, and Ideas For Groups Leaders. The Groups Director will run through these with the leader and answer any questions. They will then talk through next steps for getting their group started. Note: not every interview results in a new group. The director may decided that they are not ready and suggest that they stay involved in a group for another semester before starting one.
  2. Training – The next step is to get started with the online training. Because we are a multi-site church, we have found that putting most of our nuts-and-bolts training online works best for us. We don’t require that they be finished with the training when their group starts, but we strongly encourage them to be working through it as the semester progresses. We use Right Now Training to host all our training sessions. Our online training currently has 6 modules:
    1. Why Do We Have Groups?
    2. The Heart Of A Leader
    3. Group Meeting Basics
    4. Dealing With Difficult People
    5. Groups On Mission
    6. Choosing A Study & Leading A Discussion
  3. Rally – Before each semester kick-off, we have a Leadership Rally with all of current and new leaders. Our August rally is all of our campuses together, while our January rally is individual campuses. This meeting is part inspiration, part information and part training. We try to shake it up each time so leaders will look forward to it. I encourage each campus to scale their January rally to what they can do really well. For some campuses, that’s a dinner with their leaders. For others, it’s a big group meeting at the campus.
  4. Coaching – Each new leader is connected with a more seasoned leader that we call a coach. They are simply there to be a resource to that new leader as the semester goes on. Anytime that the new leader has questions or issues with the group, their first communication is to their coach. We refer to it as “as needed coaching”. They can choose whether or not to continue with a coach after the first semester.

That is a very basic look at our new leader process. I will flesh each of those steps out more in future posts.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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About the author

Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with more than twenty years of experience serving the local church. Chris served on the Executive Teams at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN., and Seacoast Church in Charleston, S.C., prior to becoming the Discipleship and Small Groups Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources. He is the author of Small Groups for the Rest of Us and the just released, Leading Small Groups: How to Gather, Launch, Lead, and Multiply Your Small Group.