Many leaders of small groups misunderstand the real purpose of recruiting people to help them with the ministry opportunities involved in connecting people, teaching the Bible, and ministering to group needs. In fact, many leaders often take a “I don’t want to impose on anybody’s time to help me with this, and besides it’s easier if I do it myself” mentality. There are two mistakes inherent in this kind of thinking.
- You are not imposing on anyone else’s time when you ask someone for help. Remember this essential idea. It is their group too! When someone else takes a leadership responsibility, then they have the opportunity to use their spiritual gifts for the benefit of the group. The more often that group members have the opportunity to minister within the group, the better the group becomes.
- It is not necessarily easier to do it yourself. Putting forth some effort to enlist people to help you minister to the group may take some time on the front end, but once they begin their responsibilities it will make managing the ministry of the group easier on you.
But there is an even bigger reason to recruit people to help you minister to the group. And it is a big reason and it is a biblical reason – multiplication. When a small group leader understands the principle of multiplication, he or she understands that involving group members in ministry is not just to fill out all the spaces of the group’s leadership chart. It is about multiplying leaders to fulfill the mission of the group.
When you are recruiting someone to help you minister to the group, you are multiplying yourself. The Kingdom of God is about multiplication. One of your primary purposes as a group leader is to multiply yourself and make disciples.
The authors of the book 3 Roles for Guiding Groups suggest that when recruiting another leader, recruit that person to the vision of the group, not to a job description. This is excellent advice!
So rather than enlisting someone to a job description to “call 5 people a week and I would prefer for the calls to be made on Thursday and give a report to the group on Sunday”; instead enlist them to the vision. “We want to make sure that every member feels a part of our group, and that no person in our group feels alone or has to grapple with life’s struggles by themselves. So would you pray about contacting these five people every week so that no one in our group ever feels abandoned.”
Bob Mayfield serves as the Sunday School and Small Group specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. He has also served as interim minister of education in several churches and is a Sunday School/small group consultant.
Bob is married and has two adult children, Zach and Mary Kathryn. Bob also blogs at his own site, bobmayfield.com and manages an online training site for Sunday School leaders of all ages at reconnectss.com.