Recruiting others to help in achieving a mission is crucial in almost any sphere of leadership, but incredibly important in the role of a group leader. There are some basics to understand as we begin the vital task of recruiting leaders.
- Recruiting is not done one-time-a- year. It is a year round responsibility. Recruiting is not just asking someone to lead. It is knowing an individual personally, seeking to understand their giftedness in God’s kingdom, and matching their uniqueness to a specific role. As leaders, we must continually be “on the lookout” for other potential leaders. By being in community with other believers, we have the opportunity of getting to know them in a myriad of experiences. The wise leader will use any means possible to truly know the potential leader and seek God’s guidance in helping them find their calling in a meaningful place of service. The time required to accomplish this is an investment in the person and the group.
- Recruiting is a process, not an event. Once God has directed us to a potential leader, we must determine if they can catch the vision of where the group is going? An easy mistake is to enlist someone to a position, a job description, without knowing if they can truly embrace the vision. If they commit to the vision, the appropriate role (or position) will naturally follow.
It is important to seek, and to trust, God’s leadership at this point. Don’t make the decision for people – either by assuming they will accept, or that they won’t. There is strength in asking. The individual is valued. The process is valued. And, the sincere, personal call of God on someone’s life is lifted up.
- Our hardest work should go into the pre-enlistment process of recruiting. It has been said that the hardest position to fill is the one that already has someone in it. In other words, wrong person in the wrong job. Since Sunday School/Groups is a living, breathing organism, made up of people; then, it follows that our greatest potential for good, or harm, will be the living, breathing leaders we enlist. The mechanics of groups – space, equipment, curriculum, schedules and the unexpected challenges that arise, become immeasurably easier to handle when we have the right leaders in the right places of service.
Volumes have been written about accurate job descriptions needed in enlisting leaders, asking with appropriate time for prayerful response, providing training to get people started off well in their new position. All of this is very true. However, we may be guilty of jumping ahead to these stated steps without considering laying the appropriate foundation. In taking the time to build strong foundations, we build strong leaders who in turn build strong groups for the work of the Kingdom.
Phil Miller is the Director of the Bible study/Discipleship team for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.