People learn to discover and follow Jesus in community. Few environments do that better than a small group. This begs the question, what did Jesus focus on when he trained His disciples.
Jesus was a disciplemaker and leader developer.
Excellent small groups do these two things consistently:
- Make Disciples
- Train Leaders
I have learned that people benefit when they understand what a “win” is for one process (disciplemaking) and a “win” for the other (leadership development). I have also learned that these two areas bleed into each other. I love the phrase Neil Cole coined: “Raise the bar of discipleship and lower the bar for leadership”. I have one other nuance to add:
Clarify the developmental path so people know where they are and where they are going!
What does excellent “people development” look like?
In the small group I lead with my wife, Gina, we have established a nourishing environment for people to navigate their disciplemaking journey. Just as critical, we have communicated that we are looking for a few good leaders to reproduce our group. I find the clearer we define the “win”, the more secure people feel and confident they are knowing where they are in their development. BTW – these two processes continue throughout our lifetimes – right?
Here are two developmental processes that simplify the people development process for:
Three questions to strengthen people development process in your small group:
- What behaviors does a fruitful disciple demonstrate as a disciple of Jesus?
- What behaviors does an effective leader demonstrate as a leader?
- What does that developmental process look like for a:
Please respond below if you have a process you follow for either:
- Leadership Development
Of all the areas that will contribute to a healthy church, small groups are one of the most impactful. In fact, in the book Natural Church Development, under the section of Holistic Small Groups, you will discover an interesting factoid based on the data measuring over 170 variables. The most important element contributing to the growth of the church, based on over 4.2 million survey answers, is the multiplication of small groups. It is the environment where all of the elements of a healthy church interplay. Below are two things great small groups do to make more and better disciples.
Provide Excellent Pastoral Care
We can tell story after story from our church community of how people have been cared for during difficult times in their life. Helping a cancer patient die with dignity, supporting a newly widowed mom through the sudden loss of her husband – while still caring for her young ones, loving divorced spouses to move on, helping a parent hope again after losing a child; and the list goes on and on. The beauty is the first person, people in our church call when they are in need is their small group leader OR better yet, members of their small group.
Robust Leadership Development Process
Highly relational coaches provide the support, encouragement and training to develop small group leaders in our church community. We have an orientation session that lasts a couple of hours for new small group leaders. But training happens “just in time” as leaders lead their group. I’ve found that the periodic calls we receive from our coach gives the level of support needed in about 90% of the situations we find ourselves. The remaining 10% need pastoral intervention when the situation warrants it; but that is not the norm.
Recently we kicked-off the fall Small Group season in our church community. You can see more of what we do in small groups when you CLICK HERE. When I asked our pastor, Steve Redden, the key to the small group DNA at Crosspoint he said two things stand out:
- From day one, small groups were the priority and no other ministries compete on the same evening as small groups.
- From day one, Steve has led a small group focused on new people with the intent of handing leadership over to an emerging leader from the group, so that he and his wife can start a new group.
Small groups that provide excellent pastoral care and a robust leadership development process are contributing to the vision – more and better disciples. Multiplication at the most fundamental level of disciplemaking and small groups is a good thing! These helpful tips are intended for you if you are wondering where to start or the next step you need to take to move your small group ministry forward.
I’ve struggled to describe the non-negotiables of a coachable person when training leaders in the coaching process and skills.
That is, until I read Patrick Lencioni’s book entitled, The Ideal Team Player. I’ve blogged about the three qualities (Hungry-Humble-Smart) as it pertains to a coachable person, in the past – CLICK HERE to review previous blogs. These are so important, easy to remember and helpful to determine if a person is a good fit.
What I did not know is that you can actually assess a person for these three qualities with a statistically reliable and valid tool – CLICK HERE to learn more.
The Harrison Assessment is capable of doing just that. This could be a very helpful exercise to assess prospective coaching clients, potential team members or as a developmental tool for people already on your team. Honestly, to have people see where they assess on the three qualities could be a humbling exercise, as well as a great way to help leaders surface blind spots. I’m always looking for new ways to come alongside leaders to help them go further faster.
If you would like to chat about this or other Harrison assessments, please CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment with Gary and discuss how The Harrison Assessment might further your mission to pre-qualify future staff hires & church planters, assess existing staff and develop your leaders.
As I’ve shared with you in the past, I’ve had an amazing experience attending WBECS – the World Business and Executive Coach Summit. I highly recommend that you take a look at this year’s inspiring line-up and register for their free Pre-Summit classes. Again, I want to provide are my recommendations for you as a leader who develops others using a coach approach for:
- disciplemaking & church planting
- leading & developing teams
- coaching church planters & networks leaders
Registration is now open! Go here to see the full WBECS speaker line-up and secure your spot at no cost!
Each week leading up to the FREE Pre-Summit I highlight a session that might be of particular interest for you. Remember the Pre-Summit consists of 48 sessions and lasts four weeks. Week #1 is May 27th – May 31st (see previous week’s blog for my recommendations).
You can choose for yourself which ones you want to attend.
Following is the session I recommend for Week #2 June 3rd-7th; especially if you are working with teams in a cross-cultural context.
The summit starts on May 28th and you can still register for over 40 live online classes. They are all completely pitch-free and 100% value!
Go here to register for the complimentary Pre-Summit sessions before they fill up!
This year, WBECS will surprise you with a lot of new features. You can join panel discussions, interact with the speakers during live Q&A sessions and much more.
I truly believe that you are going to be impressed by what they have to offer. Which is why I recommend that you experience WBECS for yourself.
Leadership Effectiveness Profile
Core values are both personal and corporate.
- They are personal in that individuals have certain aspects of their personality that they emphasize or aspire to uphold.
- They are corporate in that the collective values of team members capture the essence of what the organization aspires to uphold.
I’ve found that many individuals and teams are vague on their values. Case in point, how many times have you discovered a laundry list of values when you ask leaders to share/recite their personal or corporate values? I want to share with you a YouTube video that will challenge you to think through your core values and arrive at three that you will commit to memory.
The title of the YouTube video is, You Have Too Many Core Values by Storybrand founder, Don Miller. He is the author of the book, “Blue Like Jazz” that you may have read. The point he makes is worth considering for you and your team.
One of the reasons we are offering the Personal Calling Collective LIVE is to help people discover their personal values. As people take this important step they will have a greater sense of self, a greater understanding of how the Lord has created them and a greater sense of calling. I hope you can join me and my co-facilitator, Mukesh Azad in June 2019. CLICK HERE for more information.
How many times have you taken people through some kind of process to discern their spiritual gifts, passions, skills or strengths – only to discover that they had not budged in pursuing their calling from God?
When I first started out in ministry my role in the college group that I was serving was to help people understand their spiritual gifts. It did exactly what it was designed to do. People with a gift of service found a place to serve. Over and over again I helped people find how and where they could use their gifts. What I realized is, that this is a good starting point but not how people naturally thrive long-term.
Now, I see that the process needs to be embedded in a coaching relationship, providing feedback on an ongoing basis. When the feedback loop is provided, the person has a chance to reflect on what they are doing, make adjustments then focus more and more on what they enjoy most or – passionate about. I remember one person that I worked with for an extended period is now thriving in a church planting ministry.
However, that support is often-times missing for people who are discerning their way in ministry.
The solution is to have leaders who know how to support people in their unique, personal calling process. One group that we really, really need to help is the up and coming generation. Call them what you want, the younger generation are hungry for this type of attention – that is one reason we created the Personal Calling Collective, LIVE online learning community. To help you learn how to support followers of Jesus to discern what He has called them to do with their spiritual gifts, passions, skills, strengths all in the context of their life journey.
One of the tools that is central to the Collective is the Focused Ministry Coaching Guide & Storyboard. It provides the framework for the self-discovery process. What I like it that it describes the process – allowing you to utilize tools that you are most comfortable with to assess a person’s spiritual gifts, passions, skills, strengths, etc. There are so many available today and every leader has their favorites.
Who do you know that might benefit from being a part of an exciting group of leaders, working hard to help people discern what God has called them to accomplish?
The start date is June 24 and the Collective includes four, 1-hour group sessions with six, 1-1 coach appointments; for a total of 10 contact hours. Please reach-out to me direct and let me know if you have any questions. You can schedule a time to meet by CLICKING HERE.
Below is a breakdown of the topics you will learn how to coaching people through:
- Showing Up
- Trying things out
- Connecting with your passion
- Evaluating your service
- Examining your life journey
- Discerning your calling
- Sharpening your skills
- Involving others
- Training others
- Broadening perspectives
CLICK HERE for more information.