Britt Kitchen

Small Group Leaders: Members of an Exclusive Club

by on in Small Groups.
exclusive-club

So your ministry is growing.
And you need more Small Group Leaders.
Badly.

We’ve all been in that spot. Some of you are there now. Things are growing in your student ministry. Good things are happening and students want to be a part of your programs. However, you just need more volunteers! You feel stretched thin, you’re asking current volunteers to do multiple jobs. You need help!

The temptation in these seasons is to just get folks plugged in to fill the needs. There is a knee-jerk reaction, in those times, to accept anyone and everyone who applies to serve in your ministry. Well, in those moments, here are a few things to remember:

You will never have enough volunteers. Here at North Point, we’ve been doing small groups for a long time. We know we will never get to the point where every spot is filled. We’re always in recruitment mode, and I think you probably are, too.

Accepting anyone and everyone is dangerous. No really… it’s dangerous. Ask your local law enforcement officers about the reality of child predators. In growing programs where the rules are loose, they know they can sneak in as just another willing volunteer.

So what do you do?

How should we approach these amazing, challenging, growing times? Well, for starters, here at North Point, we always try to talk about our Small Group Leader team as if it’s an exclusive clubs.

We make it hard to get on board.
We intentionally make it a long multiple-step process.
We want to make sure we are carefully screening our volunteers.
We want the position to seem valuable.
We want potential volunteers to feel like they have made it into an exclusive group.
We want to try to talk people out of joining in.
We make them jump through some intentional hoops.

All this because we want to we wind up with the best volunteers in the best positions believing they are joining the best ministry around.

So what do you think?

When it comes to recruiting, what are some best practices for our teams of Small Group Leaders? How can we make it feel like an “exclusive club”?

  • Matt Beeman

    Part of making it feel special is keeping it up after you get them in, otherwise they will end up feeling like just a cog in a machine. Continue to add value by acknowledgement, encouragement, and training. Know their love language. Know their life. Know their spiritual struggles.

  • Dan Puz

    I would like to say that I feel as strongly about this topic as Chef does but that might make me a b-liar (someone who lies in the blog world). I do feel pretty strong about it though ;). We have 4 main steps in our process and it’s all cleverly remembered through an acronym. Did I really just confess on uthmin.net that I use acronyms still? HA. Anyway. TACO is the word. It stands for Test Drive:Application:Conversation:Orientation. It’s sequential 99% of the time. But no leaders are aloud to serve until every step is complete and we feel like its a great fit. But boy the pressure to reduce the size of some of our groups is always whispering over our shoulders. Having a group that’s too big can frustrate even some of our high capacity leaders.

    Great stuff Tom. Love this blog.