Have you ever asked this question: “Have you been able to identify a potential new leader in your small group?” Only to get this answer: “No, I don’t think anyone’s ready yet.”
You know it’s funny to me that Jesus always seemed recruit people who weren’t quite ready. He looked at Matthew, a tax-collector, who everyone despised and said,” Come follow me; I want you on my team.” He took a couple of uneducated fishermen and said, “Come follow me, I’ll show you a new way to utilize your fishing skills to impact the souls of men.”
Jesus took risk on people. He asked them to take on a role, to get involved, to make an entry level commitment. He didn’t recruit Matthew, Peter and Andrew and send them out immediately to share the gospel with the world. Instead he got them on his team and started working with them to take their next steps.
If we want to build a strong pipeline of leaders then we must focus on willingness rather than readiness. When we focus on readiness we have to find a person who already possesses the skills to step in with little to no preparation. But when we focus on willingness we are looking for a person who is open to getting involved at even a simple level. Our job then is to help them find their logical next step on their leadership journey.
For some it may be hosting small group at their house, for others it may be recording prayer requests for the group or organizing a service project for the group.
You see the question is not are they ready for leadership? The question is what’s the next step they can take toward leadership? If we sit around waiting for people who are ready then we will always have a shortage of leaders.
Are you focused on readiness or willingness in your recruitment efforts?