One of the most important roles that you can play as a Small Group Leader is that of a mentor. A mentor is 'someone that helps another develop and grow as a leader'. At Parkway Fellowship we want to be the kind of church that is constantly raising up new leaders. Perhaps you have never considered this aspect of leadership before. Let me share with you three reasons why is is crucial that you be looking to pass the torch of leadership to others.
1. It’s biblical.
Throughout the Bible, leaders sought out others so they can follow in the leaders’ footsteps as their apprentice. Moses apprenticed Joshua. Elijah apprenticed Elisha. Paul apprenticed Timothy. One of the most cited verses on this subject is in Paul’s second letter to Timothy:
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
Jesus also modeled this process in his interactions with the twelve disciples. If anyone could have done ministry all by himself, it was Jesus. But he didn’t. His disciples were always with him—watching, learning, and listening. He involved them in almost everything he did. That’s because he saw beyond his three years of public ministry. He knew success was handing off the ministry to those coming behind him. That’s one measure of your success as a group leader too.
2. It’s practical.
Identifying future leaders doesn’t just develop the apprentice. It also grows the leader! Nothing makes you take stock of what you know like being asked to teach someone else. The process gives you incentive to organize your knowledge and put it down on paper. It helps you to solidify it in your mind. As you hand over responsibility to others, they bring their knowledge, talent, and experience to bear upon what you’ve shared with them. They find new and better ways to lead. This gives you the opportunity to learn from them. It expands your knowledge and skills.
3. It’s strategic.
Our mission is to 'reach the lost at any cost and grow them to maturity'. Our strategy to 'grow them to maturity' is to get people into groups because we believe that life change happens best in the context of small groups. So, creating space for more people to experience healthy relationships and spiritual growth is essential. We can only do that if we have qualified group leaders.
These are just a few reasons why it is important to help identify future Small Group Leaders. Start to pray this week about who you can identify in your Small Group about approaching and asking them to consider taking their first step toward Small Group Leadership. In the coming weeks, we will share more what those 'first steps' look like. Stay tuned!