We hear about leadership all the time.  Small Group ministry rises and falls on leaders.  Baseball teams succeed when they have leaders step up.  Organizations search for leaders, many times from other organizations.

In GroupLife of FBC Smyrna we are constantly watching for leaders to develop out of our own organization.  I can honestly say that every one hired in GroupLife division was hired from within.  We identify people that already involved in the ministry, doing the work, God is leading them, and I feel like we reward them by hiring them.  This is different than 20 years ago when you hired people to do a job.

Every time we begin to talk about new SG leaders, needing a Coach, looking for a Coordinator, the word discernment comes up.  When we are standing at the Guest Services Booth or Small Groups Booth on a weekend, a person/family approaches and wants to connect to a SG, the word discernment is implemented.  Discernment has been foundational for our division to sense where God is working, in whom, how, and what advice/suggestion we need to offer.

John Maxwell, in his book Developing the Leaders Around You, gives an entire chapter to this subject of identifying potential leaders.  “Hiring an employee is like skydiving: Once you’ve jumped ou of the plane, you’re committed.”  Whether we enlist volunteers as SG Leaders or Coaches, or officially hire someone in GroupLife, we must use discernment in making these decisions.

Many of us humble ourselves and say “Oh, I don’t have discernment.”  You probably say more about your faith, trust and God’s plan for you than you really said about yourself.  But if you still believe you don’t have the discernment necessary, look at Maxwell’s book on page 48-50 and use this assessment to help develop your discernment.

Help those around you become leaders by investing time, praying for them daily, by name, for 3 months and see what God does.  As I write this, I look to my left and see a list of names we have been praying for since Oct. 3.  Of the list of 8, 4 have moved into leadership and one has declined totally.  When you pray for the potential leaders you have discerned should be on the list, God makes you sensitive to watch for him working in each individual.

Identifying potential leaders may vary well be the primary responsibility of a leader.   For us, discernment has become the most used gift in that process.

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