So how do you keep Leader Development in focus?  How can you be sure leaders are getting the training they need.  Long gone are the days when you could offer an annual training event and expect everyone to attend. Life, schedules, family, work, etc all seem to compete for those few precious hours we offer annual training.  So how do we overcome this?
One proposal is to offer many opportunities at various times for training, yet with clear expectations.

HOST Orientation:  to lead a Small Group through LifePoint Church you have to attend HOST Orientation.  This is a one hour class that answers many of the questions a first time Host may have as well as give instructions for the next six weeks of leading a small group.  We include information on expectations, 3 objectives, communication report, a commissioning from our Pastor and sample covenant. Orientation is offered prior to all church-wide campaigns and then monthly to people

Leadership Cafe:  periodically we offer an opportunity for leaders and coaches to attend an on-campus gathering where we share one key principle of small group.  Many times this is via a video from or one of our own videos on Small Group experience.  We leave a lot of time for Coaches to learn from their leaders and discuss issues. Optional.

Leader Tips:  These are video trainings which are emailed weekly during campaigns and quarterly throughout the year as reminders or ‘heads-up’ type issues that we are discovering.  Many of these directly relate to the theme of worship, church calendar or common themes we see emerging via our communication reports on Church Teams.

Vmail stories:  Very few things are as powerful as a story.  Especially a story that is from a fellow Small Group Leader or member.  Quarterly we are emailing stories to all Small group members.  These not only inspire but will also serve to communicate the message of small groups.

Leadership Community:  A church-wide leadership event in which our Pastor casts vision, division directors share important information, and coaches discuss specific skills with leaders.  This happens four times a year on a Sunday evening. Attend at least two per year.

Small Group Luncheon:  The best thing we can do as Small Group Point People or Pastors is to help communicate the vision to small group members.  A very productive way we have found to do this is offer a luncheon immediately after morning worship for all small groups three to four times per year.  It is very convenient as well as FREE, and even includes child-care.  We share vision, stories and giveaways to all who attend.  It is a way church leaders can speak vision into every group leader and group member.  Your group has to be represented at least one of these per year.

Coaches Coffee Time:  This is a free cup of coffee on any Sunday morning you (Small Group Leader) want to have a conversation with your coach. You provide the questions and conversation, we provide the coffee via the World Cup Cafe.

These are all offered to Small Group Leaders and their apprentices.  The Luncheon adds the opportunity for Small Group members to attend.  The expectation currently is for a Small Group Leader to be seen

One or all of these may help you in your search to offer the right or the next Leadership Development opportunity. The key for us has been continued learning, continued tweaking and continuing to offer options with clear expectations.

Tune in next week for our Coordinators (directors of 5 coaches and 25 groups ) Leadership Development added opportunities.