Small Groups, or groups with any desire to grow, have to share the load. One of the foundational multiplication processes for group growth is through apprenticing, sharing the load of leadership and learning about leading. However, the word “apprenticing” has lost much of the meaning in daily practices. To be more clear in our training we have now started calling this position Co-leader.

Most Small Group Ministries offer a couple of new group launches each year. These launches are a time for people to sign-up/join a small group for a particular sermon/study series or become part of the group for on-going Bible study. The more new groups a ministry can offer each year, the larger the number of adults that will be in Bible study each year. On average, a new group can add ten new adults to Bible study. If your church is averaging 300 in worship, launching 3 groups may be a great target for January. You could possibly see 30 adults added to Bible study. While that is easy math, finding those leaders can be very time consuming and frustrating. But if your current groups have co-leaders who have been given a chance to lead, learn and pray for their unchurched friends, and desiring to connect those friends in Bible study…tapping them on the shoulder about leading a new group could make the enlistment process a lot more simple.

Our training is much more intentional about the leader enlisting a co-leader during the beginning of our pre-launch training efforts. Just imagine if a potential new group leader walked up to you Sunday and said “I want to start a small group in my neighborhood. I have enlisted 3 other couples who will help start it with me and one of them said they would be my co-leader.” Do you think this would make a difference in our jobs as small group pastors and point people?
Would it make a difference in  our ministries?
Would it make a difference in our neighborhoods?

Building a culture that will make it normal to enlist your own co-leader and a few friends to help you start a group will benefit much more than just your group launch number.