It can be a lot of work to help others grow in their leadership potential, but it is well worth it for any group that wants to make disciples. Don’t settle for just leading your group. As you identify and recruit potential co-leaders, help them prepare for leadership by following these principles.

Mentor in two areas.

The goal of mentoring co-leaders is two-fold. First, you want to help them go full-circle in their own pursuit of God. Help them trust Jesus more fully and honor God in their lives. Help them learn how to help others pursue God themselves. To do this, you have the entire library at to draw from. Second, you want to help them develop their own leadership and ministry skills. You can use the training series and conversations at the Small Group Resource Page.

Have regular team meetings.

Team meetings not only help you stay organized and on focus, but they show your co-leaders how to prepare for and lead a group. You have to decide how often your team needs to meet – we suggest once a month and more often during key times like starting up or getting ready to reproduce. If you grow lax in having team meetings, your team will lose momentum and your potential leaders will start to feel sidelined. Use the Team Meeting Planner to help you make sure your team meetings are useful. Along with planning, team meetings can be used for training. Take your team through Small Group Training and Mentor Training.

Use the FLEX method.

Along with team meetings, use individual appointments with your co-leaders to help them grow. Here’s how the FLEX method works.

  • FIND a topic in the library – or let your co-leader choose one. Share the link.
  • LEARN about the topic on your own as each of you watches the video and reads the summary at your own pace.
  • EXPLORE the topic together in conversation, using the discussion questions provided. You can do this in person or over the phone.

Practice delegation.

Give your co-leaders plenty of opportunity to do the things small group leaders do. Prepare for the group with the goal of giving ministry away to others. Every week your co-leaders or potential co-leaders can lead a different aspect of group life, until eventually they can do everything you do. Train them to mentor others, and give them opportunities to mentor members of the group or other potential leaders. Remember: delegation requires that you not only make an assignment, but that you work with the other person to make sure they know how to do what you’re asking them to do.

Give feedback.

Whenever a co-leader fulfills as assignment, give them feedback. Tell them what they did right. Ask them how they felt it went. If necessary, gently point out areas of improvement. (It’s best to focus on just one issue – the most important one – so you don’t discourage them. They may have already identified this in their own self-assessment.) The point is: never delegate without also giving feedback.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Why is it important to have regular meetings with your co-leaders – as a team and individually? What happens if you don’t?
  4. Explain the FLEX method in your own words.
  5. On a scale of 1 to 10, how easy do you find it to delegate leadership activities to others? Explain.
  6. What happens if people don’t get feedback after fulfilling an assignment? What happens if they only get negative feedback?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Ministry Tools: