What do we do after we’ve begun? I’ve decided to expand my “What You Do in Week Two” series, which really looks at all the ways we can maximize our ministry early in the semester. For the rationale, read the intro post; for the whole What series, click here.

start training anyone who leads

I had the neat chance to sit down with one of the ministers at my church the other day; he had asked for some thoughts on a program I recently went through. It was great – because even though his program is excellent, he still wants to make it better. And one point made him especially excited.

I pointed out that even though the “table leaders” for this multi-week study seemed to be really great people, there still might be room for them to become trained discussion leaders.

This thought came directly from my explorations of college ministry (and my own campus ministry adventures).

You see, we often forget (or don’t realize) that small group leadership involves actual, learnable skills. This is true even when students are just “facilitating discussion.” And it’s true for other forms of leadership: One-on-one disciplemaking has major skills and “best practices.” So does Sunday school teaching. Even leading a Ministry Team of students – whether it’s running a Men’s Ministry, planning a mission trip, or reaching out to the Athletic Teams – is done best by those who are trained to lead. This need for training applies to students as well as adults. It applies to those who seem to be “naturals” at their given task, too.

I’m not claiming that spending time training your leaders is easy. But I will claim that this is one of the best ways you could improve your ministry this year: Right now, in Week 2 (or 3 or 4), start training your leaders. (And if you have to start somewhere, start with small group leaders; I think that’s where a lot of “mission leak” takes place in college ministries.)

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