Lead A Group

How to Apprentice a Group Leader

An apprentice is identified as someone who has 3 main qualities: 

They are a doer, they are teachable, and they show spiritual velocity (not perfection, but pursuit and growth). 

    • Does the person you are considering as an apprentice display these attributes?


Why we apprentice leaders: 

    • To equip and prepare them, being careful not to kick someone out of the nest too soon. 
      • We have a tendency to launch someone as a leader too quickly for fear of offending them if we ask them to slow down and learn. This practice leads to a higher rate of failure because the new leader may seem ready on the outside, but when the weightiness of the task of shepherding others hits or the attacks of the enemy begin to disillusion them, their roots are not deep enough. They do not feel confident enough in their calling or their God-given ability, and then they decide to quit leading.  
    • To invest in someone’s future as a disciple and disciple-maker, and to help someone grow in their calling.  
    • To make disciples. 
      • We need more leaders to make more followers, which in turn will make more leaders and so on. We must value multiplication, just like Jesus did. 


The basic apprenticeship process is: 

I do.

We do.

You do. Someone else watches.   


What you (and therefore your apprentice) need to be able to do: 

  • Be a self-learner and develop one’s self. 
  • Have a prayer life and be in the habit of submitting all you do to the Lord.
  • Be an active listener *See tab of how to be an active listener
  • Be able to ask good questions. *See tab for how to get conversations going to get ideas for great questions 
  • Reach out and connect with your Group members throughout the week.
  • Facilitate real, deep discussion.
  • Manage over-talkers.
  • Help Group members catch the vision of Going. The vision of Going is to fulfill the great commission and take Jesus to the lost instead of being content to soak it up week after week for ourselves.
  • Own the responsibility of reproducing yourself. Be prepared to identify an apprentice to develop and launch. 
  • Understand how to utilize CCB for attendance, Group messages, etc. 
  • Have a clear vision and mission for your Group.
  • Be able to share your story in 3 minutes or less.
    • Why? Because people can not argue with what God has done in your own personal story. Because God is glorified when we tell of what He has done in us. He uses it to draw people unto Himself… but if we ramble on and on, people start to glaze over and stop listening 


What we ask of the apprentice:

-An apprentice will lead your Group multiple times and then you both will discuss how it went.

-An apprentice will visit a minimum of 3 other Groups. This way, they can be exposed to how other Groups are run and start developing their own ideas for how their own Group can take on its own feel and flavor.

-An apprentice needs to have practiced managing Group emails, communication, snack planning, and/or prayer requests, whatever your Group does as part of its normal function.


If you have identified an apprentice:

  • Contact your Groups Director to discuss the potential apprentice and determine if this process should begin.
  • If it is determined that yes this person is a candidate for apprenticeship, schedule a meeting with you, your apprentice, and the Groups Director to discuss this process.


While apprenticing, the apprentice needs to develop a plan: 

  • What will my launch look like? Proposed timeline. 
  • Will I take part of the current Group with me? 
  • Am I taking over the current Group while the established leader moves on to start a new Group? OR am I identifying an apprentice and starting a brand new Group on my own?
  • What do I want the focus of my Group to be (sermon series, curriculum, open to anyone, just women, young adults, couples, etc.)?  
  • Logistics: when, where, how often, do I need to offer childcare, etc.


When your apprentice is close to being ready for “I do, someone else watches:” 

If you feel your apprentice is almost ready to launch, you and your apprentice will need to meet with the Groups Director to discuss the above questions and develop a plan to launch. 


When an apprentice is launched: 

The leader will become that apprentice’s Group Coach.


If Young Adult apprentice: We have a YA protocol on dating/co-ed/relationships to be discussed together before launching