5 Ways To Frustrate Your Leaders


It’s January. You have signed up a bunch of new leaders and launched your small group campaign. Things seem to be going great until you start hearing about groups that are no longer meeting, leaders that have left the church, and members who are frustrated with the church’s latest attempt at creating community.

What happened?

Chances are, you didn’t have a plan to take care of your new leaders after the launch. We tend to put a lot of time and planning into the front end of a campaign, but little into it after it has launched. If you’re not careful, your leaders will quickly become frustrated and feel used by the church leadership. Here are 5 things that can quickly frustrate your leaders:

1. Little communication from the staff

New leaders need continued guidance from the church leadership. I don’t believe that you can over-communicate with a new leader in the first few weeks of a campaign. There will be a point where you will be able to give them some space, but they need to know you are walking this out with them. Don’t leave your leaders on island to fend for themselves.

2. No clear direction on what’s next

If you want your groups to continue on after the initial 6 weeks of the campaign, they will need a plan for what’s next. That’s why I believe so strongly in providing a curriculum menu that guides leaders through a semester. Pick something that is similar to what was used in the campaign. Make it easy and obvious.

3. No sign of an off-ramp

I am a big believer in clear semesters that give leaders and members easy on and off ramps. They need to know that this is not a lifetime commitment. Have set end dates where your leaders can re-evaluate their commitment to another 6 weeks.

4. Lack of appreciation

It’s tempting to move on to the next thing and not take time to appreciate the effort your hosts and leaders are putting in now. They will be more willing to do it again if they feel like it was worth the effort.

5. No ongoing training

It’s easy to send off new hosts with a curriculum packet and a dvd of basic training. But if you want them to continue and grow as leaders, they will need more than that. Develop a plan for next steps training that will help your hosts transition to long-term group leaders. The goal of every campaign should be developing leaders for ongoing groups.


About Chris Surratt

Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with over twenty-three years of experience serving the local church. Chris served on the Executive Teams at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and Seacoast Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He is also the Discipleship and Small Group Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources. Chris's first book, Small Groups For The Rest Of Us: How to Design Your Small Groups System to Reach the Fringes, was just released by Thomas Nelson.

Posted on January 16, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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