David Francis and Ken Braddy do a great job of presenting three major areas where a Sunday School/Small Group leader should focus in order to be a good leader. In their new book 3 Roles for Guiding Groups, they describe the importance of a Sunday School Leader being a reader, a prayer and a reproducer.
Most books on leadership make the quote, “leaders are readers and readers are leaders.” This is true of someone who is going to lead vibrant, healthy and growing groups. One must continually learn how to guide people, how to teach or facilitate a group, being an effective disciple, they will study learning styles and in general learn about what it means to be a leader of people. One discipline that a group leader will practice is to have a regular routine of reading in the areas that will make you a better group “leader.” Do you follow particular people on Twitter who post regularly about leadership or groups? Do you make it a routine of reading certain blogs (like this one)? If you are going to be a growing leader of groups, you will make it a routine to read! This of course assumes that you are in a regular routine of reading the Bible.
The second discipline that Francis and Braddy point to is that a good group leader will have a routine in their prayer life. Make it a discipline in your daily routine to have a place for prayer and a routine in your prayer life. Have a regular prayer list to pray for areas of your life, for your family, your group, your church, other ministries, missionaries, government leaders, world events and a list for people you believe to be lost and need to know Jesus as savior. Pray for lost people and for the beginning of new groups.
The third discipline is reproduction. This is a key discipline in the life of a true leader. A leader is one who leaves a trail of other leaders behind them. They have influenced people in such a way that they inspire people to engage in life, to accept responsibility, to step up when there is a need. A true leader will “reproduce” new leaders by investing in others. Mark Miller and Ken Blanchard have written a series of books about leadership. “The Heart of a Leader” and “Great Leaders Grow” are two of these books. You should invest in your own leadership by reading these books and learning how to serve others and how to reproduce yourself as a leader.
The bottom line is this, if you think about these routines, they are the routines of a true disciple. They reflect what Paul taught us in 2 Timothy 2:2, “and the things you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, teach these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Good routines in the life of a leader will reflect good discipleship routines.
Dr. Steve McNeil is Team Leader of Mobilization, Equipping and Communication at The State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.