Developing the Leaders Around You
by John Maxwell
to Pastor Study by Josh Hunt
Vulnerability. Authenticity. Reality. Honesty. These are the
keys to a good group. Sunday School has gotten a bad wrap when we refer to a
"Sunday School answer" when we mean a trite, shallow response. Don't make this a
"Sunday School" group, in that sense of the word. (I don't agree with the
notion, by the way, that Sunday School has to be trite and shallow.) Be real
with one another. May I say it? Be obedient to the command of God to confess
your sins to one another. Don't do too much too quickly, but do stroll slowly in
the direction of becoming an honest group. It usually only takes one person
getting honest for the group to follow along. Once it happens, you will never be
the same. Gradually open up, and watch the magic begin.
- Let's begin by each sharing one ministry
mistake we have made.(1)
By way of review, let's each share one thing that has gotten your attention
in this study so far.
- In this chapter we will talk about equipping
the leaders around us. Is equipping an event or an ongoing process?
Describe the equipping process in the churches you attended growing up. Were
they intentional in their approach to equipping, or rather haphazard?(2)
What would an ideal, equipping church look like? Dream with me. They sky's
the limit. Specifically, what would the idea look like?
- I think it
would benefit us to go through the questions John Maxwell asks on page 86
and following. What is your church's statement of purpose? How widely known
is this purpose?
- What impact does this have on equipping?
How can we communicate the vision so that everyone knows?
- What is
the primary need of your organization?
- Do you have a training
program in place to meet the primary need?
- What areas of your church
have the greatest potential?
- Do the potential growth areas have the
leaders they need to enjoy the growth potential?
- Are you willing to
pour yourself into equipping others? Does equipping others sound like
something you want to do?(3)
- Do you
feel you are effective or competent to equip others to leadership? Are you
confident in your competence to teach others?
- Do you have a prospect
list of potential leaders? How could you organize your life so that you had
such a list?
- For this next series of questions, I want each of you
to think of one potential leader in your church. Let's write their names on
the board; each one offer one name. Then, we will ask some questions about
- Is this person
compatible philosophically with your leadership and with your church?(5)
Does this person have potential for growth?
- Are there lingering
questions you have about this person?
- Are you selecting this person
because of obvious strengths, or because they don't have any weaknesses?
What is the potential leader's fit?
- How perfect does a potential
leader have to be in order to give him a chance? How much imperfection do we
put up with?
- Is it your tendency to err on the side accepting people
into leadership who are not ready, or do you tend to be too picky?
What kind of relationship do you have with your potential leaders? How could
you go about developing the relationship you need to have?
- Imagine I
am your potential leader. We are having coffee. Share your dream with me.
Quickly-this should come easily for you.
- Do you remember what John
Maxwell says about asking for commitment? (Page 94.) Do you agree?
What would be an example of a growth goal for a leader in training?
How do you feel about making your expectations clear through a job
- Who can remember John Maxwell's five step process to
training? Let's review them until we have them down.
- Someone give an
example of how this five step process might work out in your church.
Have you ever used the five step process? Tell us about it.
- Why are
each of the five steps important? Could you leave any out?
- Are there
any other steps necessary that John Maxwell left out?
- John Maxwell
says we should give them the "Big Three." What are the "Big Three"? (Page
- Why are each of these important?
- Which is easiest to
- Do you feel comfortable giving authority away?
- Do you
feel comfortable checking up on people? Why is it important?
kind of equipping meetings do you have at your church?
- We have
covered a lot of territory in this chapter. What would be the most important
things you would want to take home and put to work?
- Who can explain the difference between nurturing,
equipping, and developing leaders?
- Why is each important?
Which of the three is the most difficult?
- What is the key
distinction of the people in this top level of developing? What sets the
people we develop a part from the rest?
- Is growth a natural result
of being alive? See page 116.
- Why do many (most?) quit growing?
Why is a plan for personal growth important?
- Do you have a plan for
personal growth? Tell us about it.
- Who can describe the John Maxwell
plan for personal growth? How would you evaluate this? Is this a practical,
helpful, workable plan for you? Page 117.
- What would work for you?
Who do you have to become in order to achieve the goals you want to achieve?
Who must the leaders around you become to achieve the goals you want to
- Do you have a system for filing helpful information that
comes your way? How does that work?
- Why is it important to apply
quickly what you learn?
- Why is a growth group (like this one)
important? What does a group do for you that you cannot do for yourself?
What value would a growth group have for the people you are trying to
- How do you feel about rewarding people in you organization
for their performing desired behavior? Does rewarding desirable behavior
delude the true motive of doing good for doing good's sake?
does the Bible have to say about rewards?
- In what ways can we reward
people for doing the right things?
- Describe a situation where you
have felt the need to confront a leader you are developing.
- Have you
ever been confronted in a way that benefitted you?
- What are the keys
to confronting in a way that benefits, rather than hurts the person we
- What if you develop people so that they are more skilled
than you are? Suppose you develop a Sunday School teacher who becomes a more
effective communicator, a more able discipler, and a more popular person
than you are. Is that good or bad?
- How would it make you feel to
have leaders in your church who are better communicators and are more
popular than you are?
- Imagine with me a church full of leaders that
are all "10s." The teachers are all great. The children's workers are all
great. The musicians are all great. The people who serve in leadership/
administrative roles are all great. They call you to be their pastor. How
does it feel to lead this group of race horses?
- How do we come to
feel comfortable leading the highly competent?
1. A question designed to encourage the group to take one small step toward
2. I ask the question to point out that
most of us probably did not have very good models for ministry. We must do
church radically different from the churches we grew up in if we are to be
obedient to the calling God has for us.
3. In the long
run, we do what we want to do, not what we feel like we ought to do. Feeling we
ought to develop leaders will never, ever, ever, get us developing leaders. Only
wanting to, liking to, will get the job done.
go through this next group of questions pretty quickly. One key to small group
leadership is timing-knowing when to go quickly and when to go slowly.
5. I'd let everyone answer at the same time. Again, go quickly.