Jim led a group for several years and did a good job. It was a strong group that met the needs of the members. Yet he never found an apprentice to mentor, so the group did not multiply. Then Jim had a stroke. He was physically unable to lead his group anymore. Since there was no one mentored to take his place, his group soon died. Looking back, Jim did everything right, except mentor an apprentice.
Rod led a group for several years and did a good job. It was a strong group that met the needs of the members. Rod mentored an apprentice named Scott. When Rod moved on to plant new groups, Scott took over. The group continued to grow. Over the years, Scott also mentored apprentices: Mike, Mark, Dave, Dale, and Jamal. Eventually they led their own groups. Many of their apprentices became leaders. Mike and Jamal went on to plant new churches. Rod and Scott made mentoring a priority and multiplied the group several times. Highly effective small group leaders make a habit of mentoring apprentices.
The sixth habit of the highly effective small group leader: Mentor apprentice leaders.
Dave Earley, 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders (Touch Outreach Ministries, 2001).