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Developing the Leaders Around You

by John Maxwell

A Pastor to Pastor Study by Josh Hunt

Session #2


We can take America for God by giving the ministry to laymen who are using their gifts to grow their groups and doubling their classes every two years or less. As you participate in this study, I would invite you to stay special attention to how you can train leaders who can double their classes every two years or less.

Chapters 3



  1. Today we will be talking about identifying potential leaders. From your own experience, what do you look for in a potential leader? Let's make a list on the board.
  1. John Maxwell raises an interesting question early in this chapter. Is it better to hire extraordinary talent because it is extraordinary and because it is available, or get mediocre players that fit the slots you have available at this time?
  2. With reference to Sunday School, or Home Groups, do you start with the open positions and try to fill them, or start with the person and try to get them into ministry?(1)
  3. Who can tell about a time when you found an extraordinary talent and put them to work? What difference did it make?
  4. Where do you find extraordinary talent?
  5. How do you recruit extraordinary talent?
  6. Do you find extraordinary talent to sometimes be somewhat eccentric? Do the extraordinary talented tend to be poor team players?
  7. Suppose you have a great new Sunday School teacher. Everyone loves them and their group is growing rapidly. However, they don't seem to participate in the rest of church activities.(2) You try to talk to them, but their attitude is "This is who I am." What do you do?(3)
  8. Let's talk about the importance of spiritual maturity or character in the selection process. Would you ever recruit someone who was less than a "10" in character, but was so extraordinarily talented? People thronged to follow them, but you were not absolutely sure where they were taking them. How would you handle such a situation? How much spiritual immaturity would you put up with in order to get extraordinary talent?
  9. How would you define spiritual maturity?
  10. How do you spot spiritual maturity? What are the visible signs of a relationship with an invisible God?
  11. Ever known anyone who seemed to have some spiritual maturity, they had a good grasp of biblical knowledge, they seemed to be nice enough people, but they lacked charisma? No one seemed to be eager to be in the same room with them. How do you help a person like that? How do you put them to work?
  12. What about this situation. Suppose you have someone who seems to be a good leader. This person does have charisma. People like to be around them. They are sharp and articulate. But, you notice they are a bit negative. They seem to find the bad in everything. How do you deal with this situation? Do you let complainers lead?
  13. How important are people skills in the overall effectiveness of a leader?
  14. Can people skills be learned?
  15. What could we do to raise the people skills of all our leaders?(4)
  16. How do you spot a teacher who has never taught? How do you know if someone has a giftedness in something they have never done?(5)
  17. How important is confidence in a potential leader?
  18. Can confidence be learned?
  19. How do we raise the confidence level of the people we serve?
  20. Another quality we look for in a potential leader is self-control. How would you define self-control?
  21. How can we raise the level of self-discipline in the people we serve?
  22. Another skill we look for in leaders is communication skills. Briefly, what are some keys to good communication?
  23. The last quality John Maxwell mentions is discontent. Why do we want leaders who are discontent? (See page 59.)

Chapter 4

  1. This chapter and the next two deal with nurturing, equipping and developing the leaders around you. What is the distinction between these three concepts?
  2. The first part of chapter four talks about finding a mentor to follow. Who has served you as a mentor in ministry?
  3. Why do you think mentoring is not more common than it is?
  4. What do you look for in a mentor? Let's make a list of qualities on the board.
  5. What are the benefits of having a mentor?


  1. On page 67, John Maxwell talks about the importance of trust in nurturing leaders. On a scale of one to ten, how deeply do the people you serve trust you?
  2. Why is it important that they do trust you?
  3. How is trust cultivated? How do we become a person that people trust?


  1. Let's talk about transparency. How transparent should a leader be?
  2. How does being transparent help?
  3. Is there a danger in being too transparent?


  1. In what ways do you find time to develop leaders?
  2. Do leaders need formal, structured class room time? Do they need casual time?
  3. What do we need to teach leaders in class room time?
  4. Why is informal, casual time important?
  5. How do you schedule time to spend developing leaders?


  1. In what ways can we encourage our people in ministry? Be creative; how have you seen this done?
  2. Why is it important to encourage people in ministry?
  3. Who can tell about a time when an encouragement toward ministry meant the world to you?
  4. Is encouraging people easy or hard?
  5. Why don't we do more of it?


  1. How do we support leaders emotionally?
  2. On a scale of one to ten, how important is it to support our leaders emotionally?
  3. How does this work itself out, practically? Who can give an example of giving emotional support to one of our leaders?
  4. In what ways do you give specific skill training to the people in your organization?
  5. Suppose you have a leader who needs some of the church's money for a ministry project. How much red tape is involved in supporting their dream with money? Think of it from their view point. Is it easy or hard for them to get the money they need?
  6. How do we insure that the money is not misspent? What system of checks and balances do you employ?
  7. What about other resources. We say, "Every member a minister." What if a minister (laymen) needed some secretarial time, would we let our secretaries work for them?(6)
  8. Who can explain the 80/20 rule?
  9. Who are the top 20% producers in your organization who are responsible for 80% of the work?
  10. Which is more productive, to help the 20% produce more, or to prod the 80% to pick up the pace? Be specific.(7)
  11. What changes do you need to make in your life to take you to the next level in effectively developing the leaders around you? I would like all of you to answer.
  12. How can we pray for one another?

1. I would argue that if you have a consistent plan of recruiting people, starting with the person and moving toward whatever tasks fit their giftedness, you will rarely have open slots.

2. You may want to play this up a little to create a good "jump-ball" question. That is, a question that will attract people to both sides of the issue. (See Double Your Class.)

3. My bias would be in favor of trying to find a place for the super talented.

4. I suggest you have an ongoing leadership training meeting. One of the repeating topics of this meeting will be the cultivation of people skills.

5. Create ways for them to test drive the ministry.

6. When I was a Minister of Education I used to say, "Our secretaries are your secretaries. Our stamps, your stamps. Our people, your people. Our equipment, your equipment." We are here to make you successful in your ministry.

7. I'd put my money on running with the runners.



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