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Developing the Leaders Around You

by John Maxwell

A Pastor to Pastor Study by Josh Hunt

Session #3


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.

Chapters 5



  1. By way of review, let's each share one thing that has gotten your attention in this study so far.
  2. In this chapter we will talk about equipping the leaders around us. Is equipping an event or an ongoing process?
  3. Describe the equipping process in the churches you attended growing up. Were they intentional in their approach to equipping, or rather haphazard?(2)
  4. What would an ideal, equipping church look like? Dream with me. They sky's the limit. Specifically, what would the idea look like?
  5. 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?
  6. What impact does this have on equipping?
  7. How can we communicate the vision so that everyone knows?
  8. What is the primary need of your organization?
  9. Do you have a training program in place to meet the primary need?
  10. What areas of your church have the greatest potential?
  11. Do the potential growth areas have the leaders they need to enjoy the growth potential?
  12. Are you willing to pour yourself into equipping others? Does equipping others sound like something you want to do?(3)
  13. Do you feel you are effective or competent to equip others to leadership? Are you confident in your competence to teach others?
  14. Do you have a prospect list of potential leaders? How could you organize your life so that you had such a list?
  15. 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 these people.(4)
  16. Is this person compatible philosophically with your leadership and with your church?(5)
  17. Does this person have potential for growth?
  18. Are there lingering questions you have about this person?
  19. Are you selecting this person because of obvious strengths, or because they don't have any weaknesses?
  20. What is the potential leader's fit?
  21. How perfect does a potential leader have to be in order to give him a chance? How much imperfection do we put up with?
  22. 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?
  23. What kind of relationship do you have with your potential leaders? How could you go about developing the relationship you need to have?
  24. Imagine I am your potential leader. We are having coffee. Share your dream with me. Quickly-this should come easily for you.
  25. Do you remember what John Maxwell says about asking for commitment? (Page 94.) Do you agree?
  26. What would be an example of a growth goal for a leader in training?
  27. How do you feel about making your expectations clear through a job descriptions?
  28. Who can remember John Maxwell's five step process to training? Let's review them until we have them down.
  29. Someone give an example of how this five step process might work out in your church.
  30. Have you ever used the five step process? Tell us about it.
  31. Why are each of the five steps important? Could you leave any out?
  32. Are there any other steps necessary that John Maxwell left out?
  33. John Maxwell says we should give them the "Big Three." What are the "Big Three"? (Page 101)
  34. Why are each of these important?
  35. Which is easiest to give?
  36. Do you feel comfortable giving authority away?
  37. Do you feel comfortable checking up on people? Why is it important?
  38. What kind of equipping meetings do you have at your church?
  39. 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?

Chapter 6

  1. Who can explain the difference between nurturing, equipping, and developing leaders?
  2. Why is each important?
  3. Which of the three is the most difficult?
  4. 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?
  5. Is growth a natural result of being alive? See page 116.
  6. Why do many (most?) quit growing?
  7. Why is a plan for personal growth important?
  8. Do you have a plan for personal growth? Tell us about it.
  9. 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.
  10. What would work for you?
  11. Who do you have to become in order to achieve the goals you want to achieve?
  12. Who must the leaders around you become to achieve the goals you want to achieve?
  13. Do you have a system for filing helpful information that comes your way? How does that work?
  14. Why is it important to apply quickly what you learn?
  15. 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 develop?
  16. 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?
  17. What does the Bible have to say about rewards?
  18. In what ways can we reward people for doing the right things?
  19. Describe a situation where you have felt the need to confront a leader you are developing.
  20. Have you ever been confronted in a way that benefitted you?
  21. What are the keys to confronting in a way that benefits, rather than hurts the person we confront?
  22. 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?
  23. How would it make you feel to have leaders in your church who are better communicators and are more popular than you are?
  24. 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?
  25. 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 vulnerability.

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.

4. I'd 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.



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