[I wrote a blog entry a few years ago for 2009 with a similar title, so I thought I'd recycle it since it's still a great concern for me and most every pastor I visit with in my consulting practice.]
Would you like your group members to be reaching friends for Christ through relational evangelism and discipling them as a part of group life between meetings?
Then prototype something this next year that you "roll out" in 2012...
Decide right now that you will not promote or appoint a group member to a place of leadership in 2012 if he or she has not personally led someone to Christ and spiritually mentored the person.
This is not rocket science. Groups that reach people for Christ are led by a godly man or woman who leads people to Christ and is passionate about personal evangelism.
I know what you're thinking. Sheesh! I will have ZERO new leaders if I made this a requirement!
So true. That's why you need to figure out how to develop those kinds of leaders in 2011 with the goal of making it one of your most basic requirements for group leadership in 2012.
If you accept this challenge, I believe it will change everything for you as a pastor of a smaller church or the small groups/cell groups pastor of a larger church. It will force you to do two things right away:
1. You will overhaul your member discipleship process (not just your leader training content) to include practical, experience-based training for evangelism.
2. You will quickly see that your role will change drastically when you are overtly spending time with next year's leaders and praying with them for their lost friends, meeting those lost friends whenever possible, and thinking evangelism first and foremost to see some movement in this area of group life.
What grade would you give yourself in this kind of leadership development for 2010? How can you raise it a grade level or two in 2011 so that 2012 and beyond can be the most powerful years of ministry you've ever experienced?