Two sets of questions can prepare the way for a wise choice of Group Leaders:
First, from the church’s perspective:
- What vision for church growth and development does the church leadership have?
- What part do they hope that groups studying SEAN materials will play in fulfilling this vision?
- What kind of Group Leaders are most likely to contribute to fulfilling this vision?
It can be very helpful for church leadership to put into words the vision that they have, and the TEE Program may be able to help crystallize unspoken ideas and thoughts.
Second, from the TEE Program’s perspective:
- What is involved in being a good SEAN Group Leader?
- What kind of person will be able to do this job well?
The TEE Program should be able to give a clear description of what is expected of a good SEAN Group Leader. Here is one possible description.
A good Group Leader :
- guides the group meeting so that the lesson objectives are fulfilled
- encourages and develops each member’s participation in the group
- helps resolve any relationship problems that may arise in the group
- encourages and guides group discussion
- helps group members apply their learning in their contexts
- wants to see each group member flourish in their gifts, ministry and calling
- organizes the group meetings and keep records efficiently
Discussion between TEE Program and church leadership could help the church leadership to draw up their own list of criteria for choosing new Group Leaders.
Here are some examples of criteria that might be used to select new Group Leaders for training:
New Group Leaders should be people who are
- passionate about God, about discipleship, about God’s people
- passionate about the transformation of society
- growing in maturity, going places with God
- committed to the church, and consistent in their membership
- living a lifestyle consistent with someone following Jesus
- displaying real evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in their lives
- already experienced at least to some extent in leadership and service
In addition, new Group Leaders should be
- sensitive to the needs, abilities, and different situations of group members
- firm but flexible
- humble, with a servant heart
- willing to learn, and be trained as Group Leader
- honest, with personal integrity
- clear communicators
On the other hand, here are some signs that a person would not make a good Group Leader. If they are:
- not able to submit to church leadership
- already committed to too many ministries
- critical and impatient with others
- liable to dominate a group
- full of themselves and their own opinions
- good talkers but poor listeners, then they are unlikely to make good Group Leaders.
It is worth noting that the choice of new Group Leaders sends clear and strong signals to the whole church about the importance the leadership are giving to SEAN groups.
Some TEE Programs make it a requirement that the main church leader should participate in the first Group Leader Training workshop, and that he or she should lead, or be a member of the first group studying SEAN materials. This principle helps place training using SEAN courses at the heart of the church’s agenda and leads to church members valuing the program, investing in it, and gaining great benefit from it.