Leading Beyond the First Layer

Now that we have the Mark series launched at First Baptist Church, and the content to support the series is flowing, I thought I would begin providing some more resources for the general leadership of your groups. If you did want to learn more about the Mark series, you can check out the Mark page here.

I previously posted about investing in an apprentice. As a leader of your group, it is extremely important that you are raising up new leaders. This means that you are not just leading your group as they study the Scriptures together, pray for one another, care for one another, encourage one another and engage in God’s mission together. As a group leader, you also provide personal leadership to particular people who might be future group leaders themselves.

This type of leadership requires us to go even one step further. We lead beyond the first layer. When I say this, I mean that we are not just concerned with our apprentice, but also the people in their lives. We are not just concerned with leading the apprentice, but also the people they are leading. Therefore, our conversations need to help us consider who our apprentice is investing in with their own lives. Here are some practical ways to do that:

  1. Know your apprentice first. We want to lead beyond the first layer, but first we have to actually lead at the first layer. Ask good questions. Invest in their lives. Know how their relationship with Jesus is going. Know how their relationship with their spouse is going. Know how their relationship with the children are going. Know them first.

  2. Know who your apprentice is investing in. Get to know their heart for their friends, their family, their neighbors, their co-workers, their classmates. Who are they investing in. Know their Relational Sphere of Influence (RSI). (more explanation of RSIs to come in future weeks). To begin, just know the people your apprentice cares about.

  3. Help your apprentice clarify who they want to invest in. We could all use some clarity surrounding who we feel compelled to invest in. Help your apprentice think through this question, and know who these people are. As we think about the groups we are leading, it is important for our apprentice to invest in at least one other person from the group in an intentional way. Who is that person?

  4. Equip your apprentice to invest in them well. Help provide the resources, skills and feedback necessary for your apprentice to feel confident in their ability to lead others as they invest in them.

  5. Encourage your apprentice as they invest. We all need encouragement. When you see your apprentice doing something well, give positive feedback. Encourage the positive steps they are taking. No matter how small it is, find something to celebrate in your apprentice each time you meet with them or interact with them.

  6. Provide accountability to your apprentice for their investment in others. We all need someone to help hold us accountable to the goals we have. Ask your apprentice how it is going, and do not let it slide by not talking about it.

If we are training someone to provide leadership to a new group, they must be able to lead others. We can help our apprentice either start or continue their investment in others. It is an important element to raising up new leaders of any kind. We must be concerned with not only the people we lead, but the people they are leadingl. We must lead beyond the first layer.