The appointing method is based on the idea that leaders are effective in choosing other leaders (that have not demonstrated competency). It sounds good at first, but the actual practice can be devastating. At a previous church, we have tried this with little success. I have enlisted people who were leaders in their previous churches, and when they joined our church, they expected to be placed in a teaching vacancy immediately.

This was the case with Steven (fictitious name). He had been a small-group leader in his last church and came to our church excited about our growth and his service. We had a teacher in a 30-something group move away. I decided to send Steven into this growing group. The group soon began to die, and I knew it was my fault. I had set both him and the group up to fail.

Although intentions are good, the appointing method rarely works. We have hurt more groups this way than helped them. The basic problem is that every small group develops a culture. When you bring people in from the outside and appoint them as the leaders, not only do they not know and understand the culture of the group, they may not fit the culture once they understand it.

As you might guess, I don’t recommend this often-practiced method.

(This is part 1 of 3 posts discussing Leadership enlistment)