Here’s another good article from about finding an apprentice for your small group. -B.


by Eric Metcalf,

To approach a potential apprentice, you just need to see something in a person, then talk to them about it. At Community Christian Church, we utilize some simple license plate language that we call ICNU. There are three things we look for in order to know whether this conversation is valid:

  1. Spiritual velocity. Are they growing in their relationship with Jesus? Are they increasing their generosity, investing in their family or friendships, and practicing spiritual disciplines?
  2. Teachability. The whole apprenticeship concept, following Jesus, is based upon an ability to be teachable. Where does this potential apprentice display humility?
  3. Relational intelligence. Is this person self-aware? Does this person have a keen ability to affirm and encourage those around them?

Once you have identified those characteristics, you are ready for the recruiting “drive by.” In other words, when you walk up to the person or casually pass by them, just say, “Have you ever thought about leading a small group? You would be great at it—seriously, you would rock.” Then move on. This “drive by” will create enough curiosity that, the next time you see them, you can then ask if they would be up for a cup of coffee some time.

Then it’s time for the ICNU conversation. What do you see in them? Think about it, and be prepared with at least two or three specific examples of what you see in them as a potential apprentice and eventual leader. “Recently we had a new couple come to small group, and I noticed how you were the first to welcome them. You are great at helping people feel welcome.” Or maybe say, “When Bob shared what he was feeling, you did a great job following up with a question in order to clarify what you heard. I think most of us weren’t sure how to respond, but you have a real knack for helping others think through what they’re sharing.”

Once you are able to have this ICNU conversation, you make the ask. I know this one seems obvious, but let’s face it, most of the time we don’t take this step seriously and we let an opportunity pass us by. We usually make excuses on how the person doesn’t have time or they might say no or we are afraid of rejection. But this is an awesome opportunity to invite someone into the mission with us, and we must not take that away from someone else. So ask away!

And when you do, ask with boldness and vision. Help them see how going on this journey will change their life. Talk about how it has and is changing yours. Then ask them to think and pray about it over the next week, and let them know you would like to talk more about what it would look like for them to be your apprentice.

After spending the week praying for them and their decision, follow up, clarify what you are asking of them, and invite them in on the mission.

—Eric Metcalf is the Director of Awesome at Community Christian Church in Naperville, IL.

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