I’m sure many of you are familiar with the image above from the principles in The Leadership Pipeline book by Charan, Drotter, and Noel. I want to plant this image in your mind so we might begin to think about our particular group members, the diversity among them, and how we need to address each type of member differently. The question is not “how do we directly produce new group leaders from someone only sitting in the pew for one hour each week”; rather, the question is “how do we move people through the pipeline from one identity to another?”
More specifically, what microshifts do we need to incorporate to promote progression through the pipeline? What value shifts need to occur to get the lost and searching as part of a biblical community? To get the pew-only into a group? To get the leaders to reproduce?
Obviously, your role is not to do this all solo. Rather, your task is to form the environments, structure, and leaders necessary to continually move people through the pipeline. In future posts, I will explore some of the group best practices at each level that will help to continually mobilize people to become disciple makers among the lost and searching, utilizing groups as a discipleship vehicle.
By Paul Wilkinson