Leadership and Apprenticing, Part 2

Ben Reed —  May 28, 2009 — Leave a comment

Wikipedia defines apprenticeship as “a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill.  Apprentices (or in early modern usage “prentices”) or proteges build their careers from apprenticeships. Most of their training is done on the job while working for an employer who helps the apprentices learn their trade, in exchange for their continuing labor for an agreed period after they become skilled.”

In part one of this series, I made a plea for apprenticing, gave an idea on how to do it, and encouraged you to both find someone who will apprentice you and find someone to apprentice.  In this post, I’m going to give you some advantages of using the apprentice method of recruiting leaders.  I tend to think of leadership through the grid of church ministry, and specifically small group ministry, but have tried to keep things broad enough so that if you’re not directly involved in church leadership, you can find these principles and observations helpful.

Obviously, there are tons of different ways to locate and recruit leaders for your organization.  This is one of them.

5 Advantages of using apprentices to grow your organization:

1. They already buy into the vision. If they’ve apprenticed for a time in the ministry, then they know the vision and have bought into where the ministry is headed.  This helps give your ministry synergy to take leaps forward.

2. They know how the organization should work. They’ve sat in leadership meetings, led some themselves, been a part of training events, and seen the organization in action.  This gives them a great advantage over outsiders coming into the organization seeking leadership.

3. Somebody else believes in them. The person who has been apprenticing them is a person who believes in the apprentice’s abilities, character, and leadership potential.  They will be a huge advocate for the apprentice, and likely already have been.

4. They have an insider who will continue to invest in them. Their leader, who asked them to apprentice, will not completely abandon their relationship with this new leader.  They have been developing the relationship over the course of their apprenticeship, and will (hopefully) continue investing in this person.  If you hire (or recruit) from outside of the organization, those support relationships have to be developed.

5. They’ve already been given the chance to lead. The apprentice isn’t taking a huge step when he or she becomes a full-fledged leader.  It doesn’t seem, to them, that they’re making a leap, but rather stepping into a role that feels more natural to them.

I’ve got a few more reasons.  Check back soon for the next post.

What’s your primary method for recruiting leaders?  Do you encourage apprenticeship?

 

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Ben Reed

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