The Bourne Leader
The Bourne Identity was a great movie. Jason Bourne was a secret agent that was part of an experimental government test that enhanced his natural abilities, allowing him to be one of the best spies/agents ever. He saw things that no one else saw and did things that no one else would think of doing in certain situations… the best microchurch leaders have this “Bourne edge” to them; able to perceive things and lead the microchurch in a way that not many see but in a way that benefits everyone and enhances every members’ microchurch experience. Here are a few tips to subtly enhancing your skills as a microchurch leader that no one will even notice you are doing but will increase the quality of your microchurch!
1. Quarterback fellowship time. In my microchurch, we take the first 15 minutes of microchurch to catch up with one another and hang out. During this time, I usually am in a place in the room where I can see all the activity going on. I see who is talking to whom, who is sitting on the couch by themselves, and where the wallflowers are trying to hide. I will engage in a few casual conversations, but my main goal of this time is to help others connect. To do this, I will quarterback the situation, meaning I call over my regular attenders (particularly those with a shepherding gift) and ask them to go talk to and welcome any newcomers and wallflowers. I want to make sure everyone feels like a million bucks and ensure they feel wanted at my microchurch.
If you have apprentices or regular attenders, make sure they are not just talking amongst themselves. Create the culture of hospitality by encouraging them to reach out to the newcomers and wallflowers and watch how the entire environment of your microchurch shifts!
2. Know when to quit. Nothing is worse than unintentional awkward pauses. You know that time when the group prayer has gone really well but then there is about two minutes of silence before the leader finally says amen? That usually puts a damper on what could have been a great prayer time by making everyone uncomfortable (especially newcomers). You always want people walking away wanting more rather than feeling that it went too long. Good leaders know when to transition out of one aspect of microchurch to another.
The same is true for the overall length of your microchurch. Make sure you finish in a timely fashion. Usually an hour and a half is a good time to keep in the back of your mind. Two hours is still good, but anything after that is pushing it (unless the Lord is really moving), especially for someone new checking out your microchurch or new to Jesus for that matter. You want people leaving your house wanting to stay, not staying too long and wanting to leave.
3. Master the art of facilitation. The best discussions are the ones where everyone is involved. It is the difference between walking away feeling encouraged and like you really learned from one another and feeling like you just got talked at for 45 minutes. Teachers have the hardest time with this because they want to teach, but good microchurch leaders will go the extra mile to facilitate in a way where there is maximum engagement. Everyone loves to feel like they contributed, and the more that you can do this, the better off the microchurch will be.
So even with some subtle shifts, you can make your microchurch that much better!