We’ve talked about the three keys to a successful microsite, and at the top of that list is leadership. The strength and growth of the site hinges on a leader committed to your vision and wired to develop people. There’s no one right kind of leader—several personality types can be successful—but there does need to be screening on your part to make sure this person has the right spiritual DNA.
So, how do you know? What should you look for in a potential leader? When your leadership team talks to the person, start with these basic questions.
Does This Person Have a Life-Change Story?
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to assume someone who has been in church has truly experienced life change in Christ. Don’t be embarrassed to start right here. Ask them to tell their story of how Jesus transformed them. After all, they need to be able to explain this to the people who come to the microsite as well.
Does This Person Have a Calling to Ministry?
A microsite isn’t just a place for people to watch church. It is a church. The person who leads this gathering will be guiding people on a spiritual journey. While the skillset for a smaller gathering like this may be on a different level from a pastor of a megachurch, there’s no less a need to hear them share a clear passion for reaching people with the Gospel.
Expect to hear something like this: “I love this community, and there are so many people here who don’t go to church. I can’t stand that.” “God’s already at work in our apartment building. In the last month, I’ve had people I rarely talk to ask me about my faith.” “I have this vision for a church gathering right there in the prison. I can really see it happening.”
If there’s no passion, no desire to see lives changed, proceed with caution. That’s what will sustain them over the long haul.
Does This Person Have a Record of Sticking with It?
This may be tougher to gauge if you have no history with this potential leader. But don’t be afraid to get references. Look, a microsite leader is a key face of your church in a particular community. Treat them the same you would any other hire—even if they’re a volunteer (ideally, you get references on your volunteers, too, but that’s a whole other blog).
You need to make sure this isn’t a person who jumps from one area of ministry to another because it seems more exciting. Microsite, as the new hotness, can attract early adopters, which is not a bad thing, but weigh their interest carefully.
The bottom line is you need to ensure this person will walk through the ups and downs of a microsite. Just because it’s a smaller setting, that doesn’t mean it’s easier. In fact, consistency of a quality leader can be even more important because there’s no other staff.
Does This Person Embody Your Church’s DNA?
Most likely, a microsite leader will be remote from the sponsoring church. They’re not attending your weekly meetings; they’re not stopping to talk to the leadership in the hallway; they’re not hearing and seeing the vision of the church each day.
While ongoing training is essential to make them feel like a part of the family, the DNA you send a leader with is crucial. In other words, spend time intentionally training them before they launch so that you’re not having to redirect and correct later. Plus, pre-training helps you uncover areas of concern in a potential leader.
Can This Person Develop Leaders?
Since a microsite leader won’t be preaching, they can focus much more attention on developing disciples. Granted, they’ll likely be volunteer leaders themselves, but they’ll need to have some margin available to “equip the saints for the work of ministry.” The “how” will vary by situation, but they’ll need your help to make that happen.
What you need to ask yourself is if this potential leader has the knack for connecting with people and helping them grow spiritually. Easiest way to tell? Just look to see if they’re already doing so.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should get you started as you interview a potential leader. What would you add?