Empowerment Leadership Model for Small Groups, Teams, & Families
Course 2, Lesson 14
Getting Outside Help for Members
if Necessary for the Accomplishment of the Purpose
Note: Whenever "group" or "team" is used, it can mean "group", "team", or "family".
Sometimes the group has to assist members get outside help. Occasionally a group member will have an assigned task and need more of something to carry out the assignment. The successful group helps people get what they need to carry out their group responsibilities.
A valuable church leader on the church board may have a failing marriage and the wise church board will help him get counseling, not only for his marriage’s sake, but also for the sake of the church board that needs his valuable contributions. I have met with pastors who had people who wanted to become leaders but were living in some sort of personal sin or had some dysfunctional behavior that sent up red flags. The pastor would ask me how to handle such a situation. I would suggest that the person be told of the church’s need for his or her leadership and be asked with a sense of importance and urgency to get help to cease the behavior so that the church could use him or her in leadership. Many men will go to marriage counseling more readily to preserve their contribution to the church board than to repair their marriage, sad as that may be. But be happy that the importance of church board participation can help in bringing about counseling and eventually happiness to that marriage.
Let me give a few more examples of a group getting its members to sources of outside help. A Sunday school class might have a member who doesn’t know how to use a concordance. Having another group member teach that person how to use one is mutual aid – getting the person a concordance is assisting that member to get outside help. In other words, the concordance is the outside help. A Bible study group might have a member struggling with a matter of faith beyond the group’s understanding and get that person to the pastor. A Social Committee might give many ideas to the person in charge of the banquet as to various places to hold the feast. The Board of Deacons might send a member to a seminar on roof repair before repairing the church roof.
I'll never forget the public school in the middle of a huge housing project in the South Bronx in New York City where I worked with delinquent sixth graders. One Puerto Rican boy named Manuel came into the group one day and declared that he needed help in school. The group quickly discovered that he was having trouble with English. When one youngster suggested he have his mother help him, the group learned that his mother didn't speak English. So the group took on the problem to solve. Eventually the group decided that Manuel should go to a special class offered after school.
But Manuel said, "No, I don't want to go to that class. If I go to that special class, I'll be put in the 'dumbest' reading group." Unfortunately, the school did separate kids based on ability. Manuel had done a lot to get out of the "dumbest classroom," and now he wanted to do even better. The group talked about it and decided that they all would go with Manuel to talk to the special reading teacher. They would negotiate with the teacher so Manuel could get help and not have to go to the poorest reading group.
You can imagine what that teacher thought when this group of kids, the feared group who had maimed four teachers for life, came walking in to negotiate on Manuel's behalf. They were successful, and Manuel got the help he needed without being punished for requesting help, as had others before him.
Next, let's look at how a group needs to identify and utilize available resources that can speed the group on its way to its purpose.
Copyright 2012 Dick Wulf, Colorado, USA