Leading an Apprentice

Before taking on your apprentice, read this info! There are 2 sections for you to read and understand: (1) definitions and (2) process

After reading this guide, you will understand the terminology and the apprenticeship process. Then, it's time to begin with Step 1!

Definitions: What is a __________?

What is a Mentor? 

"Mentor" is not a specific leadership position; it is simply something we want all of our ministry team members doing! A mentor is someone who intentionally & personally pours into & invests in another person (in this case, usually students). Many of you have a mentor/mentee relationship with some of the students in your small group, or maybe even another member of our ministry team. Previously, we have called this "coaching," but for the sake of clarity, we will use the term "mentor" going forward. (You'll understand why after you read the next description!)

What is a Coach?

A Coach is someone who is a leader of leaders. Right now, I (Stephen) would technically be the person coaching all of you. But let's be real, I don't have the capacity to coach all of you. Jesus only coached 12... And he's Jesus! Moving forward, some of you may become coaches who will begin intentionally leading other NT Students leaders. 

What is a Leader?

An NT Students Leader is someone who regularly performs leadership duties while not under the direct supervision of anyone else. If you're reading this, you probably already have a pretty good idea of what this means.

What is an Apprentice?

An apprentice is a leader-in-training. This person is watching, learning, and getting hands on practical ministry experience in order to become a leader in your ministry role in the near future. You are not training your replacement, you are training a new team member! This person should be given more and more responsibility in leading the group as the term goes on. Most apprentices are ready to lead a group of their own after about six to nine months, but you will ultimately be the one who decides when they are ready to become a leader. When that time comes, you will lead them through the process of becoming a leader under the guidance of your coach.

Apprenticeship Process:

  1. Seek out your apprentice. Your apprentice isn't "just anyone." It's someone who you see leadership potential in... Someone who you believe could succeed in your ministry role! 

  2. Talk to your coach for approval. It is important that your apprentice is approved by your coach. We want to set everyone up to succeed, and part of your coach's job is helping you pick the right apprentice for your ministry role. Be sure to consult your coach before talking to your potential apprentice. This will help avoid the awkward, "sorry, my coach said no" conversation that has the potential to leave someone hurt.

  3. Have an ICNU conversation. Once you have identified someone with leadership potential, have an ICNU conversation with them.

    • ICNU is a linguistic play on letters and words known as "license plate language." The letters stand for "I see in you." These four simple letters may be the most important and impactful part of recruiting your apprentice. Seeing true potential in an apprentice is infinitely more important than simply filling a need with any warm body. When you are convinced of their potential, you need to make sure they know about it too. An ICNU conversation is essential as you start your apprenticeship. As you continue to lead your apprentice, it will also be vitally important that you continue sharing the amazing potential you see in them! ICNU is more than a conversation; it's a lifestyle.

  4. Make the ask. Ask them to begin joining you in your ministry role! This is typically done at the end of your first ICNU conversation.

  5. Give them this link: ntcoc.org/ntstudents/apprentice. This will take them through the entire logistical process of joining the NT Students Ministry Team. It includes: (a) a reiteration of what you have already shared with them, (b) a background check, (c) gathering their contact info, and (d) a personality assessment for you to use as a tool as you lead them!

  6. Begin leading your apprentice. Your apprenticeship will go in 5 stages. You will be the one who decides when they are ready for the next stage because you will know your apprentice's capabilities better than anyone else.

    • I do, you watch, we talk.

    • I do, you help, we talk.

    • You do, I help, we talk.

    • You do, I watch, we talk.

    • You do, someone else watches.

      • This is the exciting stage where your apprentice becomes a leader! At this time, they move into a leadership role and take on their own apprentice.

  7. Send off your apprentice as a new NT Students Leader. This process will need to be done under the guidance of your coach. When you feel your apprentice is ready to become a leader, talk to your coach about it privately, then allow your coach to lead both of you through the process.

  8. Seek out your new apprentice! Remember, you weren't training a replacement; you were training a new team member. You will continue serving in your role while training another apprentice.