When you form your Small Group, you will be working together for at least 60 years (the length of the GHG contract)! TIST Small Groups are where TIST members come together to share information, learn from each other, and build each other up. If you are taking this training as a small group, take time to identify your group leader for this week, and then decide who will be group leader the next time you meet. By doing this you will start practicing the TIST Small Group best practices immediately!
Rotational Leadership is a core part of the TIST Small Group. TIST Small Groups will work together for over thirty years, and each person in the group will have the opportunity to act as the group leader. This ensures that every person in the group has the opportunity to participate as both a group member and a leader.
In a TIST Small Group, there are three leadership roles:
The Leader is a servant to the group, and facilitates the meetings and makes sure each person in the group is able to participate. The leader exemplifies the TIST values and encourages group members.
The Co-Leader helps the Leader facilitate the group and serves as the group time-keeper. The Co-Leader becomes the Leader at the next meeting, reads the meeting notes, and helps to train the Accountability Person.
The Accountability Person reminds the group of their responsibilities and previous and current commitments. They take the meeting notes and help support the Leader and Co-Leader. The Accountability Person becomes the Co-Leader at the next meeting.
Rotating Leadership is practiced at every level of TIST, including both Small Groups and Clusters. Leadership is rotated at every meeting (weekly), with the Co-Leader becoming the Leader, the Accountability Person becoming the Co-Leader, and a new Accountability Person being elected.
Elections are done democratically and each person in the TIST Small Group has an equal vote.
Leadership alternates between men and women at each level of TIST. This means that if the current Accountability Person is a man, the next one should be a woman. Thus the leadership always alternates between men and women.
Kujengana is the Swahili word that means "to build up," and it is something that is done at the end of every TIST meeting. Kujengana is a very important part of each weekly Small Group meeting. It is at the very foundation of the TIST Values. Each person in TIST has their own special talents and gifts that they bring to TIST. Every person is a leader, and every person has something valuable to contribute. Kujengana is the practice of saying this value out loud.
Kujengana is practiced at the conclusion of every Small Group meeting. Each person in the group takes a turn telling the leader one positive thing that the leader did during the meeting. Think of it as something a "fly on the wall" would see and hear. These are specific statements, and each member of the group says something different. Some groups even do Kujengana for the co-leader.
In response to Kujengana, the leader simply says "thank you." There is no discussion of how things could have been done differently or better. By practicing rotating leadership, everyone gets to experience Kujengana.