There are four foundational truths that we must embrace to have a strong coaching ministry:

Embrace a vision for life change. We must believe that people really can change. Early in his career a seasoned pastor came to young Bill Hybels and said, “Hey Bill, you are an idealistic young guy, but can I shoot straight with you? You stand up there every week preaching your heart out, hoping people will change. But, the truth is, people just don’t change.” Hybels replied with courage and conviction, “Well, sir, I am betting my whole life on the fact that you are wrong.”

Nurture your love of community. Coaches develop and support group leaders because they are “devoted to the fellowship.” (Acts 2.42) “Community,” exhorted Dietrich Bonheoffer, “is what we share in Christ” and not something we create. Community is created by God and we are called to participate in it.

Cultivate a passion for reproducing leaders.A major barrier to spiritual growth and the connection of people in the church community is the availability and empowerment of shepherd-leaders who will nurture them in Christ and provide a safe, loving place for them to belong.

Ministry is like love–it has no value if it is hoarded. The point is to give it away. It is a ministry of reproduction.

Willow Creek Church once honored one of it’s small group leaders. They asked members of the congregation who had been personally discipled by him to stand. Fifteen people stood up. Then they asked people to look carefully at the people standing. “If you were mentored either one-on-one, or in a group with one of these people, would you stand?” Another forty or fifty people stood. Finally, a third request. “Look at those standing. If you were mentored one-on-one, or in a group with one of these standing, will you also stand?” By now there were more than two hundred people standing. The power of reproducing leaders is awesome.

Develop the heart of a shepherd. A shepherd guides to rest and refreshment, comforts in the face of difficulty, provides for life, and assures of God’s presence. (Psalm 23)

Few coaches embrace the characteristics described above more than Debbie Beise. Typical coaches gather their leaders every four to six weeks. Debbie met with hers weekly–because they wanted to. Though she suffered from liver cancer, she courageously devoted herself to her leaders, many of who fought serious challenges of their own and needed care and support.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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