Four key skills can define a coach’s effectiveness. These four skills are:
- Modeling: Pursue Christ-likeness
Jesus taught that when modeling is working as it should, the disciple will ultimately become like his teacher (Luke 6:40). Leadeship studies confirm that in about thrity-six months, the people you lead will closely reflect who you are. A loving teacher will produce loving disciples. A joyful teacher will produce joyful disciples. But it also works the other way – if the practices you model are bad. Grumpy teachers produce grumpy disciples.
- Guiding: Shepherd intentionally
Coaches can easily miss the need to build community with and among their leaders. They move too quickly to envisioning and equipping. When this happens, leaders can be left feeling like a manager or a guide, not a shepherd. Jesus placed a high value on relationships in ministry and so should we.
- Envisioning: Dream together
Most churches have a vision for the role of small groups in their church. The vision often breaks down when it gets translated from a larger vision of the whole church to the role each group leader plays in helping the church reach that vision. Coaches can easily fall into the trap of simply parroting the official vision of the church. If this happens, the vision will not capture the hearts of the group leaders and there will be little connection to day-to-day activities of those leaders. Coaches need to create space for leaders to think and dream about what the larger vision would look like if it were fully lived out in their group. Coaches work with leaders to develop clear and compelling vision for their group.
- Equipping: Develop skills
Many churches jump into a focus on skill development too quickly, before shepherding and visioning. On the other hand, it is possible to get stuck in the relationship phase. When coaches and group leaders meet, it is not just a feel-good session. Skill building is also important.
- Invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this topic? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.