Help leaders succeed in their own pursuit of God

Psalm 78:70-72 He chose his servant David, calling him from the sheep pens. He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants—God’s own people, Israel. He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.

King David demonstrated the traits of a spiritual leader. He cared and led. Likewise, coaching is shepherding. Coaches care for, challenge, pray for, and disciple leaders – just as you want to see leaders do in their small groups. Help them model the life they hope to build into the people in their groups. Of course, as coaches, this is also the kind of life we want to be leading ourselves.

Help leaders succeed in leading and multiplying their groups

Coaching is mentoring. As you get to know the leader and the group better through the mentoring relationship and the assessment process, discern where to start giving input. Address one matter at a time, starting with the most impactful issue.

First, invest in helping leaders develop their group leadership skills as an ongoing process. Use the skills described in the Small Group Leader Job Description as a guide, items like inviting, mentoring, giving away ministry, developing leaders, leading discussion, and so forth. Use the mentoring tools to model how your leaders can mentor their co-leaders. That means using the FLEX method. Assign a conversation from the small group leader library, or have the leader choose one. Each of you will read or watch it on your own, then you can explore it together on the phone or in person.

Second, your help will be especially useful during times of transition and crisis. Leaders need a lot of input at keys times like when a group is getting started and when it is getting ready to multiply. You may also have to step in when the group needs help to solve a difficult problem. The resources at the Small Group Leader Resource page will help you.

Use the coaching tools

The Group Leader and Group Coach job descriptions set the standard. The Group Playbook and CoachesPlaybook identify the next steps. Several worksheets are available to help leaders make specific plans, including the Small Group Feedback Form, the Group Schedule Planner and Team Meeting Planner, the Group Launch Plan and Group Reproduction Plan. Set up a regular meeting schedule with the leaders you are coaching and make sure you take the initiative to stay on schedule.

Every leader and group is different

Groups (and leaders) have different needs and capacities. Coaching is messy. People don’t all grow at the same pace or in a straight line. Be prepared to be patient and flexible. Keep the big picture in mind, and keep moving forward toward the vision. But some leaders may never be very successful, and some some groups will never reproduce. The win as a coach is the progress groups and leaders are making toward going full circle in the group and in people’s lives.

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. Who has helped you most in your life to grow in pursuing God? What did they do that made a difference?
  4. Read Psalm 78:70-72. In what ways is leadership essentially shepherding?
  5. Why is it important to coach leaders in their own pursuit of God, along with their ministry skills? (Compare: Four Key Coaching Skills.)
  6. What are some questions you could ask in a coaching appointment to help a leader grow in pursuing God? (See this list.)
  7. Look at the Small Group Leader Job Description. Go to the Small Group Page at For each of the two major elements of the leader’s job description, find two or three articles that would help a leader improve.
  8. Look at the Small Group Coaches Playbook. Discuss how to use the playbook to organize your coaching appointments.
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Ministry Tools: