Ministry is hard! There is no doubt about that. Because church planting is essentially an entrepreneurial enterprise with multiple moving parts and partners it comes with a layer of complexity that other ministries may not have.
Unfortunately, some people see coachable as a remedial thing (“I must not be doing very well because they want me to have a coach.”) when in fact the opposite is true! Coaches are provided for those who already have great potential and want to maximize it!
Coaching is different than consulting. Consultants come to tell us what we need to know and do. They often speak out of their best practice knowledge. Consultants can be extremely helpful in this ministry and sometimes good coaches will put on a consulting hat when the process gets stuck and share a best practice idea or resource that will help move things along.
Coaches help leaders get from where they are to where they believe God is calling them to be by asking good evocative questions. Think “stage coach”. The coach is not the driver sitting on the top with the reins in her hands. It’s not the person sitting inside. The coach is the vehicle to get from one place to the next.
Effective coaching sessions will involve careful listening and observation on the part of the coach built on the agenda of the person being coached (“Where is God calling me and this ministry to go from here?”). Coaching sessions are always action oriented and provide accountability. If there’s no action or accountability then there has been no coaching.
The person being coached needs to have input into the person who will be coaching them. Often coaches will offer a free session to see if there is affinity. The Conference Church Vitality office can suggest coaches ready for this work.
Part of the ministry and funding strategies developed by the church planter and stakeholders should include provision for coaching.
The leadership of our annual conference believes in the value of coaching and will provide, even if only partially, funds necessary for each planter to obtain a coach.