Four Keys to Recruiting Coaches for New Groups

Four Keys to Recruiting Coaches for New Groups

Planning to launch some new groups this fall? Don’t miss an important step in helping keep your new groups going! Increase their sustainability by assigning coaches to help new leaders start well and make it through the critical first 8 to 10 weeks.

Like a rocket launch, launching new groups well requires a lot of energy. And once launched, there are certain things you can do to keep them in orbit. Providing a coach who can effectively guide them through their first few weeks is very important.

Over the last 15 years I’ve developed a very effective way of identifying, recruiting and deploying what I call  launch-phase coaches. A launch-phase coach is essentially someone who is equipped to help a new leader successfully make it through their first 8 to 10 weeks.

Four Keys to Implementing the Launch-Phase Coaching Strategy

There are a four keys to implementing the launch-phase coach strategy:

  1. Identify the right people. Experienced and effective existing group leaders with the right characteristics make excellent coaches. And they can really help brand new leaders get off to a great start. See also, Skill Training: How to Identify a Potential Coach.
  2. Recruit them the right way. I use a very specific technique that allows me to essentially shape a test-drive. Different than some recruiting strategies, I’m actually test-driving the launch-phase coach (as opposed to them test-driving being a coach). See also, Skill Training: How to Recruit a Potential Coach.
  3. Deploy them in the right role. Once you’ve identified the right people and recruited them well, deploying them into the right role is an essential next step. There are certain things they must do that effectively help new leaders get off to a great start. A launch-phase coach can be easily equipped to do the right things. See also, The Awesome Potential of the Launch-Phase Coach Strategy.
  4. Evaluate their effectiveness and satisfaction at the end of the 8 to 10 week commitment. During the test-drive you will be looking for two essential qualities. Fruitfulness and fulfillment are essential for long-term players in the coach role. See also, How to Do an “Exit Interview” of a Launch-Phase Coach.

Building an effective coaching structure is one of the most important components of building a thriving small group ministry. While you will learn a many of the most important elements straight from my blog posts, you may want to take my most popular mini-course: How to Build an Effective Coaching Structure.

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Friday’s List | May 19

fridays-listEvery Friday I post a short list of the things I’m reading, listening to, loving and wrestling with:

Here’s what I’m reading right now:

Myth of Balance Between Ministry, Work, and Life by Frank Bealer on TonyMorganLive.com. Great read for today. Hope you read it!

How I Recovered From Burnout: 12 Keys To Finding Your New Normal by Carey Nieuwhof. I’m sensing a theme here. Maybe this is important!

Who is “The One” for Your Church? by Tyler Feller. This is very good. A great idea for your church (and mine).

EIGHT SIGNS YOUR CHURCH MAY BE CLOSING SOON by Thom Rainer. If you can identify with this list…there’s still time to fix it.

Learning to Be an Exceptional Leader by Skip Pritchard. Great interview with Jim Kerr about his new book. I think you might buy the book.

The Disciple Maker’s Handbook: Seven Elements of a Discipleship Lifestyle by Bobby Harrington and Jost Patrick. Very helpful.

The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace by S. Chris Edmonds. Part of my learning path this year.

Here’s what I’m listening to:

Tony Morgan On Discovering What Stage Your Church Is At In Its Lifecycle on The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast. This is a very good conversation.

Podcast: When It’s Never Good Enough on the Accidental Creative podcast. Probably not what you think…but a very good listen.

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. I read the hardback years ago. Thought a refresher would be helpful and I was right!

Quotes I’m wrestling with:

“Since making disciples is the main task of the church, every church ought to be able to answer two questions: What is our plan for making disciples of Jesus? Is our plan working?” Dallas Willard

App I’m using:

I’m committed this year to increasing my effectiveness. Nozbe is a leading productivity app. First heard about it from Michael Hyatt. It’s already making a big difference.

My own post I hope you’re reading:

Would Small Group Ministry Basic Training Help You? I’ve packed a lot of very important content in this mini-course. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a rookie small group pastor, if you hope to build a thriving small group ministry you will benefit from at least checking out what this course offers.

Get My Best Price for Small Group Ministry Basic Training (+ NEW BONUS ADDED)

I want to invite you to join me for my new 6 session mini-course: Small Group Ministry Basic Training.  Whether you’re on the paid staff as a small group pastor or director or you’re a passionate volunteer dedicating your time and energy to champion small group ministry…this course will help you understand and implement the basics.

BUT…and I don’t wan’t you to miss this…Small Group Ministry Basic Training is about WAY more than what some might call The Basics.

I believe what I’m teaching in this course will help you unlock some of the secrets of building a truly thriving small group ministry. I’ve personally discovered that without some of the strategies and skills I’ll be highlighting, you could easily spend years stuck at one of several roadblocks…keeping you from the promised land.

And DON’T miss the BONUS I just added today!

Here’s what you’ll gain in Small Group Ministry Basic Training:

  • Core training in the seven skills every small group pastor or director must develop.
  • Proven strategies that will help you move your ministry in the direction of your preferred future.
  • An in depth understanding of what you must do to build a thriving small group ministry.
  • The tools that will help you identify future opportunities with the most upside.

What’s Included:

  1. Six 75 minute LIVE sessions (60 minutes of content + 15 minutes Q&A)
  2. Downloadable outlines (allowing you to capture every detail)
  3. Each session is packed with actionable takeaways
  4. All sessions are downloadable to share with your team
  5. Password-protected site with additional supporting resources.
  6. 100% money back guarantee.  If you’re not completely satisfied…I’ll refund your money.
  7. Take advantage of a 20% discount ($97.00) through Monday May 22nd at 12:00 a.m.
  8. Regular pricing: $124.95
  9. Add a diagnostic coaching call at a special reduced rate (My regular price for a 60 minute call is $125)
  10. Questions?  Email Me for information.

BONUS; Register by Monday, May 22nd at 12:00 a.m. and receive a FREE registration for an additional mini-course (How to Design, Build and Sustain a Thriving Small Group Ministry, How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign, or How to Build an Effective Coaching Structure).

When, Where and Other Details:

  • Note: All sessions will be recorded live and available to download the morning after the every session.
  • Live sessions 1 and 2 on Tuesday May 23rd at 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. PST.
  • Live sessions 3 and 4 on Tuesday May 30th at 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. PST.
  • Live sessions 5 and 6 on Tuesday June 20th  at 11:00 a.m. and  12:30 p.m. PST.
  • Regular pricing: $124.95
  • Take advantage of a 20% discount ($97.00) through May 19th.
  • Add a diagnostic coaching call at a special reduced rate (My regular price for a 60 minute call is $125)
  • Questions?  Email Me for information.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions!


Registration Options (pulldown)



5 Things You Need to Know about Personal Growth

I’ve been at this awhile. I started in ministry as a volunteer leader of a small college ministry in 1983. I was a college student myself (on the 10 year plan it turned out) but only a couple years older than the students. It was a life-changing experience for me and led to a vastly different career path.

In those early days I was several mentors that helped me begin well. More importantly, they helped me see the long view and encouraged me onto a path of personal growth that shaped me over time and as I went. I am still on that path.

Here is what I know about personal growth:

Personal growth is daily

Personal growth is daily. It is not something that happens as a result of a single step or a one time commitment. It’s a daily commitment to go again, to try again, to take another step.

Yes, there is a need for Sabbath. And there is a need for rest and days off and vacations. But those don’t deter or defer personal growth. They make it possible.

Personal growth is daily. How are you growing today?Personal growth is daily. How are you growing today? Click To Tweet

Personal growth requires challenge

Personal growth requires challenge. There is effort and endurance required. Spiritual, emotional, mental and physical. The easy path, the path of least resistance, rarely leads to growth.

Personal growth requires challenge. What are you up to that is requiring effort?Personal growth requires challenge. What are you up to that is requiring effort? Click To Tweet

Personal growth is about being a learner

Personal growth is about being a learner. It is about being a student. It is about being a student of the pathway, of those ahead in the near distance and of the One at the front of the line.

Being a learner requires curiosity and a preoccupation with questions. “What would have to be true for that to happen?” “How might we do that?” “What causes that to happen?”

Personal growth is about being a learner. What are you learning?Personal growth is about being a learner. What are you learning? Click To Tweet

Personal growth requires commitment

Personal growth requires commitment. Commitment to today’s effort to be sure, but also commitment to the journey itself.

Personal growth requires commitment. How's your commitment level? Click To Tweet

Personal growth requires authentic community

Personal growth requires community. The truth is, there are very few among us who are able to self-initiate personal growth and change. The rest of us require authentic community, the kind where in addition to camaraderie there is a deepening awareness of not-like-Jesus that needs shaping, truth and grace, loving affirmation and loving rebuke.

Personal growth requires authentic community. Do you have that kind of community?Personal growth requires authentic community. Do you have that kind of community? Click To Tweet

Image by Harold Litwiler

Launching a Church-Wide Campaign This Fall?

Launching a Church-Wide Campaign This Fall?

What’s your plan for the fall ministry season? Launching a church-wide campaign? I sure hope so! After all, it is the very best way to launch the largest number of new groups and connect the largest number of unconnected people.

There are several ways I can help you:

First, here’s a collection of some of my most popular articles on church-wide campaigns:

If you’re a learner, you can easily use the strategies, ideas and tips in these articles to launch a powerful campaign.

Second, take a look at How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign.

Take a look at How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign. I packed just about everything I know about church-wide campaigns in this very affordable mini-course.

If you sitting in on an expert tutorial helps you understand the ins-and-outs of strategy, this mini-course will be just the ticket. Click here to find out more about How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign.

Third, engage me to customize your church-wide campaign.

Every year I work with 2 to 5 churches that want my personal attention and customized coaching as they conceive, plan and execute their church-wide campaign.

You’re going to invest a lot of time and energy in your campaign. You’re going to spend precious budget money on your campaign. Why not take advantage of my expertise and maximize your return on investment?

Over the last 10 years I’ve led many of the fastest growing and largest churches in America through the campaign process.

There’s a reason I have several of the highest ranked pages when you search for church-wide campaign information.  I know what I’m talking about!  More importantly, I can help you plan and launch a powerful campaign that leverages my experience, your passion for your church, and the absolute latest in campaign strategies.

Click here to find out about my Church-Wide Campaign Coaching service.

Friday’s List | May 12

fridays-listEvery Friday I post a short list of the things I’m reading, listening to, loving and wrestling with:

Here’s what I’m reading right now:

5 Things That Are NOT A Badge Of Honor In Leadership by Carey Nieuwhof. This is an important list for a lot of us. Me included.

EIGHT REASONS CHURCHES BECAME TOO BUSY by Thom Rainer (on ThomRainer.com). Most churches are too busy. I bet yours needs this list…too,

8 Reasons The Best In The World Are The Best In The World (Includes Must-Watch Video) by Brian K Dodd. This article is a great reminder of what all of us, who aspire to be good stewards of the main chance, need to remember every day.

6 WAYS TO ENERGIZE YOUR TEAM by Michael Hyatt.  If you lead a team, read this and apply. I needed it this week.

6 Traits of the BEST Children’s Directors by Dan Reiland. Great insights from one of the most effective executive pastors..

Mark Zuckerberg’s Answer to a World Divided by Facebook Is More Facebook by Cade Metz of Wired. HT to Andrew Mason, this is a very, very interesting article and has more than one reference to small group ministry.

The Disciple Maker’s Handbook: Seven Elements of a Discipleship Lifestyle by Bobby Harrington and Jost Patrick. Very helpful.

The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace by S. Chris Edmonds. Part of my learning path this year.

Here’s what I’m listening to:

Doing What Only You Can Do by Andy Stanley on the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. Always good, this one is important for me and you.

Uncertainty, Systems, and Action (with Seth Godin) on the Accidental Creative Podcast. If you know the name Seth Godin…enough said. If you don’t, listen to this one and you will forever be on the lookout for more.

Andrew Mellen On The Surprising Connection Between Clutter, Order And Great Leadership on the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast. I need to put this one on repeat.

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. I read the hardback years ago. Thought a refresher would be helpful and I was right!

Quotes I’m still wrestling with:

“Making disciples is far more than a program. It is the mission of our lives. It defines us. A disciple is a disciple maker.” Francis Chan, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples

App I’m using:

I’m committed this year to increasing my effectiveness. Nozbe is a leading productivity app. First heard about it from Michael Hyatt. It’s already making a big difference.

My own post I hope you’re reading:

Would Small Group Ministry Basic Training Help You? I’ve packed a lot of very important content in this mini-course. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a rookie small group pastor, if you hope to build a thriving small group ministry you will benefit from at least checking out what this course offers.

Take a Look at Life.Church’s Open Network

I’ve pointed you to what Life.Church is doing in the past. Small group ministry ideas, church-wide campaigns and a number of Craig Groeschel’s books.

As I was scouting for church-wide campaign ideas, I remembered one I had heard about earlier this year from Craig Groeschel and Life.Church. Two or three minutes of poking around in LIfe.Church’s Open Network resource and I found it.

Divine Direction teaches how to seek God’s will for our lives and how He cares more about who we are than what we do. Depending on your church’s needs and interests, you can see this might be a good topic that would interest lots of people. Maybe less cross-cultural than some topics, but still very much a hot topic.

Based on Groeshel’s latest book, Divine Directions: 7 Decisions That Will Change Your Life, the church-wide campaign includes a robust set of FREE resources:

  • Promotional items: artwork, banner graphics, bulletin social media, mailer, coming soon videos and much more.
  • Series guide
  • Life Group discussion questions videos
  • Sermon transcripts
  • Sermon bumper
  • and lots more

Divine Direction is just one of many, many sermon series that Life.Church has presented over the last 20 years and many of them are available in this same way and they are all FREE.

If you’ve not checked out the Life.Church Open Network (or maybe it’s been awhile), I highly recommend spending some time there to see what is available. If you’ve not seen it in the past, you’ll have to create a login to be able to see it, but it is definitely worth doing. Lot’s of great ideas!

5 Things You Can Do in May that Lead to WAY More Groups This Fall

5 Things You Can Do in May that Lead to WAY More Groups This Fall

You may not realize this, but the things you do in May and June often predetermine how it goes in September.

The things you do in May and June often predetermine how it goes in September.The things you do in May and June often predetermine how it goes in September. Click To Tweet

Special Note: I am assuming you’ve already chosen the strategy you will use to launch new groups this fall. Whether you are planning a church-wide campaign, a really well-executed small group connection or simply the best promoted fall semester ever, the 5 simple things I’ve included will lead to MORE groups this fall.

With that in mind, here are 5 simple things you can do today:

  1. Make a list of small group leaders who could help 2 or 3 new small group leaders get off to a good start. It’s not complicated. Think through your small group leaders and simply ask the question, “If they came alongside 2 or 3 newbie leaders for the first 8 to 10 weeks of their new group…would it make a difference?” Make a list of the leaders for which that is true and invite them to help you launch some new groups this fall. By the way, this is the essence of what I do to recruit potential coaches. See also, Recruiting Additional Coaches for Church-Wide Campaigns.
  2. Invite your existing groups to take a small group vacation. Right now is the perfect time to cast a simple vision to your existing small group leaders and group members to consider taking a vacation from their small group this fall. Instead of meeting together as a group of 12, would they consider pairing up with another couple or a few others and help launch a new group? Just for the six weeks of a new study. Then they can go back to their original groups. That’s the essence of the small group vacation strategy and it leads to more new groups all day long. See also, Take a Small Group Vacation.
  3. Think through the members of your existing groups. Try to identify 10 to 20 members who really should be leading a group. The fewer groups you have today the easier this assignment is. It’s very common for your largest and most successful small groups to have several potential leaders in them. Often these potential leaders serve in another ministry and view their group as the way they “get fed” or cared for. Once you have your list of members who should be leading groups, ask them if they’d be “willing to help get a new group started, just for a six-week study, then they can go back to their group.” Assure them that you’ll help them identify a leader from the group they gather. This is a slight variation of the Vacation idea. I’ve used this in combination with the small group connection strategy to help jump start new groups. See also, How to Launch New Groups with a Small Group Connection – 2016.
  4. Look ahead at the sermon series and messages planned for August and early September. The 6 weeks from early August through mid-September provide the best opportunities to craft special “asks” for small group HOSTs and unconnected people. Well-crafted and even scripted “asks” or invitations will help more people say yes to “inviting a couple friends to do the fall study with them.” Carefully developed challenges will help more unconnected people respond to the opportunity to join a group that is using the study that goes along with our fall message series.” See also, Saddleback Changed the Church-Wide Campaign Game…Again and How to Make the HOST Ask: The 2012 Version.
  5. Think through your existing small group leaders and small groups for inspiring stories. Few things are as motivating as the inspiring story of a small group leader who said “yes” and then felt God’s “well done.” Or a small group member who finally said yes to joining a group and then God used that group to meet their needs in the way only community can. Adding these “stories” to the HOST ask and join a small group invitation will have an exponential effect on outcomes. See also, How to Develop Video or Live Testimony that Recruits Members or Leaders.

Resources that will supercharge your fall ministry season:

Looking for more ideas?

Supercharge Your Fall Ministry Season

Supercharge Your Fall Ministry Season is a four week mini-course designed to help you:

  • Connect way beyond the usual suspects
  • Build easy next steps for everyone you connect
  • Launch more groups than ever
  • Sustain more of the groups you launch
  • Finish the season ready for an exciting New Year and a powerful 2018!

If you want to dramatically increase the impact of your fall ministry season…I hope you’ll take advantage of this course. Click here to find out more.

Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign

How to Maximize YOUR Church-Wide Campaign is a four week mini-course designed to help you:

  • Recruit way more leaders than you ever thought possible
  • Launch more groups than ever before
  • Connect WAY beyond the usual suspects
  • Recruit and train the coaches you need in order to sustain the new groups you launch

If you’re planning a church-wide campaign this fall and you want to maximize your results…I hope you’ll take advantage of this course. Click here to learn more.