Not long ago my post 5 Stupid Things Churches Need to Stop Doing (in the name of small group ministry) offered a short list of dumb things churches do.
It was an incomplete list.
Here’s another really bad idea that actually happened.
“Let’s use an on-demand call center to provide coaching!”
The essence of the idea
Instead of assigning a particular coach to each small group leader, small group leaders were provided a phone number to call if they needed help. Coaches provided a kind of call-center approach to offer coaching when needed. In essence, what developed was a team of coaches who were available by phone to provide coaching on-demand.
Can you picture it?
You may be able to picture the brain-storming session that produced this bad idea. You may even wonder why it is a bad idea. It may sound like a brilliant idea. And I have to admit, it has some fine qualities.
It just misses the real point of small group coaching.
Coaching is not about teaching technique
I’ve pointed out before that new small group leaders rarely need help with technique after the first few months. They either figure it out or they don’t. They either learn how to lead a dynamic discussion (or they don’t). They either learn how to guide participation (or they don’t). They either learn how to draw out their less extroverted members (or they don’t). See also, The Big Misunderstanding that Dooms Small Group Coaching.
The essence of true coaching
The real issue with the bad idea for delivering coaching is that it misses the real essence of coaching. Remember, whatever you want to happen in the lives of the members of your groups has to happen to the leader first. This has almost nothing to do with learning a better technique. It has everything to do with developing a trusted relationship over time (between leader and coach) that allows the coach to do TO and FOR the leader whatever you want the leader to do TO and FOR the member.
What do you think? Want to ask a question? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.
- 5 Assumptions that Set Up Small Group Coaching to #FAIL
- The Big Misunderstanding that Dooms Most Small Group Coaching Structures
- 5 Assumptions that Shape My Small Group Coaching Strategy
- Bad Idea #1: Let’s Call Everything a Group
Image by Dan H.