Follow me on this simple logic about small group coaching:
- Whatever we want to happen in the lives of the members of our small groups has to happen in the lives of our small group leaders first. I believe you know that too, even if this is the very first time you’ve ever thought about it.
- Small group coaching is only initially about technique. That is, only in a new small group leader’s first 3 or 4 months will a coach be needed for guidance on technique (i.e., how to help the non-stop talker in the group let others into the conversation, how to help the group pray together, etc.). If the new small group leader doesn’t learn the basic in the first few months, the group probably dies.
- Note: I’m often asked whether a coach has to have experience leading a small group. Can you see that these first 3 or 4 months make it important that the coach has some experience leading a small group?
- Note: This is also at the root of why retroactively assigning a coach to an experienced leader is almost always rejected. Experienced leaders know they know what they need to know in order to lead a group.
- Only after a relationship is established between a new leader and coach (in those first 3 or 4 months), does the coach have the opportunity to take on the role of a spiritual mentor or discipler.
- Note: In order for the coach to take on the role of a spiritual mentor or discipler, they need to be the right kind of people.
- Note: The most effective spiritual mentors or disciplers have someone mentoring or discipling them.
- Until the coach takes on the role of a spiritual mentor or discipler they don’t have permission to do TO and FOR the leader whatever we want the leader to do TO and FOR their members. Effective coaches build relationships with leaders in the first few months and earn permission to speak into the life of the leader.
Questions that begged to be asked:
- Do the men and women who are currently serving as coaches in your small group ministry know what they need to know to begin working with new small group leaders? Remember, what the new leader needs in their first few months is almost entirely about technique.
- Are the men and women who are currently serving as coaches in your small group ministry the kind of people who can take on the role of a spiritual mentor or discipler?
- Do the men and women who are currently serving as coaches in your small group ministry know how to shift from coaching on technique to coaching on life?
- Who is doing TO and FOR your coaches whatever you want them to do TO and FOR the leaders they are coaching?
- Who is mentoring or discipling you?
- Equip Your Coaches to Develop and Disciple Leaders (2015)
- 7 Rules at the Essence of Small Group Coaching (2014)
- The Big Idea Behind Small Group Coaching (2015)
- The Big Misunderstanding that Dooms Most Coaching Structures (2015)
- 5 Assumptions that Shape My Small Group Coaching Strategy (2015)
Image by Derek Bruff