I’ve written a lot about coaching. You can see quite a few articles right here. Today I want to warn you about something you might find surprising given my reputation for advocating a “lowered bar” approach for group leaders. I want to really encourage you not to compromise or lower the bar in terms of who you recruit as coaches and what you expect of them. Let’s talk about those two subjects:
Who To Recruit As Coaches
In an earlier article I wrote about the kind of person that makes the best coach. The short version is that your candidate needs to be passionate about grouplife and they need to be at least a 60 fold person. I’m referring to Jesus’ use of the 30, 60 and 100 fold idea in Mark 4 and other places. It only makes sense that you can’t expect a 30 fold person to lead (or coach) and 60 fold person.
In addition to their competence, another very important qualifier is that the coaching candidate be in agreement with your small group philosophy. You need to be on your guard on this issue because it’s one of the places we’re most likely to compromise. For example, if you are trying to build a small group ministry on the idea that by lowering the bar in terms of who can lead and one of your coaches is constantly fretting over whether you’re allowing the wrong people to lead…you’re going to have problems. Make sure that your coaching candidates are in philosophical agreement and do it before you invite them onto the team.
I’ve listed a whole set of recruiting ideas right here.
What To Expect of a Coach
Developing and communicating expectations is another place where compromise will definitely come back to haunt you. Developing a job description is an important step. A periodic review that measures the coach’s activity is essential. If you inspect what you expect, a lot more will end up happening.
This may sound like an oversimplification, but developing expectations (both in terms of philosophy and performance) on the front end and then sticking to them will go a long way toward producing a coaching structure that works. Will it be perfect? Not hardly! But it doesn’t need to be perfect. Don’t compromise on these two things and it will be more than good enough.