When you meet with a personal trainer one of the first things they ask you is what do you wish was different? They may phrase it a lot of different ways, but essentially they’re asking, “Where do you see that you need to change in order to be healthy?”
What if you taught your leaders to have that same conversation with the members of their groups? Think that would be a good conversation? Think there would be some movement in the right direction? Me too. Here’s how to help your leaders become spiritual trainers.
- If you haven’t done it yet, introduce your leaders to the Spiritual Health Assessment. This is a dynamite tool. It’s free. And you don’t have to be purpose driven to really get a lot out of it. Much like an annual physical, this can be used to get a snapshot of a person’s spiritual health. 10 minutes spent answering these 25 questions will do some very important things: (a) It will give your leaders a common language to describe how they’re doing spiritually, (b) it will provide a snapshot of spiritual health or balance, and (c) it will provide the basis for some very important goal-oriented thinking.
- Once your leaders have completed the Health Assessment, have them total up their score in each of the 5 areas. If you’re doing this in a leader training session you can have them circle up in groups of 3 or 4 and share where they’re strongest and where they’re weakest. If this is an individual assignment you might have them talk it over with their coach in the next week.
- The next step is to help your leaders see how to use the results from the Health Assessment to establish spiritual growth goals using the Spiritual Health Plan. This is huge! The assessment is gold but the Health Plan is where the really good stuff happens. Taking what they’ve learned on the assessment and developing goals based on their strengths and weaknesses will help your leaders have a way of thinking about spiritual growth. As you look at the Health Plan you’ll see that each of the 5 areas has a section for goals and some examples. Each section also includes a key question. Their answers provide the basis for a great conversation with their coach or a huddle of leaders.
- Once your leaders have learned how to use the Health Assessment and Health Plan it is very easy to have each of them take the exercise to their own group. This can provide a rich source of encouragement and challenge. It will also give your members a way to talk about what is happening in their spiritual lives.
- The health assessment can also be used by individual small groups to help choose curriculum. Simply have members total up their individual scores and then see where they want to grow as a group. This is also a great way to take a snapshot of a whole congregation, but that’s the subject of another skill training!