Planning to launch some new groups this fall or next spring? 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.
Who you identify as a potential coach is a really important detail. Not just anybody will do. They can't just be warm and willing. They really do need to be hot and qualified.
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). And that is a really big distinction. When you can set them in motion and see them in action, you have a big advantage.
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.
The flip side is often disastrous! When you recruit the right people and release them into the right opportunity, you can quickly ramp up and offer new group leaders an important resource.
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. And both qualities are essential! Never settle for one or the other. A person can be very fulfilled while avoiding their responsibilities. Equally, a person can be very fruitful and dread doing it.
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: Building an Effective Coaching Structure - 2019.