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Life Changing Conversations

Growing a Followership Culture in the Missional church

A Coachs
Proverbs 20:5
Though good advice lies deep within a persons heart,
the wise will draw it out.




Life Changing Conversations

A Coachs Guidebook
2nd Edition

First Edition May 2008

Written by: Janet McMahon and Tammy Melchien
Graphics and layout: Sherry Gossman
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of
Community Christian Church.


1635 Emerson Lane

Naperville, Il 60540




Chapter 9

Table of Contents

Forward ....................................................................................................... 5
Introduction - Why Coaching? ........................................................... 7
Chapter 1 - The Coaching Role ........................................................11
Chapter 2 - The Coachs Journey .....................................................19
Chapter 3 - Getting Started ..............................................................31
Chapter 4 - The Coaching Conversation ......................................41
Chapter 5 - Checking Your Leaders RPMS....................................45
Chapter 6 - Celebrations and Challenges ....................................61
Chapter 7 - Helping and Praying ....................................................71
Chapter 8 - Recruiting .........................................................................77
Chapter 9 - Leading a Huddle ..........................................................89




Leading a Huddle
Questions for Discussion




Share your favorite memory of being on a team. What about

that team was so special? What did you accomplish together?


If you were Je s coach, how could you help him understand

the value of huddles?


What are the individual strengths of each of your leaders? How

could you leverage those strengths to help everyone on your
team improve?


What excites you about leading a regular huddle with your



What seems most challenging about leading a regular huddle

with your team? How could you overcome those challenges?



Chapter 9
to be lively, getting the blood really pumping early in the
morning. The time was getting away from them. Looking at
their watches, they all realized they better get going so as not
to be late for work and other commitments. After the prayer
time was over, Je found himself wishing they had made time
to ask what was going on in their lives. He was hoping for
the opportunity to brag on his team, his soccer team that is.
League champs was no small thing in their competitive park
district program. Oh well, he thought, maybe next time.
Driving back to work, Je reected on the meeting and the
purpose of the huddle was beginning to come into focus for
him. Perhaps it wasnt all about what he would get from
huddle time, but what he could give to others. His ideas and
experiences seemed to encourage the others today. He also
saw that the touchy, feely leader had a handle on the relational
side of leadership that Je didnt quite get yet. There must be
some balance between the two, he thought. Je called Gary
later that day and asked if in their next meeting they could
focus on relationship building in their small groups. Gary loved
the idea and also expressed the need to spend some time just
checking up with each other at the next meeting. Je smiled
to himself. Ahh, the opportunity to talk about his championship
soccer team would indeed present itself. He smiled and shook
his head. In that moment it hit him. He remembered what a
rag tag bunch of boys his soccer team had been and how they
had really grown in their skills, even wanting to be together
next year. This left him with a new sense of motivation about
being a part of his small group leadership huddle.

Our lay coaches and sta leaders gathered with
anticipation on a Sunday evening. With slices of
cheesecake and coee in hand, we were expecting great
things. Our guest, Carl George, had come to inspire us
with insight he had gained from years of experience as
a church consultant. We asked him to talk to us about
coaching, a subject Carl has been writing books and
consulting with churches about for many years.
We anticipated an evening lled with antidotes and
wisdom imparted to us by the master. Wisdom we got,
but not in the form we expected. Here is what Carl said:
Coaching is about asking simple questions. Ask these
questions eectively and you will be a great coach. He
wrote a few simple questions on a large post-it note on
the wall. Then he followed up by saying, Now, do it. He
had us pick a partner and coach one another using these
simple questions.
Picture this, we had Carl George, a man whose books we
have been reading and whose concepts and ideas about
church leadership we have been working to put into
practice for well over a decade standing 5 feet from us and
we had to listen to someone else. We have to admit, in the
moment, we were disappointed.
After we practiced coaching one another and our time was
drawing to a close, Carl shared some additional insight.
He said he had been consulting with churches for many
years and in the early days he would come in and share
lots of learning, wisdom, and insight. But recently, he
said, I have been going in and just listening to the sta,
asking these simple questions. And come to nd out,
he continued, These have been the most productive
consulting visits I have ever had.
During the weeks and months following Carls visit, we
began to digest the questions presented to us that night.
We started trying them out in our coaching conversations
and came to nd that these simple questions helped us




Leading a Huddle

get a handle on coaching like nothing else we had tried

Leadership Development - What can you do in your

So, we are indebted to Carl George whose simple

questions prompted us to formulate the six questions
of this coaching guidebook. Thanks to Carl, we are
beginning to raise the bar of coaching at Community
Christian Church. And it is through excellent coaching
that we expect God to transform us, our community, and
our world.

Information/Announcements - What important

huddle time to equip your leaders with leadership skills or

help them take next steps in their spiritual formation? Use
your ministrys training resources to equip your leaders.

information do you need to communicate to your leaders?

Most likely, you will not include all of these agenda items
in every meeting and you will emphasize dierent areas in
each meeting. Taking the time to plan for your huddle will
help ensure that the time will be purposeful and benecial
to your leaders.

Another month rolls by. . .

Je once again nds his huddle meeting on the calendar.
Having got the agenda ahead of time from his coach, Je
knew the huddle meeting would focus around birthing
groups and multiplying. Je looked forward to the meeting
because multiplying was something he knew a bit about.
Once again, Je was the rst to get to the restaurant. As
the others arrived, Gary began the discussion right away.
Multiplying and birthing groups proved to be a hot topic, and
the leaders were quite opinionated and passionate about
it. One leader in particular just couldnt fathom birthing his
group. He made a case for the relationships in his group
being paramount and could not see severing relationships
in order to birth and accommodate newcomers. He was
also one of the guys in the huddle whom Je saw as overly
relational, one of those touchy, feely types that tended to
send Je over the edge. Gary asked Je to explain his process
for birthing and how multiplying his group over the recent
months had been eective in reaching more people. As
Je described his experience, once again, he was surprised
to nd himself leading. This time, not leading his group,
but inuencing other leaders. The discussion continued





Chapter 9
The Huddle Agenda
Once you have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish
in your huddle, it is time to start planning an agenda. The
following items could be included in your huddle agenda.
As you pray and plan, ask the Holy Spirit to show you which
components should be part of your upcoming huddle.

Vision - Vision leaks. It has been said that people

need a reminder of why they do what they do every 30
days. Leadership is hard work, and without an ongoing
opportunity to hear the mission and priorities of your
The Huddle Agenda ministry, leaders can lose heart. What is your ministrys
unique mission in the church? How does your ministry t
Vision into the bigger picture? What can you do in your huddle
time to reinforce and recast that vision?
Relational Needs

Relational Needs - Spend time sharing personal praises

and challenges. Encourage your leaders to share about their

own lives (not their uncles barbers wife). What can you do
Problem Solving in your huddle time to help your leaders build authentic,
open relationships with one another?



Prayer - Spend time praying for one another in your

huddle. Keep prayer time fresh by rotating approaches (have
leaders pray with a partner, write down prayer requests and
assign prayer partners, etc.).

Celebrate - Share stories with one another about the

way you see God at work in your lives and ministry area.
Celebrate your ministrys wins together.
Problem Solving - Dont be afraid to talk openly about
challenges and problems (of course, be careful not to let the
huddle become a gripe or gossip session). In your huddle,
brainstorm steps to tackle those problems.




Why Coaching?

From Dave Ferguson
Lead Pastor - Community Christian Church
Coaching has been around since the early days of the New
Testament church. The idea in the mind of God was for a
few leaders to equip and empower the people of God to do
the work of the church. And as the Holy Spirit empowered
their eorts, these early Christians saw amazing results.
Ephesians 4:11-12 lays it out for us: He (God) is the one who
gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets,
the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their
responsibility is to equip Gods people to do his work and
build up the church, the body of Christ.
The dream of God is not for the church to be led by a oneman show, but that it would be a playing eld for great
teams led by great coaches. The sta here at Community
Christian Church recognizes that our role is to equip and
empower the people of the church to do the work of
ministry. Our sta knows that when the game is on the line
and the nal point needs to be scored that the ball will be
in the hands of our leaders and those leaders need to be
coached to make the winning shot. Behind the scenes, our
sta works to prepare coaches to train and empower leaders
who do the work of helping people nd their way back to

The sta here

at Community
that our role is
to equip and
empower the
people of the
church to do
the work of

Great coaching is not just about the ministry task. We have

seen over the life of this church that God often uses the
relationship of coach and leader to disciple and grow us
beyond our expectations. When the relationship is at its
best, both the leader and the coach benet by becoming
more and more like Jesus.

Introduction - Why Coaching?

So let me say congratulations. It is our dream that your
leadership as a coach will be one of the most fullling
roles you play in your lifetime. We have seen how God has
used this role to make an eternal dierence in the lives of
thousands of people.
Thank you for choosing to coach and serve leaders. I personally
am honored to partner with you on this mission to fulll the
dream of God for Community Christian Church.

The Mission
of Community
Christian Church
To help people
nd their way back
to God through
campuses and
churches that
celebrate, connect,
and contribute to
the dream of God.

So you can better understand the importance of coaching take

a look at our mission statement and the narrative description
of what we believe God dreams about for us at Community
Christian Church.

The Mission of Community Christian

To help people nd their way back to God through
multiplying congregations, campuses and churches that
celebrate, connect, and contribute to the dream of God.

The Dream of God for Community

Christian Church
God has a dream; it is a dream that He has had for all of
eternity. It is the dream of a people whose hearts beat with a
passion for Helping People Find Their Way Back to God. Their
presence enters the community as a freshness; like the rst
fragrance of spring at the close of winter. The breath of new
life, new beginnings and the promise of whats to come ll the
air. They bring a message of hope through Jesus Christ and
the very building representing these Christ followers is a place
of truth and joy. Its there they gather weekly to experience
and celebrate the mystery of their oneness in Jesus Christ.
Together they are His body the very physical presence of
Christ on earth. They celebrate and embrace Gods eternal
plan for the church to be the hope of the world.



Leading a Huddle
Preparing for a Huddle
How can I meet my leaders needs as part of this
Once you have an idea of the needs of your leaders,
you can begin brainstorming possible agenda items
to meet those needs (see next section on Huddle
What do I want my leaders to take away from this
huddle that they can apply to their lives and their
Have a clear idea of the central thing you hope to
accomplish with the huddle. This focus will help you in
planning the details of your huddle time. You will want
to give the greatest amount of time and attention to
this central thing you hope to accomplish.
What are the skill building or informational
priorities of my sta director?
Ask your sta director for ideas and/or tools that you
could use to help equip your leaders for their ministry
tasks. Find out information about upcoming events,
initiatives, or changes that need to be communicated
to your leaders.

What are my peer coaches focusing on in their

huddles this month?
Draw ideas from your fellow coaches in planning your
huddles. Often the best ideas are stolen ideas!

Is there something I want my leaders to do prior to

our huddle to prepare for the huddle?
If you plan ahead, you could make your huddle time
more eective by having your leaders think about key
ideas you will be discussing or by having them read an
article or chapter on the topic you will be addressing.



Chapter 9
the support and community of a healthy team have a great
advantage towards long-term eectiveness. The one-on-one
relationships you build with your leaders as their coach are
foundational to creating a sense of community on your team,
but your leaders also benet greatly from opportunities to
connect with one another.
Ministry leaders
who serve
on their own,
from the
camaraderie of
a team, are in
great danger
of burnout and
losing heart.

Coaching huddles provide an avenue for you and all the

leaders entrusted to your care to connect on a regular
basis. Whether these huddles take place during monthly
Leadership Communities or at a Starbucks on a weekday
evening, they play a critical role in the development of your
team. In coaching huddles, your leaders exchange ideas,
draw from each others experiences, practice leadership skills
through role-playing, minister to one another, and inspire
one another. Coaching huddles build a sense of community
within your ministry that will deepen each leaders
commitment to the team and ownership of the mission.

Preparing for a Huddle

Time with your leaders is precious and limited so it is
essential that you make the most of your huddle time.
Your leaders are looking for something that will meet their
needs and feel worth their time and eort. Dont neglect
the important task of spending time in prayer asking the
Holy Spirit to guide your preparation by helping you to
plan an eective huddle agenda. Then when preparing
for your huddle, ask yourself these basic questions:

What do my leaders need spiritually and

emotionally? What challenges are they facing?
What skills do my leaders need to be equipped
Consider asking your leaders a week or two before
your huddle time what their needs are. You wont be
able to meet every need in every huddle, but you may
nd that several of your leaders have similar needs.
The huddle can provide a great avenue for addressing
those needs.



Introduction - Why Coaching?

God dreams of a people whose heart beat reverberates
through neighborhoods, stirring an awakening in hearts and
souls. Christ followers connect emerging seekers together
in groups where the language of we replaces me. Inside
these groups its safe to risk, be vulnerable, and share
life deeply. They are marked by a radical kind of love and
acceptance; the touchstone of Jesus Christ and His followers.
Transformation takes place as groups empower us to more
fully obey Christ together than alone. Neighborhoods
become places where the word lonely doesnt exist, where
a smile replaces suspicion, security replaces fear, and Jesus
is a holy name on lips. Community becomes a life changing
experience, not simply a location.
God dreams of a people whose hearts beat with such
compassion that no need goes unmet. The One who has
freely given His life calls His own to give freely in return.
These Christ followers hold all things loosely and love opens
their hands. With a contagious and passionate desire they
contribute to the dream of God to meet the needs of those
He loves. In this supernatural economy, the greatest return is
in the giving and nothing is held back. Personal contribution
becomes a path to obedience, fulllment, unity, and joy.
The young invest in the aging and the aging contribute to
shape the generations of the future. Generosity replaces
self-centeredness as compassion calls us to take risks.
God has a dream...
Gods dream will one day come true. But it will take people
like you and I who are willing to invest our lives in equipping
leaders and volunteer servants through great coaching!

Dave Ferguson
Lead Pastor
Community Christian Church

Leading a Huddle
huddle meeting ended. They prayed for each other and left the
restaurant without anyone wanting a detailed commentary on
Je s life. He was relieved. That was better, Je thought.
On the eld that following Saturday morning, Je coached
his sons peewee soccer team in the season championship
game. After months of working with the boys, they were nally
beginning to play as a team. Initially, the biggest challenge Je
faced was getting the boys to work together. Inevitably when
a player got the ball, he wanted to run it down the eld all by
himself, forgetting to rely on teammates who were available
to receive a pass. And getting them to play a position was a
whole other challenge. Those rst several games it was just
a mass of boys chasing after one ball, every man for himself.
The only way you could identify that there were two teams on
the eld was by the color of their uniform. But on this day, all
the practice time and coaching was paying o and the boys
were functioning as a real team, playing positions and relying
on one another to move the ball down the eld. There still
was the occasional one man show, but for the most part, they
were working together well. As they huddled together before
the start of the game, Je repeated the coaching phrases he
had drilled into their heads all season: play your position and
pass the ball.
Despite a rainy day and a wet eld, the team won the game.
Covered in mud, they found themselves at the local pizza place
where Je handed them each a trophy. As he announced each
boys name, he shared something specic that that player
had contributed to the team. The boys were beaming and
nearly every player said, I hope I get to play on this team next

One of the most rewarding aspects of contributing in
ministry is the experience of being on a team. Ministry
leaders who serve on their own, disconnected from the
encouragement and camaraderie of a team, are in great
danger of burnout and losing heart. Those who experience





Chapter 9
jumped right in and asked the leaders to share what was going
on in their lives. He didnt talk about leadership, he didnt
talk about small groups, and he didnt talk about what was
coming up next at church. As a matter of fact, he didnt really
talk at all. Gary spent the majority of the meeting time asking
questions and the other leaders apparently were expected
to share about their lives. Whats up with this? Je thought.
I already have my small group. I dont need any more touchy,
feeley in my life. Being a group leader had already stretched
Je in the area of relational sharing. He relied heavily on his
wife during group time to help make the relational connect
with people in the group. He shared about his life, but he
never quite got how some people were so needy and seemed
to want to talk about their feelings and their life at every
group meeting. Isnt that what your spouse is for? Je often
thought. Too much emotional connect could sometimes send
him over the edge.
Driving to work after the meeting, Je was just puzzled. I like
this church, I like being a group leader, but this coaching/ huddle
thing, I just dont get. Since Je valued being a team player, he
didnt say anything to anyone about the huddle experience.
He just agreed to attend the huddle time the following month.
In fact, life was so busy, the huddle time had been dismissed
from his thoughts until he looked at his calendar a month later
and noticed that it was time to meet again.
On his way to the next months huddle meeting, Je found
himself becoming uncomfortable. I hope they dont want
me to share about my life again, he thought. He considered
just passing by the restaurant and going in early to work, but
being Mr. Amiable, he parked in the IHOP parking lot and went
in. Not in the mood for breakfast, Je just ordered coee. He
was the rst one there. As he waited for the others to arrive,
he looked over his schedule for the day. Gary walked in next,
grinning ear to ear. Oh brother, Je thought, this guy really
likes this weird meeting.
Once everyone had arrived and the breakfast had been
ordered, Gary began. He had an agenda. He asked the
leaders about their summer group plans and various other
things related to the changing seasons of small groups. The



Chapter 1
The Coaching Role

A knowing smile broke across many faces and a few heads
nodded as the lead pastor described the game. This is a
game where the stakes are high and in the nal seconds,
when the score is tied, we are handing the ball to you. This
was a gathering of leaders. Not just any leaders; the leaders
of a movement. These seasoned people know what it
means to go the distance, to trade life for an eternal cause.
These leaders know what it means to invest time and energy
into the lives of people who will then turn around and build
up others. Nobody has to tell these folks what it is like to
live on the edge relationally with others, to gut it out, to take
risks, to be in community, to live their faith.they know.
These are people who in some cases gave up the nancial
rewards of this world to do kingdom work. They fought
o the temptation to view success as most do and instead
count success as changed hearts and lives. They share a rare
eternal kind of view; the look on their faces reveals a hint
of uncommon character. These are people not blown and
tossed by the wind, but those whose roots are deep, whose
foundations are solid.
Oh, and if about now you are thinking they are perfect, then
think again. They would tell you that they are weak and
sometimes misguided. A dive into their past, a look at their
life story, would reveal that these are folks whose character
has been shaped by lifes hard knocks, hurts, hang-ups, and
not too few attacks by the evil one. In fact they are as real
as it getslike the velveteen rabbit whose hair has been
rubbed o for the love they have given and received.

Although there
is amazement,
awe, joy, wonder,
adventure, and
challenge; there
really is no surprise.
Because isnt that
the kind of God we
have? A God who
places His Holy
Spirit in the lives of
broken people and
then uses those
lives to change

These beloved ones have spent months and sometimes

years together watching God begin a movement through
them. They have stood amazed as God has done life
changing work in and through themas broken and
human as they are. Although there is amazement, awe,
joy, wonder, adventure, and challenge; there really is no
surprise. Because isnt that the kind of God we have? A God


Chapter 1
who places His Holy Spirit in the lives of broken people and
then uses those lives to change eternity? You see, these
leaders do not just know about a God like that, they have
not just read about a God like that, they have experienced
God to be JUST LIKE THAT. They have experienced Him to
be the kind of God who chose to dwell in them, to plant
the ower of his kingdom in their very hearts, and to water
and grow this ower in community. This is the kind of God
these leaders know and love with all their heart, mind, soul,
and strength.
These are the coaches.

What is a coach
and what does a
coach do?
In short, a coach
is a leader whose
in the lives of
other leaders
encourages them
to do better; better
not just in their
leadership role
but better, period.

We hope that you are reading this manual because you

have been called by God to make this life changing
investment in others. We hope you have said yes to
coaching to putting your piece on the board in this
game where the stakes are higher than any game youve
ever played. If that is the case, welcome to the adventure
of your life. Hold on to your hat; better yet, lets hold on
to each other as we say yes to the work of life that God
designed us for.

Leading a Huddle

Leading a Huddle
Je is Mr. Amiable. Everybody likes him and he seems to like
everybody. He does well at work, with his family, and at church. He
is easy to talk to and one of those people who you just immediately
trust. He sees the positive side of things and rarely complains. Like
most men in their early 40s, Je has a full life. He enjoys his job
and his three kids who keep him busy coaching and attending
their activities.
One place where Je might not be described as Mr. Amiable is
on the playing eld. Either coaching his kids soccer team or
watching a game, Je has been known to be so consumed with
the game that he sometimes forgets himself. His drive, intensity,
and competitiveness show on the eld. He expects a lot from
himself and a lot from his players. And like most things in Je s
life, he coaches well and his team usually wins.

Through this guidebook you will be able to take a look into

coaching by hearing stories of coaches. These are ctional
stories, but in many ways they are very true. By the time
you are done reading, we hope you have an increased
understanding of what a coach is and feel inspired as you
see the eternal possibilities God has invited you to partner

It is no surprise that Je nds himself successful as a small group

leader at church. No surprise to anyone but him that is. He
never expected to be a leader of any kind in the church. Very
unassuming, Je is always surprised and pleased when things go
well with his group. With nudges from his wife, Je is reminded to
give thanks to God for the success of the group. The group thrived
and even multiplied twice in a short period of time.

Coaching has as many styles as there are coaches. If the

old clich, There is more than one way to skin a cat, has
any truth; it has truth in coaching. We recognize that
you will coach others according to your personality, life
experience, and unique relationship with God. Keeping
your unique style in mind, this model articulates the
aspects of coaching that can work eectively through
many dierent coaching styles.

Although things are going well, there was one thing that puzzled
Je. Soon after becoming a small group leader, Je had been
introduced to his coach. What in the world do I need a coach for?
Je had thought. His coach, Gary, had asked Je to meet once a
month with the other small group leaders he coached; something
called a huddle. Je was willing but unsure of the purpose of this
meeting. Since he wasnt a complainer, Je agreed.

What is a coach and what does a coach do? In short, a

coach is a leader whose intentional investment in the lives


Chapter 9


The early morning huddle time worked ne. Je could meet his
coach and the other leaders for breakfast and make it to work
without missing a beat. But that rst huddle meeting disturbed
him. Gary, apparently having been a coach for a long time, just


Chapter 8
Questions for Discussion

Share how your own life has been aected by your role
in ministry at CCC.

The Coaching Role

of other leaders encourages them to do better; better not
just in their leadership rolebut better, period. A coach
calls out the best in a leader. The relationship between
coach and leader is the engine that God uses to drive the
leader to reach their God given purposes.

A Coaching Model

CCC is a church that is continually expanding and

reproducing. Change is a constant in our church
culture. How do you personally tend to react to that
expansion and change?


How has your mindset about recruiting helped or

hindered your eorts to recruit new contributors?

This diagram provides a visual representation of the

coachs role. The role can basically be divided into four
main areas: relational development, equipping, serving,
and recruiting. Notice that the emphasis is placed on
relational development by placing it in the center. In fact,
all the other aspects of coaching ow out of this core
component of relationship. The other three dimensions
equipping, serving, and recruitingvary according to the
ministry area and the ministry season. This exibility is
illustrated in the diagram by the dotted lines. A coaching
relationship is successful when the coach invests in the
leader in such a way that the leader feels cared for and able
to accomplish the task.

Community Christian
Church coaching




What are three compelling reasons why a person should

consider serving in the ministry you lead?

Who do you know whose life could be greatly impacted

by an opportunity to contribute to the dream of God by
serving on a team at CCC?



for up to 5





Chapter 1
Relational Development


Your rst and foremost role as a coach is to invest your

heart and time in building relationships with your leaders.
As these relationships grow and deepen you will have
opportunities to encourage and challenge your leaders to
grow, not only in their skills as leaders, but on their journeys
as Christ-followers too. In the following chapters well talk
about establishing and cultivating these relationships, but
for now it is essential to understand that the heart of the
coaching role is relational.

Guidelines for Relational Development of a Leader

Building a relationship is not a mechanical process but
these guidelines will help ensure that the frequency
of coach-leader contact and the content of those
conversations promote a successful coaching relationship.

Connects with leaders, at least bi-weekly, outside

of the time the leader is serving. This can be
accomplished through a phone call, e-mail, or one-onone meeting.

Gathers leaders monthly.

Prays consistently for all leaders under their care.
Regularly checks on the leaders RPMS (relational,
physical, mental, and spiritual health) providing
challenge, encouragement, and accountability (see
chapter 5).

Observes leaders while they are serving to provide

regular armation.

Has an understanding of each leaders personality,

passion, and giftedness (encourage leaders to attend

Addresses and works through conict whenever

Julie, Kim said, with passion and emotion that she did not
expect, We need to create more opportunities for people to
be needed.
The two women began imagining who their six new
hospitality contributors were going to be. What were their
life circumstances? How was God pursuing them right now?
And how might God use an opportunity in hospitality to help
them nd their way back to Him.
Julie, Kim said, I would like you to lead hospitality for this
new 5th service. She reminded Julie of the time when several
of the hospitality volunteers had not come to serve with Julie
one Sunday last month. Kim had watched Julie nd several
people who she knew and ask them to stand in and help out.
Sure enough, things were prepared in time to make a good
rst impression on the newcomers who walked through the
doors during those next 30 minutes. Julie had gotten the
help she needed and had done so with grace, calm, and
Kim then shared what she believed to be true. By expanding
your inuence and leading a team, I believe God can use you
to enroll people and that enrollment could be a step toward
changing their eternity. Julie looked surprised. I never really
thought about it that way, she said.
Julie then reminded Kim of her story. She never really felt a
part of church before. When she grew up, church was just
something that she HAD to do, not something that she
wanted to do. When a friend invited her to CCC, Julie had
found it refreshing and practical. Her friend also asked her
to help out with the hospitality ministry whenever she could
arrive early. Julie loved being asked. She wanted to be a part
of a team and give back in some way as she felt she was
learning so much. Then one of the other volunteers invited
Julie to her small group. The rest is history, Julie said. You
know, if it had not been for my hospitality friends, I am not
sure I would have ever went to a small group. And without
my small group, I am not sure I would have ever got Jesus, I
like I get him now.

Kim smiled, Good thing we needed you.





Chapter 8
of the leader as they closed the deal on this opportunity.
After the ask has been made, it is helpful to place a time limit
on the decision. Give the potential leader time to think and
pray and then tell them when and how you plan to follow
up with them. If you say you will call in one week, then do
it. Dont delay. Persist with this person until you receive an
answer. If the answer is yes, share very specic steps on what
comes next and give them some immediate leadership tasks.

It is helpful to
place a time limit
on the decision.
Give the potential
leader time to
think and pray
and then tell them
when and how
you plan to follow
up with them.

By the end of her meeting with Tom, Kim felt a sense of renewed
faith and resolve. No doubt God was in this new service thing.
After all, if it had not been for the new service time being
added two years ago, Jack may never have invited Kim to start
contributing with cookies and coee.
By that afternoon, Kim had rolled up her sleeves and dove into
her plan of recruiting a hospitality leader for the new service
time. She decided to pray about it rst, but felt she already had
some ideas as she had seen several of the current contributors
show signs of leadership. She made a list of three people and
began to pray for them over the coming week.
One week later, Kim took name number one on her list, called
Julie, and asked to buy her coee. The two met for coee early
on Sunday morning before people began to arrive for the
celebration service. After talking about the movie Julie had
seen the night before, checking on one anothers family and
work, Kim began. Julie, she said, Did you hear about the 5th
service we are starting? Julie rolled her eyes. She launched
into similar concerns that Kim had shared with Tom just over
a week ago. How are we going to ll another service with
volunteers? Julie asked. Someone is going to have to nd
us at least six new hospitality people, and at this time of year,
people are so busy, no one is going to want to do it.
Kim smiled. Let me tell you a story, Julie. Kim went on to
tell Julie the story of how she first began contributing in
hospitality. Julie had not heard that story before. Her eyes
grew wide as Kim described how she needed the responsibility
that her contribution in hospitality provided as a part of her
program to remain sober in those early days of recovery.



The Coaching Role

EquippingEmpowering the Leader for
the Task
Leaders need to be equipped with knowledge and skills that
will help them succeed in their ministry task. Part of the
coaching role is to ensure that this equipping happens. The
coach plays a key role in communicating information to the
leaders, training the leaders, and helping the leaders tackle
the challenges of ministry. Does this mean that the coach
has to be an absolute expert on the ministry task? No. But
it does mean that the coach needs to search out avenues
and means to help equip their leaders when the coachs own
knowledge or skills arent sucient. For example, a Support
and Recovery coach might solicit the help of a professional
counselor to help a leader handle a dicult small group
issue. Or a Kids City coach might solicit the help of a special
education teacher to help a leader know how to best care for
a child with special needs. But more often than not the coach
can help the leader succeed simply by guiding the leader to
apply the leaders own experience and God-given wisdom to
the challenges that lie before them. In Chapter 6 we will talk
more about how a coach can use simple questions to help
equip their leaders. The important thing is that the coach is
constantly making sure their leaders are given the tools they
need to succeed in their roles.


Guidelines for Equipping a Leader

Regularly communicate with the leader about ministry
challenges and help the leader devise a plan to tackle
those challenges.

Serve as the key communication piece between the

ministry director and leader (i.e. vision, events, new
initiatives, etc.)

Provide instruction, training, and resources to the

leaders in order to make them more successful.

Share the responsibilities of Leadership Community

with the director.

Observe leader in their ministry role to provide

feedback and encouragement.


Chapter 1
ServeHelping the Leader Accomplish
the Task


Sometimes a coach comes alongside a leader to help

that leader accomplish the ministry task. A coach might
serve with a leader in this way because of a need (i.e. the
leader needs help with the task) or simply to provide
encouragement to the leader by joining them in the task.
Serving could be as simple as helping a leader set up for an
event or as involved as helping a leader navigate a dicult
interpersonal situation. In Chapter 7 we will talk more
about this component of serving but for now recognize
that part of the coaching role is to be looking for ways to
come alongside your leader as a helper.

Skill Box - Recruiting with Strategic Language
Language communicates much more than information. It
reveals attitudes, values, and vision. The language you use
when recruiting potential leaders can have a profound impact
on their perception of the ask. Do you believe you are inviting
others to join a meaningful, adventurous, important mission?
Then use strategic language to recruit!


We need volunteers.

Would you like to

contribute to the mission?

Here is the task that needs

to be done

This is how this ministry

can play a role in helping
people nd their way back
to God...

Would you like to


Wed love to have you as a

part of our team.

Do you have time to help

us out?

Wed like to give you the

opportunity to make a
signicant impact.

Guidelines for Serving a Leader

Periodically joins the leader in their ministry task

providing assistance as needed.

Assists the leader in their task by obtaining supplies

or resources.

Oers prayer support to the leader.

Closing the Deal

RecruitingIdentifying Potential



As God continues to bless our church by adding more and

more people to our community we continually need more
missional Christ-followers to join our leadership ranks. The
fourth component of the coaching role is to help recruit
new leaders to the team. In chapter 8 we will take a closer
look at recruiting.

Very often a leader does everything right. They provide

people with opportunities, see potential leaders emerge,
pray, and vision cast. But they fail to do one important
thing: close the deal. One leader told a story of an
apprentice she had invited to join small group leadership.
They talked several times, the vision had been cast, the
potential leader had expressed some common reservations,
but after two meetings there were no specic plans.
Finally, over lunch one day, the leader asked the potential
apprentice, So are we going to make this thing ocial?
The potential apprentice became the ocial apprentice as
she reached her hand across the table and shook the hand


Chapter 8
The eective ask begins with a compelling vision. We
are inviting people into a mission that is directed by God
and changes peoples eternity. Tell emerging leaders how
God has worked in your life and spiritual journey through
your involvement in ministry. Share stories about other
contributors on your team. Share stories about how your
team has played a role in helping people nd their way
back to God. Help emerging leaders understand that they
have an opportunity to grow as a Christ follower and make
a missional impact through contributing on a team. Cast a
compelling vision. Dont let the moment go by with a weak
or apologetic ask. Make it a compelling, trade-your-life-foretemal-work kind of ask!
Bill Hybels makes a strong case for communicating vision to
people in his book Courageous Leadership:
When one who has embodied a vision stands in a parking lot
or looks across the table in a restaurant or sits on the tailgate
of a pickup truck and casts a vision to someone else, one-onone look out. There is tremendous power in that. The most
eective leaders Ive ever known have a lock on this. Check
their day timers and youll see scores of private interactions
scheduled over breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours. During
such meetings seasoned leaders carefully, passionately, and
personally explain their vision, then they courageously ask
individuals to join them.3

articulating the
passion you have
for serving God the
way that you do.

Practice articulating the passion you have for serving God

the way that you do. Write it down, if that helps. Whatever
you need to do, be prepared to passionately, without
reservation, share why you are on mission with God and
invite others to join you on this mission.


The Coaching Role

Guidelines for Recruiting a Leader
Assist leaders in identifying and developing new
apprentice leaders.

Identify and develop apprentice coaches in order to

ultimately replace oneself.

We are in a game, the stakes are high, and the ball is in the
hands of our leaders. God has great plans and purposes that
he hopes to accomplish through you and your leaders. We
hope you are energized by the opportunity to serve as a coach
and pray that the stories that follow help equip you for this

Questions for Discussion


Why do you desire to be a coach?


How do you think coaching can help further

Community Christian Churchs mission of Helping
people nd their way back to God?

Hybels, Bill. Courageous Leadership. Grand Rapids, ML Zondervan Publishing, 2002: 40.




Chapter 1


In the chapter it states, Your rst and foremost role

as a coach is to invest your heart and time in building
relationships with your leaders. Why is this relational
investment so crucial?

Which aspect of the coaching role (relational

development, equipping, serving, recruiting) comes most
natural to you? Which aspect will be the most challenging
for you?

or her experience of Jesus then you have done what you are
called to do.

Occasionally you will have a hard time seeing any potential
leaders on the horizon. When a church is growing at a
rapid rate sometimes it seems the number of people who
need to be led and cared for is growing at a faster rate
than the number of leaders who are stepping up to lead
and shepherd. Jesus understood this challenge. He told his
disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few
(Luke 10: 1). How did Jesus instruct his disciples to tackle this
challenge? He said, Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore,
to send out workers into his harvest eld (Luke 10:2). When
you are having diculty identifying potential apprentices,
pray, pray, pray. Ask God to raise up people to lead and then
keep your eyes open to see his answers to your prayers.

Making the Ask

After we pray then we ask. Not just one or two but ask and
invite all those who you see as potential leaders to join you
and your leaders on mission with God. As a coach, your
leaders need to see you make the ask of other potential
leaders. They need to learn and understand the importance
of inviting others into leadership, and they need to see you
model this eectively.

Identify Strengths
Tell an emerging leader what you see in them. Be specic.
What have you observed about their life, their words, their
relational skills, their gifts and talents, or their character that
caught your eye? What do you see in them that could make
an eternal dierence in the lives of others?
Good, solid observation about how someone is gifted by
God can be strategic in helping that person discover his or
her role in the body of Christ. Be observant and then share
your observations!





Chapter 8
a coach you are looking for the leader. The individual gifted
by God to LEAD others on the mission.
Start with the simple answer, EVERYONE, and your leaders will
emerge. Begin by using your inuence and role as a coach
(and encourage your leaders to do the same) to invite others
to help in the mission. Ask people to contribute even in the
smallest way (like cookies and coee for Kim). Look for those
who are faithful, available, and teachable. Watch as those
contributing interact with others and see if people follow
their lead. Are others attracted to this person? Does this
person have inuence in the team or group? Does this person
have the right momentum and direction spiritually? As you
watch people contribute look for the leaders to emerge.
Are others
attracted to this

Does this person

have inuence in
the team or group?

Does this person

have the right
and direction


Take Some Risks

Do not wait for the sure thing before you invite someone
into leadership. Sometimes we have a hard time seeing the
potential in people or have expectations that are too high or
unrealistic. Remember that inviting someone into leadership
begins with an apprentice role. It is often the responsibility
and accountability that goes along with apprentice
leadership that helps the potential leader emerge. There
are many diamonds in the rough out there waiting to be
discovered. We dont have to have arrived to be invited.
Dont be afraid to take some risks with people. Many times
these risks will turn out to be high impact leaders in your
ministry. We do realize that this isnt always the case. Not
every person who says yes to leadership will nd that it
is the right t for them. Inevitably some people you invite
into leadership will move on to another ministry area, some
will nd that their spiritual giftedness is in an area dierent
than leadership, or some will face life circumstances that
take them out of your circle of inuence. This is OK. No time
invested in the development and discipleship of a person
is wasted. Perhaps a person fails to become an eective
leader, but it is not a failure when someone takes a risk,
invests in the life of another person, and challenges that
person to nd and live out their place in the body of Christ.
Your job is to make disciples of Jesus for the long haul. If you
have aected the life of someone in a way that facilitated his

Chapter 2
The Coachs Journey

Up at 5:30 am, showered and on the road by 6:30 am for the
one hour commute (well, an hour on a good day anyway), Ken
considered his life. The pressures of work required some of his best
energy and eort, but there were days when the commute alone
made him want to turn around and head back home. His recent
decision to lead an increasingly balanced life kept him committed
to leaving the oce by 5:00 pm (this usually worked about 4 out
of 5 days a week) in the hopes of getting in the driveway by 6:00
pm in time for the family dinner. With kids, homework, sports,
and some church commitments in the evening; Ken sometimes
felt like life was shaking him by the tail. There is simply no denying
Kens busy schedule.
As a gifted leader with a compassion for Junior High students, Ken
had been leading in the student ministry at the church for the past
5 years. His vision for helping kids nd their way back to God was
the driving force behind his commitment. The student ministry
at his home church had been instrumental in helping Ken make
a God-connect when he was a 7th grade student. Having begun
a relationship with Jesus at this early age, Ken felt he had a head
start in making good choices in the critical years that followed.
Wanting to touch as many lives as possible, Ken developed and
released other leaders who shared his passion for student ministry.
Over the past several years he emerged as a coach caring for three
other student ministry leaders. His relational connect with these
leaders was something Ken took seriously.
Jumping in the car at 6:30 am coee cup in hand, Ken began
the long commute. The side streets were quiet and he relished
the silence before he hit the heavy trac on the highway. Ken
suddenly felt a surge of energy, hopefulness for the new day that
lay ahead. Then it began. The Chicago commuting nightmare:
big, heavy, crisp and white. Snow akes. Not urries, no, this was
a lazy, heavy snow, where the akes were big and slow enough to
catch on your tongue or the hood of your car, depending on your
stage of life. Then the surprise; instead of commuters dread, Ken
felt a sense of awe and joy, yes JOY. Since his wife had been out


Chapter 2
shopping last night and used his car, Christmas music was
blaring through the CD player. Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.
Ken found himself concentrating on the words. Peace on
earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled. God and
sinners reconciled. As many times as he had heard this song,
these words struck him like brand new.

Our leaders
need us to be
an intimate
with God,
growing in our
own journey as
and protecting
the things in our
lives that renew
and refresh us.

Ken launched into an out loud prayer right there in the car.
He thanked God for sending his son Jesus to save him, a
sinner. He thought of the many Junior High students who
were baptized in the lake this past summer at camp. God
and sinners reconciled. That is it! That IS IT! God and sinners
reconciled, my whole reason for being, Ken thought, is to be
used by God to facilitate this process of reconciliation.
Ken began a conversation of thanksgiving, examination
of himself, and confession that lasted the entire commute.
The usual one hour commute unfolded itself into an
accumulating snowy 90 minutes.
Snow akes. That was how God began his conversation
with Ken that December morning. Sometimes it was the
Bible left open the night before by his wife that Ken glanced
at as he drank his coee in the morning, sometimes it was
the message tape he picked up on Sunday and popped
into the tape player, or perhaps on the mornings he got
a late start, it was the kids he saw waiting on the corner
for the bus. Whatever it was, EVERYDAY God pursued Ken
and attempted to begin a conversation with him. And on a
good day, the conversation that started in the car lasted the
whole day. When that happened, Ken would nd himself
wanting more at bedtime. On those nights, he would
pick up his Bible and read, sometimes falling asleep and
sometimes tempted to wake his wife to share some insight
he found.
If we are to fulll the role God is entrusting to us, it will take
more than our own human eort and abilities. Our leaders
need us to be cultivating an intimate relationship with
God, growing in our own journey as Christ-followers, and
protecting the things in our lives that renew and refresh
us. The best gift we can give to our leaders is a healthy,



Yeah, the one who told me a long time ago that he could
not be on the hospitality team because he did not believe in
God. He just came to church to keep his wife o his back. Well,
I kept connecting with him each week, and teasing him about
his need to sample EVERY cookie on the table. He eventually
changed his mind and joined the 8:30am Sunday hospitality
team about 6 months ago. He was working alongside Mark.
And, you know Mark, he just cannot keep his mouth shut
about the things God is doing in his life and family. Well after
a while the two of them became friends. Hank now goes to
Marks small group and Mark just told me that Hank is being
baptized at the next Commitment Celebration.
I cant believe it! Tom laughed. Well I guess I can believe it.
That is just the way God works isnt it?
You know what I cant believe? Kims face clouded with
emotion. Sometimes I cant believe that God uses me. ME
with all my past and brokenness. He uses ME to lead a ministry
that makes an eternal dierence in peoples lives.
Let me get this straight, Tom said with slight sarcasm. Are
you telling me that coaching and leading this team has been
a blessing in your life?
Now Kim really knew where he was going with this.
You can pass this blessing on to others, Kim. Tom continued.
Who do you think is ready to be blessed by leading a team
for the new 5th service?

Looking For Leaders

Ok. So your mindset is changed and you and your leader
are prepared to nd leaders and invite them to join you on
mission with God. Who do you choose? The easy answer
to this question is EVERYONE. Invite everyone to join the
mission of helping people nd their way back to God. Jesus
did. Go and make disciples, he said, Everyone of you. But as


Chapter 8
She didnt feel all that condent about caring for a team. As
she began as the apprentice leader her rst task was to call
the team and remind them to come for the service time they
were scheduled for.
Ill never forget one of my rst phone calls, Kim told Tom. I
was calling to remind this woman that it was her week to serve
and told her I would look forward to seeing her on Sunday.
Then she told me she couldnt be there on her scheduled
week. Her mother had just been diagnosed with cancer and
she would need to travel to be with her mom as she began
chemotherapy. We ended up talking for 30 minutes. Kim
recalled with Tom how she had organized the rest of the team
to send cards and pray daily for their fellow team member and
her mother. Its funny, Kim said. When I became a leader
and began to care for a team, it took my energy and focus o
myself and my life and helped me to shift my focus outward
to others. This gave me the balance I needed at that time. I
still had to work on my stu, but I needed an outlet to care
for and serve others along the way.
Kim continued to share all the ways that leadership had been
a benet to her life instead of the burden she originally feared.
As a leader she had to keep her schedule in priority. She was
forced to make time for church, God, and others. Sometimes,
she really felt stretched as a leader. In those times, Kim learned
that she needed to be connected to God, allowing him to lead
her as she led her team. Leadership has been one of the main
catalysts for my spiritual growth, Kim said.
As she led, church began to feel like home to Kim. It became
not just about what she would get, but what God was
calling her to give. She found herself owning her piece of
the mission. There was a fulllment in her role that she had
trouble describing.


The Coachs Journey

energized, Spirit-led self. We are called to be before we
ever do.
If we are walking closely with God, we will be attuned to the
leading of His Spirit and the work God wants to do through
us will happen. God will equip us with the gifts, wisdom,
energy, and love that we need to care for and help develop
our leaders. But this kind of Spirit-led ministry doesnt just
happen without intentional eort on our part.
Becoming Spirit-led coaches demands our best in faith
and eort. It requires discipline. It has no room for
apathy. It demands setting boundaries. It is about leading
ourselves before we attempt to lead others. The truth is
God hasnt just invited you to a role that will impact others;
he has invited you to a role where your own life will be
transformed. Coaching begins with your own journey with

Cultivating Intimacy with God

Before we talk about what it looks like to cultivate a
relationship with God, let us assure you of one thing: God
is pursuing a deeper relationship with you. At its core,
the Bible is the story of a loving, awesome God pursuing
intimacy with the people he created. He desires to be at
the center of every detail of your life. The question is not
whether God is intentionally pursuing you; the question
is whether you are intentionally pursuing an intimate
relationship with God.

Even though Tom had to beg her to tell her story again, now
Kim was on a roll. One more thing, she said looking at Tom
with a joyful grin. Do you remember Hank?

We have to make choices in order to be close to someone

relationally. Just think about a relationship in your life that
you consider close. What led to that closeness? When you
met that person, you made intentional choices to pursue a
friendship with that person. You began to arrange your life
around spending time with that person and intentionally
getting to know them. The same must be true if we wish to
be intimate with God.

Hank, the guy with the beard and those funky glasses?
Tom asked.

Spiritual disciplines provide a means for us to grow closer to

God. Through prayer, solitude, Bible study, worship, spiritual




Chapter 2
retreats, journaling, and other spiritual disciplines we have
the opportunity to spend time with Godlearning more
of his heart and sharing our own heart with him. Each of
us needs to consider this question: What combination of
spiritual disciplines do I need in order to keep my heart
intimate and attuned to God? The answer to that question
may be dierent for each of us and may vary as we pass
through the seasons of our lives, but it is crucial that we
answer that question and commit to the regular practice
of those disciplines if we want to cultivate our relationship
with God.
Spiritual Disciplines
Quiet Times
Personal Devotions
Bible Study

When we think of spiritual disciplines, however, it is so

important that we remember that the point is intimacy
with God not calculating minutes of time spent in prayer.
The point is growing closer to God not achieving success in
consistent Bible reading. One of the reasons we struggle
to be consistent in the disciplines is that we forget they are
about relationship building. We have a tendency to slip
into a mode where we dene our measure of spirituality
by the disciplines and dene our relationship with God
in terms of our consistency or inconsistency in quiet
times. Think about it. When someone asks you how your
relationship with God is going dont you usually think in
terms of how you are doing at quiet times? If youve read
and prayed consistently for the last few days you say your
relationship with God is good. If you missed days or have
been inconsistent you feel guilty and defeated.
But imagine if a husband and wife viewed their
relationship as a list of activities they needed to complete
each day. A relationship with God doesnt consist of
these activities anymore than a friendship consists of
the number of movies youve attended together, meals
youve eaten together, or conversations youve had. You
do those things because you have a relationship that you
want to continually cultivate but they dont constitute the
Spiritual disciplines are not a relationship with God. They
are the activities that help us cultivate and grow our
relationship with God. It is so important to remember
this because a lot of our frustration and inconsistency in



or nd new apprentices. Not only do coaches share this
responsibility of identifying and inviting new leaders into
ministry, often they will need to model this recruiting and
invitation process for the leaders.
It is no secret that we are competing against the lifestyles
that many people have adopted. Fifty hour workweeks plus
travel time are common today. Add to that kids baseball
practices and soccer games, car-pooling, and caring for
parents and peoples lives are lled with activity. There is
no sense in denying that in our culture we live very busy
lives. Its no wonder that asking people to serve in a ministry
makes many leaders break out in a cold sweat.
What if you had something dierent to oer, something
that brought wholeness to their lives, something where
they received more than they gave, something that moved
them towards God and impacted eternity? Would this eect
how you felt about asking others to contribute or lead? As
a coach your heart beats fast for those who are far from
the Father. If contributing or apprentice leading can move
people closer to God, then recruiting becomes a means for
helping people nd their way back to God and for growing
spiritually. The rst step towards becoming an eective
recruiter and helping our leaders become eective recruiters
is changing our mindset about inviting people into ministry.
It is not about asking people to give up more time, it is
about asking people to experience God in a new way and
to partner with Him on a mission that changes lives. As a
coach, you are challenging others to follow in obedience the
plan laid out in Scripture about being the body of Christ (I
Corinthians 12:27).

If contributing or
apprentice leading
can move people
closer to God,
then recruiting
becomes a means
for helping people
nd their way back
to God and for
growing spiritually.

Tom is right, Kim thought. Not only was it a good thing they
needed me to contribute, but when I was asked to lead a team
and eventually coach, my spiritual growth took o.
Kim had been serving on the hospitality team for about 5
months when her coach asked her to apprentice lead a team.
Kim remembered feeling like they were taking a huge risk on
her as she was just beginning to feel stable in her recovery at
that time and her relationship with Jesus was so new to her.


Chapter 8
for a while, and he recommended that she take a welcome
bag from the table that was full of information about the
church. When she went over to the table, she met Jack for
the rst time. Jack, a friendly guy with a diamond earring in
one ear, welcomed her warmly and asked how she found the
church. Kim surprised herself with her candor and told Jack
even more than she had told some of her friends. She found
the church through a program she attended in the building
on Friday nights. Jack was intrigued and asked more. She
shyly admitted that she had been attending the AA meeting
at this church building for the past 4 weeks and had about
that same amount of time of sobriety under her belt. Jack
congratulated her on her four weeks of sobriety and shared
a bit of his recovery story with her. Kim remembered being
amazed. She had always thought that people in church had
it all together and did not have pasts like hers.
Jack shared how being a part of church was so much more
to him than showing up every week. He loved it at church
because he felt like he was on a mission with God.

We are competing
against the lifestyles
that many people
have adopted.

Kim, he said, You want to help out around here? Kim

smiled as she recalled how those words had changed so
much for her just two years ago. She said yes and found
herself showing up early every Sunday morning to put
out the coee and cookies. Some weeks, early on in her
recovery, just knowing that she had to be there on Sunday
morning, that people would be counting on her, looking for
her, and expecting her, kept Kim sober on Saturday night.
She told Tom, In those early days of recovery, God used my
commitment to hospitality to keep me sober, sane, and on
the right path.
As soon as she nished her story, Kim began to see where
Tom was going with all this. Tom just sat there, smiling, and
nodding. Good thing we needed you, he said.

Change of Mind Set

Recruiting is one of the major challenges that coaches and
leaders face. Leaders are always looking to ll their teams



The Coachs Journey

practicing the disciplines comes when we loose sight of
why we are doing them. They become a checklist of things
we should do instead of an opportunity for closeness that
we want to experience.
Do you believe it is possible to get to the place where
when you miss a day of time in the Word or in solitude or in
prayer you actually miss God the way you miss your spouse
or best friend when you dont talk or see each other for a
few days? This is the kind of intimacy we are talking about:
When spending time with Godwhen cultivating your
relationship with himbecomes such a consistent part of
your life that you feel the loss when there is the slightest
gap in your time with him.
Our rst role as a coach is to intentionally cultivate our
own relationship with God. Our own souls will ourish
as we grow closer to him and our leaders will receive the
best care as we serve them with hearts that are full and
energized by God.

Taking the Next Step in the Journey

Sometimes it seems the church is made up of two kinds of
Christians. There are those whose lives seem to be always
moving forward. There is visible evidence of growth in
their lives. They usually have a story about something
God is doing in their lifesomething he is teaching
them or some way he is changing them. The fruit of the
Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, etc.) becomes more and
more evident to those they interact with. They seem to
have an ever-increasing eectiveness in ministry. They
truly are becoming more like Jesus and take serious their
commitment to be a Christ-follower.
But sometimes it seems there is a second kind of Christian
in the church. Sure they believe in God and have
committed themselves to Christ, but their lives dont
seem to change much from month to month and year to
year. They may be faithfully attending church, possibly
even volunteering in some way, but if you asked them,


Chapter 2
What is God trying to teach you right now? or How have
you grown in the past few months? they would be hardpressed to give you an answer. Its not that they dont want
to be growing Christians; its just that they dont really think
about it all that much. They rarely wonder, What is the
next step for me on my journey as a Christ-follower?
As coaches, we must be asking ourselves this question and
asking it regularly. What is the next step for me on my
journey as a Christ-follower? In my role as a coach? In my
relationships with my family? In my relationships with my
neighbors? Growing Christians are those who ask the next
step questions.

Chapter 8


How will we begin a new congregation when we are unsure how
to get enough help to keep our current congregations aoat? Kim
was questioning and even a bit angry about the announcement
to begin a new service. Kim had been functioning as a coach in
ministry teams for only three months. She loved her role but at
times she felt nervous about the breadth of her responsibilities.
Her main job as a coach was to take care of hospitality leaders
for the four weekend services at the church. When she realized
that the plan was to add a fth, she was nervous.

Focusing On Your Next Step

Set aside some time for solitude and reection and use 1
or 2 of these questions as a guide in helping you discern
some next steps in your journey as a Christ-follower.

Read 1 John 1:9-10. Spend some time searching

your heart. Ask God to show you any unconfessed
sin in your life. Confess that sin to God and think
about the steps you need to take to be released
from the bondage of that sin.

What decisions (big or small) are you facing right

now? Read James 1:5. Ask God to guide you with
his wisdom in those decisions. As you quiet your
heart and listen, what steps do you sense the Holy
Spirit prompting you to take?


What have you heard recentlyduring Celebration

services, in your own study and reading, in
conversationthat really stuck out in your mind?
Why do you think the Holy Spirit wanted that thing
to stick out to you? What step is God prompting you
to take in response to that thing?


Kim called the director of ministry teams. We need to talk, she

said. Kim and Tom met for coee the next morning. What are
we thinking? Kim asked. I am not sure how we will keep up
with another service. My leaders are having trouble lling the
current openings in hospitality, and I just cant see myself telling
them that we have a whole new service to ll. She continued,
How do you suggest I go about doing this, Tom? Kim is such
a straight shooter, something that both annoyed Tom and
endeared her to him. Tom just smiled, which at the moment
further aggravated Kim.


Kim, he said, Remind me how you got involved in hospitality

in the rst place.
You know the story, she began trying to wave him o. But
they both smiled when Tom, like a kid begging for his favorite
bedtime story, said, Yeah, I know, I know, but come on, tell
me again.
Kim shrugged and began her story. Kim had only been to church
four times when she rst met the pastor in the reception area.
She asked him about the churchs beginnings wondering if it
was the same church that met in her high school across town
about 12 years ago. She immediately regretted dating herself
revealing her age at just over 30. She talked with the pastor


Chapter 7




Think of a specic ministry challenge one of your leaders is

facing. How could you serve that leader by helping them
to accomplish their ministry task without taking over the
responsibility for that task?

How high a value do you place on praying for your


The Coachs Journey

Focusing On Your Next Step (cont.)

Who are the people that have been on your mind

the most lately? Ask God to show you if he is
putting these people on your mind for a specic
reason. Is there something he is prompting you to
do for these people?

Ask God to bring to your mind a command from

Scripture that he wants you to pay attention to (look
through Matthew 5-7 if you need some help). What
steps do you need to take to live in obedience to
this command?

What step has God challenged you to take in

the past that you havent taken yet (i.e. steps to
reconcile a relationship, steps to share Christ with
a neighbor, steps to get out of debt, etc.). Talk to
God about that step and your reluctance to taking
it. What could you begin doing right away to move
towards obedience in this situation?

What would you like to see happen in your

relationship with Jesus over this next year? What
steps do you need to take towards that future?

What would you like to see happen in your family

over this next year? What steps do you need to take
towards that future?

What would you like to see happen in your ministry

over this next year? What steps do you need to take
towards that future?

What would you like to see happen in your career

over this next year? What steps do you need to take
towards that future?

Heather created 3 by 5 prayer cards to record and

remember to pray for her leaders. What is something you
could do to remember to pray for the concerns and needs
of your leaders?




Chapter 2
Being a Christ-follower Requires
God is in motion and if we are sitting down we will be
left behind and miss the places he is leading us tothe
work that he is purposing to do in us and through us.
Paul understood that being a disciple was about forward
movement. We can see it in his words when he says:
I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus
took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet
to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting
what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I
press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God
has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:12-14

God has a next

step for you in
your journey as a
Christ-follower. As
coaches we must
be people in motion
that in turn help
our leaders nd the
steps God is inviting
them to take.

Paul knew that his walk with God was about forward
motionabout knowing Christ more and moreabout
pressing on to the next step that would take him farther
down the road towards all that God had for him and
wanted to do through him.
So what are the next steps God is calling you to take in
your journey? We encourage you to regularly take time to
ask that question and reect on the ways God is at work
in your life and the areas he is challenging you to grow in.
Come up with a plan that will help you take those steps of
growth,1 revisit that plan often to check your progress, and
ask your ministry director or a trusted friend to hold you
accountable to the plan.
God has a next step for you in your journey as a Christfollower. As coaches we must be people in motion that in
turn help our leaders nd the steps God is inviting them to

CCC has developed a personal resource that empowers Christ-followers to be proactive

about their own growth called the 3C Spiritual Inventory and Growth Plan. The inventory
allows you to assess your strengths and growth areas in each of the experiences of
Celebrate, Connect and Contribute. Upon completion, use the inventory results to ll out
The Spiritual Growth Plan; targeting areas of growth, and setting spiritual goals and next
steps to help you grow in the coming year. (See the instructions on this resource for more



Helping and Praying

Heather, we would love to have you come to the relationship
building event on Saturday. Hope you are planning to be there.
Would you like to greet at the door? All other bases seemed to
be covered. Shelley
For a moment Heather felt sad, but just for a moment. The
success or failure of this event was not about her ability to do
it, but about her ability to develop other leaders to do it. Her
behind the scenes role as a coach would not showcase her 11th
hour, pull-it-all- together talent, but it would be the real test of
her leadership. With four leaders in her span of care, Heather
imagined what could be accomplished if they each developed
their skills to lead these compassion events.
Heather pulled out her 3-by-5 prayer cards. When she asked her
leaders, How can I pray for you? she had kept notes on these
cards. She stuck the cards in her purse and while driving around
town that day to accomplish her list of errands, she prayed for
her leaders and began to dream of her eorts multiplied by

Questions for Discussion


What was dierent about the way Heather responded to

the second crisis than the way she responded to the rst


Heather kept falling into a mode of taking over

ownership of the tasks that had been entrusted to her
leaders instead of leaving the responsibility for the task
in her leaders hands. Share a time when you have fallen
into this same trap.



Chapter 7
through the six coaching questions in her mind and was pretty
sure that How can I rescue you? was not one of them.
Instead, in a moment of clarity, Heather inquired, How can I
help you, Shelley? Shelley looked confused. What should we
do? she posed a question back to Heather. You always have
a quick and creative solution.
Heather paused. We ARE in a mess, she agreed. Solutions
were scrolling through her mind. It felt clear to her what should
be done, but she stopped short of blurting it out. Instead she
said, Lets pray about this. Shelley happily agreed, but not
without a moment of surprise. It was not Heathers normal
mode of operation to stop, reect, and pray before launching
into x-it mode.

She ran though

the six coaching
questions in her
mind and was
pretty sure that
How can I rescue
you? was not one
of them.

Finding Your Rhythm

Coaching is a high calling to a consistent, relational
investment in those you lead. Yet this continual relational
investment can leave coaches vulnerable to discouragement
and even burnout if not careful. If the best gift we can give
to our leaders is a healthy, energized, Spirit-led self; we must
discover and protect the things in our lives that keep us
healthy and energized.

What are the things that ll your tank?

The women prayed. Heather asked again, How can I help

Shelley shared her concerns about the volunteer team she
leads. She was unsure why they didnt seem to have the same
commitment and ownership that it took to meet their ministry
objectives. Heres how you can help me, Shelley nally said.
Help me motivate this team to get stu done.
The two leaders spent the bulk of their meeting talking about
how to motivate the team. They decided to have a team gettogether which included some armations as well as some
vision casting. Then they talked about how to resolve the
immediate ministry deadlines.
Instead of offering solutions, Heather asked, What is the
purpose of this event? How is God leading in this? What would
you like to see happen? What needs to be done to make this
happen? Who do you think should do it?
Shelley left the meeting with a list of calls to make and
conversations to have. Three weeks out from their ministry
event, she was feeling confident that the event would be
successful in building relationships with families in need.
Two days before the event the subject line of the e-mail read,
Youre invited.


The Coachs Journey


RelationallyWho are the people that build up,

encourage, and challenge you? Is there a healthy
balance in your life between the people that are
draining to your soul and those that are nurturing to
your soul? Are you protecting time in your schedule
for those key relationships?

PhysicallyAre you protecting time for physical

activities that energize you or times of rest that
refresh you?

Mentally/EmotionallyAre you taking regular

breaks from the mental and emotional drains of
ministry? What activities are mentally restful to
you? Make time for them in your schedule.

If you want to
be a dierence
maker for the
long haul you
must discover
the right rhythm
for your life and
live that rhythm
out consistently.

As coaches we need to nd the right rhythm for our lives

the blend between work and restthat will keep us healthy
and energized for the long haul. From the beginning Gods
design was for a rhythm of work and Sabbath rest. Sabbath
is about stopping. We dont stop because we are nished
with ministry tasks. We stop because it is time to stop. Jesus
modeled this principle of stopping. In the midst of his
busiest and most productive times of ministry, he stopped
and called his disciples to stop.


Chapter 2
Come away with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and
rest for a while
Mark 6:3.
If you want to be a dierence maker for the long haul
you must discover the right rhythm for your life and live
that rhythm out consistently. It will be hard at times. It
will involve drawing some boundaries in your life that
may require dicult choices and will certainly not please
every person in your life. But your calling as a coach is too
important to risk the dangers of burnout.

Great News!
That very next spring after the snowake conversation with
God, when the trees were beginning to bud, Ken came home
with some very good news. His work headquarters were
moving! His new commute: 10 minutes!! Ken was so pleased
as he could certainly use the extra time with his family and
entertained the idea of helping get dinner on the table at
night. Well, at least he contemplated the idea.
After three weeks in the new headquarters, Ken found himself
in a rut. Something was not clicking. His time with his wife
was at. Coaching with his leaders felt more like a chore
than a joy. He just didnt feel very inspired. Hopping in the
car one morning at 7:45 for his 10 minute commute to work,
Ken clicked on the radio. Passing the park, he noticed a line
of trees covered in snow white blooms. He recalled his hour
long commute in the winter and specically remembered the
day of the snowake conversation with God. Although he did
not wish to go back to the hour long commute, it occurred to
him that without the commute his time with God needed to
be even more intentional.
Rising early the next day, Ken left a bit early for work. He
pulled over by the park and sat on a bench under the line of
trees with snow white blooms and reclaimed his time with
God. Thank you God for reconciling me to yourself through
your son Jesus.. he began.



Helping and Praying

Pictures of the event were taken and e-mails were ying
around later that day sharing its success. As Heather cruised
through her e-mails she noticed one from Shelley. Instead of
the subject line reading Urgent, this time it read, Thanks.
Heather.I am not sure what I would have done without
you. Thanks for rescuing me. You did a fabulous job
what a great day. Shelley
In the coming weeks Heather enjoyed a more relaxed
schedule as the ebb and ow of ministry cycled. Just when
she was getting really relaxed, it happened. This time the
subject line just read Help! Once again, Shelley found
herself with a volunteer not following through, a ministry
crisis, and a deadline. So Heather did what came naturally
and went into x-it mode.
Heather had already scheduled a meeting with Shelley for
that afternoon. She prepared her list of how they could
resolve the current ministry diculties. The women met at
McDonalds while Shelleys preschool daughter played in the
slides and tunnels.
Last months event was awesome! Shelley said. Thanks
again for pulling things together the way that you did. Its
what I do, Heather smiled.
As they continued to reect on the event, Heather realized
that she was spending a lot of time accepting praise and
kudos from Shelley. An uneasiness fell over her that she
couldnt quite put her nger on. Its all God, she nally said,
going through the motions of deecting the credit.
The women continued the meeting with a discussion of their
current ministry problem. Once again, the same volunteer
had not followed through and Shelley could not handle all
the details by herself to keep the event aoat. So here we
are again, Shelley grimaced, Time to pull some Heather
magic and rescue me.
Heather squirmed. It suddenly dawned on her. She had
rescued Shelley from the previous ministry mess. She ran


Chapter 7

The Coachs Journey

Hey Mom, her youngest greeted her as he hopped in the car

from school.

Questions for Discussion

Not now, honey, was her reply as she held her hand over the
cell phone mouth piece. Just get in and pipe down a minute
while I handle this call.


Think back through the events and circumstances of

this day. Where was God trying to start a conversation
with you?


What combination of spiritual disciplines do you need

in order to keep your heart intimate and in tune with


What obstacles seem to get in the way of your

consistent practice of spiritual disciplines? How could
you overcome these obstacles?


On pages 23-24 we describe two kinds of Christians.

Which description seems to most characterize your


Which of the Next Step questions on pages 24-25

sticks out to you? What is your next step in response
to this question? How can you begin taking this step

Mike, this is Heather, she crooned on Mikes voice mail. Just

wondering if you and the family could come over for dessert
some night this weekend. Ive got an idea for you.
Flipping the phone closed, Heather addressed her son. How
was school? She must have missed the talkative window as
he was already absorbed in the Game Boy he had found on the
seat of the van. He just grunted in response. By the time she
had picked up her daughter, she had an appointment with the
community center to formally reserve the space and ll out the
paperwork. She had made a call to the church oce to change
the advertising for the event location as well as got a phone tree
started to get the word out among the volunteers.
That weekend over dessert with Mike and his family, Heather
presented her proposal of a corporate sponsorship of the event,
not only to cover the extra $500 rent on the facility, but to
cover the entire rental and supplies. She opped into bed after
dessert was over feeling a sense of relief and satisfaction. The
adrenaline rush of managing the problem and multi-tasking to
get the job done had kept her mind racing the last two nights.
She knew she would sleep like a baby tonight. She drifted o
to sleep with the old clich chanting in her mind.When you
want a job done right, do it yourself.
The day of the event came and it was a huge success!! The
attendance was even greater than expected and because of
the corporate sponsorship, they raised more money than they
had planned which would be used to assist families in their
neighboring community. It was a satisfying day for Heather.
When the other volunteers learned of the corporate sponsorship
and the last minute crisis of space, Heather got lots of praise
and encouragement for her skills of making stu happen. Even
the pastor at church acknowledged Heathers eorts during his
prayer and remarks at the opening of the event.





Chapter 2

How would you describe the rhythm of work and Sabbath

in your life?

Chapter 7
Helping and Praying

Question 4 - How Can I Help You?
Question 5 - How Can I Pray For You?


How can you build things that ll your tank into your
schedule this next week?

Running through e-mails, Heather decided to only check the

ones that looked important. She only had 15 minutes before
she had to run and get the kids. Then she saw the subject line:
Urgent it said, an e-mail from Shelley, one of the Community
4:12 leaders at church. Heather is the coach of a team of
compassion ministry leaders. Her leaders oversee teams of
folks who put together events for under-resourced families in
a nearby community. For a second, Heather contemplated
ignoring the e-mail; after all, she didnt have a lot of time.
But curiosity got the best of her, and she double clicked. The
e-mail read:


Ahhhhh!!! Terry is driving me crazy!! She doesnt follow

directions. I asked her to book the school for the compassion
event. We have already advertised the time and date and
come to nd out Terry did not book the school!! Now we have
no place for this event! I asked her months ago to take care
of this one small detail, and she NEVER did it. She said she
forgot. Help!!!
Bummer! Heather thought. Now what are we going to do?
The event is two weeks away and we dont have a space. She
automatically went into x-it mode. She jumped in the car
to pick up the kids and ran through the options in her mind.
She thought of the community center down the street from
the school. She even thought of the commons area at the
mall. Flipping open her cell phone, she began to make calls.
After 15 minutes she had information that both places where
available, a bit more costly, but nonetheless available. It
was going to cost an extra $500 for the community center.
Being a make it happen kind of leader, this extra cost was
not enough to discourage Heather. She used her phone to
call Mike, a neighbor and plant manager for a local food





Chapter 6


Use the Basic Problem Solving Skill Box on pages 66-67 to

navigate through a ministry challenge of your own.

Chapter 3

Getting Started

Establishing a Relationship with a Leader
Helen was unsure at the moment if she really even wanted to be
a coach. With her family responsibilities and her full-time job, it
seemed that coaching other leaders would be more than she could
manage. Why did they ask me? She wondered. Its not as if I am
any kind of expert at this stuff.
Joe was thrilled about getting started with leading a group. After
one year of beneting from being in a small group himself, he was
sure that he had something to oer others and he was hopeful that
God could use him. The commitment to be there every Thursday
night made him a bit nervous, but he wanted to make it work.
Helen and Joe were not a likely combination, Helen in her 50s and
Joe in his late 20s. She could have been his mother. How would
it work for these two seemingly quite dierent people to build a
coaching relationship that released potential in Joe and helped
them both grow closer to God.
Sure, I will follow the rules and meet with my coach, Joe thought. But
actually he was quite condent that after having been in a group
for over a year, he could manage just ne and didnt really need
any coaching, thank you very much. Besides he prided himself
in being intrinsically motivated, unlike some of these other
leaders who apparently needed some propping up. But not him,
Joe was sure that his experience as a manager at work as well as
his charismatic personality was all he needed to make this small
group thing work. How hard can it be? Anyway, any real help he
needed would come straight from God.
I guess this coaching thing is good for those people who are a little
unsure of themselves and not as mature as I am, Joe thought. Since
his ministry director seemed quite intent on giving him a coach, he
agreed to play along. In fact, it seemed so important to the director,
he began to wonder if they would let him lead at all if he hadnt
agreed to this coaching thing. Whatever, he thought.





Chapter 3
Helen sensed Joes reservations when she called to set up their
rst meeting. He was nice enough, but seemed a bit arrogant
for such a young kid. She imagined her son that age and
wondered if this 20 something kid could lead a group with
any shred of maturity. Hmmmwell the small group director
seems to think he has what it takes, so I will give this coaching
thing a go. She could not help thinking that life is full of all
kinds of crazy relationships that we have to have. So why is she
choosing to add another forced relationship to her life?
After a few moments in prayer, Helen walked into the caf for
her rst meeting with Joe. He smiled and waved to her from
the corner, coee in hand. Here goes, she thought.

Celebrations and Challenges

challenge and Marie was looking forward to hearing all about
it at their next meeting.
Marie and Cindy were o and running and although the
restaurant and food never changed from meeting to meeting,
both Marie and Cindy did.

Questions for Discussion


Why is it often more tempting to be the expert with

the answers than the guide who questions?


Do you think your leaders prefer you to be the expert

or the guide? Why is it important for you to be aware
of this?


Describe a recent encounter with your leaders (or

your kids or a friend for that matter) where you solved
a challenge by playing the role of expert instead of
guide. What questions could you have asked to help
that person solve the challenge instead of solving it
yourself with advice?

The First Meeting

Although the dynamics vary greatly, each coach/leader
relationship comes with its unique set of challenges. What
would you do if you were Helen? How should she approach
her rst meeting with Joe? Helen has a few choices to make.
Sensing Joes reluctance to being coached, Helen could
approach things feeling defensive and oended. Something
like, Look here, kid, I have more life experience than you in
my right pinkie, so get over yourself and listen up. Who of us
wouldnt be just a bit annoyed when we realize that someone
doesnt think we have much to oer in the relationship?
Ahh, but fortunately for her ministry director, Helen is a
bit more mature than that. (This is why she was chosen
as a coach). She recognizes herself in Joe. She certainly
remembers her early days as a leader. Although she always
struggled with her feelings of inadequacy and inability (as
opposed to Joes arrogance), in retrospect, they are both
the same thing. Soon she had to realize that without Gods
complete intervention, nothing about the group or our
service to the group would work anyway. So in Helens
wisdom, she put aside the defensive self and remembered the
purpose of their rst meeting.





Chapter 6
Hey, I just started being comfortable with the idea of being
a leader! Cindy said, Dont you dare start calling me an
Marie laughed. Anyway, she continued, I just think that as
we talk about the challenges of ministry, if we put our heads
together, we just might be able to uncover some workable
Great! Cindy said. I have needed to talk with you about
Matt. I cant seem to get through to him and he tends to use
humor and other crazy antics to get attention from the other
Whoa! Marie said and held up her hand as if to stop the
oncoming trac. Lets start with celebration. I want to hear
about what is going well in your Kids City group. What are
you celebrating?
Cindy launched into a description of the events in her group.
The highlight for her group over the past month was watching
kids beginning to bring their friends, and seeing some of these
friends ask questions about Jesus. What a great way to spend
a Sunday morning, Cindy said, Talking with kids who have
never before heard stories about Jesus!
Ok, Marie said, Tell me about Matt. Hmmmm Cindy
moaned. He is such a great kid, but his mother tells me he
has ADHD. I am not sure how to deal with that.
Sounds like a challenge, Marie sympathized. What ideas
do you have to tackle this challenge?
Cindy told Marie about a friend of hers who specializes in
learning challenged kids at the local elementary school. Cindy
decided to contact her friend and ask her for some input.
Marie asked Cindy if she thought her friend might be willing
to come to the small group and observe and then oer some
ideas. The two women agreed that this might be a great way
to get Cindys friend to come to church and also will open up
some spiritual conversation between Cindy and her friend.
Cindy left the meeting resolved to begin tackling the Matt



Getting Started
Purpose: Story Telling
Going into the rst meeting with a well dened, understood
purpose will give you condence. No matter what the
unique challenges your coaching relationship faces, every
rst meeting with a leader has the same purpose: telling your
story. It sounds simple, but in our fast-paced, task-driven,
goal-oriented culture; it takes purposeful eort and focused
intention to have a meeting with only two items on the
agenda: telling your story and listening to the story of the
leader you are coaching. Fight the urge to be all about task
and any pressure you feel to be the coaching expert and
have a meeting for the purpose of story telling. If you are
able to do your rst meeting with this agenda, it will set your
relationship on a solid foundation that will pay o in the long

Asking Good Questions

Helen senses Joes hesitation about the meeting. He is

not convinced he needs this coaching relationship and is
looking at his watch 10 minutes into the meeting with Helen.
Fortunately, Helen is a wise coach. She begins by asking
good questions. She asks Joe about his story. By asking
Joe about his life, family ,and work; she communicates to
him that she is interested in him as a person, not just as a
leader. Helen then goes on to ask Joe about his relationship
to Jesus and his leadership in the group. She demonstrates
through these questions that she cares about his spiritual
development as well as his leadership development.

First Meeting
1. Tell your story
2. Listen to the
story of another.

Skill Box 1 - Asking Good Questions



Chapter 3
Skill Box 1 - Asking Good Questions
A key skill for drawing out the story of another is the
powerful art of asking good questions. The following
questions may be helpful in the storytelling conversation.
1. How did you start coming to CCC?
2. When did Jesus rst become real to you?
3. Was church a part of your family life when you were
growing up?
4. What was it like growing up in your family?
5. Who have been the most inuential people in your
6. Why did you choose to be a leader?
7. What do you do for a living? Why did you choose
that career path?
8. What are some of the most memorable experiences
youve had in your life?

Eective Listening

While asking good questions, Helen does what all wise,

wonderful, and compassion-lled coaches do. She listens. Not
just to hear what Joe is saying, but to understand Joe. Who
has God created him to be? What are his hopes and dreams
for the group? What does he struggle with? How does he feel
about leadership? Although all of this may seem obvious, we
think it is worth stating because it is so easy to gloss over the
important work of taking the time to understand someone.
As Helen listens to Joe with compassion and care she begins
to hear what Joes story means to him. As Joe begins to tell
his story of becoming a Christ follower, he shared his familys
reaction to his decision. Helen heard Joes fears of what they
would think of him and what that might do to his family



Celebrations and Challenges


Key Question

Action Plan

Evaluate and

Of all our options,

what are the two or
three best? Which
option is best?

Narrow down your

options. Pick the best
option. Make sure
everyone aected will
agree to rally behind this


What steps do we
need to take to tackle
this challenge?

Outline a roadmap of
steps that will take you
from the challenge to the


What do I need to do

Start tackling the steps in

your roadmap.


What did I learn

in tackling this

Spend time debrieng

with your team.

Marie and Cindys Coaching Story

Marie nally got the point. After giving Gary a hard time
about her melting ice cream she kicked him out of her car.
Now stop following me around town would ya? she teased.
As he waved goodbye, Marie felt a new sense of resolve.
She could hardly wait for her next coaching meeting with
Two weeks later, Marie and Cindy sat at the same table and
ordered the same lunch, but the meeting was not the same.
Marie started with a confession. Cindy, she said, I love the
relationship we have developed. I consider you one of my
closest friends. Cindy smiled and nodded. Marie continued,
I enjoy chatting with you so much that I often dont move our
conversation into the work of Kids City. As your coach I want
to make sure I am doing all I can to help you feel supported,
prepared, and equipped to do the ministry that God has
called you to. And then the confession began. Ya know,
Cindy, sometimes I feel weird being your coach. Cindy looked
surprised as Marie continued. I am not at all an expert in
working with kids. In fact with your degree in teaching, you
are more of an expert than I am!


Chapter 6

Getting Started

for change to occur? Who might be able to help solve this

problem? What steps can you begin taking to tackle this
The benet of using questions to help your leaders develop
action plans (rather than giving advice or naming solutions)
cant be underestimated. For one thing, you will be
equipping your leaders to learn to solve problems instead of
teaching them to depend on your advice. Also, if the action
plan is their idea and their plan they will have a greater sense
of ownership and a deeper sense of resolve towards tackling
the problem.

Skill Box - Basic Problem Solving

Use the following Key Questions and Actions Plans to tackle
ministry challenges.


Key Question

Action Plan

Heart Check

Are my own emotions

or interests aecting
my perception of this

Spend some time in

solitude praying and/
or journaling about
your perception of the
challenge. Ask a wise
and trusted friend to
point out any blind spots
in your perspective.

What is the most

important challenge?

Brainstorm a list of all the

ministry challenges you
are facing. Prioritize this
list and deal with one
challenge at a time.




What is at the core of

this challenge?

Focus your attention

on the cause of the
challenge (not the
symptoms). Discern
what is at the root of the


What are the options

for solving this

Brainstorm a list of
options. Do not evaluate
the options at this point.
Come up with as many
options as possible.


Skill Box 2 - Eective Listening

Eective Listening
Most of us can hear what others are saying, but in a good
storytelling conversation, we move beyond hearing to
really listening for what is being said both verbally and
non-verbally. By working on the skill of listening, the
coach is able to connect and care for the leader more fully.

Three levels of listening

Internal: Internal listening asks the question, What does
this mean to me? Most of us listen on this level. In this
level, we are busy formulating our response. As someone
shares, we are thinking about how we can respond in a
wise, witty, and wonderful way. Often we are thinking
about what the person is sharing means to me as a coach.
How will I be able to encourage? How can I show this
person that I know what I am talking about as a coach?
How can I relate my life experiences to what this leader is
Focused: Focused listening asks the question, What does
this mean to them? This is the level of listening that will
lead to eective coaching. As you listen on this level, you
will be led to ask questions that nd out even more about
the leader. You may nd yourself asking questions like:

What does this mean for you?

How does this experience aect you today?
How do you respond dierently to others because of
this experience?
Global: Global listening asks the question, What is the
emotion being shared? This type of listening leads you
to an empathic relationship with your leader. Most of us
really long to be understood. Once you begin to get what
your leader is feeling, he/she will begin to feel understood
and the two of you will be on a great adventure of learning
and sharing the journey together. And the sky is the limit
on what God will accomplish through your relationship!



Chapter 3

Authentic Sharing

As a coach, you have the opportunity to set the tone for the
coaching relationship. As you begin to authentically share
your story, you reveal Gods grace and love at work in your
life. How fun is that? We think that is lots of fun, but it does
require some vulnerability and that can be a challenge. As
your story unravels over time, you take the risk of showing
the leaders you coach that you, like all of us, are a work in
progress. This kind of sharing leads the way for the leaders in
your huddle to share the work that God is doing in their lives
and hearts. Fortunately, your huddle of leaders is not a we
have it all together club, but a place where leaders give and
receive help, hope and encouragement. As the coach, your
authenticity will lead to growth-lled opportunities for your

Pace: Leave Them Wanting

If you can, consider keeping your rst coach to leader meeting
at just over one hour. It is easy, especially if you really hit it
o with a new leader, to meet for a very long time. This may
set expectations for lengthy future meetings that neither you
nor the leader you are coaching will realistically have time for.
If your leaders feel that coming into every meeting with you
means a lengthy conversation, they may be less likely to nd
time in their schedules for this important ongoing connection.
So pace yourself. You do not have to cover all the ground in
one meeting. It is our hope that you will be doing life together
with this leader for months and sometimes years in the future.
Leave some story telling for subsequent meetings.

Prayer: Relying On God

As a coach, we encourage you to leave time at the end of
each meeting to ask your leader how you can pray for them
and then pray for them right then. There is nothing about this
coaching thing that we can even fathom doing without the
power and presence of the Holy Spirit. There is an intimacy
level that builds in a relationship when we open up in prayer
with one another.



Celebrations and Challenges

and motivation. Celebration provides an avenue for the
leader and coach to honor God for the amazing things he is
accomplishing in their lives and ministries.

Question 3 - What Challenges are you

Question 3 provides an avenue for your leader to talk
openly about things that arent going well. Obstacles
and challenges need to be acknowledged and owned
before they can begin to be tackled and overcome. These
challenges may be related to circumstances (i.e. inadequate
meeting space, diculty coordinating schedules), people
entrusted to your leaders care (i.e. conict, personal
problems), or your leaders own skills and/or growth as a
As a coach, part of your role is to ensure that you provide
a safe, condential, and nurturing environment for your
leaders to talk openly about these challenges. Encourage
your leaders to look honestly at their ministry and personal
leadership and to name those things that arent working
or could be improved upon. Arm their insights and lead
them on to Question 4.

Question 4 - How Will you Tackle Those

Question 4 is the ultimate test for a coach who struggles
with wanting to be an expert instead of a guide! Often once
the challenges have been named we want to jump in and
start oering advice and solutions to our leaders. There
are times when our insights are necessary but more often
than not our leaders possess the wisdom they need to solve
ministry challenges. This wisdom simply needs to be drawn
out of them. Encourage your leaders to think through their
challenges and to develop a plan of action to tackle those
challenges. Ask them questions like: What would you like
to see happen? What would need to take place in order


Chapter 6
brilliant answer? Resisting the temptation to be the expert
but instead guiding your leader to workable solutions to
ministry challenges will be the mark of eective coaching.
Equipping is about helping your leaders eectively carry
out their tasks. Questions 2 through 4 in our six Questions
model provide a tool for equipping your leaders. Equipping
happens as coaches guide leaders through these three
questions: What are you celebrating? What challenges are
you facing? How will you tackle those challenges?

Question 2 - What are you Celebrating?

helps leaders
understand what
is working well and
encourages them
to continue doing
those things and to
build upon those

Celebrating successes with your leaders is essential for

a couple of reasons. First, leaders regularly need to be
reminded of the vision and importance of the role they
are playing so that they are motivated to carry out their
task. Equipping them includes recasting vision and helping
renew passion which are both by-products of celebration.
Consider asking your leaders questions like: Is anyone in
your group (or on your team) making a decision to follow
Jesus? Who in your group (or on your team) is growing
spiritually? What are you feeling good about right now in
your ministry? What are you most enjoying in your role as a
leader? In what ways do you see God using you as a leader?
Second, celebrating successes helps leaders understand
what is working well and encourages them to continue
doing those things and to build upon those things.
Equipping is not just about addressing things that arent
working; it is also about reinforcing things that are working
well. Successes often point the way to the next steps for a
leader or ministry. Consider asking your leaders questions
like: What is working really well in your ministry right now?
What eorts does God seem to be blessing? What have you
done in the past month that has had the greatest impact?
What would happen if you spent more time doing those
things? How can you leverage the success of those things
to take your ministry and your leadership to the next level?
Celebrate successes regularly with your leaders.
Armation is crucial to a leaders ongoing commitment



Getting Started
Keeping Perspective
Helen wasnt sure how she felt after her rst meeting with
Joe. She was glad the initial awkwardness of their meeting
subsided as she began to draw pieces of Joes life story out
into the conversation. She was pleasantly surprised that
he seemed responsive to the questions she asked about his
spiritual journey, ministry involvement, and family life. She
enjoyed learning about him. But for some reason as she
reected on their meeting later that night, she still felt anxious
in her heart about this coaching relationship. The more she
thought about it, the more her anxiety level seemed to rise.
Her mind began to be ooded with a barrage of questions and
nagging thoughts: How am I supposed to build a signicant
relationship with someone so young? Joe probably thinks
meeting with me will be a waste of time. Was he just humoring
me by being polite tonight? Why did I agree to take on this
ministry? I really dont think I know enough to be coaching
other leaders.
As Helen began to formulate reasons she could give her
director to explain why she wasnt the best person to coach
Joe, suddenly a voice deep within her heart broke through
and she knew God was drawing her to step back from the
fear and anxiety she was feeling to allow Him to realign her
perspective. She grabbed her journal and headed out into
the living room where in the stillness of the ending day God
reminded her of some important things.

Every self-aware
coach will battle
feelings of
inadequacy and
from time to time.
Sometimes it
seems the deeper
we go in our
spiritual journey
the more we
become aware of
our weaknesses
and how much we
dont know.

Undoubtedly, every self-aware coach will battle feelings

of inadequacy and ineectiveness from time to time.
Sometimes it seems the deeper we go in our spiritual
journey the more we become aware of our weaknesses and
how much we dont know. Like Helen, we can nd ourselves
bombarded by thoughts that make us question our ability
to eectively coach. But Helen discovered as she settled her
heart down to listen to God, there is good news for coaches
who are struggling with feelings of inadequacy: Coaching
is not about you and your abilities; it is about God working
through you.
Helen opened her Bible and noticed several scripture references


Chapter 3
she had scribbled on her program during the celebration service
last Sunday. In the quietness of her living room, the nagging
thoughts in Helens mind began to be replaced by truth as she
looked up the verses. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a
man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart
from me you can do nothing (John 15:5). If any of you lacks
wisdom, He should ask God who gives generously to all without
nding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5). ...neither
he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who
makes things grow (1 Corinthians 3:7).
Helens heart began to settle as she was reminded that she
could trust God to work through her willingness to serve. She
smiled as she thought of Jesus words: Come to me all who
are weary and burdened and I will give you rest (Matthew
11:28). Thank you for taking the burden Im feeling about this
relationship on your shoulders, Lord, she prayed. I know I can
trust you to work.
As she started to get up to head o to bed, one last Scripture
came to the forefront of her mind and she paused to look at it
before calling it a night. It was the scripture her director had
shared with her last week before assigning her to coach Joe. It
was from 1 Peter 5: Be shepherds of Gods ock that is under
your care, serving as overseersnot because you must, but
because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for
money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted
to you, but being examples to the ock. And when the Chief
Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will
never fade away. Helen prayed, God, I may not know a lot of
things about this whole coaching thing, but one thing I know for
sure: for some reason you have entrusted Joe to my care and I
want to be faithful to caring for him as you would want me to.
God I commit myself to you and to serving Joe. I make myself
available for this relationship and trust you to work. May our
relationship fulll your purposes and honor you.

Celebrations and Challenges

immediately regretted her honesty as a tear slipped down her
cheek. Garys silly expression turned soft and he ran around
to the passenger side of the car and hopped in.
Whats up Marie? he questioned. It was too late now;
Marie had to share what was on her heart. She put the ice
cream aside and described her meeting with Cindy. Gary
was confused. Sounds like it went great, he said, You guys
are really becoming friends. Yeah, were friends alright,
but I cant coach her anymore, Marie confessed. Marie
launched into a laundry list of her inadequacies . . . degree
in teaching, no experience with kids (other than her own), no
special knowledge of how kids learn, no expertise with the
curriculums . . . list went on and on.
Boy, am I a dummy, Gary replied. Now it was Maries turn to
be confused. Can we not make this about you? she laughed.
Didnt I just nish telling you that I am the dummy? Gary
explained. If you are that unqualied, Marie, I am the dummy
for asking you to coach. Ok then, I would have to agree with
you there. At least I am in good company. Gary chuckled,
but then his face turned serious. Marie, he asked. Do you
love Jesus? Has it not been your lifes dream to lead others into
a more loving relationship with Him? Yes and yes. Then
trust me on this, Gary said, You are the right person to coach
in Kids City no matter who has what degree.

Equipping a
leader is not the
task of a coaching
expert but the
task of a coaching

Gary knew that he had made no mistake inviting Marie

into coaching. Marie was a visionary. She could see what
a dierence a leaders love could make in the life of a child.
She was sensitive, caring, and encouraging; and her passion
for Jesus was o the charts. As Gary and Marie watched the
ice cream melt, the two began a conversation that changed
Maries perspective.

Expert or Guide?
Building a Relationship With Someone
Very Dierent
Most coaches and leaders have some obstacles to overcome



Equipping a leader is not the task of a coaching expert but

the task of a coaching guide. If you are like most, taking the
stance of a guide when it comes to equipping is no easy
task. Who does not want to be the expert? Who, when
asked for help by someone, does not want to have the


Chapter 6
in teaching, knows so much more about kids than I do, and I am
supposed to equip her. How is this gonna work, Lord? Marie
prayed as she drove to the restaurant.
Marie saw Cindy sitting in their regular booth. They always
seemed to get the same booth at Chilis. Marie laughed at Cindy
who was hiding behind her menu, Same booth, huh? she said.
What will we ever do if they decide to seat us somewhere else?
Cindy looked up from the menu, I dont know why I am even
looking at the menu.I always order the same thing, and I am
sure today will be no exception. The women chatted until the
server came at which point they both ordered the same thing.
They ate, laughed, and mostly talked about their kids. Before
Marie knew it, 90 minutes had passed and it was time for Cindy
to go pick up the kids from school. They hugged goodbye and
wrote their next meeting time on their calendars. As Marie got
in her car, she felt very unsettled. I did it again, she thought. I
let our time go by and I didnt do anything to equip Cindy for
her task in ministry. I didnt even ask the right questions. As
was often typical with Marie, she began to wonder why in the
world she was a coach anyway. I dont have any expertise to
offer Cindy, she thought. She has a college degree in teaching
she should be coaching me!
Needing some comfort food, Marie drove through the
McDonalds drive thru and ordered a McFlurry and began to
drown her frustrations in ice cream and m&ms. As she sat in her
car eating ice cream in the McDonalds parking lot, she allowed
her mind to wander. She thought about her decision to get
married so young and to have children while most people were
nishing college. She thought about her life as a stay at home
mom raising kids while many women dressed for work every
day. She felt behind everyone else, ineective, and sometimes
even useless.
A sudden knock on her window made her leap o her seat
nearly spattering her ice cream on the windshield. Suppressing
a scream, she saw the childrens ministry director from church
waving at her with a silly grin on his face. Caught ya, didnt
I? he said in good humor. Embarrassed, Marie rolled down
her window and the friendly face actually brought a lump to
her throat. Surprised by the emotion, Marie replied, Caught
me what, eating ice cream or feeling like a failure? She



Getting Started
in order to develop a signicant, purposeful relationship.
Coaching often pairs people together who might not
naturally have migrated to one another. For Helen and Joe,
their diering age and life stage made their pairing seem
somewhat awkward at rst. In your role as a coach, you
may be facing dierences in gender, culture, personality,
education, or past experience that seem to be hurdles in
your relationships with your leaders.
Helen felt these dierences pretty keenly when she rst
began meeting with Joe. Until she started trying to build a
relationship with him, she had never realized how for most
of her life she had surrounded herself with people who were
pretty much exactly like her.
At this early stage in their coaching relationship, Helen
decided to approach every meeting as an opportunity to
learn from Joeto try to better understand how a young
man in his 20s experiences the challenges of life and
ministry. She even decided to ask for his perspective on
some life and ministry challenges of her own.
She also decided that she would pray for an opportunity
in one of their rst few meetings to openly talk about how
their dierences in age, life stage, and gender could impact
their coaching relationship. Helen thought that if she and
Joe could be open about how their dierences aect them, it
might help them work through those dierences more easily.
Coaching relationships, like most relationships in life, require
lots of patience and hard work. As you begin establishing
connections with your leaders, dont be afraid of the hard
things. Its O.K. if things are hard for a while. James reminds
us that the challenges we face develop perseverance and
perseverance must nish its work so that you may be mature
and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:4). God can
redeem the hard things in your life to grow and develop you
on your journey. Just continue to look for ways to love and
learn with your leaders, and trust that God will produce the
fruit in your coaching relationships that He desires.



Chapter 3
Questions for Discussion

Does meeting with a leader for the rst time excite you?
Unnerve you? Energize you? Scare you? Focus you?
Encourage you?


How hard is it for you to authentically share your own story?


What dierences in age, gender, culture, personality,

education, or past experience seem to be hurdles in your
relationships with your leaders? What could you and your
leaders do to jump these hurdles?

Chapter 6
Celebrations and Challenges

Question 2: What Are You Celebrating?
Question 3: What Challenges are You Facing?
Question 4: How Will you Tackle Those Challenges?
I am not a leader, I just love kids, Cindy said when Marie
invited her into Kids City leadership. Cindy had been helping
out as she liked to call it with the 4th grade small group in
Kids City every other Sunday for about a year. Cindy was in
school nishing her degree in teaching while also a busy mom
of two. She had a passion for kids that Marie had rarely seen
before. When she came to help out in the group her natural
gifts with children were apparent. The kids lit up on the weeks
Cindy was there and she had a way of talking to them that
was powerful and arming.


Which level of listening (described in the Skill Box on page

35) do you tend to listen on? What can help a person move
beyond internal listening to focused and global listening?


Helen struggled with thoughts such as I dont know

enough to be coaching other leaders and Joe probably
thinks meeting with me will be a waste of his time. She
turned to some verses from the Bible to reassure her and
combat those thoughts. What do you tend to struggle with
in your thought life in regards to your role as a coach? How
might Gods Word speak to those struggles?

Marie had just asked her to move from her helping role to be
the leader of the 4th grade small group. After giving it some
thought and prayer, Cindy agreed to work with the kids each
week, but still did not see her self as a leader. Marie smiled.
Cindy had leadership ability with kids like few others Marie
had seen. Shell get it, Marie thought.
That Im not a leader comment was nearly six months ago.
As Marie planned her coaching meeting with Cindy, she
thought about how Cindy had grown both spiritually and as
a leader to kids. Marie reviewed her six questions. Over the
past months of working together, Marie and Cindy had built
such a rapport that they often found themselves meeting over
lunch and chatting their 90 minutes away talking about life,
their kids, and lessons from God, while sometimes leaving
only a few minutes to talk about ministry in Kids City. Marie
made a mental note to concentrate her questions during this
meeting around equipping; making sure Cindy was feeling
successful in her ministry to the kids in her group.
Its kind of weird, Marie thought on her way out the door to
meet Cindy for lunch. Cindy, having since nished her degree





Chapter 5

Share a time when a leader began to pull away from you

as a coach. What things did you do or can you do to
reconnect with that leader?

Chapter 4
The Coaching Conversation

Overview of the Six Questions


What do you think Ray did well and what do you think he
should have done dierently with Steve in this story?

I am so excited about this! Dan looked like he was about to

burst with enthusiasm. It was obvious he was on cloud nine and
now that he had the opportunity to share his excitement with
his ministry director it was all he could do to keep his voice to a
reasonable level. He had to contain himself for a few minutes while
the waitress took their order but as soon as she left the table he
jumped right back into things. I have such a good feeling about
this, Mark, Dan continued. I am so condent that God is up to
something in these relationships Im beginning to build with my
Mark just sat back for a moment and smiled. I knew that this
coaching role was a perfect t for Dan, he thought. No doubt God
is up to something in this. Dan had only been coaching for six
weeks but already Mark had observed Dans inuence. All four of
his leaders attended Leadership Community the previous Saturday.
Two of his leaders had always come but the third was rarely there
and the fourth had never been. No doubt it was their connection
with Dan that motivated them to attend. Mark had spent some
time that day observing Dans huddle time with his leaders from a
distance. He couldnt hear what was being said but it was obvious
by the laughter and posture of the group that Dans enthusiasm
was rubbing o on all of them. This is going to be a dynamic team,
Mark had thought. I am excited about this too!
Dan had spent his rst six weeks as a coach simply getting to
know his leaders. He had exchanged e-mails with each of them
weekly and met with all of them one-on-one at least once and
with a couple twice. Two of them were hungry for the one-onone attention Dan was oering. They had been longing to have
someone in their lives who would consistently pray for them,
support them, and help them grow. One of his leaders hadnt
been a Christ-follower very long so the whole idea of meeting with
someone for accountability, encouragement, and growth was
foreign to him. Dan knew hed have to be intentional about helping





Chapter 4

Checking Your Leaders RPMS

this leader feel comfortable and safe in their one-on-ones, but

he saw such potential in this guy and knew their coaching
relationship could be an important tool in his growth. The
fourth leader was going to be a challenge. He seemed a little
disinterested if not resistant to going deeper, but Dan wasnt
about to let that discourage him. I know God has connected
us for a reason, he told Mark.
Dan continued on for a solid half-hour relaying all that he was
excited about. Mark was so encouraged by the vision God was
giving Dan. Dans friendship is going to make a huge difference
in these leaders lives, Mark thought.
But Ill tell you what has been most on my mind the past couple
days, Dan continued. Ive spent these rst six weeks just getting
to know my leaders but where do I go from here? How can I
make sure our meeting times are purposeful and that Im really
playing the role in their lives that Im supposed to play?
Well, Mark replied, If you continue to pursue your leaders
with the kind of intentionality youve shown over these rst
six weeks, I have no doubt you will be fullling the role God
intends for you to play in their lives. But I can share with you
a simple plan someone once gave me to guide your coaching
conversations. Mark grabbed a pen and jotted these six simple
questions 2 down on a napkin:

give of him self in service to others. Plus, he began to see

how his relationship with Ray was a gift from God at this
crucial point in his life. The road ahead was still going to
be hard, but Steve knew God was walking through this with
him, providing for him all along the way. Thank you, Jesus,
he prayed, I know you are near and I cant imagine what I
would do without you.

Questions for Discussion


If you were Steves coach, how would you have

responded to him when he stopped fullling his
ministry commitments as a leader?


What part of the RPMS is most dicult for you to ask a

leader about? Why?


Read over the One anothers on page 49. Which one

comes most naturally to you? Which is the most dicult
for you?


Share a time when someone spoke the truth in love to

you. How did this make you feel?

Six Coaching Questions

1. How are you?
2. What are you celebrating?
The Six Essential
Coaching Questions

3. What challenges are you facing?

4. How will you tackle those challenges?
5. How can I help?
6. How can I pray for you?

We are indebted to Carl George who shared the concept of using simple questions to coach
during a consulting session with Community Christian Church coaches in 2003.





Chapter 5
tell people I needed to quit, Steve said. Hold on a minute, Ray
replied. Why are you making the leap from this job situation
to quitting your leadership role? Steve looked puzzled by this
response. What do you mean? he asked.
Ray replied, Well, Im not sure I understand why you feel you
need to step away from ministry during this critical time in your
life. Maybe that is what God wants you to do. But maybe God
would want you to stay. You are part of our team and when
one teammate is stressed and frustrated it doesnt make sense
to me for him to leave the team. How can the team rally around
him and provide the love and support he needs if hes gone?
And maybe God wants to make something good come out of
all of this by showing His strength through your weakness as
you serve.

The Coaching Conversation

One of the most important facets of coaching is to provide
regular one-on-one attention to leaders by engaging them
in conversations about their lives and ministry. These
simple six questions can provide a framework for all of your
coaching conversations. Notice that these are questions and
not statements. Your role in the coaching conversation is
primarily about asking questions and listening. As you gain
experience you will learn to ask these questions and others
like them in ways that keep your coaching conversations
fresh, purposeful, and benecial to your leaders growth and
role in ministry.
In the chapters that follow well take a closer look at each
of these six questions and how they can help you care for,
equip, and serve your leaders.

I dont know, Steve replied still looking a little puzzled. I guess

I hadnt thought of things that way. I just assumed that I needed
to leave. I guess I was just thinking that since I messed up on
the job as a leader, I couldnt be a good leader here at church.
I have convinced myself that leading others is not my strong
suit. But I dont know if that is something God is telling me to
do or if I am just making this stu up.
Ray suggested that both men take the next month to
consistently pray for Gods leading regarding Steves leadership
role. Lets not make any decisions until both of us feel condent
about what God is saying in this situation, Ray suggested. Steve
agreed and over the next four weeks both men committed to
praying every morning about this decision. They continued to
meet and talk about the things God was saying to them through
their times of prayer and honest reection.
By the end of the month, both men were convinced that if
Steve stepped down it would be a mistake. Steve realized that
his connection on this team was probably one of the key ways
God was providing for him during this crisis. He also began to
see that his mistakes on the job were not the predictor of his
future leadership success but rather opportunities to learn and
grow. He loved music and the role he played on the team and
it was so good for his soul to step away from the job stress to





Chapter 4

Checking Your Leaders RPMS

The number one responsibility of a leader is to grow in his or
her own relationship with God. As a coach you can help your
leaders gure out what they need to do to nd and maintain
intimacy with God. It might be dierent for each person
and may even dier for the same person through dierent
seasons of life. But it is crucial that your leaders are building
and protecting things in their lives that will nourish and
grow their spirits.

One of the best ways

to pursue intimacy
with God is through
the practice of
spiritual disciplines.

One of the best ways to pursue intimacy with God is

through the practice of spiritual disciplines. Remember,
the goal is not the discipline (i.e. praying for 30 minutes
each day, reading through the whole New Testament); the
goal is intimacy with God. But spiritual disciplines such
as prayer, Bible study, journaling, meditating on Scripture,
worship, fasting, retreats, memorizing Scripture, and others
are doorways that help usher our hearts into the presence
of God where He can speak to us, lead us, equip us, and
strengthen us for the mission He has called us to.

Good Questions About Spiritual Health

Does your relationship with God feel close and

intimate right now? If not, can you think of

something in your life that is standing in the way (i.e.
busyness, sin, apathy, etc.)?
What combinations of spiritual disciplines do you
need in your daily life to keep your heart intimate
with God?
How could I help hold you accountable to the
practice of those disciplines?
How has God been speaking to you lately? What has
he been saying?
Ray and Steves conversation progressed from how Steve and
his wife were coping with the job loss to the practical issues
of nancial survival as Steve looked for work. Eventually the
conversation came around to Steves role as a rehearsal leader
in the music ministry. I just didnt know how to come out and





Chapter 5

As we navigate these relational encounters, it is helpful to

keep the following diagram in mind:

4 Ways to Speak
Saying things that
are loving but not
true. This may
win friends but it
wont grow Christ
Saying things that
are neither loving
nor true. This is
the sure way to
destroy trust and

No Truth


No Love
No Truth

No Love

Saying things
that are true in
love. Results in
authenticity and
the best chance
for growth and
Saying things that
are true but not
seasoned with love.
Hurt feelings will

In Joel Comiskeys book Home Cell Group Explosion he
presents the results of a survey he conducted among the
largest churches in the world. This survey revealed that
personality and gifts werent the biggest factor in the growth
of the churchprayer and the devotional lives of the leaders
were.3 Spiritual vitality is crucial to your leaders life and
eectiveness in ministry. When leaders hearts are intimately
connected to God they will be attuned to His leading and
ministry will ow from their lives. Too many times we get
this turned around. We ll our lives with the tasks of ministry
and nd very little time left to connect with God. When this
happens, not only are we in danger of wearing out (because
we arent staying connected to our Source of strength and
power); but we are also in danger of missing Gods plan and
purposes (because we arent sensitive to the leading of His

When leaders
hearts are
connected to
God they will
be attuned to
His leading and
ministry will ow
from their lives.

Comiskey, Joel. Home Cell Group Explosion: How Your Small Group Can Grow and Multiply.
Houston: TOUCH Publications, 1998. Comiskey found that Those who spend 90 minutes or
more in devotions per day multiply their groups twice as much as those who spend less than
30 minutes. He also notes that Those who pray daily for cell members are most likely to
multiply groups.



Chapter 5
Checking Your Leaders RPMS

Question 1 - How Are You?
Ray was so frustrated and angry he was having trouble keeping
his voice steady. Steve, usually reliable and fun to work with,
had been forgetting rehearsal, not communicating with
leaders, and generally leaving others to scramble around at
the last minute to x the stu he had not followed through
on. The 8:00pm call from the drummer on Friday was the
last straw. Where is Steve? the drummer for this weekends
services demanded. It is 8:00, all the musicians are here, but
there is no rehearsal leader. Isnt it supposed to be Steve this
Ahhhnot again!! What is with this guy? Ray thought. He clearly
doesnt get it. Ray talked with the drummer and encouraged
the band to complete the rehearsal on their own. The drummer
agreed, but Ray could hear the frustration in his voice. The
next day the drummers frustration was echoed when Ray
received e-mails from two other musicians who had been at
the rehearsal the night before.


After nally getting a meeting time set up with Steve, Ray

struggled to keep his voice steady as he addressed the issues.
Look, Ray said, Do you want to be a part of this team or
not? Instead of looking Ray in the eyes, Steve looked down
into his Vanilla Carmel Latte. Ray explained how the musicians
counted on his leadership at rehearsals and it was completely
de-motivating for other musicians who were forced to pick up
the pieces when Steve failed to follow through. Ray fought the
urge to take Steves Latte and swipe it onto the oor, just to get
the guy to look up at him.
When Steve did not answer, Ray decided to go for the juggler.
You wanna quit? He said, Because if you do, just tell me now
and we can move on and nd a leader who wants to do the job.
Ray knew he was being intense, but after months of holding
onto his frustration he could not help himself.


Chapter 5
Hey Ray!! Sheila called out from the other side of the caf.
Grateful for the distraction Ray answered, Hey Sheila, what
brings you to the big yellow box today? While Sheila and Ray
chatted about kids and baseball and last weekends music at
celebration service, Steve, also relieved to be out of the hot
seat, got up from the table and walked outside. Noticing Steve
leaving the building Ray wrapped up the conversation with
Sheila and followed Steve outside. The side conversation with
Sheila had put Ray in a better frame of mind, so as he caught
up to Steve, he placed a hand on Steves shoulder. The two
men stood there for a few minutes. Ray nally broke the silence
saying, Ministry issues aside, Steve, whats going on with you?
For the rst time, since their meeting began, Steve raised his eyes
and looked at Ray. Ray was surprised to see a look of pain rather
then anger on Steves face. Whats up? Ray repeated.
Lets walk, Steve said, and began a brisk walk around the
pond. The men walked together in silence. Ray could see that
Steve was struggling to get out the words. Suddenly, Ray was
no longer thinking about missed rehearsals and frustrated
musicians, all he cared about was Steve. The guy was clearly
upset. Ray regretted his harsh start to the meeting and wished
he had begun the meeting with the obvious question, How
are you, Steve? Ray began to wonder if Steve would be able
to tell him at all, after his little display of frustration back at
the caf. Please Steve, open up, Ray began thinking as the men
walked and trac buzzed by at the busy corner. Please God,
forgive my harsh words and give Steve the courage to open up,
Ray silently prayed.
Finally, Steves steps slowed and Ray could see he was going to
talk. It was all Ray could do to keep walking and keep his eyes
forward. He wanted to stop in his tracks and scream, WHAT!
Keeping his eyes straight ahead, Steve confessed, Its over. All
Ray could think about was whats over?your marriage?... your
life?what already?!?

Checking Your Leaders RPMS

Skill Box - Speaking the Truth in Love

Guidelines for Speaking the Truth in

Pray. Pray. Pray!!! Do not enter into a truthtelling conversation without praying for God to
prepare your heart and the heart of your leader for
your meeting. Pray for wisdom and discernment to
speak the right words. Pray that your leaders heart
will be receptive to correction.

Struggle. If it is easy for you to speak hard

words into another persons life then you probably
shouldnt do it. If it is dicult for you to speak hard
words because you dont want to hurt the other
person or ruin your relationship, then you probably
are speaking from a heart of love.

Decide. that you love the person enough to not

allow anything to stunt their growth as a Christfollower. Gently arm to your leader that the words
you are speaking come from a desire to see that
leader grow.

Ask. questions that communicate that you care

about your leader (not just the ministry task or about
solving a problem). For example: Ive noticed that
you dont seem to be serving with much enthusiasm
lately. Is there something going on in your life that is
burdening you?

Arm. your leader continually throughout the

My job, Steve went on. I lost my job about 6 months ago.
Ray was stunned. He knew that Steve had worked for the same
small company since college and had worked his way up to
vice president of sales. Six months? Ray asked. Am I the



conversation. Arm your desire to maintain a close,

authentic relationship with that leader. Arm the
leaders value to the team.



Chapter 5
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things
grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Ephesians 4:15
Speaking the truth in love can be the hardest part of
coaching. If a leader isnt carrying through with his or her
responsibilities, it is the coachs responsibility to speak
words of truth. When something in your leaders life seems
questionable or when your leader is unaware of a personal
weakness or problem, God may desire for you to be the voice
of truth in that leaders life. Speaking the truth in love will
enable your leader to take another step in his or her journey
towards maturity. Failing to speak these words of truth
might keep your leader from growing or prove problematic
or dangerous for your team and the people entrusted to that
leaders care. Truth speaking is hard. There is no way around
that. But it is something a coach must do for the good of the
leader and the ministry.

Checking Your Leaders RPMS

ONLY one who doesnt already know this? Actually, Steve
continued, Aside from my wife, you are the ONLY one who
does know. I havent told anyone, not even my kids.Why
on earth not? Ray asked. Recognizing how dicult it was
for Steve to share, he changed his question. I mean, what is
making you unable to share this? Steve stopped and looked
straight at Ray. I wish I could tell you that I lost my job because
of downsizing, lack of business, the bad economy, but I cant
say that Ray. I lost my job because I screwed up. I made some
bad management and marketing decisions that cost my small
company one account after the other. Finally, although the
CEO tried to be kind, he had to replace me with someone with
more leadership savvy than I was demonstrating. Basically, I
failed. Ray and Steve walked the rest of the way around the
pond in silence. When they returned to the caf, Ray asked
Steve if he could pray with him. The men prayed together and
agreed to meet the following week to talk and pray again.
On his drive home, Ray pondered the conversation. Feeling
like a failureouch! No wonder Steve has been pulling back
lately. I wish I could help him, encourage him some how. Ray
prayed for Steve daily that week and eagerly looked forward
to their next meeting the following Saturday.

What are RPMS?

Relational development is the core of coaching out of which
everything else will grow. As we invest relationally with
leaders, we are given an entry point into their lives and that
is what we as coaches are to be most concerned about the
leaders life. Not only are we called to help leaders with the
task of their ministry, but we also can encourage them to be
eective in every aspect of their lives. RPMS provide a way
to easily remember the areas of a leaders life that we want
to touch on as a coach. Just as we check the RPMs on a car
to see how well it is running, we can check the RPMS on our
selves and our leaders to see if all is in balance. RPMS stands
for Relational, Physical, Mental and Spiritual.




Just as we check
the RPMs on a
car to see how
well it is running,
we can check
the RPMS on our
selves and our
leaders to see if
all is in balance.


Chapter 5
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor
with God and men. Luke 2:52


Diving right
in to an RPMS
before a
relationship has
been established
could do just the
opposite of what
you are trying
to accomplish
with a leader: a
close, trusting


Relationally: Jesus grew in favor with men

Physically: Jesus grew in stature
Mentally: Jesus grew in wisdom
Spiritually: Jesus grew in favor with God

Checking Your Leaders RPMS

particular circumstances they nd themselves in? What books are
they reading to sharpen their skills as a leader, to challenge their
growth as a Christ-follower, or to stretch their understanding of
their culture? Some of us are highly motivated as self-learners;
others of us need the accountability and encouragement of a
friend or mentor to take the initiative in developing our minds.
Part of our responsibility as coaches is to make sure our leaders
are being equipped for life and the ministry they have been
called to.
Regularly ask your leaders about the things God is teaching them
and encourage them to apply that learning to their lives and
ministry in real and practical ways.

Good Questions About Mental Learning

What have you been learning lately?
How have you applied what we learned at Leadership

Before we go into detail about the RPMS, lets be honest.

Relationships take time. We hope that the idea of tackling
these areas of your leaders life feels uncomfortable for you
at rst. It should. Diving right in to an RPMS conversation
before a relationship has been established could do just
the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish with a
leader: a close, trusting relationship. So, take your time
and use some relational wisdom. You were most likely
chosen as a coach because of your leadership and relational
gifts. You will need to rely on these instincts and Gods
prompting to know when the time is right to begin the
RPMS conversation. Having the RPMS conversation is
counter- cultural to our individualistic way of doing life.
Culturally, we are just not used to asking people how their
physical health is let alone their relational and spiritual
health. But nonetheless, God calls us to this type of Biblical
community with one another as the core of discipleship.


Community with your team? Or small group? Or the

ministry you lead?
What thoughts have been dominating your mind
lately? Are these thoughts having a positive or
negative eect on your life? Are they thoughts that
are pleasing to God? Is there something that needs
to be corrected in your thought life?

As coaches not only can we help our leaders to absorb learning,

we can also help them to lter certain thoughts and information.
We can ask questions that help us gauge if our leaders are
avoiding certain forms of media (movies, internet sites,
television programs, etc.) that may be negatively aecting their
thought life. By asking about their learning, we can help them
avoid being inuenced by unhealthy theological sources. By
discussing the thoughts that are on their minds, we may discover
areas of their understanding that are misguided and need to be
replaced with Biblical truth. Checking the M of your leaders
RPMS can be a little intimidating. It requires that you listen with
careful discernment and speak the truth with wisdom and in
love. As you talk with your leader, maintain a constant prayer
in your heart for Gods wisdom to ood your heart and saturate
your words (see James 1:5).


Chapter 5
Good Questions About Physical Balance

How is your work schedule?

What does a good nights rest look like for you?
Where is your energy level on a scale of 1-10?
What about your physical health do you want to
change? What parts of that are in your control?
What parts are out of your control?
Recalling the RPMS of leadership development, Ray chuckled
to him self as he remembered the time his ministry director
had rst asked him about balance in his life. I am a type-A
personality, Ray had insisted. Dont talk to me about balance.
Working long hours and being driven was all part of a solid work
ethic. Besides, as the manager of a chain of music stores, the
job required long retail type hours. Ray had brought that same
driven-ness to his work as a ministry coach. If I am willing to
burn the candle at both ends, then those around me better be
ready to do the same. This kind of thinking permeated Rays
work with his ministry leaders, so having patience when others
were not performing to his expectations was a challenge to
say the least.
Smiling, Ray prayed, Lord, if you want to teach me about balance
nowI guess I am open. Ray couldnt remember the last time
he had a meal sitting down or the last time he got to bed at
a decent hour. He made a mental note to get that doctors
appointment on the calendar for the check up his wife had been
nagging, Ray corrected himself nudging him about.

Another often-overlooked aspect of coaching is the
development of your leaders mind. One aspect of this
developmental process is to keep a good pulse on the
education of your leaders. What are they learning from the
Biblical teaching they have been exposed to? What are they
learning in their own times of Bible study or through their
small group? What does God want them to learn through the



Checking Your Leaders RPMS

One Another Ministry
Check out the following passages that describe the one
another ministry God intends for us to have in each
others lives.

John 13:34 Love one another

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another, Honor

one another
Colossians 3:16 Teach and admonish one another
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one
another, forgiving each other
Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another

Hebrews 3:13 Encourage one another daily

Romans 15:7 Accept one another
Galatians 6:2 Carry each others burdens
Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other
Hebrews 10:24 Spur one another on towards love
and good deeds
James 5:15 Confess your sins to each other and pray
for each other
1 Peter 4:9 Offer hospitality to one another
Because checking a leaders RPMS takes intentional
eort, we often err as Ray did. We focus on the task of
ministry. The task becomes paramount and true relational
development falls by the wayside.
Unfortunately for Ray and Steve, this is exactly what
happened. Ray found himself a bit out of touch with
Steve, something for which both Ray and Steve must take
responsibility. As the coach, however, it will be important
for Ray to lead the way for relational sharing. It may take
weeks or months before a coach and leader are at a place
where they can venture into the RPMS kind of sharing.


Chapter 5
Our relational world is the people with whom we interact
regularly: our immediate family, friends, neighbors, and
small group members. Getting to know your leaders means
getting to know their relational world.

Good Questions about Relationships

How are things at home?

What about your family life is going well? What
would you like to change?
Who do you consider your closest friend? How is
God using that relationship to grow you?
What are your relationships like at work?
What is the most challenging relationship in your
life? The most rewarding?

Ray found himself at a loss when Steve shared about his job
loss. He wanted to ask Ray about how his wife was coping
with it and how he felt the kids would react, but he was
unsure what kind of relationship Steve had with his family
right now. Were they close? Had there been tension recently?
Ray prayed more deliberately for Steve that week than he
ever had. After a week in prayer, Ray felt more prepared to be
the friend and partner in discipleship that the role of coach
demanded of him. Ray was reminded of the RPMS that his
ministry director used regularly when they met together. Ray
decided to back up in his relationship with Steve and start all
over at the beginning. At their next meeting Ray began with
one question, How are things at home? The music ministry
was still demanding, rehearsal schedules still intense, but now
was the time for Ray to place the focus on Steve and ministry
would come second. It was obvious to Ray that Steve was
under a heavy load of stess as he struggled to give an answer
to Rays question about how things were at home. I wish he
would just let it all out, Ray thought during the pauses in
Steves response. When Steve nished it was obvious both
men werent satised with the thoroughness (or lack thereof)
of Steves answer. In that moment Ray felt prompted to try a
dierent approachto begin the conversation with his own



Checking Your Leaders RPMS

He began, Steve, you have sure been on my mind this past
week. I cant imagine the stress you are feeling. And I also
have wanted to tell you Im sorry for the way I began our
last meeting. I was so frustrated, but that is no excuse for
being testy and rude. I want our coach-leader relationship
to be characterized by authenticity and the kind of Biblical
community our church is always talking about. It was
obvious to Ray that his words were connecting with Steve
so he continued. One of the things that bugs me the most
in all of this is that you have been living with this burden
for 6 months now without the support of me, anyone in the
music ministry, or the church as a whole for that matter. I
wonder if one of the lessons God has in this for usfor both
me and youis to learn to live as the body God intended
us to be. You know, we will have to learn to risk with one
another; but I really want to be here for you and support
you, not only during this weird time of job search and stu,
but good times too.
Steve agreed that he would like that too and admitted that
he knew that is how the church is supposed to function.
He knew he had to start showing his need for support and
encouragementto be real about this situation with the
people in his small group and with Ray. Ray smiled, Well
now that we are on the same page with that let me ask you
again, How are things at home?

What comes to mind when you think of someones physical
well-being? Maybe sickness and health? Maybe diet and
exercise? Maybe rest and pace? All of these things are
part of our physical well-being. The physical aspect of our
lives and ministry is the ability to have a balanced healthy
physical life. This is probably one of the most overlooked
aspects of a leaders life. However, if we are truly serious
about developing the whole person, we have got to help
our leaders see that our physical well being can aect our
ability to lead any given ministry with enthusiasm, passion,
and energy.