Benefits of Coaching for a Local Church Ministry
Rev Dr. Don Moore is a Church Coach/Consultant
Flourishing churches often face both challenges and opportunities that require special attention in order to be effective in achieving their ministry goals and vision.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened…” Ephesians 1:18
Here are a few examples:
Conversions and baptisms are up in number but it’s difficult to find enough volunteers to help serve these new believers in their faith journey.
Dwindling numbers of church attendees in town means either church closures or congregational mergers will likely have to happen. Help is needed to make wise decisions.
The senior pastor has had a “great run” over the past five years. However, the board is having difficulty in communicating some emerging leadership issues that will need to be addressed.
The announcement of a new subdivision to be built near our church creates opportunities that will require help in planning for an expanding church ministry over the next few years.
At times like this, it’s important to have access to an “outside” perspective to help a leader. A fully trained church coach can serve as an invaluable source of help.
Coaching Benefits for Church Leaders
Just as leaders in business and industry use coaches regularly, church leaders and their staff are discovering that a coach can bring a wide-range of benefits to their leadership and ministries such as:
To make significant changes
To better deal with uncertainty
To improve leadership decisions
To set better church goals
To reach goals faster
To grow your church spiritually
To become financially more stable
To improve ministry relationships
To make a bigger impact on the world
To be a better church leader
To reduce ministry stress
To keep up with the speed of life
What is Church Coaching
Coaching is about your church – your goals, your learning, and your growth. Together you and your coach will listen to the Holy Spirit to hear His voice about your church.
Coaching is about learning – rather than teaching. You are the expert on your ministry. Your coach uses coaching techniques such as active listening, open questions, encouragement, challenging, and always remaining supportive. All to assist you in discovering insights and taking next steps.
Coaching is about action – your action. Each session you will determine 1-3 actions steps you will take before the next session. You may be surprised how quickly you progress toward your goals.
Coaching is about all of your ministry – not just the current issues. We all know that changing old habits and ministry patterns are difficult. Your coach recognizes these patterns and will support you as you change and grow over time.
How Coaching Works
Specifically, this is what your coach will do during coaching sessions:
Listen – to clarify your challenges and opportunities. Your story and ministry is central. Coaches fully engage in what you are saying. They also listen to the Holy Spirit and encourage you to do the same.
Ask – to assess your progress in achieving your ministry goals. Questions are about possibilities and the future. Coaches use these to stimulate your thinking and creativity.
Facilitate – to support your learning and problem-solving skills. Using your agenda and approach, Coaches assist you in defining your next action steps towards to bringing about desired ministry changes
Encourage – to celebrate and to spur you on to ministry success. Coaches will hold up your vision, your progress, and your efforts cheering you along with your accomplishments.
Overall, the coaching relationship is expected to produce insights, greater church awareness, changed behaviors, actions, and ultimately results that serve your church’s mission well. Much is expected of you and your leadership team: to evaluate, reason, imagine, decide, and implement.
“You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. You may be good. You may even be better than everyone else. But without outside input you will never be as good as you could be.” —Andy Stanley, The Next Generation Leader
Church coaching is an ongoing conversation that empowers church leaders and their leadership team to fully live out God’s calling for ministry. The goal of coaching is for you to listen to the Holy Spirit, discover new things about your church and her leaders and take action to reshape your ministry around that learning.
Coach’s Insight: Awareness is the beginning point for change.
What We Are Reading
Americans Oppose Religious Exceptions from Coronavirus-Related Restrictions
Pew Research Center
Research is beginning to surface on how Covid-19 has, is, and might yet impact local congregations. Among many fascinating findings, about one-third of monthly attenders (pre-Covid) are currently attending in-person services, and 72% are watching services online (some in addition to attending in-person); 17% are not doing either. Still, most anticipate that post-Covid, they will resume pre-Covid forms (e.g., attending in-person services) and frequencies (e.g., weekly or monthly) of religious service involvement. Only time will tell. Check out this report for many other findings of interest to local churches.
Dr. Joel Thiessen is Professor of Sociology at Ambrose University and Director of the Flourishing Congregations Institute
Resources for Church Leaders
Limited time offer of a free download of an article by Arch Wong, Bill McAlpine, Joel Thiessen, and Keith Walker on preparing leaders for ministry from the perspective of pastoral leaders and theological educators, clicking here.