by Steve Cordle
As a pastor, for years I have said that as long as someone is in a cell group I feel confident they will be growing and cared for. That is because they will be connected to a supportive group of fellow believers, and have a group leader who is discipling them.
The question is, who disciples the group leaders? The answer should be “their coach”. Most pastors recognize that a group leader who feels ignored and unsupported will eventually quit (or turn “rogue”). So it is vital that each leader has a coach who gives him or her personal attention.
However, the type of attention a coach gives the leader needs to go beyond ministry issues. Effective coaches personally disciple their leaders. Before asking “How is your group doing?”, discipling coaches ask, “How are you doing?” They spend time exploring the family, physical and spiritual health of their leaders. They take time catching up with what is happening in their lives. They discover whether the leader is celebrating God’s goodness or struggling with personal problems. They look for opportunities to encourage their leaders and pray with them.
Only then do they move on and ask, “Tell me about your group.” Cell leaders who have effective coaches say, “Oh good, I get to meet with my coach today.” Leaders ho have coaches who supervise instead of discipling tend to dread and avoid meeting with their coach.
It is worth the time to build a strong coaching process into your ministry, because “As the leader goes, so goes the group.” With a healthy coaching process, every member of the church can be connected and discipled, included the group leaders!