Effective coaches hone in on the specific needs of the players. What is the leader lacking? What particular needs does the leader have? There are specific disciplines that effective coaches practice in the process of discipling the leaders under their care.
Discipling Through Prayer
Coaches go to battle on behalf of the leaders under their care and provide spiritual protection against Satan’s onslaughts. Effective coaches cover the leaders with a prayer shield and then when they talk personally, there is a unity that has already been developed through prayer.
Discipling Through Listening
The coach needs to recognize that his or her agenda is secondary to the leader’s agenda. A great coach knows when to shut up and let the other person speak. The human mind processes ideas and thoughts far faster than a person can speak them (by five to one), so it’s easy to drift or daydream when someone is talking. The coach must concentrate to effectively listen, and it’s not easy.
Discipling Through Encouragement
Why is encouragement so important? Because small group team leaders often don’t feel they are doing a great job. They compare themselves with others, and they feel like a failure. Effective coaches use every opportunity to encourage the leader. “Jim, you show up for every cell group. Great job. That takes a lot of effort because I know you are busy.”
Discipling Through Caring
The pastor cares for the coach and the coach cares for the leaders. The leader in turn cares for the members. Everyone needs to be coached and cared for. Coaching helps the system to flow together—just like the early church.
Discipling Through Developing
Become a resource person, and you will improve yourself and the leaders under your care. A coach can contact the leaders online, sending them articles, quotes and encouragement through email. Communicating with your leaders online is a fast, quick, and effective way to provide resources.
Discipling Through Strategic Planning
Coaches can help cell leaders tremendously through the birth process. They help the cell leader envision future disciple-makers by encouraging the leader to develop strategic planning to get everyone participating in the group. The coach might say, “Tony, have you noticed Jill in your group?” “Why don’t you consider her as a future leader?”
Discipling Through Challenging
Paul, in his message to the Ephesian house church, said, “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). Great coaches seek to model this challenge for action by honest interaction and asking the hard questions. The leader should know that the coach will give a straight answer and not beat around the bush.
How do you disciple leaders through coaching?