THIS MONTH’S QUESTION is from Terri Parker of Largo, Maryland – How do you find coaches? By the way, overwhelmingly, this is one of the most common questions asked of our Network leaders at conferences. If you are having problems recruiting and keeping coaches, you are not alone. Below you will find a few answers from some PDSGN members…
We watch for SGLs who are multiplying their group, growing great community in their group and/or people who are leading the way connecting people to Small Groups.
Current Coaches and Coordinators watch for members/leaders of Small Groups who are making a difference and then reward them for what they are doing by enlisting them to coach other groups to make the same impact.
Eddie Mosley is the Executive Director of GroupLife for LifePoint Church in Smyrna, TN. Eddie also serves as the PDSGN Area Point Leader for our South area which includes the states of Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.
One way I know someone will be a good coach is when they know more about a particular group in our group system than I do. They often know more about the group b/c they are more connected to the group leader than I am. This person is informally coaching someone. All I need to do is thank them and resource them to do what they are already doing.
My wife is a great example. She knows more about what is going on with the women’s groups and women’s leaders in our church than I do. If I asked her to coach these groups she might freak out, so I just encourage her in the conversations she has with my other group leaders. She is coaching and doesn’t even know it. Please don’t tell her.
Vinnie Cappetta is the Pastor of Family Life at Crossroads Community Church in Framingham, MA. He also serves as the PDSGN Area Point Leader for our New England area which includes Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
A few years ago I blew up my coaching structure. Totaled it. Here is why. I had wonderful volunteers who really wanted to share with leaders. I had leaders that didn’t want to share with volunteers.
Two years later…
- I am beginning with two volunteer coaches to work with 11 existing leaders who have signed on to work with a volunteer. Connecting Leaders is what I call ‘em. I work with new leaders for the first year. Then I move them to a volunteer. I don’t mind herding cats much (actually that’s a lie, I hate it) but I do not want my CL having to herd cats! Better me than them. So, stay turned and I’ll let you know how it works.
- As for picking a great CL, networking those existing leaders from the past is my method. That and a really nice lunch helps tons!
Jon Weiner is the Community Groups Pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. He also serves as the PDSGN Area Point Leader for our Midwest area which includes Ontario, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.
That is hands down the number one question I get at Network meetings all the time. I think I could just talk about that every meeting and fill the room.
Anyway, I look for people who are very relational, great encouragers and who have a passion for discipleship. Coaching is more one-on-one than group leading is for us. So a great group leader will not necessarily make a great coach. But someone with a gift for encouraging who loves people and loves helping them succeed will always be a great coach. Then, I learned from Steve Gladen, you have to make the ask. Even if they seem to busy and have no room for it in their lives, do not say no for them. Always present the opportunity and trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest.
Michael Moore is the Pastor of Small Groups at Grace Community Church in Fulton Maryland. He is also serves as the PDSGN Area Point Leader for our Atlantic Coast area which includes the states of West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
There is one word that describes how we recruit community leaders (coaches). RELATIONSHIPS!
The Community Pastors, as well as our existing Community Leaders, are always looking for an up and coming leader. When we find one, we spend extra time getting to know them and their passion for groups & leadership. When the right candidate for the role is found we then invest in them equipping in the practical side of the role of community leader. When they are ready we send them out under the care and leadership of one of our Regional Community Leaders. There is always the understanding that during the first 90 days they can opt out for any reason.
Also, we have found that asking our group leaders to come help us at our connecting event can be a great fishing pool for these leaders as well. Seeing them working and interacting with people as we start new groups tells us alot about the passion for groups, as well as their people skills.
At the end of the day it is all about relationships, relationships, relationships!!
Ian Kirk is the Director of Group Ministry at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. He serves as the PDSGN Area Point Leader for the Southwest area which includes the states of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.
NEXT MONTH’S QUESTION IS from all of us at the PDSGN. With Christmas close at hand, often a hectic time for church leadership, we want to know – What do you do to feed your soul? What practices, events, disciplines, do you use to keep you connnected with God and focused on serving Him? We would love to hear from you! Your answers will be included in next month’s As The Network column. Be sure to include your name and location (and title and church if you would like).