Picture it! Think back to getting your first small groups ready to launch; you have spent months preparing and personally meeting with all of your prospective leaders, have held small group leader training, helped leaders find curriculum or possibly even have had a role in creating the sermon based small group study on your campus. Sunday, the big day arrives- it’s your small group fair! People are signing up and leaders are getting excited. Small groups launch on Monday. You’re exhausted but leave church feeling excited too. You get home from church and happen to check your email- your first mistake. No… kidding. Not kidding! You check your email and your inbox is full of questions and concerns from your small group leaders. You are spent! The rest of the day is family time. Monday is your day off, how are you going to get to all of this?!? You read some of the questions and tell yourself “wow, I have been over these concerns several times now!” “Goodness, I’m just one person” among other variations of these thoughts. Have you been there? Are you there now?
Many times on church campus’ you may be the only point person for your small groups. We can all relate to these small group seasons of “sprint pace” preparing for launching groups. Yes, “it takes a village.” Yes, it takes your very valuable small group coaches! They are an extension of you- my coaches are actually better versions of me!
Coaching is a gift. Dave Ferguson, lead Pastor at Community Christian Church said, “Great moments are the result of great coaching. As a coach we have the privilege and responsibility of caring for our people, cheering them on and helping them succeed. Your leadership as a coach is one of the most important things God uses to encourage and support his people.”
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Yes, you are right when you say “I’m just one person!” Friends, you need a team of coaches.
If you are going to support your small group leaders and help them be all God has called them to be your coaching team is going to be key.
Ephesians 4: 11 it says, “Christ himself gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastor and teachers…” In verse 12 we see the reason; “…to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
Your coaches, with your training, will build up the body of Christ via your small group leaders and as you grow together with your church Pastor, you will help them become teachers.
On my coaching team we define the purpose of coaching as the following: to bring out the best in our small group leaders and host home leaders by praying, encouraging, equipping and empowering them.
We train our leaders to expect the following from their coaches.
- Provide one-on-one support by contacting you for prayer and guidance.
- Cover you and your host home leader in prayer the entire season
- Communicate with leaders regularly via face-to-face meetings, phone calls and emails to encourage and care.
- Encourage your personal growth and discuss any thing that is going on in your group that you may need help with.
- Coaches also assist and advise leaders with any conflict resolution and issues within the group.
Finally, we train our coaches to have great coaching conversations (a blog topic for another time) and check in with them personally by asking how the leader is doing, spiritually, emotionally and physically. Our team has a motto, “you can’t give away what you don’t have.” Therefore, we all work together in these three critical areas to keep our tanks full and have plenty left over to pour out on others. Or as the bible says in Luke 6:38 (MSG): Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
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