Two Sad Facts
1. Most pastors don’t have a coach.
- Most seem to think they don’t need one.
- Many are simply unaware how much a coach would help them.
- And some think they can’t afford one.
Don’t think you need a coach? Quick question: How’s that working for you? If your church isn’t growing, if you aren’t doing conversion baptisms regularly, if you’re so busy that you’re neglecting your spiritual life and your family – then you need a coach. (A word of advice: stop deluding yourself – you’re not a member of the Marvel Universe and you can’t do this on your own.)
As for the affordability, you can’t afford not to have a coach. If you’re bivocational in a twelve member church getting paid $50 a week to preach and bury the dead, you still need a coach … if for no other reason than there’s that darned Great Commission that you’re still responsible for and you need to get busy. If you can’t swing a professional coach, then at least find nearby pastor who’ll coach you once a month in exchange for you picking up the tab for coffee or breakfast.
2. Many pastors think they’re getting coaching when, in fact, they’re really getting either a gripe session or a pastoral care visit.
If you’ve hired a professional coach, hopefully you’re getting good coaching. But in our experience, most pastors find themselves buddied up with a denominationally assigned coach or else they’ve found a ministry buddy who’s willing to do the job. I can’t tell you how many student pastors and seasoned pastors I’ve spoken with who have shared that the primary agenda of their coaching sessions is a “Hi, how’s it going?” kind of meeting that nearly always devolves into a complaint departmental meeting. And though it might be cathartic to unburden yourself, and though confession might be good for the soul, none of that will increase the number of conversion baptisms, increase the number of sold-out disciples of Jesus Christ in your congregation, or grow your church.
3. When all else fails, recruit a coach … but do it the right way.
If you can’t hire a professional coach (yes, we do that at The Effective Church Group), then find someone who’s not only willing to coach you, but whom you can raise up as a coach. What I mean is this: don’t settle for pastoral care meetings or gripe sessions. When you ask someone to be your coach, qualify your ask to something like this:
I really need someone who will coach me into a Great Commission Leader. I know I’m going to need a lot of help and I need someone who will be firm, someone who will ask me some difficult questions, and will hold me accountable to accomplish what I say I’m going to do. Do you think you could be that person?
Let’s be honest … it would be hard to turn down that kind of a request and you’d be on the road to reaching your potential as a church leader.
To help you and your new coach, we’ve created The Effective Church Coach Swipe File. A concise workbook and manual to help you and your coach make the most of your time together.