The longer I am in ministry, the more I realize how valuable a coach is to a pastor.  Coaching wasn’t in vogue when I was pastoring. I wish it were; it would have saved me from making several big mistakes.  Let me share a couple of mistakes that could have been avoided if I had a coach.

Mistake Number One: In 1986 we ran out of land to park cars. There were four acres adjacent to our property that was for sale at $1,000,000. Those were real dollars in 1986.  After a lot of soul searching, we purchased the property and put 600 parking spaces on it. But at the same time, there was a grocery store located on a major expressway for sale for $1,000,000 that had 1000 parking spaces. A good coach would have suggested we buy the grocery store and remodel it. What a mistake not to have done that. Location, location, location – and plenty of parking.

Mistake Number Two: We grew the church from 35 people to 250 in eighteen months and ran out of worship space with two services.  Instead of going to three or four, we built a new sanctuary. A good coach would have told us to max out Sunday morning first with four to six services. Put money in the bank so in a few years we could build a bigger and better worship center and maybe have it paid off when we built. But instead, over the next eight years we had to build another worship center. Think of the money, time, and energy we wasted.

In spite of these mistakes, we grew to over 2,000 in 24 years, which sounds good. But I’ll always wonder what would have happened if we had waited to build for a few years and purchased the grocery store.  Would we have been able to reach more people? Most certainly. But there weren’t many coaches in the early 80s. But the good news is there are lots of coaches today. It’s been my pleasure the last few years to shift much of my ministry to coaching. It’s been a joy to see pastors grow themselves and their church.

Perhaps you need a coach? If so, let’s talk. Visit my website at and see what i offer. Better yet, call me direct at (361) 774-4382.

Question: What strategic mistakes in your ministry have you learned from the most? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.