Sometimes when I’m coaching people who are running up against very challenging circumstances or wrestling with very difficult problems, I need to remind myself of this: If it were easy, they wouldn’t need you.
When people need coaching is when they’re struggling with something. There are numbers of issues in my life where I don’t need coaching– I just need to do it. But then there are those other issues that require more thought, are more complicated, or where– for whatever reason– I just haven’t gotten traction. That’s where coaching is shows its true value. And when you as the coach roll up your sleeves and help your clients sort things out and figure out how to move forward, that’s when you really feel how powerful coaching is.
Whenever I have overseen people, I have tried to manage them in such a way that not only benefits the organization but also develops the person. When I was a senior pastor, I would think of a new challenge every year for each person I oversaw.
I’d think, “What do they need to develop to their maximum potential?” and then I’d deliberately pick something that would help them grow and stretch in a particular area.
One year I couldn’t think of a new challenge for a young man I was overseeing. I prayed and listened to the Spirit, but I just couldn’t come up with anything that would stretch him in his current position.
People can lose vision is less than a month. Effective visioncasting must be repeated, intentional, and take many different forms. Here are a few common strategies:
- Strategic prayer
- Personal example
- Rewards and recognition
- Powerful stories
- Appeals to scripture
- Cultivation of relationships
- Challenge to next step
Yesterday, we heard from Brian Williamson. The book he’s been using in his ministry is called Building a Discipling Culture. One of the really helpful things in this book is the quadrant it provides for exploring the invitation-challenge model. In the context of highly supportive and highly challenging ministry, disciples are empowered. In light of the matrix below, what kind of discipling environment are you shaping?
HIGH INVITATION + HIGH CHALLENGE = EMPOWERED/DISCIPLING
HIGH INVITATION + LOW CHALLENGE = COZY/CONSUMER
LOW INVITATION + HIGH CHALLENGE = STRESSED/DISCOURAGED
LOW INVITATION + LOW CHALLENGE = BORING/APATHETIC
Today some thoughts from Brian Williamson, Lead Pastor of The Bridge Bible Church, a decentralized networked approach in Somerset, WI. Their church’s vision is to lead everyone toward full life development in Jesus through missional communities.
“We’ve benefited from using the word discipling instead of discipleship for these reasons: Discipling is a verb. Discipleship is a noun. Discipling is active. Disciple-ship is passive. Disciple-ship in my mind invokes the image of a luxury cruise liner that takes forever to turn, whose participants are passive recipients of information. When we talk, we use the language of discipling to promote the active and participatory aspects of working out the implications of new life in Jesus.
Where should we set the bar in training people to do ministry? It’s tempting to set the bar too high too fast. An athlete training for the high jump wouldn’t start with the bar seven feet high. He or she would start much lower and then work their way up with intentional challenges that require an appropriate amount of stretch. Whenever a certain height was no longer challenging, the bar would be raised.