As you’re making disciples, you’re helping people move from where they are to the next appropriate steps in their journey of faith. The focus isn’t on where the person currently is, but on what’s next. Don’t let them wander around the edge of the vision– send them into it. When they reach one place, they need options to go forward in their next steps of development. You need to ask two questions: “What relationships are needed?” and “What communications are needed?”
We as the church of Jesus are supposed to “do life” together in the context of community. But how can we really do that, especially in the western context most of us find ourselves in?
I believe our ministry does need to be very countercultural, since our context is so far removed from biblical community. I live in Los Angeles– I understand.
There is no substitute for relational coaching in discipleship and leadership development. Our leadership needs to be radically relational. In a sense, that high-touch approach to relationships is a big draw to a culture that is hungry for relationship.
This blog entry is part of a seven-part series on some of the central principles of coaching… from the perspective of the one receiving the coaching. How can we get the most out of our coaching relationship?
Principle #7: journey with others
Even though the journey toward maturing spirituality is something we often think of as doing alone in prayer, or maybe with one other person, we are never really alone in the journey of faith. We are part of the larger body of Christ, learning from others, teaching others, and learning through our experiences and relationships with others.
Quite a few years back when I was finishing up a big project, someone pointed out to me that my drivenness to get the thing done was wearing others out. That comment caused me to reflect on my workaholism and perfectionism and make some adjustments. I recognized the impact that what I do has on others, and that was an opportunity for growth.
Who do you have in your life currently that has permission to speak freely about what they’re seeing? How willing are you to listen, reflect, and change? Sometimes God speaks to us most clearly through those we allow inside our lives.
My wife, a very wise woman, keeps in mind three important strategies for maintaining long-term success in ministry. These apply no matter what kind of ministry you’re involved in, whether you’re leading a network of churches, organizing a small group service project, or teaching the kids’ class.
- Remember that listening is an ongoing process. Continue to ask questions of others, read, pray, and listen to the Holy Spirit. Don’t fear change, but be open to new ideas and different perspectives.
- Strengthen relationships with your coworkers. You need peers to support one another and pray together. Build friendships, and be sure to always be mentoring someone to take your place if need be.
Relational health and harmony is extremely important when working with teams. To create and maintain that quality on your team, one of the most important skills you can learn—and teach—is to listen well. If you can learn that, then you can model good listening skills for your team and help them use that skill with one another.
James, the brother of Jesus, gives us the golden rule of communication: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
- Quick to listen