I’ve been working with a few groups on ways to revamp their credentialing or ordination process– essentially, how to prepare ministers for ministry. This week on my blog I’m reflecting on some of my general thoughts in this topic.

coachingSome form of coaching or mentoring is essential for a quality preparation process. Each ministry candidate should have someone who walks alongside them throughout their experiential training to help them reflect on and process what they are learning. The difference in quality with and without coaching is dramatic.

To provide high quality coaching, what qualities are important in those who serve as coaches? Start with your best people and look for people who:

  • Empower and develop others
  • Listen well and ask insightful questions
  • Encourage and care for others
  • Think clearly and strategically
  • Continue to learn and grow personally

Good coaches are people who can be trusted, people who are perceived as caring. Look for those who naturally empower others and are helpful to them, those who can listen well and ask good questions, and those who don’t feel they have to tell others what to do. Ask yourself if this is a person who can resist the temptation to tell his or her own stories. For the issue isn’t how the coach did it– the issue is what God is calling the ministry candidate to do.

Start by training just a few coaches well and field test the quality. One of the most common mistakes in creating coaching systems is to try to train a lot of people quickly, which results in spotty quality. Laying the necessary groundwork now will lead to quality multiplication in the future.