4 Steps To Build A Vibrant Small Group Coaching Structure

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 7:50:00 AM Categories: Small Groups
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Who are you looking for when you are trying to find another coach? How do you recruit small group coaches? Do you have a tried and true system for building an effective small group coaching structure?

I was talking with one of the members of my 2015 small group ministry coaching network and I realized that I have a system, an ideal set of steps that I go through as I’m building a coaching team. I did not have this system when I began building coaching ministries. But now I know that what I have learned is the way it should be, the way it should have been, and the way you should do it too.

Here are the steps that lead to an effective small group coaching structure:

·     Develop a clear understanding of the role of a small group coach. I’ve pointed out for many years that it is first what and then who. Until you know what you want a coach to do, it is pointless to look for coaches. Whoever you recruit needs to fit the role. I believe the simplest way to understand the task is that I need coaches to do to and for (and with) leaders whatever I want the leaders to do to and for (and with) their members.  

·     Develop a clear understanding of the kind of person who makes the ideal coach. There is no shortcut for this step. When you become clear, crystal clear, on the person you are looking for, your decision process becomes so much simpler. Really there is no substitute.  

·     Invite potential coaches to a test-drive. This may sound strange, but my ideal scenario is to ask my existing coaches to identify a small group leader or two from their huddle (4 to 6 leaders) who they think might be effective coaches. The invitation is essentially this: “You are doing a great job with your group. We’re launching a bunch of new groups this fall. Would you be willing to take a new leader or two under your wing for 10 weeks during the fall campaign? It’ll probably take you an less than an hour a week.”  

·     Evaluate your “launch phase coaches” at the end of the 10 week test-drive. You will have little trouble identifying the test-drive coaches who are actually doing what you recruited them to do. It will be obvious. All that will remain is to confirm that they are both fruitful and fulfilled in doing the job. Fruitful or fulfilled will not work. Fruitfulness is obvious. The right question(s) reveal fulfillment. “How does it feel to know that both of the group leaders you were coaching have decided to continue meeting?”  

Can you see how these four simple steps will build an effective small group coaching structure? It’s really not complicated. It does take some work. It does take conviction and a willingness to stay the course. But it’s not complicated.

Mark Howell serves as Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV, and as LifeWay's Small Group Specialist. He founded SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services to help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. He spent four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and often contributes to ministry periodicals such as the Pastor's Ministry Toolbox and ChurchCentral.com. Visit Mark Howell at www.MarkHowellLive.com/about