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12 Ways to Improve as a Ministry Coach

12 Ways to Improve as a Ministry Coach

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A ​​ministry coach is a “discipler of disciplers.” Are you a good ministry coach? Are you raising up leaders at your church? If you’ve picked a few volunteers in your ministry to really pour into, or if you are responsible for the development of staff at your church, then consider these 12 ways to improve as a ministry coach. Ask yourself these questions to determine how effective your coaching is:

1. Example

Are you setting a good example for your leaders, both in your personal life and in your ministry leadership? Coaching starts with setting a good example for others and by focusing on continually growing as a leader.

2. Meeting Regularity

How often do you meet with your staff members? Do you meet regularly? If not, then find a time during the week to meet with them regularly. There are several options in terms of how often to meet with them:

  • Full-time Staff: If they are new or inexperienced, then meeting weekly is a must. They need regular coaching for their first several years.
  • Part-time Staff: If they are new, then start by meeting weekly. Over time, you may consider shifting to meeting twice a month, so their time isn’t taken up with too many meetings.
  • Admin Staff: Meeting weekly is a must, so that they know how to support their ministry leader(s).

3. Meeting Structure

What do your meetings look like? The essential components of a 1:1 meeting include:

  • Health Check: How are they doing? How is their family? How do they feel about work right now?
  • Encouragements: What where they encouraged by the past week?
  • Challenges: What challenges are they facing right now?
  • Updates: Do they have any updates that you need to know?
  • Questions: What questions do they have for you?
  • Areas of Focus: What are their top three areas of focus right now?
  • Tasks: Based on tasks assigned at previous 1:1 meetings, what tasks are still ongoing and which ones have been completed?

4. Coaching Questions

In your 1:1 meetings, are you coaching by asking them questions and guiding them towards the discovery of the answers, or are you giving them marching orders? Hint: one of those answers is typically more effective at developing leaders and helping them grow in their critical thinking skills.

5. Game Plan

Have you set up a game plan for their growth? Work with them to create annual goals, with several of the goals designed to help them grow in their leadership, their skills, their character, etc.

6. Expectations

Have you communicated expectations clearly? Sometimes, we think we have communicated clearly, but we aren’t actually communicating well. Ask your team members about your communication regarding expectations and how you can grow in your communication.

7. Availability

Are you letting them ask you questions in your meetings and during the week? If you aren’t very available to your team members, then they will get frustrated when they aren’t able to get in touch with you. Arrange your schedule so that you are available to coach your team members at multiple different points during the week, if needed.

8. Strategic Questions

Are you asking them strategic questions to encourage their growth? In your coaching, select 1-2 questions to ask at a time, so you don’t overwhelm them with all of their growth areas. Over time, you’ll have opportunities to ask more questions and help them grow in their skills.

9. Spiritual Growth

Have you asked recently about their spiritual growth? As you coach your team members, don’t forget to ask about their spiritual growth. A team member struggling with spiritual growth is not going to be a healthy ministry leader or ministry assistant. As their leader, you can shepherd them and encourage their spiritual growth.

10. Observation

Have you “watched them in action” lately? Seeing them in their element is helpful in learning how to provide practical coaching to aid their development.

11. Goals

What goals have you given to encourage measurable growth? Work with them to create goals that will help them grow over time. Make them S.M.A.R.T. goals in order to measure their growth:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

12. Feedback

Have you shared any feedback recently (positive and constructive)? By providing continual feedback to them, you can help them grow over time. If you are surprising them during your annual reviews, then you aren’t coaching well. Make sure you continue to provide feedback to them during your 1:1 meetings and in other settings as needed.

Hopefully these 12 ways to improve as a ministry coach will help you as you seek to grow in your coaching skills. Over time, you can help raise up more leaders to make a bigger impact for the Kingdom. Coaching is never easy, but the rewards over time can be incredible. Keep pursuing growth as a ministry coach!

Read More: How to Prepare Your Ministry for Growth

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