Guiding Disciplemaking Coaches to Ride the Rails

Guiding Disciplemaking Coaches to Ride the Rails

Developing followers of Christ is like two rails of a train track. First, disciplemaking is the strategic side of helping a person follow Jesus. Second, coaching is the relational side of helping a person follow Jesus.

Coaching has evolved from an intuitive activity to a science. Discipleship sits in a similar continuum with “organic” and “programmic” approaches to spiritual strategy offering different perspectives on relational development. Combining effective coaching with a sound approach to discipleship often yields amazing results, with many individuals guided by this philosophy ultimately developing into followers of Jesus.

After listening to many leaders over the course of my career, I have discovered that coaching and disciplemaking perfectly complement one another.

What does it take to become a Disciplemaking Coach?

Listening to the Holy Spirit and asking powerful, thought provoking questions is central to the Disciplemaking Coach. 

Here are two rails the Disciplemaking Coach rides:

1. The Developmental Rail

The Disciplemaking Rail using the Storyboard  – the developmental path a person navigates on the discipleship journey.

2. The Coaching Rail

The Coaching Rail using the 5Rs – the path a coach travels as they interact with a disciple(s).

Recently, my family and I were sharing a meal with some new friends. The question of spirituality came up. My natural urge to offer my perspectives was managed by my more powerful desire to help these new friends take the next step on their spiritual pilgrimage to Jesus. Instead of sharing my nuggets of gold, I listened and asked questions. By allowing our friends space to discover the truth of Jesus for themselves, the conversation resulted in an invitation to another meal, where we will continue to explore the questions that matter most.

The Disciplemaking Collective is designed to give attention to both rails by providing:

1. Real-time learning to help you navigate the developmental path a person travels on their discipleship journey

2. Coach-skill development based on a Online Coach Assessment you administer with at least one disciple you have coached in the past.

Save the date! Please block-out 55 minutes on March 5 @ 2:30pm PST/5:30pm EST in your calendars for this important informational webinar to learn more about the Disciplemaking Collective. 

Thank you for your commitment to make more & better disciples; by creating the healthiest church environments possible.

Three questions to ask yourself to prioritize Disciplemaking

Three questions to ask yourself to prioritize Disciplemaking

I like the statement, “First things First” coined by Stephen Covey. The intent is to ensure that the most important things get done first. Why is this important? Because other important, and urgent issues, get in the way.

Imagine if you were to give attention to the things that matter most in 2018. What difference would that make… for you? the people you love? the people you lead? the community you serve? the world?

Too often I get caught up in the business of life and the tasks of work, and lose site of the main thing.

Here is a very common situation around this time of year. The dust is beginning to settle on those resolutions made on January 1. Exercise is a classic. I notice more cars in the parking spaces at the gym in January, more people riding bikes and jogging. When we hit February the numbers begin to drop. By March and April, it is back to the norm. Why is that?

I suggest it is Mission Drift. Mission Drift is that very natural phenomenon that occurs when a new habit is being formed. There is that initial euphoria that exercise provides. After a few weeks, the realization sinks in – “this is hard work!”

How can we as Christian leaders stay focused on the main thing. Three questions to ask yourself to prioritize Disciplemaking:

  1. What shifts do I need to make in my behavior to line-up with my values?
  2. Who can I connect with for support?
  3. Where can I acquire the skills and refine my process?

Here is an opportunity to keep discipelemaking in Quadrant II – Important & NOT Urgent.  Learn about the Disciplemaking Collective that begins this April. The Collective will be a great place for you to connect with on on the same journey to stay On Mission. The Disciplemaking Coaching Guide & Storyboard are the resources we will use.

Please send any questions that you have about the Disciplemaking Collective by clicking here.

Why is it important to help leaders reflect?

Why is it important to help leaders reflect?

I was coaching a leader recently and asked him what he is learning about himself. He paused, then shared:

I am learning the importance of taking time to slow down, reflect and see the progress I’ve made.

It is interesting, the more we “advance” as a species, the more we seem to need time and space to reflect.

Further, he went on to say:

Our coaching time together is the only time I slow down and reflect.

Why do you think that this is the case?

My hunch is that our fast-paced society is not conducive to slowing down and reflection.  I can use all sorts of excuses, but I hold to the truth, the things I value are the things I actually do!  One of my goals is to re-think my rythms for 2018.

Here is a helpful resource to learn how to manage the internal urges that we all have, to stay busy and in a non-reflective state.  The Emotional Intelligence profile will give you and those you coach a starting point on addressing this important area.  I’ve used this assessment on numerous occasions and it oftentimes kick-start a fruitful conversation on ways to be more self-aware to the need to be more reflective.

Check out InFocus Collectives 2018:

Collectives create the time and space for leaders to slow down, reflect – then arrive at new ways of thinking and doing.

10% discount for registrations prior to January 1, 2018

Coach the Leader; Not the Problem!

Coach the Leader; Not the Problem!

A book that I have enjoyed reading titled, Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger discusses change management. To illustrate this point Bolsinger uses the historical account of the Lewis & Clark expedition as a backdrop for church ministry and the reality for leaders to navigate in “uncharted territory”.

The author introduces Adaptive Leadership:

“… NOT ABOUT FINDING THE BEST-KNOWN OR MOST-AVAILABLE FIX TO A PROBLEM, BUT INSTEAD ADAPTING TO THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT OR CIRCUMSTANCES SO THAT NEW POSSIBILITIES ARISE FOR ACCURATELY SEEING, UNDERSTANDING AND FACING CHALLENGES WITH NEW ACTIONS.” 

Leadership on the Line – Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading by Ronald Heifetz & Marty Linsky

The point I take from this explanation as it relates to coaching, is simple: “coach the person, not the problem”. There is a tendency to focus on solving a problem when you coach a leader. However, the true value you bring as a coach to a leader it to help increase the leader’s awareness e.g. “ACCURATELY SEEING, UNDERSTANDING AND FACING CHALLENGES WITH NEW ACTIONS.”

He unpacks three aspects of Adaptive Leadership that will serve you well as you coach leaders to navigate change and help leader transform their capacity to lead well, in that process. Here are the three areas with a key reflection question, that I’ve included, for you to drill down in each area: 

1. Technical Competence:

Key question: What ministry skills does the pastor or planter need to develop in this season?

2. Relational Congruence:

Key question: How can this leader raise their emotional intelligence effectiveness to engage relationally?

3. Adaptive Capacity:

Key question: What aspects of change management must this leader need to pay attention to in this season?

A lot of important work has been done in the area of change management. Canoeing the Mountains does an excellent job defining adaptive leadership and narrowing the focus on the leader’s transformation.

Collectives 2018:

As we approach the end of the year, check out the Collectives for 2018 and consider which opportunity fits your needs. Collectives are not just for anyone. Collectives are for movement makers. Collectives are designed exclusively for catalytic leaders.

According to Merriam-Webster: a catalyst is an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action”

Collectives will help a leader:

  • who is on the verge of a breakthrough
  • stuck in their development
  • unable to keep up with the growth, expansion & reproduction of the ministries they are launching

Reflection Questions:

Who do you know that is on the forefront of catalyzing a disciple-making movement?

Who do you know that is catalyzing a church multiplication movement?.