This image has particular interest this week as part of the cathedral was burned and altered the Parisian skyline. Notre Dame de Paris or “Our Lady of Paris” was started in 1163 and was largely complete by 1345. For almost two centuries this amazing piece of architecture was under construction.
I wonder what motivated the visionaries that envisioned this house of worship.
What motivates you to do what you do? I enjoy asking this question because you can tell a lot about a person by their answer. In the case of Notre Dame was it to reach the heavens so that people could get closer to God; to honor and give glory to God; to make the cathedral the heart of Paris? Whatever the reasons, people dedicated their lives to fulfill the vision.
When asking people who are discerning how to align their lives with God’s purposes – it takes on an entirely different meaning. I remember when I was a college student studying environmental design I was asking myself this very question. It led me to explore other avenues than I had previously considered, including ministry. My dad was a businessman who was trained as an electrical engineer so ministry was unfamiliar territory. One morning as we were walking and talking, he made an observation pertaining to the internship I was doing at the church where I was raised in the Faith. He made a comment that range true for me and solidified the change I was contemplating. He admitted that he did not understand what a vocation of ministry involved; but he did notice that I was invigorated more and more by what I was doing. That helped me sort through the fog that cluttered my mind and see for the first time what I had sensed in my heart. Words matter – especially when it comes from someone you respect, love and desire to be like.
That eventually led me down the path of seminary and into coaching, to help: emerging leaders and leaders discern what God was calling them to, navigate critical issues to catalyze movements of disciples that start healthy churches that start churches and faithfully serve God in the next chapter of their life.
One of the reasons we created the Personal Calling Collective is to help you and those you coach do just that. Younger leaders have a great need for this type of support AND established leaders need it just as much. CLICK HERE for more information. Here are a couple of resources that might help you, and others, discern what God is calling you to next:
Personal Calling Coaching Guide with Storyboard
Personal Calling Storyboard
Lead Pastor,, Sunrise Community Church
Gary empowers leaders to discover and realize their God-given potential, not by imitating others, but by striving to become the best possible version of themselves.
How many times have you taken people through some kind of process to discern their spiritual gifts, passions, skills or strengths – only to discover that they had not budged in pursuing their calling from God?
When I first started out in ministry my role in the college group that I was serving was to help people understand their spiritual gifts. It did exactly what it was designed to do. People with a gift of service found a place to serve. Over and over again I helped people find how and where they could use their gifts. What I realized is, that this is a good starting point but not how people naturally thrive long-term.
Now, I see that the process needs to be embedded in a coaching relationship, providing feedback on an ongoing basis. When the feedback loop is provided, the person has a chance to reflect on what they are doing, make adjustments then focus more and more on what they enjoy most or – passionate about. I remember one person that I worked with for an extended period is now thriving in a church planting ministry.
However, that support is often-times missing for people who are discerning their way in ministry.
The solution is to have leaders who know how to support people in their unique, personal calling process. One group that we really, really need to help is the up and coming generation. Call them what you want, the younger generation are hungry for this type of attention – that is one reason we created the Personal Calling Collective, LIVE online learning community. To help you learn how to support followers of Jesus to discern what He has called them to do with their spiritual gifts, passions, skills, strengths all in the context of their life journey.
One of the tools that is central to the Collective is the Focused Ministry Coaching Guide & Storyboard. It provides the framework for the self-discovery process. What I like it that it describes the process – allowing you to utilize tools that you are most comfortable with to assess a person’s spiritual gifts, passions, skills, strengths, etc. There are so many available today and every leader has their favorites.
Who do you know that might benefit from being a part of an exciting group of leaders, working hard to help people discern what God has called them to accomplish?
The start date is June 24 and the Collective includes four, 1-hour group sessions with six, 1-1 coach appointments; for a total of 10 contact hours. Please reach-out to me direct and let me know if you have any questions. You can schedule a time to meet by CLICKING HERE.
Below is a breakdown of the topics you will learn how to coaching people through:
- Showing Up
- Trying things out
- Connecting with your passion
- Evaluating your service
- Examining your life journey
- Discerning your calling
- Sharpening your skills
- Involving others
- Training others
- Broadening perspectives
CLICK HERE for more information.
What lesson can we learn from the best coaches in the world?
What do world-class; truly world-class coaches do that set them apart?
Let’s take a look at the world of professional sports and assess what coaches at the highest level do that translates into the ministry world. For instance, take one of the most successful football coaches in European club football – Zinedane Zedane. Not only was he one of football’s greatest players of his generation; but now is approaching his team’s third European Championship in a row. A feat that has only been achieved by Bayern Munich from 1974-1976.
For our purposes, what can we extract from what Zedane does and apply that to how we approach disciplemaking and leader development?
First, Zedane understands the game.
Second, he knows his players.
Third, Zedane makes the right decisions at the right time.
I realize that I am making a leap to suggest that coaching in the sport’s context can have some relevance for coaching in a ministry context; but these are worth consideration.
Let’s take that third one today – Zedane makes the right decisions at the right time.
His knowledge of the game and innate understanding of his players feeds his masterful ability to make decisions that will advance his team odds of winning. Through a couple of key substitutions in the first leg of the semi-final against Bayern Munich, early in the game, the flow of the game changed. They were able to shore up their defense, build up play from the back, advance through the midfield and eventually score. This was not an accident, this was the result of a tactical change made by their coach, Zinedane Zedane.
This Saturday, May 26 we will see how Zedane matches up against his Liverpool counterpart, Jurgen Klopp (see COACHABILITY TRAIT #3 – SMART blog entry). Two extremely knowledgeable football minds with different approaches to the game. Zenedane makes tactical decisions during the flow of the game and Klopp is capable of making adjustments but is unable to alter his approach – all out attacking football. Mind you, this will be a clash of two similar but very distinct styles of play. Should be an exciting match.
What can we learn from Zedane as it relates to coaching in a ministry context? When coaching disciplemakers and leaders, it is imperative that we know when to allow the person to figure the problem out on their own vs. “fixing” or solving the problem for them. When a coach jumps in and fixes the problem it communicates: “I am smarter” than the person they are coaching. This strokes the ego of the leader and in most cases, undermines the development of the person and ultimately, dis-empowers them. But when the coach allows the person the time to reflect, expand their awareness and arrive at their own solutions, people tend to:
- Feel Empowered
- Own the Issue
- Take Action.
These are just some of the benefits of taking a coach approach with people you develop.
Here are three questions for your reflection:
- What has happened when you allow people time to process their thinking and arrive at their own solutions?
- What has happened when you have stepped-in to offer your solution?
- Which approach is more empowering?
Here are three coaching resources I have found helpful to increase your effectiveness as you coach a person to enhance their problem solving abilities:
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:
- What shifts do I need to make in my behavior to line-up with my values?
- Who can I connect with for support?
- 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.
The best reason I suggest you to participate in a Collective, is not:
- the power of coaching
- the power of a focused learning communities.
No, the best reason that I would give is the profound impact God has made through the ministries of my co-presenters who are multiplying leaders (read Multiply).
Church Multiplication Collective
- Tim Vink – Level 4-5 leader
- Stewarded the Reformed Church of America movement from 3% to 14% of churches reproducing since 2005.
- Daniel B – missionary that has catalyzed 400+ Discovery Bible studies with his team
- Has helped train over 500 church planters in disciple-making strategies worldwide.
Allowing leaders to focus on a shared issue within a group of like-minded individuals, combines the power of one-on-one coaching with the strength of a learning community.
If you have not yet registered yet I would like to encourage you to seriously consider taking that next step. Registration ends November 10, 2017 for this round of Collectives. Below is the schedule with times listed in the links below:
- Session #1: Nov 13, 2017
- Session #2: Dec 4, 2017
- Session #3: Jan 9, 2018
- Session #4: Feb 5, 20178
Please e-mail InFocus if you have specific questions about taking the next step to register.
See Church Multiplication Collective to register.
See Disciple-Making Collective to register.
How are you preparing for 2018?
Over the last 30+ years I’ve discovered the power of coaching leaders to help them succeed. Leaders thrive when the learn in communities. Allowing leaders to focus on a shared issue within a group of like-minded individuals combines the power of one-on-one coaching with the strength of a learning community.
InFocus is launching two 6-month-long Collectives that are designed to allow leaders to activate, assess, and apply what they learn in their ministries. The Collectives will focus on how leaders should respond in moments of chaos and uncertainty, guiding leaders through the decisions that drive their visions.
The Collectives are focused on:
- Church Planting & Multiplication: best suited for regional leaders responsible for the health & growth of multiple congregations
- Disciplemaking: best suited for pastors/church planters
How are you preparing for 2018? Who do you know that needs the support of a Collective? Registration ends November 10, 2017 for this round of Collectives.