Normally I’ve seen one or the other emphasized:

  • Disciple Making
  • Coaching

This last year I’ve been part of a two-pronged training process combining Disciple Making Movements (DMM) with Coaching in 5 regions around the world beginning with India and Turkey, followed by the US, then concluding with Spain and Hong Kong.  Each event lasted 5 days with the morning dedicated to DMM and afternoons focused on Coach training.  Participants were forced to live in the tension of learning the technical side of DMM utilizing Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) in combination with the relational side of Coaching.

Why was this approach taken?  For obvious reasons, I won’t reference the organization nor the leaders because they are planting churches in under-resourced and under-served areas of the world (10-40 Window); however, this is what they learned when they interviewed other mission agencies taking this approach:

In talking to other organizations that have implemented DMM training each and every group has said they should have taught coaching principles in coordination with DMM to give their workers the skill of coaching.

Typically, I present coaching as a non-directive process; however, in this training approach the “content” is assumed to be the Bible in the context of a DBS.  Further, when a person is ready to reproduce a DBS into the second and third generation, the focus of the coaching relationship shifts to leader development.  Through this process, churches are planted with coaching embedded in the DNA.

Here are three lessons I’ve learned:

  1. Synergy – utilize practitioners from each discipline to maximize the strengths of both systems.
  2. Progression: explain how the two disciplines are distinct – then show how they compliment one another.
  3. Structural Tension – allow participants to live in the tension of making disciples AND coaching leaders to reproduce.

What lessons have you learned training leaders to catalyze disciplemaking movements?  I would love to read your reflections.  Please share your insights below.


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