So far, I’ve focused on the importance of the:

  • Spiritual: Discern the will of the Father, helping those you coach to do the same
  • Relational: Value the other person
  • Personal: Embrace your unique contribution
  • Interpersonal: You can’t want something for someone else more than they want it for themselves
  • Inspirational: Help people tap into their creativity

This week I shift focus to the strategic aspect of coaching.

Lesson #6 – Challenge for Clarity

There is a wonderful dynamic when a leader or team moves from:

  • confusion and perhaps discouragement to agreement on an issue
  • a rough idea to a vision
  • good intentions to action

In coaching, the moment when shifts occur, the leader moves to greater clarity.

Let’s talk about a real situation. I was coaching a team to help them navigate their vision. One of the big components of their vision was church planting. As I facilitated the visioning process with them God was doing something that forced them to clarify – He was preparing a team to plant a church in another part of the country.

As we met it became more and more obvious. Rather than talking about some day planting a church; this team began asking an entirely different set of questions:

  • Who will be going?
  • What commitments will we (the parent church) ask of the team planting the new church?
  • How will we communicate with the rest of the church body?
  • What resources will we provide?
  • How will we relate to the new church?

In this situation, the team realized that God was already at work, and the leader(s) needed to cooperate. They had a choice: would they support the work He was doing, or would they resist?

The more leaders are willing to put themselves in a posture of responding, to what the Lord wants from them, the more He asks of the leader(s) – according to their level of obedience.

Coaches can be immensely helpful. When leaders struggle to clearly see what God is doing, a coach can help clarify where they need to focus. As leaders clarify, they must be challenged to take action. Here are five tips a coach can implement to assist leaders to maintain an open posture to the Lord:

  1. Celebrate the “wins” (ways God is at work)
  2. Pray to thank God for His goodness
  3. Clarify current reality
  4. Brainstorm actions
  5. Challenge to take the next step

One resource I’ve found extremely helpful in clarifying vision for church planters and pastors is the vision frame. This is a great resource that defines the key components of vision. Check out Will Mancini’s book, Church Unique, for more information.


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