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
  • Intellectual: Challenge for clarity

This week I shift focus to the analytic aspects of coaching.

Lesson #7 – Analyze to Energize

We have a saying around my home – “exercise to energize”. I’ve modified that saying slightly to apply to coaching: analyze to energize. Help the person you are coaching thoroughly understand the problem until they see the path forward.

How many times have you been working with a disciplemaker, and through asking powerful questions to reflect; the answer has mysteriously come to the forefront of their minds. I believe that happens more often than not when we are true to the coaching process. The results can be transformational.

Over the last 30 years a large part of my work has been in training and developing missional leaders in coaching. Most leaders who have been coaching for a while have done an adequate job using their intuition. Intuition can take a leader pretty far. But to move from good to great, helping to empowering, or effective to strategic requires three key components:

  • Comprehensive coaching process
    • Answers the questions – “What do I need to do every time I engage in a coaching conversation?”
  • Mastery of the key coaching skills
    • Answers the questions – “What skills do I need to develop to engage in a coaching conversation?”
  • Principle-based framework 
    • Answers the questions – “What topics will I coach leaders on to cultivate disciplemaking movements?”

By this I mean, if you are coaching a leader to refine their disciplemaking process, church planting process or leadership pipeline – you have a framework that you use to help the leader assess their process. You may not be fully aware that you have one, but you are consciously or subconsciously operating from your experience. Or the leader you are coaching may have that process already in hand through the network they participate in. In either case, it is imperative that the framework you use to formulate questions is built on principles. Why is this so? If your process is linked tightly to a particular model you will discover limitations. Especially when you work across denominations, cultures or with diverse leaders.

For instance, I have been working with a disciplemaker in Southeast Asia. Over the last five years he has collaborated with a network of missionaries who have catalyzed a disciplemaking movement. To-date, about 400 Discovery Bible Studies have been birthed, with some groups reproducing to the third and fourth generation. In addition, two new church plants have been birthed from their efforts.

If I came in with a western model of disciplemaking I could do more harm than good. However, if the disciplemaking process is based on principles, then the questions I ask will come from a more global understanding of disciplemaking and not direct the leader down a path that will lead them to a distinctly western model.

This leader has seen the necessity of coaching in a disciplemaking movement. The reason why many movements stall-out in the first generation it due to the leader’s inability to release the need to control the outcome. Once again, when a principle-based approach is taken – the fruit tends to be healthier. The leader will posture himself/herself in the role of catalyst which results in reproduction into the second, third and fourth generation.

The framework I use is called the Leadership Multiplication Pathway Storyboard. When you take a closer look, you see four phases of development, each with it’s own storyboard:

  1. Character – Missional Discipleship 
  2. Calling – Focused Ministry 
  3. Competency – Effective Leadership 
  4. Culture – Continuous Multiplication 

You can read more about the system by clicking here and downloading the article at the bottom of the page.

The storyboard is simply a tool. It is the technical side of coaching. The relational side is you, and what you bring to the equation.

Here are five principle-focused questions to coach a disciplemaking movement leader:

  1. What is a disciple?
  2. Describe your disciplemaking process?
  3. What is missing in your process?
  4. What do you need to change?
  5. What it your next step?

Whatever framework you use, it is important to understand the nuances, strengths and limitations of the process you use. The strength of the storyboards are the principles they are based upon. This allows for diverse applications regardless of model of ministry, contextual issues or leadership approaches.


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