Did you know that the word "coach" did not originally come from the English language? It comes from the Hungarian "kocsi", which means coach or bus. In 1556, it was used for the first time in England (source: http://encdine.ncdnet.org/en01/en01.html).
What is a coach? It is a vehicle that brings you to your goal. Rather than a bus, a coach is a person who helps you get from point A to point B. He or she helps you reach your goals.
Coaching is more about listening and asking questions, and not as much about giving advice. Coaches help small group leaders analyze their problems, brainstorm options, find solutions, and make decisions. Beyond that, an important part of coaching is to come alongside small group leaders and help them to implement their plans long-term.
Most people find it easier to generate options and make decisions when they have a support system—a coach. They find it difficult, however, to stay on track and implement long-term goals when they do not have a support structure—a coach.
Some goals that coaches can help small group leaders set and achieve might include: deepening the leader's "walk," resolving conflict, raising up an apprentice leader, assimilating new members into the group, pushing group members into new areas of growth, or multiplying the group. It is not really because small group leaders are not able or skilled to implement these plans, it is just that long-term plans and vision and mission "slip" without a support structure. Reminders are needed. Coaches can help their small group leaders establish structures that will remind them of the goals they have set out to reach.
But, what if you are a small group leader and you do not have a small group leader coach? You do not have someone ...