"We can get them started, all right. We just can't seem to keep them going!" I was talking with the executive minister of a large denomination known for planting large numbers of new churches. I remembered what he said because I myself was about to plant a new church!
The same thing could be said for small groups. We can get them started, but can we keep them going? An adequate coaching system can make the difference. Here's why.
1. Coaching keeps the group leader's motivation strong. Left by themselves, group leaders can gradually become nonchalant or discouraged about their group, leading to a gradual decline in enthusiasm and quality. Consistent coaching, on the other hand, can keep the leader inspired and sharp.
2. Coaching can improve the group leader's ability to lead the group. Picture what happens with a sports team. Small differences in strategy (along with little mistakes) make the difference between winning and losing.. But over a period of time, with many "practices" the coach can make small changes until his players are far more skillful than when they began.
3. Coaching can prevent disasters before they occur. Discouragement can be dealt with before it becomes terminal. Before we started our coaching system a young couple started a marriage enrichment support group. It never really got off the ground. The few people who came didn't talk much. And eventually, with no one to come alongside and really help this group, it died. Recently they started again, with coaching (and a new willingness to listen!). They have a thriving group now.
4. Coaching helps the leaders work together as a team, rather than as isolated individuals. Not only does this help everyone become stronger and do a better job, it also helps foster ...