Coaching that Works

A good coaching system can mean the difference between success and failure in your small groups.

"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 ...

article Preview

This article is currently available to subscribers only. To continue reading:

free newsletter

Sign up for our free Small Groups Newsletter newsletter: Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles.


Favorite Team
When do you work with others?
Build Your Team
Identify the key roles your small-group ministry team needs.
Promoting Partnership and Teamwork in Small-Group Ministry
The importance of sharing as a leadership trait.
Develop Your Team in Four Ways
Thriving teams learn, play, meet, and grow together.
Develop Your Ministry Team
Practical tips for developing your team—both as individuals and as one cohesive unit
Are You an Unhealthy Leader?
No well-intentioned leader would set out to lead this way, but it happens all the time.