To Coach with Love

One Small-Group Leader shares her needs with her coach.

Dear Coach Emma,

Today marks my second anniversary as a Small Group Leader. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting me all the way. During our last huddle, you asked us what our needs were and you said that our answers would help you a lot. I've been thinking about this for the past 2 weeks, and I'd like to share it with you:

You know, as a young leader, sometimes I really do not know what I truly need. Yes, I have the passion and desire to serve God and others, but I don't really know how to get there. Frankly, when I first learned about the role of a Small Group Leader, I felt quite overwhelmed. Yes, I was excited about the ministry, but me—being a shepherd leader?!! Me- helping others grow?!! Wow, that's very scary! My initial response was that I need to grow a lot more before I could handle this role. You assured me that in every ministry there is always the need to take the step of faith, and you assured me that the Holy Spirit is there to help me and guide me!

Now, as I look back within these two years of ministry, you are right! Yes, the Holy Spirit was indeed there to help me, and despite some bumps along the way, I can say I was stretched by Him in many ways. I feel that I am closer to Him than before. Throughout these two years, I see that there were 3 things that I felt was crucial to my development:

I. Vision

Your team has set a strong vision for us to follow! Through the training courses, the annual rallies, and the monthly huddles, I now understand:

  • The purpose of the ministry (why we are doing it)

  • The goals of the ministry (where we are heading)

  • The core values of the ministry (how we do it)

  • My role as a Small Group Leader (how I participate)

I know that in the beginning my focus was mostly on myself (How did I fare this time? I should have done this…I should have done that….) and my members (their prayer requests). But you've gradually encouraged me to divert our attention from just ourselves to the needs of the community and the world! Yes, it is more exciting to look at the world through God's eyes, and I now dare say that we are heavenly designed to be together to serve those around us who are hurting and in need!

Because the purpose of the ministry is so strong, and the goals and core values so clearly defined, it has become part of our church's small groups' culture, which makes it much easier for us to implement the curriculum and develop our group into a community that advocates life transformation! I appreciate the fact that within this grand scheme of our church's vision (which can still be overwhelming to me at times), I have always been given the next small steps to accomplish. So, suddenly, the vision doesn't seem too overpowering, because I know that as long as we take it one step at a time, somehow, upon God's grace, we will get there!

II. Equipping

I am so thankful for all the training your team has provided me. The Small Group Leaders training course was helpful in the sense that it provided both skills training and reflections on character development. I benefited from the course tremendously. I especially enjoyed the part where we were able to share with one another our successes and failures. It made us feel good because we were relieved to know that those kind of issues don't just happen in our group, and we're there as a team to support one another as we go through them.

The various resources (books, websites, reading materials, conference information…) you gave us were very helpful. I would not know where to get them otherwise. Thanks for pointing us to those resources. It saved me a lot of time searching for them.

Speaking about time—this is really a scarce commodity within the life of a Small Group Leader. It's not just the meetings we have to lead, it's the huddles, rallies, trainings…we have to attend. Now, please don't get me wrong, these are great training venues for me, it's just that apart from all these meetings, we still have many other church activities and programs to be present at: prayer meetings, Sunday School, missions conference, visitations…. This is why I truly appreciate your team's effort to teach us about Sabbath rest, and demand that all groups take the summer (July & August) off. I am grateful that the rest is taken in the context of taking a step back from our busy schedules to make room to listen to the stil l voice of our Lord. It has been truly a renewing experience for many of us.

III. Spiritual Companionship

Most important of all—I am very thankful that I not only have a coach, but a spiritual companion. Thank you for treating me not just as a task, or someone to fulfill the ministry's goals. I appreciate your seeing me as a human being—someone in the midst of family needs, career demands and financial pressures—struggling to do my best for the Lord. I appreciate the fact that every time you meet with me, you always ask about my children and my job situation. I know that you pray regularly for me. This is why when I was on the verge of being laid off, you were the first one I called to seek prayer support.

Thank you for keeping me accountable. Although sometimes it can become pressure (but good pressure though!), I do appreciate the fact that you constantly ask me about my walk with God. In fact, no one (not even the pastors) check on me regularly to see if I've read the Word lately. I remembered one time admitting to you that I haven't touched the Bible for a month - rather than simply condemning me, you challenged me to reading the Gospel of Mark together with you. Every week for the next month, you called me and shared with me encouraging words from the Scripture passages. I really felt that you were a friend who was willing to wait for me and help me during my struggling times on this spiritual journey. This weekly call meant a lot to me and I was attracted by your desire to read and obey God's Word seriously. I have learned a lot through this experience of reading the Word with you. Ever since then, whenever I have group members that shared with me that they're downcast and did not feel like reading the Word, I would do the same to help them—challenging them to read the Word together and calling them weekly to encourage them.

Emma, thank you for always believing in me and trusting that I am still a vessel in the process of making. Yes, God is not done with me yet, and I know that He will bring the best out of me. Thank you for being my friend!


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