Staying Focused and Flexible with Small Group Coaching Templates

Some simple and memorable outlines that help guide a coaching conversation.

Have you ever completed a coaching session with a leader and felt like you could have made better use of the time you had together? Perhaps the meeting was "all business" and you never really connected with the leader personally. You may have had a great conversation about what has been happening in the group, but did not really plan any specific action steps for the future.

When it comes to coaching, I am a big fan of "coaching templates" — simple and memorable outlines that help guide a coaching conversation. Templates provide focus to the one-on-one meetings that you have with your leaders, but still allow flexibility and spontaneity in your times together.

The 6 R's of Coaching

One of my favorite coaching templates comes from Bob Logan & Sherilyn Carlton, authors of Coaching 101, published by ChurchSmart Resources. Logan and Carlton use the letter "R" as a memory peg for their coaching template.

The first R is Relate. This reminds us that our job as coaches is about more than the small group. It is also about the small group leader as a person and as a child of God. A good coaching session starts with questions that help build a relationship between you and the leader. This is a great time to ask about things like family, work, and recreation. It is also a great time to follow up on prayer requests from the last coaching session and to find out how the leader is doing personally in their walk with God.

The second R is Reflect. The less frequently you meet, the more important this step is. Reflecting reminds both the coach and the leader of what has transpired since their last conversation. This is a helpful reminder of how God has been at work in the life of the leader and in the group, particularly for those visionary ...

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