Small Group ministry requires some type of Coaching structure. A Coaching model may include paid coaches, volunteer coaches, part-time coaches or the Small Group Pastor may need to lead the way by coaching a few groups. It doesn’t matter which model you use as long as you have a structure that allows relationships to develop between your leaders and your coaches.

Coaching has evolved over the years of Small Group Ministry at LifePoint Church. We are seeing transformation take place in the organic relationships that are being developed in our coaching structure. We have raised the emphasis for Coaches to focus more on ministry and shepherding rather than attendance reports.  Attendance reports are important because they show signs of issues. Your emphasis may be on tracking attendance or organization if your experience is from the management world like mine. My BBA degree creeps into ministry on a daily basis, but I have to allow my baseball coaching career to impact my thinking as much if not more than my BBA. Management is useful. It gives reports and numbers that I use weekly. However, coaching keeps the focus on people. We are implementing a catchy theme to keep this emphasis in focus, called “2 minutes a day & pray on the way.”  (yea, a few have said it was a little cheesy, but it is working!)

2 minutes a day is a challenge for every Coach to call a Small Group leader on their way home from work for a 2 minute conversation. The relationship between the two would grow naturally. The Coach might learn what issues the Small Group was dealing with and how to pray for the group. The Coach also is giving the opportunity for the Leader to ask questions and get advice on issues.

Pray on the way is a slogan to remind Coaches on their way to work to pray for one of their Leaders. This will keep the Leaders on the Coach’s mind all day and it demonstrates care for the Leader.

I have to admit in our first week of practicing this the issues were heavier than we anticipated and 2 minutes turned in to 20 minutes. My response, “well if it were not for the 2 minutes a day, you would have not known about these issues until it was too late. This way we get the opportunity to have an impact where Leaders need help.”

What coaching practices have you seen result in progress toward healthier Small Groups and deeper relationships with Small Group Leaders?