Learning How to Coach


These are my notes and thoughts from a recent mini-conference on “TransforMissional Coaching” (new buzzword, better than post-modern or missional or attractional or ermerging, doesn’t matter, me likey). The conference, actually, I don’t know what I’d call this – more like a workshop – anyway, the workshop took place at Chorus Church’sVenue” out in French Valley and was (from my knowledge) was sponsored by Southwest Church Planting and the Christian & Missionary Alliance; both great organizations that I’ve kept connections with over the past five or so years.

All this stuff comes from Dr. Steven L. Ogne, who was the keynote speaker (My notes are in italics)

Seven Habits of Great Coaches

  1. Great Coaches Listen – “He who answers before listening… that is to his folly and shame” – Proverbs 18:13. Listen for facts, feelings and focus. When we listen, we should not be trying to find a/the solution, just listen.
  2. Great Coaches Care – personally, prayerfully, appropriately. Try and get past the superficial conversation and niceties of life, into what people are really feeling or experiencing. Spend time in prayer, before to prepare and during with others. Model authentic care and concern, just as Christ did.
  3. Great Coaches Celebrate – ministry progress, personal growth, our great God! Always look for something to celebrate and do celebrate. Look for opportunities to celebrate with people, build them up personally, in front of their team, their spouse, etc.
    [Use appropriate touch for Care and Celebrate; a hand on the shoulder, a high-five, slap on the back, to make a physical connection, obviously when appropriate]
  4. Great Coaches Strategize – overcome roadblocks, optimize resources, “order” priorities, orchestrate plans sequentially. Ask the right questions to come up with solutions.
  5. Great Coaches Train – demonstrate skills, diverse resources, debrief activities.
  6. Great Coaches Develop – character growth, personal guidance and balance. Talk spiritual things, for example, ask: “Where is God inviting you to grow or change?”
  7. Great Coaches Challenge – clarify goals, confront when needed, confidence to excel, confirm “next steps”. Put a “cap” on the time together, focus on progress. Be honest, it doesn’t do anyone any good if you’re not being honest about weak areas. Don’t have the same meeting/coaching session over and over – it will tire both you (the coach) and the person you are coaching.

1-3 focus on building relationship. 4-6 focus on growth. 7 is how to move it all forward – accountability.

There’s no way you can successfully cover all seven points in one meeting/session – don’t try.

I wasn’t able to attend the whole day (long story), but I was there for the first part (above) and the closing. My biggest take-a-ways from the time I was able to attend now that I’ve let this stuff kind of sit for a few days are:

  • I need to really focus more on how I coach my team.
  • One exercise we had to to was talk about where we thought we were weak and strong on the above list. I felt stronger on 1-3 and weakest on 7 & 8, basically starting strong on the relational end and finishing weak on the challenge end.
  • I want to remain a lifelong learner, so I was really stoked to be challenged on coaching.

And I can’t do a post on coaching with out some John Wooden quotes:

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.

The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.

Never mistake activity for achievement.

That’s all, lot’s to work on. If you’re interested in attending workshops like this and monthly church planter’s forums visit Southwest Church Planting. Till next time!