“All the students I brought last year to your cell church course have failed to put the teaching into practice,” the bishop’s assistant said during the last day of the church planter’s course in Nyack, New York. Robert works for the conservative Episcopalian diocese in Albany, New York. For the second year, Robert has brought priests to my May seminary course at Alliance Theological Seminary. He loves cell ministry and wants the priests in his diosee to catch the same vision.
Why didn’t they practice the vision they learned in last year’s course? Was it my teaching? Was it the material? Perhaps. Yet, I’ve learned over the years that knowledge gained in seminars often goes unused unless there is accountability and follow-up. Information is cheap stuff if itâ€™s not mixed with experience. Reading a book, attending a seminar, etc. doesnâ€™t make things happen. People need more to be truly effective. They need constant practice. Thomas Henry Huxley once said, â€œThe great end of life is not knowledge but action.â€ Successful implementation happens when leaders are held accountable to put into practice the principles learned.
So when Robert asked the question, my answer was, “Robert, without coaching, it’s easy NOT to practice cell information. The best way to practice the cell principles learned in a seminar is to have a coach.”
Coaching comes in a variety of forms. Some pastors find coaching through informal relationships with other cell pastors. Others belong to a network of cell churches. Still others will opt for more formalized coaching, like the kind we offer here at JCG.
Have you found that cell coaching was necessary in your own journey? Why or why not? Share your experience on this topic. . .