Further Coaching

coaches_jeff-150x1501by Jeff Tunnell                    www.bigbearchristiancenter.org

If there is further interest in the conversation about coaching from last week, allow me to continue.  The comments received from Galen and Richared are appreciated!  We are grateful for each reader of the JCG blog, please fenter the conversations!!

Concerning the regular “practice” of coaches, shouldn’t we include visits to the cells being coached?  What prescribed frequency should be observed;  one cell per week or month?  Observing the cell leader leading their cell gives insight to the coach.  It provides points of praise for a job done well and the opportunity to stay after and give feedback concerning a weakness that exists. (such as ??? Just what would the coach be looking for during the meeting?)  Your thoughts here…

How many cells can one person coach in your cell structure?  Is it different for those who also lead their own cell?  Must each coach be required to lead a cell or not?  How frequently do the coaches meet with the Senior Pastor?  Let’s offer some assistance to those who are looking for direction on this topic.

5 thoughts on “Further Coaching

  • We feel we have a problem. We follow the G12.3 structure. The good is that when we multiply, we coach the cell multiplied ; the coach has a cell of his own so he can speak as being practical. The problem is that we do not see what’s going on in the cell. If we would do that would mean another night by week. Do you have any idea how to do it and still have the time with unbelievers ?

  • Jeff poses some incisive queries:

    (1) “How many cells can one person coach in your cell structure?”

    My limited and flawed experience in several countries suggests that the maximal number hovers at around six for a full-time CC planter or super. Three seems more feasible for most who have other responsibilities. Frequency has an effect. A testable hypothesis states that optimal coaching for a busy CC staff member is three coaching sessions per week, whether those be same three every week, or different three on alternate weeks.

    (2) “Is it different for those who also lead their own cell?”

    Hmm. If one mostly coaches ‘shepherds’ of cells multiplied from the same parent cell, then there may be strong emotional and personal ties that allow the senior coach to accomplish more through fewer. As long as coaches keep on thinking 2 Tim 2:1-2, they can accomplish more through fewer who coach others, also.

    (3) “Must each coach be required to lead a cell or not?”

    I want to be coached by an experienced cell shepherd who both understands the theory and sympathizes with me. Cell shepherds are mostly average to bright folk who quickly sense whether they are the coach’s “child in the faith” or a scalp on his belt.

    (4) “How frequently do the coaches meet with the Senior Pastor?”

    There can be a difficult balance between SP as chief coach and SP as supervisor. If s/he coaches coaches, then s/he has the same time and emotional limitations. If s/he is mostly an administrator, taking statistical reports and dispensing pep talks, then s/he can do so more frequently.

    Sorry for my lack of firm knowledge.

  • As a practicing coach with four groups, I am able to keep up with groups and leaders and be a part of a group as a member (and I am not coaching that particular group). The way I’m doing it is as follows:

    • We do not use the classic leader/apprentice model, but a core team approach. The core team members of a group gather monthly to pray and plan for the next six weeks of group life. Once a quarter, my wife and I invite them to have this planning meeting in our home. We sit in on their planning time and help them do something big for God, encourage quiet people to step up and help, and watch the leader give away responsibility to the members. This is far more informative than visiting their actual group meetings, although we do visit groups quarterly. Monthly with four groups is simply too much for me to do as a guy with a full time job outside of the church.

    • I buy each leader a cup of coffee once a month or we walk three miles around the park together. I encourage them to ramble on about anything they like, and they typically speak about their marriages, work, kids, and group. I work hard to be quiet and listen, asking only the important clarification questions. I also ask them to share the vision for their group each time we meet to keep them focused.

    • At our monthly group leader’s meetings, I meet with my leaders to discuss the state of their groups and for us all to pray together.

    Coaching is actually an easy job when you have a bunch of groups filled with kingdom-activists. They need small course corrections from time to time and the leader’s need to feel loved as a friend. However, if one’s groups are filled with consumer Christians who barely show up for meetings, coaching is outrageously hard work and it’s akin to herding drunk cats.

  • (1) “How many cells can one person coach in your cell structure?”
    We use a G-12.3 structure. The Senior Pastor coaches the staff. I as cell pastor am building my 12 which are coaches and those with potential to coach. The rest have no more than 3.

    2) “Is it different for those who also lead their own cell?”
    No we are all first cell leaders

    (3) “Must each coach be required to lead a cell or not?”
    We all lead our own cells including the Senior Pastor

    (4) “How frequently do the coaches meet with the Senior Pastor?”
    The staff meets with the Senior pastor and then we meet with the coaches. We all come together at an annual banquet.

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