Coaching from the Trenches

by Michael Sove

When I began the journey into cells the most talked about coaching structure was the Jethro model.  This is broken down into leaders of tens (cell leaders), leaders of fifties (zone supervisors) who cared for up to five cell leaders and leaders of one hundred (zone pastors) who cared for two zones.  Finally you would have those who led up to one thousand (district pastors).

Most of us who were starting out only experienced the first few levels of this coaching structure.  I learned quickly that moving effective cell leaders into the role of coaching without continuing to lead a cell was counterproductive.  I found out that staying in the trenches so to speak was good for both the coach and those they were coaching.  Not only could the coach relate to the problems the cell leader may be facing but he or she could also use the victories they were experiencing to inspire those they were trying to coach.

I believe every person is a potential cell leader but I also realize not everyone will lead a cell.  In the same way I believe every cell leader has the potential to become a coach but not all will.  Because I start with that belief the most natural coach for a person birthing out of a cell is the cell leader who has spent much time with them and has built a relationship with them.  So that is what we try to do.

I have found that the average cell leader can care for 1-3 other leaders as well as leading their own cell.  I have also found that a person on staff can care for up to 12 leaders and do a good job with it while leading a cell.  We have found it healthy to ask people to continue to lead a cell at all levels of the coaching structure.  Staying in the trenches keeps all leaders in touch with everything a cell leader faces.  Having this experience adds credibility to their coaching as well.

I also think it is important to flexible in your coaching structure.  Some leaders have a larger capacity to coach more people than others.  The most important thing to ensure in your coaching structure is that everyone is cared for at all levels.

What has worked for you when it comes to caring for leaders?

Michael

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