by Joel Comiskey
Sometimes problems in the cell have nothing to do with cell dynamics or problems among cell members. Rather, they can be traced back to sin in the leader’s life. As the coach, you might notice that something is wrong with the cell leader, but you can’t put your finger on it. There’s a dullness. An avoidance. I remember one leader who stopped sharing deeply, keeping our relationship on a superficial level. This behavior was strange for this particular leader. Later, I discovered he was having an affair, and he was asked to step down from his leadership position. I encourage you to talk about spiritual things during coaching times. Ask what Jesus is doing in the lives of your leaders. Leaders should have ample opportunity to talk about spiritual issues. And remember spend time in prayer with your leaders.
But even with these safeguards, especially if the leader is strongly deceived, the sin might go undetected—for a time. The Scripture in Numbers 32:23, however, will always come true: “But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” Regular coaching hastens this process.
Other problems affecting the leader are more general in nature and have nothing to do with sin (e.g., employment, finances, marriage, etc.). Yet if these problems go unresolved, they will affect the leader and eventually the cell. For example, you as coach might need to provide information on:
- How to find a job (e.g., providing contact information, pointing out an internet site, recommending a book or a financial administration program)
- How to deal with finances (e.g., showing your leader what you know, recommending a budgeting seminar)
- How to improve a marriage (e.g., personal counseling, recommending a counselor or another resource)
Effective coaches are concerned about all aspects of the leader’s life. One coach said, “The first misunderstanding I had about coaching was that coaching is primarily about leadership skill development. I thought all I needed to do was pass along all I knew about leading a small group, like how to facilitate a discussion, or how to have prayer time or how to birth a new group. Although leadership skill development is an important part of coaching, it’s not the only thing. What I learned was coaching is also about personal development. As a coach, I can’t just worry about a person’s leadership skills. I need to also make sure the leader’s personal and spiritual lives are being developed at the same time as their leadership skills are being developed.”
Leadership skills are very important but the personal life of the leader will also affect his or her leadership.