Taking Coaching to the Next Level

By Joel Comiskey, Spring 2020

When I graduated from Bible College, my mission agency (Christian and Missionary Alliance) recommended that I take further Bible education, and I ended up attending seminary, which helped me explore the Christian faith and missions on a deeper level. “Going deeper” doesn’t just involve education, it can apply to all areas of our lives.

The entire Christian life, in fact, is about deepening our relationship with Jesus and learning how to be obedient on a deeper level. The same is true of coaching leaders. Effective coaching is an ever-growing learning experience.

I’ve been coaching pastors and leaders for the last nineteen years. Thankfully, I’m not where I was when I started. In those early days, I equated coaching with counseling, and learned the hard way that people were not interested in being told what to do. I had to learn to listen, come alongside the pastor, and graciously move them to the next step. God has helped me to learn from my failures and make important corrections. And I’m still learning and growing in my coaching.

Last month on the JCG blogs, we talked about coaching basics, which include: biblical basis for coaching, basic content of coaching, and coaching structure.

But coaching leaders and pastors in small group ministry is a broad topic and has many different levels. We need to look at:

  • the authority of a coach
  • difference between coaching for “maintenance” and “transformation”
  • essentials of training a coach
  • recruiting and retaining coaches
  • responsibilities of a coach

These and other topics are covered more fully in my book You Can Coach.