Let’s Redefine Small Group Coaching

As you could tell from yesterday’s post I wholeheartedly believe in the small group coaching system.  Well, let me clarify that –  I believe in it when it has the correct focus. 

Last year at Seacoast Church I was meeting with the Small Group Directors of our various campuses to evaluate our small group ministry.  That day we agreed we were making a mistake with how we were utilizing our small group coaches.  We were placing too much emphasis on collecting rosters, distributing information and trouble shooting and not enough emphasis on spiritual care of leaders. 

So we gathered 80 of our existing coaches and apologized.  We told them that we had looked among the 10,000 attenders of Seacoast and had personally selected them to serve as a small group coach. We told them we had selected them because of their maturity, their leadership abilities, their love for Christ, and their love for small groups.  But then confessed that we had been using them primarily in an administrative role rather than a spiritual role.  So that day we gave them a new Job Description:  A small group coach cares for the souls of 3-5 small group leaders.

After explaining this new emphasis we invited Mindy Caliguire from Soul Care to speak to our coaches about how to care for their own souls as well as the souls of other leaders.  We didn’t want to just declare this new emphasis but wanted to provide training in how to actually do it.  That day our leaders left with a renewed sense of empowerment and significance.  One of the coaches came to me a week later and said, “I never realized how important my role was to the spiritual health of this church.”  He got it!

I think it’s time to reinstate the significance of the Small Group Coach.  Coaches are needed to care for, love on, and encourage our small group leaders.  Every leader I know gets discouraged, fights temptation, experiences frustrations so it only makes sense to have someone dedicated to helping our small group leaders fight the good fight. 

Check back tomorrow as I give a couple of practical examples of how coaches have cared for the soul of some of our leaders.

What are you doing to help provide spiritual care for your small group leaders?

One Reply to “Let’s Redefine Small Group Coaching”

  1. Mac,
    Great post. It can seem like such a hard balance. Tracking the “roosters”, troubleshooting, and sending out information takes so much time and energy from a coach that could be spent helping leaders on a spiritual level.
    I like the coaching model that Mosaic in CA is using – a team of three coaches (differently gifted) to a group of small group leaders – one who is more of an administrator, one who is more of a shepherd, and one who is more of a visionary.
    I’m looking forward to your next post to hear your ideas for how coaches can take practical steps to care for their leaders.

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