Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Staffing

Coaching leaders is one of the things about ministry that I love most. Great coaching is a truly transformational process and contributes significantly toward greater Kingdom impact.

For me, the relationships themselves are personally gratifying. It’s rewarding to have coaching and mentoring relationships also become friendships, and I love seeing my friends succeed.

For context, there is a slight difference between coaching and mentoring, and of course they overlap.

Coaching tends to be more of a week to week or month to month ongoing process, focused on more immediate results, with someone who is a regular part of your life. Investment from a great mentor may only take place once or twice a year, can be from a distance, and usually focuses in on the bigger picture and long term.

Great coaches (and mentors) ask great questions.

The questions are often unique and focused on the individual. But good coaches also have favorite “go to” questions that are helpful every time. I’ve been using one that focuses on two words for at least twenty-five years.

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This fall will mark 17 years for me on the 12Stone staff team. I’m blessed! Our team is a God-gathered group of many of the best people I’ve ever known or served with. They are smart, gifted and fun!

We had 35 services for Easter this year. My top highlight was the hundreds that said yes to Jesus!

But my second highlight was noticing three telltale signs about our staff that stood out as I drove to our different campuses. These three indicators struck me as noteworthy hallmarks of a healthy team.

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Married and on staff together is a unique circumstance that can be really good, but does carry some risk.

Here are a few of the risks:

  • The risk of the appearance of playing favorites.
  • The risk of one doing well and the other not.
  • The risk of confidential information being shared.
  • The risk of extra pressure on the marriage relationship.
  • The risk of church becoming the consuming focus of the family.
  • The risk of one being let go from staff.

Nonetheless, married couples can and do flourish on staff together, but it doesn’t happen by accident. Good coaching is needed.

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Why is it that some church teams stick together like brothers and sisters even under adversity?

Their attendance may be stuck, perhaps few baptisms are taking place, and the offerings remain under budget, but the morale is still strong. They stay on mission, press forward, and genuinely enjoy being with each other.

Their morale is high.

Other church teams who seem to realize consistent success, but they don’t experience a positive esprit de corps. The numbers are good, services are mostly full, and the general outlook is that all is well. But amongst the staff, it’s more professional than personal, they lack community, and the laughter is minimal.
Their morale is low.

These two examples are incomplete. There are different examples for every scenario.

It’s never as black and white as I’ve written, but regardless of the circumstance, we all know the difference between high morale and low morale on a church staff team.

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