If you are just joining us for the first time, you probably haven’t had a chance to hear about the coaching we offer to all church planters. Or maybe you’ve been around for a while, and you’ve just never gotten around to signing up. Well, let me try to convince you.
First of all, let’s talk about what coaching is not. For many, the word “coach” brings up painful visions of gym class in junior high school—getting yelled at, bossed around, forced to do drills and sweat awkwardly in front of your peers. Or you might remember a person who was always pointing out what you were doing wrong and getting upset when you didn’t perform well when you played sports.
Well, when we talk about coaching in the Vineyard, that is not what we are talking about. Instead, a church planting coach is someone who comes alongside you and functions like a sounding board—by listening, asking questions, and partnering with the Holy Spirit, they help you determine what God is calling you to do and help you formulate a plan to carry it out. Here’s a little summary:
Coaching Is Not:
- Someone telling you what to do.
- An expert sharing advice.
- Getting criticized for your weaknesses.
- Someone helping you decide what to do.
- Someone helping you create a plan and follow it.
- Someone helping draw solutions to problems out of you.
- Someone on your side, praying for you.
Think of a coach as a kind of guide to help you, the hero, be victorious in the story you are living. In a coaching session, your coach will ask how you are doing and how things are going. Then you’ll take a little time to rejoice together over the things that are going well, and brainstorm and troubleshoot the challenges you are facing. Your coach will help you come up with specific action steps to take and appropriate deadlines to set for yourself. Then they’ll take time to pray with you.
Vineyard coaches are not necessarily church planters themselves (although some of them are). The point is not to pair you with someone who can give good advice. Experienced friends with good advice are valuable to have, but that’s not what coaching is for. Vineyard coaches are trained to ask good questions, not give advice. So, the content of what you learn from your coach actually comes from you. Your coach helps you gain clarity and perspective on the things you are facing so that you can deal with your problems with peace and confidence.
Are you convinced yet? If not, or if you just want to know more, you can read a whole slew of articles and personal stories about the value of coaching here.
So, then, the big question is, how do you get a coach? What does it cost? Well, I have good news for you—Multiply Vineyard offers coaching free for your first two years of planting a Vineyard church! All you have to do is email office@multiplyvineyard and say “I’m a Vineyard church planter and I would like to be paired with a coach.” Then you’ll be asked a few questions to help find an appropriate match. You can even try out a few practice sessions to test if a particular coach is a good fit. We would love to see every church planter take full advantage of this free coaching.
So, let’s hear your comments—are you still unconvinced? What’s holding you back? What questions do you have? Or, are you being coached currently? How’s it going? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below, or, as always, if you want to go a little deeper, hop on over to the forum and start a conversation.