Making the Most of Coaching

It is well established that church planters do better when they have a coach. Why is that?

Because the complex nature of planting often puts even an experienced leader in a “fog. So many urgent things to do, plenty of anxiety around the urgency of the task, and the expectations of people and a field supervisor can muddy thinking. 

Here are simple principles to make the most of your coaching experience:

1. Determine what kind of coaching you need.

  • Non-directive coaching can be provided by most any experienced or qualified coach. This type of coaching will help you work your plan but will not give you best practice recommendations.
  • Directive coaching will help you work your plan and remind you of best practice principles that you are wise not to forget (or ignore) along the way.

Most leaders need both types of coaching, so they look for a coach who can listen and help them work their plan but one who is also wise and will speak up and give reliable advice. 

2. Get a qualified coach.

A qualified coach is:

  • A person whom you trust and who respects your role as the leader and your choices.
  • A person who has experience in the field in which you are working (directive coach).
  • A person who has been trained as a coach through a legitimate and credible program. 

It is always smart to ask for a coach’s credentials before you engage him or her with a contract. Experienced people are not always good coaches. A good coach needs to be an exceptionally good listener and exceptionally good at asking critical questions. 

3. Meet regularly and expect to pay. 

Your coaching relationship is most important at the beginning and at the critical junctures of your work. It is not uncommon to connect weekly in the beginning. At other times, a monthly connection is adequate. Your coach should also attend your stakeholders meeting. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 per year. Budget the expense.

4. A coach should help you do your best.

Your coaching sessions should: 

  • Be confidential,
  • Be about you…your coach should be an excellent listener.
  • Be challenging….your coach should ask you hard questions.
  • Be informative….your coach should hold up principles and best practices that force you to think and own your choices.
  • Be decisive….your coach should ask you to make choices on what you are committing to do over the next month.
  • Be action orientated….your coach should hold you accountable for action.

If they do not do all of these things, look for another coach. You need a coach who can help you do your best!

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058