6 Coaching Questions for Developing Leaders

Coaching picNothing is more important than to the mission of Jesus than to disciple and develop leaders. If you are responsible for the care and development of leaders – staff and volunteers, use these six questions as a basic agenda for any one-on-one coaching conversation and you will see them grow and flourish.

Here are six questions in order that you should ask when meeting. Let me briefly explain the brilliance behind each one of these six questions:

1) “How are you?”

Remember at the heart of effecting coaching is a relational investment. It may sound cliché, but it’s still true: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” You should begin every coaching conversation by checking in to see how the person you are coaching is really doing.

2) “What are you celebrating?”

Every meeting at Community begins with some form of this question. Often it’s stated like this: “Where are you/we winning?” Whether it’s a one-on-one meeting, a group meeting, a staff meeting, or a temporary task force, we begin by celebrating how God is at work in our life, ministry, and church.

Moving from “How are you?” to “What are you celebrating?” keeps the tone of the meeting very relational and positive. It’s tempting to quickly focus on what’s not working or what is broken. This question starts the conversation focused on where the leader is feeling successful and then you get to affirm their efforts.

3) What challenges are you facing?

You might be thinking, “Finally we get to something productive.” Yes, the previous questions are very relational, but if it helps any, remember that when it comes to coaching the relationship really is the task. This question gives your leader an opportunity to talk openly about what is not going very well in his group or team.

4) How will you solve those challenges?

Once a leader has disclosed some areas where he or she may be experiencing some challenges with his life, group, or team it is tempting to quickly move into “fix-it” mode and try to solve the problem for them. There are times when a leader will need your insight and wisdom. However, the best way you can serve a leader is to help them tap into the wisdom and insight God has already given them to deal with whatever situation they are facing. Spend the most amount of your time on this question. It is the coach’s role to draw those answers or solutions out of the leader.

5) How can I help you?

Finally, we get to the question we’ve wanted to ask. This is an important question, but if you never get to this question because the leader has already come up with an action plan as you walked through the previous questions, considers yourself an extremely effective coach. But there are times when a coach needs to step in and offer whatever assistance is necessary to help a leader in need. So if the leader doesn’t know how they can solve the challenges they face, offer them wisdom and guidance from your own experience.

6) How can I pray for you?

The best way to wrap up a coaching conversation is to ask the leader how you can be praying for him or her. It is also a great opportunity for the coach to ask the leader for prayer. This is one way a coach can help the leader know that this relationship is mutually beneficial. After the leader has had a chance to express some areas where they are in need of prayer, take a few moments to pray for the leader and reassure them that you will be praying regularly.

The dreamExponential by Dave Ferguson and Jon Ferguson Book of God is not for the church to be led by a one-man show, but that it would be a great team led by great coaches. Use these six questions and you will be a great coach and develop a great team who can accomplish great things for the mission of Jesus.

(These 6 coaching questions appear in chapter 8 of Exponential: How You And Your Friends Can Start A Missional Church Movement.)


9 Behaviors Of A Multiplying Church

Multiplying Church?A church committed to multiplication will demonstrate the following types of behaviors:

1. Multiplying churches have a scorecard that is as focused on starting new churches as it is on adding new members.

2. Multiplying churches give their first fruits to church planting, including at least the first 10 percent of their tithes and offerings.

3. Multiplying church leaders have a specific vision and strategy for multiplication, including accountability measures for monitoring progress.

4. Multiplying churches value raising up and deploying leaders to plant churches. This includes an intern/residency program for developing and deploying church planting leaders and team members.

5. Multiplying churches send church planters on an ongoing and regular basis to plant new churches.

6. Multiplying churches value new churches over mortgage debt. They plant their first church before taking on mortgage debt, and they commit additional financial resources (beyond a tithe) as a percentage of mortgage debt (taking on new mortgage debt is matched by committing a higher percentage of the budget to church planting). Multiplying churches take proactive actions to ensure mortgage debt will not constrain church planting support.

7. Multiplying churches value new churches over new sites. They plant their first church before adding their first site. They commit to plant five or more churches for each new site they add. Multiplying churches understand that multisite is a strategy that can adversely impact multiplication strategies.

8. Multiplying churches value “sending” staff and leaders to plant churches. They send their first planter before accumulating their first three staff members and continue to send a percentage of staff members to plant churches.

9. Multiplying churches inspire, encourage and challenge church members to participate in church planting, both financially and by being part of church planting teams. Multiplying churches continually affirm those who go.

The entire article by Todd Wilson and myself was published in Outreach Magazine as “Are You Planting A Multiplying Church?”  The ebook, “Becoming A Level 5 Multiplying Church” that inspired this article is available for free.  For a complete treatment on how to start a church that is multiplying on all levels, read “Exponential: How You And Your Friends Can Start A Missional Church Movement.”


Exponential – Now Translated Into German!

Exponential (German)Five years ago Jon and I wrote, Exponential: How You And Your Friends Can Start A Missional Church Movement to share in simple, back-of-a-napkin instructions how God had worked through COMMUNITY and NewThing to grow an amazing church and catalyze a movement of reproducing churches!  I’m excited to announce that Zondervan is now publishing Exponential in a German edition!  Thanks to the leadership of Luthar Krauss on January 18-23, 2016 I will be in Schwabisch Gmund and then Dussledorf, Germany for the public release of the German edition of the book and to teach church leaders in two consecutive conferences on Exponential. While this is the first time the book has been officially published in a language other than English, I have had church leaders and church planters send me copies that they have translated on their own into several languages including Russian, Albanian and Spanish. This caused me to reflect and ask, “Why does the interest in a book we wrote five years ago continue to grow both domestically and globally?” A few thoughts came to mind…

Exponential principles are simple. The consistent compliment I get from people who read Exponential is something like this, “Thanks for making challenging topics so simple and for making me believe I could do it.”  Throughout the book we take complex issues like leadership development, artist development, multi-site, church planting and network creation and spell it out in simple and reproducible language.  To make the point, we illustrate each of these ideas by showing how they can be explained literally on the back-of-a-napkin.

Exponential principles translate into any context.  The reason they translate into any context is not a testament to the authors but where the authors got the content. Everything in Exponential is based on Jesus vision for a church that was founded on movemental ideals. Everything in Exponential is based on how Jesus apprenticed his first followers and the example we see in the early church.

Exponential principles are being used around the world. I’ve seen the principles of Exponential used by church leaders in contexts as diverse as South Korea, Kenya, United Kingdom, Belarus, Philippines, South Africa, Australia and more. What we thought was God’s unique work in Chicagoland has proved to be how God works around the world.

If you haven’t read Exponential or you would like a copies for your team, you can get it HERE.


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