A common request of pastors is to find help in being the leader God called them to be, and to raise up leaders. Maybe you identify with one or both of those. You feel the weight of the role you have and are not sure which way you should go. Or you know what you are supposed to do, you just do not know how to train up the emerging leaders around you.
In his book, Christian Coaching, Gary Collins suggested, “Coaching is the key element in producing good leaders. To be a good leader you must be a good coach. And to be a good coach you must recognize that coaching is a significant form of leadership.”
We have found that to be a true-ism. Pastors and ministry leaders who engage with a coach can mitigate the effects of struggles within the church both in being a leader and developing leaders around you. But not just any coach.
If you are trying to develop a Christ-centered, gospel-saturated and missionally focused church, with gospel saturated leaders, you can ill afford to rely on non-theological, humanistic, methodologically driven approach to coaching.
Two main things to consider are that:
C.R.O.S.S. coaching is an intentional gospel conversation with focused discussions about the leader’s Relational, Personal, Missional and Spiritual life.
Through C.R.O.S.S. Gospel Coaching we impart encouragement, skill, and gospel renewal dynamics to the leader in order to minister in a Gospel-Centered church, in the context of a friendship.
A Gospel Approach
We believe the Gospel not only has power but it is power and solution to every coaching issue presented. In life, God the Father through the Spirit relates to us in a multi-dimensional way. He has not confined himself to only giving directions or asking questions. He uses and applies the gospel by his Spirit, in various ways, as the circumstances may demand. Sometimes he Directs, using commands and exhortation yet, sometimes He Instructs us, as our Teacher. He often poses questions to our hearts while other times he Explains to us the why and clarifies the heart issue we face.
Many people have said — and I fully agree with the reality — that it’s very possible to plant a church and not make disciples of Jesus Christ. Many churches have been started as (primarily) a Sunday morning event and success is measured by how many people attend weekend services.
The same can be said of leading an established church. It is possible to pastor a church, even have a wonderful Sunday morning worship experience; engage the community in deeds of mercy; have a Nickelodeon type children’s ministry with live music and puppets; and still not be creating intentional paths for people “to hear the call of Jesus, respond to that call by repenting, believing his good news and following him in all that entails (“From S. Smallman, The Walk, p. 26).
No matter if you are planting a new church or pastoring an existing one, if you commit yourself to making disciples, you will grow a church. This must be the new metric we use in discerning if God is working. Are we involved in his call to make disciples?
I suspect that much of your disciple-making approach is being done by either (1) exactly following the method by which you were discipled (or by reaction against how you were discipled) or (2) you have no disciple-making intentionality whatsoever, perhaps because you have had no experience in any intentional approach.
Let’s assume you need to begin or continue the work of creating a discipleship process for your church. What do you do if you either don't have any experience or do not value what you had? You might, like many, default to a pre-programmed disciple-making course or you might continue to meet with a small group of guys to “talk about life.”
But, what if there could be a different way? Something with intentionality yet, not pre-packaged?
I understand that Jesus calls specific people with specific abilities, affinities, and aptitudes for specific ministry contexts. Not all contexts, cultures, or times are the same. But we can agree that God’s calling is God’s enabling, and his call is for you, as a leader, to be intentional in inviting others to turn away from their self-saving strategies, believe in Christ’s saving Strategy (the gospel), and follow after him, allowing him to conform them into their original design.
A Different Path to Develop a Process of Discipleship
Dr. Tom Wood
I've been in the Church Planting business my entire career. I want you to know, you don't have to plant a church alone!