The purpose and plan of discipleship in many churches is unclear, unfocused, and unreliable. Programming will change constantly and the themes we emphasize vary wildly. It leaves people confused or exhausted, and leadership flabbergasted. What we propose is not complicated, but it does require the hard work of clarity, discipline, and consistency.
But first, let’s go back to basics and re-imagine discipleship by asking three simple questions adapted from the book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. The questions are WHY, HOW, and WHAT.
Paul May is a pastor/church planter in metro Washington D.C. Here’s what Paul said recently about having a Gospel Coach:
“My coaches didn’t just give me advice, but came alongside me as older brothers. They walked with me through hard conflict and painful losses, and celebrated with me at personal successes and when we saw God do big things. While I’ve been blessed by many godly pastors generous with their prayer, friendship, and counsel, I’ve found that having someone walk with me and remind me of the gospel continually is what has kept me married and in ministry, and I’m convinced it’s had a significant role in the fruit produced in our first and now second church plant.
“The main content of CMM coaching is how to apply the gospel to the heart of the planter. So being coached was the beginning of a journey for me of learning the A-Z part of the gospel and applying to my life in ways I didn't know I needed. Kind of like when you buy a new vacuum and you realize how much the old one sucked--or didn’t, rather. My wife and I have learned that we need these kinds of relationships in our lives continually, and it’s opened new pathways of conversation in our marriage, with our children, and with those we disciple. Gospel Coaching has helped me grow more and more towards being the spiritual leader I’m called to be, both of my household and over the household of God."
Remember, you don’t have to be alone in ministry. At CMM, we believe every pastor, church planter, ministry leader, and missionary is created to thrive in ministry. Click here to download your FREE eBook “Gospel Centered Discipleship” today!
by Robin Vaughn, Gospel Coach
Last week, 15 leaders from GA, LA, NC, CT, NY, and FL met in Atlanta for training in Gospel Coaching. I had the privilege of leading the Objectives portion of the training. Objectives are the big items that the leader believes need to be accomplished in order to achieve the God given mission.
As I was preparing, my morning Bible study took me to Hebrews 10.
10 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near...
He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
As I read these verses about sanctification, the Lord was showing me that objectives are part of the sanctification process. It became clear to me that we should not think of setting goals or objectives as just the practical part of coaching; rather, it is part of the development God uses to work out our salvation.
We are not perfect, and we will never will be in this life. But the Lord uses coaching to show us objectives we need to pursue and guide us along in this work of becoming more like Christ. This new insight changes the way I approach the act of setting objectives, because I realize it is a continuation of the redeeming work Christ does in us when we yield to him, and consider how He wants to redeem our weaknesses for His glory.
You don’t have to face challenges in church ministry alone. A CMM Gospel Coach can help guide you and your church through a process of identifying and implementing practical, measurable, gospel-focused ministry practices that sharpen the God given mission and improve the health of the local church. Learn more today about church coaching!
By Dave Whitehead
I’ll never forget planting a church in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, NY. It was an exhilarating, exhausting, and terrifying experience. The pressures that accompany urban church planting can be crushing, and no leader should face those pressures alone like I did in those early years.
Whether in an urban, suburban or rural context, helping the leader manage the constant pressures of church planting is what motivates me as a Gospel Coach for CMM. Every leader who is pioneering church work needs a person who understands the dynamics of church planting, yet who is not intimately involved in the details of that particular project. The turbulent waters of change can easily cause a church leader to lose sight of the goal of their plant.
This is also true for leaders who are stepping into times of church transition. Renewing an established church requires different skill sets than church planting. Succession of church leadership is often filled with challenges that can derail even the best-laid plans. Leaders become aware of their insufficiencies in these circumstances and that’s why Gospel Coaching is vital to help them stay true to the vision that God has given them.
Gospel Coaching can expose the leader to perspectives that are critical to the health of the church and the leader’s personal life. I have found that Gospel Coaching is a key element in the ability of any church leader and their network to stay spiritually vibrant while they maintain their forward motion.
Because of CMM, church leaders now have access to a trained Gospel Coach who can help them succeed in their endeavors. To me, Coaching is a good strategic move. Now leaders don’t have to face the struggles of their vision alone. They have someone who can help them see the next step forward while staying centered in the gospel.
Because it’s not how we start that counts as much as how we finish.
At CMM, we believe every pastor, church planter, and ministry leader is created to thrive in ministry. We suggest getting a C.R.O.S.S. Gospel Coach to help walk with you through the challenges you’ve never faced before. You don’t have to plant a church alone. A C.R.O.S.S. Gospel Coach will help encourage and equip you every step along the way.
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!