Why do the best athletes have a Coach? Because they want to stay at the top of their game.
At CMM, we want the Gospel of Jesus to be at the forefront of your sphere of influence. So, we coach and train CMM Coaches to work in the field with fellow ministry leaders as they develop strategies to spread the Gospel in their context.
One of CMM’s key partners for Gospel Coach training is Dave Whitehead. Dave is the Coaching Catalyst for Redeemer City to City New York. These are his thoughts about how Gospel Coaching works in his context:
“Redeemer City to City is an agency that promotes church planting and gospel movements in city centers around the world. As part of our global ministry, we have interacted with many leaders and have seen a consistent pattern, like what was described by some Chinese house church pastors: God is blessing the church in China with extraordinary growth.
However, when Chinese churches and ministers (who had experienced God’s blessing in their rural ministries) entered the mushrooming cities of China, they saw less fruitfulness as they tried to minister and communicate the Gospel in the same ways that had been blessed in the countryside.
Over a decade ago, several Dutch denominations approached us. While they were thriving outside of urban areas, they had not been able to start new, vital churches in Amsterdam in years — and most of the existing ones had died out. These leaders knew the Gospel; they had financial resources; they had the desire for Christian mission. But, they couldn’t get anything off the ground in the biggest city of their country.
There are many reasons we focus on Urban Church Planters:
1. The world is becoming increasingly urban. For the first time since the Roman Empire, over 50% of the world now lives in an urban environment. Recent studies show that number will rise to 60% by 2030. If God loves people, cities have to be a focus for His church.
2. Urban centers have traditionally been centers for cultural change. I live in Manhattan, New York. I have seen many trends in this city that have influenced national behaviors. The fact that movies and television are based in New York only gives more outlets to this power of influence.
But there are many challenges to plant a church in urban areas:
1. The cost of living is usually very high. The cost of planting a church can be up to 5 times the normal start up cost.
2. Urban areas are typically transient. The Church Planter may do fine in one season only to lose a large part of his congregation the next summer and have to start over.
3. The density and diversity of urban centers create options that are constantly luring people away from life in Christian community.
Bitter fruit can plague a leader who underestimates the opportunities. Cities create the following challenges:
· Gospel fatigue — Can the gospel really change me, my people, and create a new community?
· Leadership fatigue — Why are my leaders burning out, leaving or creating noise?
· Financial fatigue — Why are we running through our resources at an unsustainable rate without enough growth in giving?
The fast paced, always changing landscape of Urban Church Planting demands that the leader have someone with them who is not in the thick of the battle of starting a church. This is where an Urban Church Planting Coach is vital to the viability and the sustainability of a church planting project.
On top of that, to have GOSPEL CENTERED COACHING is key. Traditional coaching can easily play into the performance driven nature of urban life, but Gospel Coaching helps the Church Planter maintain their relationship with God in the midst of frenzied activities.
That’s why when City to City saw CMM’s approach to coaching, we knew it was the model that we needed for true success. The stress of planting a church is great; it’s even greater in an urban setting. We needed a format that would keep the Planter’s heart close to the Gospel, and we found that format in Gospel Coaching.
I can’t imagine a leader wanting to step into the chaos of Urban Church Planting without a Gospel Coach. Let’s not let them!”
Remember: You don’t have to face the challenges of your ministry alone. A Gospel Coach will help encourage and equip you every step along the way. He’s been there and done hard things. He cares about you, your wife, and your family and can speak truth.
Click here to learn more about Coaching for Church Planters, Pastors, and Ministry Leaders today!
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!