“Movements live and die on good mentoring and coaching.” - Roy Moran
In a world where discipleship has become nominal, often boiling down to knowledge acquisition or a personal devotion to God, the concept of ongoing coaching emerges as a beacon of intentional relational discipleship. Many Christians have not actively shared their faith or taught someone how to become a Christian in the last six months. Could this stagnation be attributed in part to a breakdown in biblical obedience based discipleship? How can the principle of coaching revive discipleship?
Ongoing coaching is perhaps the most crucial element in discipleship. It provides accountability, inspiration, and a framework for consistency in action based learning. Without it, the teachings we applied at first can quickly waiver. Coaching helps believers to follow a chosen process faithfully, resisting the temptation to tweak it prematurely. The term "coaching," though originating in the sports world, is proposed as a means of redeeming and redefining discipleship. In a world where the term has become increasingly nominal, attaching qualifiers like "sold out disciple" or "100% committed disciple," coaching infuses the idea that discipleship is ongoing intentional and relational learning for every believer.
Ephesians 4 calls each of us to build up the body of Christ for the maturity of every believer. The emphasis of the passage is not a top-down hierarchy, but empowering coaching relationships, as advocated by many catalytic leaders in modern disciple-making movements. A brand new believer doesn't need to know everything to coach others; they just need to be one step ahead and continue to get more steps from the person who is further along than them. Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples, granting them authority to equip, train, and coach others. Embracing this mandate becomes crucial for effective discipleship, emphasizing the importance of being teachable and submitting to authority. When coaching is done right, a deep trust in the Holy Spirit acknowledges that God's outcomes surpass human coaching. He is our head coach, and we can't do it without Him or a team spurring us on to spiritual victories.
Jesus simply sent His disciples into the harvest. He gave them a short-term assignment with instructions. The sending of the twelve (Luke 9) and the sending of the seventy-two (Luke 10) share the same characteristics of a feedback loop. In both examples they were asked to go and try to heal, exorcise, and preach, and then to return. The return is vital to the nature of the coaching relationship. In this approach, there is no failure, only valuable feedback and permission to experiment. In our experience, almost all disciple making efforts experience initial failure. People hit real walls and need help to process them as learning experiences.
After initial Christian training, you need someone to guide you as you implement that basic training. You need someone you can ask questions to and someone that will help you troubleshoot tough situations. It’s common in movements to meet weekly with a coach in your first 2-3 years of getting started. Many in disciple making movements take the basic training over and over and over again and humbly learn something new each time. You will need that much input and support into what you’re doing to be effective, just like the 3 years that Jesus spent doing life with his disciples.
Watch our recent video to learn more about coaching:
What is the "Ongoing Coaching" call for disciple makers?
Would you like to grow in disciple making and pass along what you've learned to help others make disciples? Do you want to hear practical everyday life examples from ordinary people rather than another evangelism sermon? Our ongoing coaching zoom call is a time of celebration, training, inspiration and good news of what God is doing. We help one another troubleshoot, pray, and come up with missional next steps [typically in breakout groups by geographic context]. As an action based learning community and team of equals we influence one another by our lived example of joining God in His Kingdom mission. Please consider joining us!
Ongoing coaching call participants agree to the following policy: [one time participants may be exempted from agreeing to this full policy] 1. Pledge myself fully to the Lord with the anticipation that I am entering a time of accelerated spiritual transformation. 2. Be prepared on a weekly basis to form a missional next step or "I will" statement, in order to contribute to ongoing accountability as a disciple making community. 3. Contribute to an atmosphere of confidentiality, honesty, equality amongst peers, and transparency for the edification of others in the group as well as my own spiritual growth. 4. Pray every week for the other men/women who are on the discipleship journey with me. 6. Agree to all or the majority of the real life theology faith statement to fuel disciple making.
7. Participate in the Disciple Makers Pathway at some point in order to get the basic training of disciple making principles