I loved this “advice” from Bob Logan on how to fail at training coaches. The same advice applies for making disciples and training missional leaders.
Here’s a fool-proof way to fail in your coach training endeavors: Train everybody, right now, in big groups. In so doing, you’re denying the very methodology that makes coaching powerful. You can’t produce coaches on a factory assembly line. Good coaches are more like plants—they need to be grown and cultivated and come alongside and watered.
It’s a classic case of short-term thinking vs. long-term thinking. Training en-mass—big groups all at once—works in such a way as to guarantee minimal results long-term. We’re caught in the rat race trying to train as many coaches as possible to keep up with the activity when only those who are patient enough to plant seeds and let them grow will see the real fruit.
We are starting our church plant by intentionally investing lots of time in discipling a small group of leaders initially instead of putting our resources and energy toward getting Sunday services “humming.” This sometimes causes people to scratch their heads and wonder why we’re “starting so slowly.”
How about a follow up post or series of posts, how to succeed at discipleship?
Ben Sternke says
Great idea! Although we're still very much in process of figuring that out. But I do think we're on our way (with a lot of help from others who have been doing it for decades).
To start, though, I'd direct you to Part 8 and Part 9 of my series on Missional Communities, because discipleship plays a huge part in how we're doing those…
Always good to hear from you, Dan!