“Great coaches help their leaders develop both as persons and leaders.” So says Joel Comiskey in lesson six of “Coach: Empower Others to Effectively Lead a Small Group,” which I am currently going through with our coaches at National Community Church.
Comiskey’s sixth lesson is on development, which he characterizes as a “life-long process of helping a person mature and grow,” as opposed to the short-term process of training.
Toward that end, his focus is on a coach’s need to resource their leaders, equipping them with what they need to succeed. That, of course, entails discovering what they need, and he highlights several things to be on the lookout for — discouragement, knowledge deficiency, personal difficulties, hidden sin, rebellion, and small group member difficulties. As a coach, it’s vital to be knowledgeable and well-informed so you can point leaders to websites, books, articles, conferences, small groups, or other resources they may find beneficial.
Comiskey also notes the importance of “resourcing” in the moment through listening and prayer when a leader shares a deep struggle with you, as well as following up to remind a leader when they need encouragement to follow through with something they’ve committed to.
I often tell our coaches that, when a leader wants a form of mentoring or accountability they aren’t equipped to provide, their job is help the leader find it. That may include coaching them through the process of establishing those relationships, but it also involves resourcing them — pointing them to places where they can find what they need. That may mean directing them to Celebrate Recovery or the C.S. Lewis Institute Fellows Program or encouraging them to join a particular small group where you know members are transparent and vulnerable. As a coach, the more you can be aware of such options, the better equipped you will be to resource your leaders with whatever they need.