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Want to be a good ministry coach?

I'm right in the middle of a Master's in Global Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary, so I'm wrapping up a course on Mentoring in the next couple of weeks. It has been an incredible course that has given me some very practical helps on mentoring and leadership.

If you're like me, then you probably had this grand idea of mentoring, that it involved sitting at the feet of a life-guru, and that in order to be one you had to have a good grasp on just about anything and everything pertaining to life, growth and leadership. This is just not true. There are several types of mentors - some are disciplers, some are spiritual guides, some are coaches, some are teachers, some are counselors, some are teachers, some are sponsors, and some are models.

There's no such thing as one mentor who embodies all of these abilities. And that's OK. I don't need to look for that, and, thank God, I don't need to BE that in order to be a mentor.

The best advice I received from this class was this -
figure out what kind of mentor you are and develop yourself in that area.

If you're a teacher-mentor, then, by-golly, be the best dang teacher-mentor out there. (By the way, the course gives TONS of practical helps on being a teacher-mentor. And it gives tons of practical helps on developing your specific mentor type, whether that's teacher, counselor, discipler, coach, etc.) If you're a discipler-mentor, then be the best discipler-mentor that you can be. Develop yourself in that area. Master that kind of mentoring. Know your tools and have them readily accessible. Pass on anything and everything you receive.

One specific type of mentoring is coaching. Here are 8 insights I gained from the section on coach

1. Coaches have a process for developing and mentoring leaders - demonstrate, debrief, do and release.

2. There are 7 kinds of spiritual and ministry skills that coaches model and develop in others: disciplinary, relational, group, organizational, word, prayer, and persuasion.

3. The 4 empowerment functions of a coach include imparting skills, imparting confidence, motivating and stretching a person, and modeling the importance of learning and knowing the basics.

4. Coaches can improve their mentoring by identifying their skills, recognizing the components of those skills, and how they can be taught to others.

Coaches can improve their mentoring by taking apprentices with them as they demonstrate a skill, then debriefing with that apprentice after the fact.

6. Coaches are recruiters who look for talent. They want to attract that talent and then develop it.

7. Coaches will be most likely use the expectation principle with great power: people have a tendency to try and live up to the genuine expectations of those they admire and respect.

Coaches are practical in nature. They like to show other how things work and how to do it.

Want to read more on the subject of mentoring? Check out these books:

Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need To Succeed In Life by Clinton & Stanley

The Mentor Handbook: Detailed Guidelines and Helps for Christian Mentors and Mentorees
by Clinton & Clinton

Spiritual Mentoring: A Guide for Seeking and Giving Direction by Reese & Anderson

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