11 Reasons Every Church Leader Needs A Coach
By: Vanderbloemen June 28, 2017
Coaching can take on many different forms. You can have a personal coach, online coaching, group coaching (like our Executive Pastor and Lead Pastor Coaching Networks), and coaching as a form of counseling. Regardless of what it looks like, it is vitally important that leaders have someone to walk alongside in their ministry journey. Below I’ve listed some reasons why you should consider getting a coach.
1. Outside perspective
Ministry is the only career that involves your entire being - it’s your entire spiritual, professional, and social world. Because of this, it can be extremely difficult to avoid getting caught in the reeds of your daily routine. Utilizing the perspective of an objective third party can help you find your place in these different worlds.
2. Work-life balance
A coach can help you stay accountable to a healthy work-life balance. Church leaders often work long hours, putting others before their family and not taking enough personal time for themselves. Someone who is outside your church but still aware of your day-to-day routine can help you set healthy boundaries by reminding you to say ‘no’ from time to time.
3. Navigating tough situations
Working in ministry requires you to have difficult conversations on occasion. Sometimes you may need to let go of a staff member or talk through the loss of a member with the congregation. A coach can help lead you in the right direction in having those difficult conversations in an effective and thoughtful way.
4. Guidance that is tailored to your stage of growth
Every pastor is different. A church planter’s gifts will be different than the gifts of a pastor of 3,000, so find someone who can help you in the unique stage of growth that you’re currently in. Growth is exciting, but it also comes challenges. Find someone who can give you guidance in both the difficult and exciting stages.
5. Goal setting
Setting goals is key to constantly improving your ministry. Someone who can help you make healthy and attainable goals is just as important. A coach can help you align your goals with your mission and vision and know whether they align with the direction your church is headed.
6. Dealing with “people problems”
Ministry is a relational occupation, which means eventually you will face people problems. We see these every day by working with churches all over the country.
For example, William Vanderbloemen was once sitting at a round table with 15 senior pastors and he asked “What is the single greatest hurdle in your ministry right now?” Every single pastor mentioned a people problem:
- “How do I hire?”
- “How do I fire?”
- “How do I have this difficult conversation?”
7. Learning from others’ experience
Learning from your peers is essential to growth. Find a coach who has been in your place before and can tell you whether you are on target, getting ahead of yourself, or lagging on where you should be. This coach can help give you context for what the stage in your ministry should look like at the time.
Our Executive Pastor and Lead Pastor Coaching Networks are designed specifically with peer-to-peer coaching in mind. Our facilitators have all been in the trenches of church leadership and understand the joys and challenges of day-to-day ministry work. We also limit it to a small group of 16 people, so that the conversations can be intentional and tailored to the specific needs of the group. For more information on our round-table coaching networks, click here.
8. Encouragement and support
Romans 12:15 says: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.”
You need to have someone who can celebrate your wins in good seasons and sit and encourage you during tough seasons. In that, they will continually point you toward Jesus and the main reason you're doing what you do.
9. Facing challenges
Challenges never cease to present themselves and don't always get easier with time. As a leader, you will face challenges, both good and bad, so having someone to walk with you through those challenges is important. We were not created to face life alone and so it is healthy to have a good support system to walk in ministry with you.
10. Opportunity to learn
The moment you think you’ve learned it all is the moment you should probably retire. Learning makes us better and makes what could be the boring day-to-day exciting.
Here at Vanderbloemen, we never settle for average, and we continue to improve every day. With that improvement comes the ability to learn new systems, processes, and a fresh perspective. We offer many resources to help churches lead their team, one of which is Vanderbloemen Academy. Vanderbloemen Academy is an on-demand video training curriculum where you can learn from church leadership experts on how to build, run, and keep a great ministry team.
11. Avoiding burnout
We’ve seen many leaders fall to burnout and it’s often because they have no one pouring into them or holding them accountable. Leaders feel pressure from everyone around them to be a “perfect” leader, and that is simply unattainable.
Sometimes leaders try to do more and be more, and end up becoming workaholics that don’t spend time with family and friends. A coach can remind you what your priorities are and maintain a healthy balance.
How has your experience with a coach helped your leadership?