Coaching: Youth Ministry
Called to Be Faithful… But How Does That Go Over With Church Leaders?
Have you been in ministry more than 6 months? If so, can you remember the excitement of your first day in full-time youth ministry?
It’s not a trick question. It is not uncommon that the daily challenges of ministering to your kids, their parents or guardians, as well as other church members, cause us to lose touch with what our goals are…or were when we started. Worse, our passion for kids is strained. Worst of all, our core values go missing.
Why? Responsibilities, expectations, timelines, metrics, conflicts, unforeseen hurdles, shifting demographics and changing missions can derail the best laid plans. The day’s major achievement might simply be: “I got through it.” Sure, some days are going to be like that. But only at great peril can most days be like that.
You’ve heard it said that often the best proactive step you can take is to stop doing something you’re doing, instead of trying to start a new something.
Is it time to stop trying to improve some key element of your professional or personal life—especially if that key element is you—and engage a coach? Why is it that already-elite athletes use coaches?
So, what is your vision for youth ministry?
This should be the first question a good coach asks you. Answers will vary, of course. Whether your vision means “making a difference,” being a change-agent, deepening relationships, creating curriculum, whatever it is…it is your meaning.
Coaching begins with you. It ends with you. What happens in between, well, that’s where transformation grows. You expand your vision. Your career thrives. It’s good.
What’s at stake?
This is the presentation I share with youth ministry majors. It is based on my own experience and is patterned after my book The Ultimate Survival Guide for Youth Ministers.
How Can a Coach Help You In Ministry?
- You need a sounding board…right away.
- You want to expand your potential for impact.
- You must remove a behavior that gets in your way.
- You seek more internal resources to interact with challenging people.
What Does a Ministry Coaching Relationship Look Like?
- It’s confidential
- It’s one-on-one
- We focus on your development and growth
- There must be a good fit—both ways—for any progress to occur
- Progress is tied to results, which you gauge and monitor
- It will require you to be open to implement new approaches
- It’s honest: you’re responsible for change and progress
Is There Value To Being Coached?
That’s a great question! Some questions coming back at you…
- How important are these desired changes to you?
- Assume for a moment that, one year from now, all those changes have been implemented. In a word or two, what would you be thinking or feeling?
- How would you value that progress?
What Types of Coaching Are There?
Another great question! We’ve included a full list, but the two sections are, we believe, the areas you will be most interested in.
- Accountability partner: You desire to have a professional, outside of your ministry’s circle, to help hold you to your commitment to change.
- Lifestyle changes: It might be around your health goals (exercise, weight, etc.). But it might be aimed at attitude, spiritual aspects, etc.
- Motivation: It happens. Sometimes burnout comes knocking on your ministry door. Deal with it early!
- Education: Pursuing more knowledge that helps you in ministry goes way past theological matters. Learn how you can play to your innate strengths so you impact more kids.
- Integration: Mesh together your education, your skills, your talents and your experience.
Interpersonal Skills Coaching
- Adapt behaviors: Everyone has areas for growth. Work on them before someone on staff asks you to.
- Align values: Many of our values—which inform our actions—are unconscious. Get them out in the open. Then empower your actions to your values.
- Enhance communication: Ever notice that you prefer talking with the kids? Or do better connect with the parents? Become a better communicator.
- Implement human capital skills: Are you using all of your strengths? Do you even know what they are?
- Increase impact & influence: Put all of these skills together for profound impact.
- Overcome barriers: Have you heard it said “We have met the enemy and he is us?” This is real and true…but it isn’t a commandment. Overcome!
- Improve results: In ministry we tend to avoid thinking in terms of “results.” But rest assured, many church leaders expect them from you. Don’t wait!
- Expand competencies: As you marvel at seeing your kids grow up, your skills are challenged to grow with them. Sometimes you need to speed up the process.
- Advance teamwork: Working with boards, teams, staff, and groups may demand skills you haven’t had time to grow up.
- Reduce gaps: Been there. Done that. We can help.
OK, I’m Ready. How Do I Get Going?
Good for you! You can’t make progress before you take the first step. You are giving yourself a chance.
Let’s chat! Send us an email: Inquiry@PrepareForRain.com. We’ll coordinate a good time to chat. It will be informal and last about twenty to thirty minutes. We’ll have 2 questions we want to answer: 1) Do we think I can help you? 2) Do you want our help? Your only expense is time. There’s no cost for this initial conversation. By the time we’re done, we should both have a clear sense of what coaching structure will provide the best impact for you, in the shortest amount of time.
A quick request. Please include in your email:
- Your name & phone number (Skype or Google Hangouts, if you have one)
- Your most convenient 3 days and times
- Based on what you know, what appeals to you about ministry coaching
- If you have a hunch, share with us what type of coaching “feels right” to you
- In addition, let us know if a prebuilt program (below) seems to fit you
Take a deep breath, for a couple of reasons.
First, there’s no pressure in this process. At least, not from us. On your end, there probably has been pressure for quite some time. That’s why you’re exploring coaching in the first place, right?
If you decide to engage us in coaching, our goal is for you to immediately feel a reduction in pressure.
Second, dealing with these pressures prompted you to look at coaching. Getting objective perspective from an outside party (your coach) will help you direct your energy toward progress, instead of crisis management.
We can then talk about the fee structure related to the option that best fits you. In addition, we’ll review the Relationship Agreement we both commit to before commencing a coaching program.
Our chat is just between us. Should you decide not to proceed, no harm and no foul. We’ll both have met a new person and, perhaps, made a new friend.
YOUTH MINISTER COACHING
New to youth ministry? Feeling overwhelmed by the relational challenges of interacting with everyone from kids to grandparents…not to mention staff? Starters is just for you! Scaled down to bite-size pieces of coaching, you’ll get the support you need at a price you can afford. While this program is designed to be ala cart, available as you need it, it is recommended that you commit to a minimum of 3 months. Just like you wouldn’t expect to change a kid’s life in one meeting, you wouldn’t want to plan on instant improvement.
Not new to youth ministry? Feeling stressed by the increased complexity that’s come to your ministry now that you’ve been there for a while, and proven your value? The Combo is a 6-month program that delivers an assortment of supportive tools, including one-on-one coaching, assessment tools and resource material to support your professional and personal growth.
OK, you can hardly remember not doing youth ministry. In fact, some of the components of your ministry have become—you’d rather not admit—routine. While you’d wished for effortless in your early years, now it’s almost mindless…and that’s not good. But you still experience God’s call. You just need help getting back to the center. Then you can redeploy your ministry with renewed vision and passion. The Big Enchilada is a 9-month program that will provide you the nutrition and sustenance for reengaging your ministry, long-term, for lasting impact.
Want to learn more? Send an email to Inquiry@PrepareForRain.com.