Coaching a Ministry Team

"Coaching a Team"

By Dr. Charlie Worley


Coaching a team is a great way to lead a group of diverse people. And, it is not much different from coaching an individual.


For example, the local church structure usually has several different groups of people, each organized around a common ministry such as children's ministry, worship team, governing board or council, elders, deacons, youth ministry, etc.


These groups may or may not have internal organization including a leader, mission statement, job description of list of expectations, designated lines of authority and communication, policies and procedures, officers, meeting times, and relationships to other groups.


A ministry coach for groups or teams in the church, I prefer teams, can be either internal or external. This key person can greatly increase the effectiveness and success of the group or team.


An internal coach is someone who is a member of the group or team. He or she can be the group or team leader, but is the person who's role is to guide the group through developing its own unique mission, structure, values, vision, structure, goal-setting, focus, procedures and evaluation of ministry. The important thing is to clearly identify this person as being the group or team "coach" who will help keep everything focused and on track, and to adequately equip and encourage him or her for coaching.


An external coach is someone that the Senior Pastor, pastor who oversees a particular ministry, ministry leader, or governing group appoints and equips to serve as a coach for a ministry group or team. Like an internal coach, the church has a responsibility to equip, encourage and empower the coach to do his or her job for the group or team.


Coaching a group or ministry team is done primarily by asking coaching questions and guiding the group or team through a series of questions. These questions may follow the 5 R's designed by Bob Logan and Sherilyn Carlton: Relate, Reflect, Refocus, Resource, Review. Or, the coach may us the GROW questions suggested by John Whitmore: Goal, Reality, Options and the W's or what, when, by whom and the will to do it. It is very important for the coach of a team to listen prayerfully, carefully and intentionally while maintaining focus. For more about ministry coaching, link to the Coach and Equip Ministries website page on coaching.


Whether an internal or external coach, this important person has the responsibility to keep the group or team on task, on purpose, in focus and on time.


Every ministry team or group needs a good coach