Five Myths About Children’s Ministry Coaching

I share below my opinion about five common myths concerning coaching. They are based on the synthesis of my learning from Jill VanderWal and Dr. Rainer Kunz of CoachNet International Ministries, as well as conversations with Phil Newell who is my pastor and also a ministry coach to other pastors. You might disagree; in fact, they might disagree in part as well. And that is okay. This is simply the way I see it.

Myth #1: Coaching means telling others what they should do. (Wrong. Actually it involves active listening, asking good, even profound open-ended questions which evoke depth of response, and holding the coachees accountable for their own goals.)

Myth #2: Coaching means training others to do what you have done in ministry. (Incorrect. It is not training to peform ministry functions, it is coming alongside another to help them think and pray through to the next level of their ministry.)

Myth #3: Coaching can only be done by someone who has expertise in a specific area of ministry, e.g., children’s ministry leadership. (Actually it can sometimes be helpful to have someone coach you from a different perspective altogether, someone not beholden to a certain way of doing things or body of expertise. While expertise in your area is not necessarily bad, it also isn’t absolutely necessary.)

Myth #4: Coaching is a limited field which should only be handled by the experts in respective ministry areas. (Nothing could be farther from the truth. The reality is that it is a wide open field. I pray that God raises up a multitude of coaches within the ranks of children’s ministry who will come alongside thousands of older and younger leaders to help them through the stages of their lives and ministries. ***Hint: Even seasoned veterans can benefit from coaching. And the coach might even be someone younger.)

Myth #5: Coaching is basically the same as consulting. (I used to get the two confused. However, coaching is about asking questions and drawing out from the coachee what God is depositing in their lives and ministries. Consulting might have a coaching component, but it also often deals with training in skills and content. Plus it can have a more directive component, depending on the needs of the situation.)

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10 responses to “Five Myths About Children’s Ministry Coaching

  1. Very informative Glen. It’s a topic I know very little about. I’ve never had any coaching, but I certainly see how it would be very beneficial… no matter how many years I’ve been doing this thing.

    I think in the past I’ve not been interested in the idea of coaching because I either did not know how much it would cost (figured it would be too expensive) or I reasoned that I’d rather put that money directly into ministry as opposed into my development. I certainly see the fault of that way of thinking and I can see how the investment in me has the potential to be the wisest investment in resources in the long term.

    Great post Glen, it helped me see this subject matter a little more clearly!

  2. Thanks so much for your comments, Kenny. I am honored to have you visit. I am just now starting to get a handle on what coaching is and isn’t. I have benefited from elements of it from my pastor, although it has never been a formal coaching relationship. Although I am a volunteer, he is still my supervisor, which makes it hard to develop a truly effective long-term coaching relationship.

    I am seriously considering it in the next year or so, probably with a person outside my church and denomination, and possibly even outside of children’s ministry altogether, just to get a different perspective.

    I am so glad this helped. I recommend checking out coachnet.org to learn more. Also, there are other great resources available if you search on the web.

    Come back again!

  3. Glen,

    Thanks for reposting this. As I’ve been going through coaching training (I should be “official” in June), I, too, have noticed that much of what is called “coaching” isn’t technically coaching but more mentoring and consulting. Yes, it’s probably more an issue of sematics, but it is nice to understand the more official uses of terms like coaching, mentoring, and consulting. I have benefitted quite a bit from being coached while going through the training. It is so empowering to be able to think through and come up with solutions that you may not have otherwise considered without a coach asking the right questions to open up new possibilities you already have.

  4. I may get accused of self promotion here, but since I’m not one of the coaches, I’ll take that risk. I’m just encouraged by this post because Kidology Coaching fits this description of coaching very much. While there is some curriculum content that is provided, it serves more as a springboard for conversation than as topical content or as a foundation. Our coaches very much serve more as question asking guides getting to know their coachees one on one and walking them thru a process of self discovery to where they are trying to get next in their life and ministry rather than a group approach or going through lessons as some coaching programs do. So this was very affirming to read.

  5. Glen these are so good! I got this from you right before I started infuse. I make everyone who starts with me read this…it’s one of my first posts for new folks.
    thanks for re-posting…
    to me the greatest honor of coaching is doing life and learning together. Everyone I coach has also coached me in the process.
    good stuff!

  6. Henry, you have been influencing me from afar. Thank you for your kind words and affirmation. I look forward to seeing what God does in and through you in your journey. I would love to engage you further in conversation concerning what God is doing in the culture.

    Karl and Jim, you are two of my heros. Not so much because of your accomplishments, amazing as they are, but because of your love for God and people as expressed through your generosity and accessibility. Thank you!

  7. thanks Glen
    it’s fun being in this together, just think in Heaven we’ll get to do this without the internet or paying a registration fee! :)
    looking forward to it!
    jim

  8. Pingback: Elemental Children's Ministry » Blog Archive » Free Coaching Sessions!·

  9. Pingback: 2010 in review « Glen Woods- Children’s Ministry Conversation·

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