One of the activities that a mentor can play is that of a coach. In fact, real change in ministry ability, will be most effective only when the person is effectively coached.
Bill Hull, in The Disciple-Making Pastor, suggests that the Biblical model as demonstrated by Jesus Christ in building his team is very similar to the modern day athletic coach. He does know what excellence in a particular skill or ability looks like. When the player is on the team, they are committed to excellence in execution because they know the effectiveness of the team depends upon it. Hard practice, discipline, and corrective feedback is the norm for a person desiring to be effective, and it is the coach that makes this happen.
Hull describes six steps derived from the teachings of Jesus on the coaching process used in mentoring a disciple for spiritual growth:
1. Tell them what
2. Tell them how
3. Show them how
4. Do it with them
5. Let them do it
6. Deploy them
Let’s focus on Step 5. Implied is the need for observation and feedback. The best coaches don’t shut their eyes during the game and hope for the best when their player’s are on the field! Nor do they yell at the players when they do something bad. The best coaches observe what happened and, based upon their experience and knowledge of what excellence looks like, provide concrete feedback on how to do it better. If you have ever taken lessons on game of golf, sailing, riding a motorcycle, or music lessons, to name a few, what do you remember that really helped you be better? When you were told what to change (“try it this way….”), not what NOT to do (“Don’t do that!”).
Coaches are specialized in their fields. Just as there are defensive and offensive coaches in athletics (because the skills are so different), there are coaches who have a passion for specific aspects of ministry. Your role as an evangelist is primarily to be a mentor and coach on the topic of evangelism (Ephesians 4:11-12). Use the simple 6 step approach and you will unleash as flurry of evangelism from your church.
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