I was sitting 5 years into ministry, broken down, raw, and ready to throw in the towel. In that moment, I had just been dealt one of the hardest blows of my ministry career, and the ref was on number 8 of a 10 count knockout. I didn’t feel like anyone was in my corner, let alone someone else to talk to.
Have you ever felt like throwing in the ministry towel?
If it wasn’t for having a ministry coach to keep me from giving up, today I probably would be selling toilets door to door (I was that close, true story.) However, if you haven’t been to this point at some time in your ministry, you need to do two things.
1. Thank Jesus you have been incredibly lucky.
2. Get ahead now so that the moment you get hit with that tough moment, you are ready. Or get ahead now so you can AVOID that moment altogether.
What I want you to understand is that everyone needs to have a ministry coach because of the influence multiplier it is. Not only do you personally benefit from a ministry coach, but the ministry you lead and the people that ministry impacts, will see the positive effects. As Bill Hybels says, “Everyone wins, when a leader gets better.” Here’s why:
- I have been stuck in a way that I couldn’t see above the weeds. Sometimes when you are in the middle of something, you can’t see beyond it. I remember when I had to make some tough staffing decisions years ago in our Children’s Ministry. My ministry coach helped me to process through options I had never considered before. He helped me avoid some landmines.
- I needed someone OUTSIDE of my current organization. Sometimes we can get so used to the company culture, habits, and patterns that we miss some great perspectives from someone looking in. A few years ago, we were looking at expanding some of our influence in the Next Gen department. The ministry coach I was working with was able to give me 2-3 other approaches that he had seen other churches experience with success. It allowed me to make an informed decision.
- I needed someone who could fast forward where my current trajectory would likely end me up. This can only happen with someone who has earned their stripes. Look for someone who is humble, because they will share their failures. Failure is an incredible teacher.
- I needed someone who could help me call crazy, crazy and could encourage my success as something to stop, take a moment to thank God for and celebrate.
Have you ever considered a ministry coach? Why or why not?
Chad Hoffman, Executive Pastor Family Life
Alderwood Community Church, Lynnwood, WA