Online coach helps pastor refocus on discipleship
Leaders2Learners.ca is an online learning community and social networking site designed by the Resourcing Churches Developing Leaders service team of the Canadian conference. Through a variety of assessments and tools, the website provides online learning opportunities for leaders and ministry teams in the areas of spiritual renewal, theological enrichment and skill development (life skills and ministry skills).
Fiftysomething Steve has served as lead pastor at Rural Community Church for nine years. The church has seen their Sunday attendance double during his tenure, but lately Steve and his leadership team have felt increasingly convicted that their church is failing in the area of discipleship. They have been faithful in proclaiming the gospel through various programs, but they haven’t seen people come to faith in Christ or exhibit real transformation toward Christ-centredness.
According to recent surveys, most people enjoy the varied programs Rural Community Church offers, but passion for reaching the community with the gospel seems to be lacking. Steve is looking for someone to provide insight on how to renew the church’s focus on discipleship and seeing their community transformed by the good news of Jesus.
A fellow pastor invites Steve to visit www.leaders2learners.ca (L2L), where he signs up and quickly clicks “Coach Me.”
The link opens an assessment form that Steve completes.
Steve’s submission goes to Daniel at the L2L office, who reads Steve’s responses and connects with him to set up a time for an assessment coaching conversation.
The two connect via GoToMeeting, which is integrated into L2L, and are able to see each other via their webcams. This initial conversation helps clarify Steve’s learning interests, and the resources and help he’s looking for. The L2L team then suggests some appropriate content (for example, an article on developing missional communities) and prayerfully discerns that Tim would be the best coach for Steve.
Daniel forwards Steve’s assessment to Tim, an approved volunteer L2L coach, who gets in touch with Steve via the L2L messaging system. Tim sets up a confidential cluster and coaching appointment with Steve.
Tim identifies specific questions Steve should answer online before their first call. Tim and Steve alone have access to the shared questions.
Tim and Steve connect online for their first coaching conversation, pray together and discern the best way forward. Over the course of several coaching conversations, Steve receives the needed resources and encouragement to take the next step as a leader.
Tim’s attentiveness to the leading of the Holy Spirit, prayer, coaching, and L2L’s resources have given Steve a renewed focus on discipleship and gospel fluency, and helped him explore new ways to reach his community. Through L2L, Steve is also able to connect with a small group (cluster) of like-minded pastors and leaders for prayer and mutual encouragement.
L2L meets needs:
> L2L integrates GoToMeeting, a video conferencing service that enables face-to-face collaboration online.
> A calendar system helps users keep track of scheduled online meetings.
> Coaches can see a list of their current coachees.
> Coaches can create questionnaires for one-time or multiple use.
> Responses from assessment forms can be forwarded to approved L2L coaches.
> L2L users can create confidential clusters for online collaboration and learning.
> Online conversations between coaches and coachees are private and can be deleted when a relationship ends.