How important is coaching for leaders in ministry? Research shows that five disciplines make a huge difference in the success rate of a church plant (and, by extension, parish ministry): vocational discernment, training, support (personal and financial), coaching, and risk assessment. The first three increased the likelihood of success in planting significantly. But, coaching took it to a new level.
The power of coaching is, first of all, encouragement. A monthly phone call from someone whom you know is on your side and who is cheering for you is uplifting. It's often a drink of water to a thirsty soul when your coach asks, "What can we celebrate from this last month?" Or when ministry feels overwhelming your coach asks, "So, what part of Jesus' job do you think you are trying to do?"
The power of coaching is also focus. Parish ministry presents thousands of potential ways of using time. Attempting to meet conflicting demands enervates us. Having someone regularly asking insightful questions related to our ministry goals keeps us focused.
We all need a coach, someone with wisdom, insight, and experience; someone who is cheering for us; someone to help stay focused. I highly recommend Coaching 101 with Jenni Bartling (April 13-14 at Trinity School for Ministry). For clergy looking for a coach, Canon Mary Hays (email@example.com) brings a wide breadth of experience and wisdom.
Coaching is absolutely worth the time and the cost!