I started playing the piano when I was 8 years old and continued to take lessons until I was a senior in high school. Throughout the years I had teachers who challenged me and others who just took my money. My favorite teacher was in fact my last one, Rio Clemente. A local jazz musician who worked with musicians like Luther Vandross he was motivating and always called me out when I was slacking. It was him that I learned that if I wanted to get better at something it was going to take persistence and hard work.
When it comes to a special skill or craft like sports or music it’s easy to accept the fact that coaches help you improve. In youth ministry it might seem like an odd concept at first. But, if you think about it, you need a coach because one will:
Give You An Outside Objective: You are constantly in the trenches; therefore, you aren’t seeing everything happening in your ministry. A coach is watching from the outside and can give you the big picture.
Holds You Accountable: A coach is someone who will know your strengths and weaknesses. They will help you improve on your speaking, communication, organization, delegation, etc. You just need to let them in on the details of your ministry and life and they’ll help you follow through.
Provides New Resources: A coach’s job is to constantly improve the person they are coaching. That means always being on the lookout for materials, exercises and opportunities that will help you grow as a leader, communicator, employee and even spouse.
Ensures You Aren’t Alone: Even if you are married, and have a great relationship with your pastor, a coach will be there to help you through the dark periods. Ministry is a long journey and you need someone cheering you on and picking you up. You need someone challenge you and raising the bar. A coach makes sure you never feel alone.
So, how do you go about finding a coach in ministry? Find a veteran youth worker, or a former volunteer. Ask to meet with them monthly, give them your vision and have them set the agenda. Before you ask anyone, make sure it’s someone you trust to speak truth into your life. You might not always like what a coach has to say; yet, if the relationship is good you will grow stronger.
Do you have a coach? How have they helped you in your ministry?