One-on-one executive leadership coaching is integrated into The Unstuck Process
Through the years, we’ve helped over 400 churches get unstuck. I’ve shared some of those highlights along the way. What I’ve probably neglected to mention, though, is that we’ve also provided leadership coaching to the senior pastors and executive pastors at all of those churches.
I share this because I have people contact me often and ask, “Do you know of anyone who does leadership coaching?” My first reaction is always, “What do you think I do for a living?” Then I realize, their question indicates I haven’t adequately expressed what we do when we engage with churches.
Let me catch you up to speed. I wrote a book called The Unstuck Church. Start there if you haven’t read it. I’m biased, but I think it’s probably some of the best…and cheapest…leadership coaching pastors can get.
We have a process built around the principles in that book that we refer to as The Unstuck Process. The process includes a ministry health assessment. We also provide strategic planning for the future. Then we review the church’s staffing and structure. Finally, we work with pastors to develop an action plan to implement the vision and strategy.
What we don’t share enough, apparently, is that one-on-one leadership coaching is integrated into The Unstuck Process. We don’t offer that for everyone on the team, but senior pastors and executive pastors get coaching throughout the year.
This really does distinguish our leadership coaching. Why? Because pastors become better leaders that lead healthier churches. It’s a both/and experience.
Our leadership coaching is integrated into The Unstuck Process. That means we are also helping the entire team align around a mission, vision and strategy. That’s critical. I don’t think it’s possible to help pastors take their next steps in their leadership if the principles and practices we’re advocating aren’t integrated into an organization that’s also fully aligned.
In my opinion, leadership coaching without attention to organizational health and performance doesn’t work. Let me share a word picture that might help you understand a little better.
Instead of coaching pastors, let’s pretend I coach coaches. In fact, I dream often of the Cleveland Browns organization contacting me and saying,
Leadership coaching without attention to organizational health and performance doesn't work. Click To Tweet
“Tony, we need your help. We’ve been a losing franchise for decades. Will you provide leadership coaching to our head coach so that we can finally turn things around and win a Super Bowl?”
Being a die-hard Browns fan, I would certainly jump at that opportunity. I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned about leadership through the years. None of that coaching will matter, though, if we don’t also assess why the team has been losing for so long. We’d also need to develop a strategy for building a winning franchise. We’d have to make sure we get the right people in the right roles on the coaching staff. We would also need a game plan for winning more games.
(Just in case someone from the Browns organization is reading, that’s the objective. The objective is to win games. But I digress…)
Even if Vince Lombardi came back to life and became the Browns head coach, getting better at leadership, alone, would still not help the Browns win more games. More leadership coaching wouldn’t help without addressing all the other foundational elements of a winning franchise.
Organizations Don’t Align Themselves
The same thing holds true for pastors. Leadership coaching on its own won’t make you a better leader. You need to align that coaching while getting practical organizational help in these areas—
Assessing the overall health of your ministry.
Are you reaching new people for Jesus? Are people taking their next steps towards Christ? If your church is healthy, is it engaging more people?
Building a ministry plan for the future.
Do you know your mission field? Do you have a clear understanding of where God is calling your church to go in the coming years? Do you have a strategy to accomplish that vision..especially in the new normal your church will experience once the coronavirus is behind us??
Aligning your team carry out your vision and strategy.
Do you have the right people in the right roles? Do you have high-capacity leaders over each of your growth engines?
Putting the plan into action.
Have you prioritized what needs action today? Does everyone know who is doing what by when?
The challenge is that these are organizational questions, but really they are leadership questions. Organizations don’t align by themselves. They need leaders to bring that clarity.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many times that leaders think their only responsibility is to set the mission and cast vision for the future. Those are important leadership responsibilities, but that alone will not drive health in an organization. And, more important for us, it will not produce healthy churches that are having a growing Kingdom impact.
That’s why we include that one-on-one leadership coaching throughout our Unstuck Process. Yes, we’ll give you the tools you need to become a stronger leader. But we’ll do that within the context of also helping you lead a healthier church.