Finding Your Guiding Light: How Do I Identify Potential MPD Coaches and Trainers in My Organization?
by Ellis Goldstein (Article provided by Support Raising Solutions)
World-class Ministry Partnership Development (MPD) training is not enough to move your staff to full funding. You need to develop a cadre of coaches to come alongside your staff members.
How do you identify, recruit, and train potential coaches in your organization? Who are the ones who possess the gifting and ability to train and coach your staff in MPD?
The following are core competencies, personal qualifications, and people skills and abilities coaches either need to possess or can grow in. We don’t expect our new coaches to be fully mature in their abilities when we choose them to become coaches, but we are committed to developing them into competent coaches. Consider the following in your quest to recruit a coach:
- A coach must have laser beam focus and vision for the Great Commission. This vision and focus keep the coach on target for what his/her objective is: to coach their staff to be fully funded so they can be fully engaged in the Great Commission.
- You need someone who does not need his/her hand held every step of the way in coaching. Look for someone who knows how to be self-motivated.
- Do not underestimate the importance of God-given common sense. We need smart coaches, but a smart person without common sense doesn’t make a good coach. A coach needs to be a person who is practical and can take all the MPD knowledge he or she has and make good, sound decisions when coaching a staff member.
- Who in your organization models a personal commitment and ownership of his/her own MPD? That is a great place to begin to look for a coach. I’ve seen organizations hire people who don’t raise support to coach their staff. A person who has not raised support and does not live on support cannot coach out of the experiential knowledge that is essential for a coach to have. I would not want someone to perform surgery who has only read about the procedure. A coach needs to be someone who has walked in the same shoes as your staff.
- Look for people who are committed to your organization’s MPD values and methodology. You want creative coaches, but you do not want someone who will undermine your or your organization’s values. This doesn’t mean some things in your organization do not need to change, but you do not want someone who is not fully supportive of your leadership and what you teach.
- Look for people who like to shepherd, encourage, and mentor others. Coaching is not only about helping your staff raise the funding for their ministry, but also involves developing your staff spiritually. MPD is a process where your staff learn to trust God in ways that they most likely have not done thus far. A coach has the privilege of entering that process with them. Coaches must be those who love the Word and use it in their coaching. They must be committed to more than metrics and need to be people who deeply care about others and want to help them experience God in new and stretching ways.
Equipping, training, and developing your coaches is not only essential but also challenging for small organizations. Here are some suggestions:
- Groom your coaches to become trainers at your MPD training for your new staff members. Provide them the opportunity to learn to train.
- Develop a plan of what needs to be covered in coaching appointments. Take advantage of Support Raising Solutions and the training they provide for coaches. Connect with other organizations who have a reputation for coaching. Ask if you can spend time with them. Interview them to discover what they do to train their coaches. Ask if you could “tag along” on some coaching appointments.
- As you grow the number of coaches in your organization, create a “coaches’ huddle” that meets by Hangout every two weeks to discuss MPD skills, challenges coaches are facing, and for mutual encouragement. This is a great way to learn and gain wisdom from each other.
Don’t overlook what could be a gold mine of potential coaches within your organization. Full-time or part-time coaches? There are some people in your ministry who would make excellent coaches, but they may have ministry responsibilities they cannot give up. We have many part-time MPD coaches who are some of our finest coaches. They are committed to four hours of coaching per week and have a caseload of at least three people. Here’s a gem not to miss. Cru staff moms are finding a place to serve within Cru as coaches. They have grown into excellent coaches. These mothers are active in their own MPD and model it for the staff they coach.
As you grow your coaches and they successfully coach staff to full funding, you will see the MPD culture change your organization. Leaders will take notice. MPD will start to move from something that has to be done to something that is seen as absolutely essential in the spiritual lives of your staff. What’s more important, we will all move closer to the goal of giving everyone on this planet the opportunity to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ, which is why we are committed to coach staff to full funding.