3 Marks of Coachable Leaders
I’ve been blessed to coach great leaders who are starting new missional churches around the country. The best leaders are hungry for wisdom and insight! Here are things I’ve noticed in them. Look for these qualities in yourself and other leaders you are trying to add to your team.
1. Coachable leaders get the concept of spiritual authority.
Our world is full of authority based upon titles and position (the boss, the supervisor, my elders). In church work we tend to recognize Christ as our leader and everyone else is just on the same level as we are. But Scripture recognizes leaders based upon their accomplishments, their sufferings, and their character – whether they have a title or not. Good leaders will try something they don’t even want to do out of respect for the one asking them if the asker is one of spiritual authority. Peter was a good leader when he said, “Lord, they aren’t biting tonight; but because you have asked me, I’ll drop the nets again.” It’s no wonder Jesus was willing to entrust so much to Peter. Good leaders have an open spirit to doing hard things when asked by those who have earned the right to ask hard things.
2. Coachable leaders are action-oriented.
Almost all the leaders I work with love discussing their work. Who doesn’t love a good coffee and brainstorming session? The good leaders though are bent toward doing something to show the love of God in a tangible way. In a coaching session I take notes of what I discuss with other leaders. At the bottom of the page is a title labeled “Assignments.” It’s just a list of what the leader has decided he is going to do based upon our coaching time. If that label is left blank, we may have a tremendous discussion, but we have not coached. Leaders catalyze activities. Paul urged a hesitant Timothy to not neglect his leadership giftings and get back to the doing side of his work. Few leaders will build the city of Rome, but all good leaders are active in building something. Do you just want to talk about God or do you want to serve him?
3. Coachable leaders are humble
Regardless of endeavor, being coached can be a brutal exercise. You know the play you want to run. You know the outcome you desire. But somewhere between staring at our phones and parenting our kids, the play you said you would run does not happen. How are you going to respond afterwards when asked, “Say that conversation you said you were going to have, how come that did not happen?” Our response to accountability questions will reveal so much about our maturity. Satan bombards us with shame and criticism constantly. It’s very easy for him to twist a healthy question of accountability into an accusation. Will we puff up with pride or will we own the results of our declarations? This is one of the often overlooked strengths of having Christ inside of us. We no longer have to defend our ego; that is now Jesus’ job. Because of his faithful love we are now free to examine our gaps in follow-through and work on them without fear of condemnation or shame.
So what kind of leader are you: are you easy to talk to or are you quick to cover up? Let's be an absolute pleasure for Jesus to coach.
Don't let a bad first impression be a lasting impression
When people step into a church worship event, they should come in contact with numerous volunteer teams that are all there to make sure the experience is a great experience. We want guests to say “Wow! I’m impressed,” within the first 10 minutes of their visit. We want people to know that they are important to us by providing a warm, and safe environment for them to take their next step toward Christ.
First Impressions Matter
First impressions are lasting impressions. We’ve left restaurants, hotels, and stores because of our initial impression.
· It smelled badly.
· It was dirty. Or worse, unsanitary.
· It just seemed unsafe.
· The first person we met didn’t care.
· There was no one to meet. No one.
· We waited. And waited. And waited no longer.
· Some of these places we’ve endured for the first visit, but as we left we knew: we’d never be back!
What are the first impressions of your church worship event?
· Do people know where to park?
· Do people know where to enter the building?
· Is there significant amount of signage that will help guide guests to the best area of greeting and information?
· Is the entrance inviting or awkward?
· How many people do guests interact with before the Worship Experience Starts?
· During the worship experience, can they understand what is happening?
Below are some specifics things to put in place to help make a great first impression.
C.T.U. (Chairs, Tables & Ushers)
These teams serve in snow, rain and sunshine to assist guests in finding an open parking space.. They also provide security during the services, throughout the facility. They welcome guests with greetings from the curb to the front doors to the entry of the auditorium. Once inside the auditorium CTU offer assistance in finding a seat.
E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Assistance) Guest Services
These teams provide information at the information table, hand out bulletins to partners, attenders, and guests. Coffee & refreshment tables are catered and prepped. These tables are maintained throughout the service by the EPA. During setup the EPA also makes sure all signage (I,e, Children’s areas, bathrooms, and specialty tables are prepared and manned throughout the service.
Here are some tips for your EPA team:
Main Door Greeters:
· Greet every person coming through the doors
· Shaking hands is not required – read body language
· If someone needs further help of any kind, offer personal assistance if possible, or take them to another team member who can help them
· Minimum of 2 greeters at the main doors
· Remain at door 15 minutes after service begins; longer if traffic flow dictates
· Return to your door position immediately following the service to hold the door for those leaving
Auditorium Door Greeters:
· Distribute bulletins or handouts
· If someone needs further help of any kind, offer personal assistance if possible, or take them to another team member who can help them.
· Offer assistance to parents with young children; direct them to age-appropriate ministry
· Encourage people to sit toward the front, even though there may be adequate seating elsewhere. They’ll be able to see full facial expression up close! Remember, the front row is always open!
· Set up all brochures in an attractive, eye catchy yet not eye obtrusive manner.
· Read up on and familiarize yourself with all information in the bulletin so that you can answer guests’ questions and provide the best possible guest service.
· Be ready for guests by 1/2 hour before services start.
- Smile! Look approachable, friendly, and willing to help at all times.
· All other guest service volunteers should come out from behind the kiosk to intermingle with the guests without the kiosk as a barrier.
· When the auditorium is full, help usher/greeters with the set up of the Atrium (chairs, noise level, worship atmosphere, taking the offering, etc.)
· Be able to free yourself up to assist newcomers to the downstairs area for their children, provide a tour of the facility, etc.
Remember, first impressions matter. Don't let a bad first impression be a lasting impression.