A little over two years ago I began a quest to make my health a priority. Having a job where I sit most of my day long-term at a desk, means I put my body at risk for many health issues when I’m older. The process came with many struggles and failures as I battled against the formation of many bad habits. Many years of poor eating, long meetings, and overall no plan for my health, meant beginning this journey from a foul starting line. Not only was it hard to promote discipline, but it was also hard to know what disciplines to start with. To be successful with my goals I needed to reprogram my body and mind to make different choices, that proved difficult. Overall I flounder, and my progress was slow.

One day I stumbled upon an article in an online fitness journal. The writer was a famous female fitness coach dedicated to helping the masses accomplish their desired health goals. Yes, she’s everything you’re imagining right now: rock-hard abs, chiselled biceps, perfect skin and hair, flawlessly posed inside a gym, with a distant yet profound look of determination on her face. Nonetheless, the point that hit me the hardest was that she credited her success to the coaches that carried and sustained her accomplishments.

She explained how success was defined by the key coaches placed around her. These coaches embodied the source of her real strength, and when, not if, a moment of weakness came, this support system of people were ready to help out.

What? Coaches? There’s no way! To our folly, we all too often believe success is a one-player-game. If you’re on top of your industry, like this phenom of fitness is, then you must have everything worked out. One would think she’s got discipline on a short leash. The reality is, she needs others to help her realize success!

I Don’t Need a Coach, They Would Just Hold me Back!
Our LifeGroup Guide Team, the team that provides oversight to all of LifeGroups, has worked strategically over the past year to recruit and train a team of LifeGroup Coaches. The primary purpose of a LifeGroup Coach is to be a resource and lifeline for LifeGroup Leaders, practically walking alongside to provide prayer, love, resources, and encouragement. Coaches look to nurture the soul of LifeGroup Leaders, develop skills, and strengthen their group.

So often I see LifeGroup Leaders try to do discipleship in a group setting alone and fail. Most new LifeGroup Leaders have a tendency to focus on what they want to DO in their small groups, and who they want to join their group, rather than considering what will make them and their group successful disciple-makers.

Trying to do anything alone most often ends in failure, or at least not fully achieving what was set out for in the first place. When’s the last time you witnessed a professional athlete, musician, or actor give an acceptance speech without acknowledging an army of people dedicated to their success?

Here are three reasons why LifeGroup Leaders need a Coach.

Accountability to Plan and Follow Through
Accountability means answering or accounting for your actions and results. When’s the last time you heard someone say, “I really need to be more accountable for my results?” I can’t count the times I’ve witnessed leaders start out with great intentions, but the follow-through never happened. I get it, I’ve been there myself. Sometimes we leaders don’t know where to start, how to get there, and what we should be focusing on for success. Accountability helps to eliminate the waste of unnecessary time and effort on distracting activities or unproductive behaviour. Stephen Covey author of the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says, “Accountability breeds response-ability.”

“Accountability is like rain—everyone knows they need it, but no one wants to get wet.”

Limited Knowledge and Foresight
If every leader held all knowledge required for success, then success would have already been achieved. If you’re reading this, you would probably agree, there are gaps in your knowledge of ministry or leaders, a lack of experience, necessary expertise or training, even your spiritual gifts are limited. There’s probably necessary aspects of your success you don’t even know you should know–that’s confusing. LifeGroup Coaches expose leaders to new thinking, ideas, and methodology. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe states, “The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.” When LifeGroup Leaders – in humility – embrace their lack of know-how and reach out to their LifeGroup Coach, it organically elicits input, thus helping the group to drive forward, rather than get stuck in a rut.

Incomplete Abilities and Skills
To this day I still can’t play an intelligible version of Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix, even after playing guitar for more than a decade. I lack the ability and the swagger – but that’s a whole other blog topic. I do however have a great sense of rhythm, always have. Very little effort was needed to sharpen this ability. The point is, LifeGroup Coaches help Leaders to discover and empower others that possess the abilities they lack. If you desire your group to develop, know your soft spots, be ok with them, and lean on others. Trust your LifeGroup Coach to help you spot those lacking skill areas in the first place.

We’re built to lean on others for guidance. When it comes to leading a LifeGroup, Coaches are that guide. Simon Sinek says something that can help to explain the purpose of a LifeGroup Coach by stating, A leader’s job is not to do the work for others, it’s to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible.”