October coaching to shepherd

Our ministry values both results and personal growth. That means we coach our staff to strategy (the work of the ministry), as well as to shepherd them (focusing on their hearts). Much of what I’ve talked about in these tips so far this year speaks to strategy.

Today I want to share some thoughts on what it means to “coach to shepherd”. When I talked about Stages of Team Development last week, I mentioned that it’s normal to be tired at this point in the semester.

In coaching to shepherd, we recognize that there are common emotions that our staff experience. And when you consider that our movements typically follow “cycles of momentum”, we can predict what emotions staff will experience over the course of a campus year.

In an unpublished article a team of seasoned staff did some great work on this a few years ago. They listed those emotions month by month, identified possible root issues, and how to respond with appropriate resources. What follows is what they listed for the month of October.

Possible emotions experienced.

  • Weariness / Adrenaline letdown :: Can enter a funk. Real rest needed.
  • Do I have a life? Spouse? etc :: A proper downshift is needed, and how do I do that?
  • May stop depending on the Lord and enter into default mode.
  • Is this worth it?

Possible root issues.

  • Owning that I have perhaps ignored myself, my family, etc.
  • Identity in ministry success :: An over personalization of results defining them.
  • Short term mindset :: Comparison & frustration with results.

Responses and resources.

If you lead any kind of team, you will want to be aware that you must coach to strategy and coach to shepherd. You are seeking to make a difference for Christ. And you are caring people in the process.


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