The All-important First Coaching Call.

Every one of us knows how important it is in establishing a new believer in the faith. We have always said to meet again with the one who just placed their faith in Christ within 24 hours. And as a matter of course we should point them to We want to give them every advantage in seeing the new life become a reality for them.

In the same way, when we meet someone who wants to make a difference for Christ in their community or on their campus, it is important to let them know that help is available. Incidentally, they may not speak the same language or have different motivations. But we can help them take the next steps and guide the process in becoming a leader of a spiritual movement.

Linda Woods, Bridges International Campus Coach, offers a glimpse of what she does in that all-important first coaching call with someone interested in reaching International Students. This is her training piece to help others begin coaching.


Assume that you have texted, emailed or called to set up a time to talk.  You can talk on the phone, or set up a FaceTime or Google Hangout for that time.  (Instruct your potential Key Volunteer to respond to the Hangout invitation if you go that route.)

For the first call, or two, you will want to get to know each other.  These appointments need to be planned out as well.  Here are some ways that they could go.

Call #1

Hi, my name is (Linda).  I’m glad we could find a time to talk face to face about starting a ministry to internationals on your campus.

We know a little bit about each other, so I would like to take time on this call to get to know each other better. Maybe I can also share about how I came to be working for Bridges International.

For starters, tell me about your college experience. (Year in school, major, what classes you are taking, what you like best and least about school, etc.)

Are you involved in ministry at all?  What have you done?  What are your time commitments?

Ask about their family and their personal God story (testimony).

NOTE: You can break up the “interview” by sharing your testimony and work experience here.  Please keep it brief, but be personal.  Re-state anything that you heard in their story that you can relate to and why.  (This will help build trust and rapport.)

Say, “I know that you have a heart for International Students.  How did this come about?  Why do you want to work with them?  Is there a people group that is more interesting to you than others?  Why?”  (You can interject your own personal experiences here.)

One of the first things we will talk about in coaching is to have a personal vision for what you want to see God do among International Students on your campus.

For example:  Here is my vision…. (State your own personal vision here.) Does that sound like something you want to do?  If you don’t or aren’t quite ready for that, we can work on it together!

What we will do together in our coaching times:  As we talk about Kingdom Vision, we will also talk about building a team of like-minded people. Ministry is always more fun when we are doing it with friends.  As you are building up your team, the third thing we will concentrate on is how to brainstorm, strategize and make a plan of attack!  Once you strategize, you might find that you need to be trained and equipped in various ways.  All these steps involve being coached which is what I can help with!  This is the thing that ties all that we do together.

We have covered a lot and barely scratched the surface!  Do you have any questions so far?  Well, we will try to keep this call to one hour or less.  Is this a good time for you?  Could we meet again next week?  In the meantime, be thinking about your Kingdom Vision.

Note:  It might be best to wait on the following until your Key Volunteer is fully vetted.
FYI: Format of a call: (let your KV know the basic format you will follow)

  • A little sharing – What has happened this week? You can ask about anything they said last time. Try to make this time a little more personal.  Have some questions prepared to ask them beforehand to draw them out.
  • Let them know you have some things to cover, but before you do that ask, “Do you have some things on your mind that you want to be sure to talk about before the end of this call?”  (Take notes and cover these things first unless they fall neatly into your plan.)
  • Do “a look back” and “a look forward” format.  In a look back, you can talk about any past events, ministry related conversations, or assignments they were to do.  In look forward, talk about events they are planning or could plan, also cover the training they need. (Each appointment should have some equipping aspect.  You can read an article together, role-play a conversation, learn how to use a tool, etc.)
  • Wrap up by summarizing what you have talked about.  Give them and yourself assignments to follow through on.
  • Share prayer requests and pray for them.

Linda offers further thoughts on what to do on the second call. Unless her leader has already been vetted, she sees these first calls as part of that process. She is asking them to commit together to reach International Students on his or her campus. I like how she does that.

I am here to help you reach the internationals on your campus.  I commit to being here for you and giving you the best of my time, resources and wisdom in order to do this.  If you feel called to go ahead then I would like to ask you to commit to regular times of meeting with me.  They can be as often as every week or every other week…
Do you feel you can and want to make this commitment? Is this a good time for you?  We can try it and if it doesn’t work we will search for a better time.

Fall Coaching Tips

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