CTA, Inc

Coaching Disciples

Item#: MM20-22


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Implementing coaching to grow disciples like Jesus did.

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Guest: David Smith, life development and spiritual growth coach; David also trains leaders in The Coach Approach

Introduction: The practice of coaching in small groups—modeled on Jesus’ methods—can equip and build modern-day disciples of Jesus.


Jesus is a brilliant developer of people. Just as Jesus used tools to “build” those first disciples and the early church, we can implement his tactics. What Christ did dovetails with the coaching approach:

  • Created an environment filled with grace and truth
  • Believed in them
  • Asked powerful questions
  • Used stories and metaphors for learning
  • Asked them to make decisions
  • Called them to action

Coaching can be effectively used in small-group settings (for example, men’s, women’s, and community or life groups):

  • Makes effective use of time, energy, and income
  • Impacts larger numbers of people

Though different for every pastor or leader to implement, some general principles apply:

  • Have a passion for investing in and building people, a commitment to making disciples.
  • Model it; be committed to your own development in Christ.
  • Love people well—pray and work for the success of those who work with you.
  • Preach and teach to the larger crowd but train a handful of people.
  • Equip and empower that handful to do the same in their circles.
    • Be authentic and use the coach approach
    • Ask powerful questions to develop plans of action
    • Provide honest feedback and effective accountability
  • Consider using an outside coach to give feedback on how this might work in your congregation or organization.
  • The mindset and the heart of coaching is none other than Jesus Christ.

Where to begin?

  • Invest in your own personal growth in Christ; secure your own coach.
  • Get some coaching training for yourself and your key leaders.
  • Build a coaching culture, modeling Christ’s approach in all you do in your church.


Thought Starters:

  • Who on my staff might be my “handful,” my key leaders, to be trained?
  • What’s one step I could take today to begin building a coaching culture in my church?


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