Coaching: The Perfect Discipleship Vehicle!


November 6, 2012

Race Car Working in, and with, the local church for over 30 years  I found that real discipleship can be one of the most  challenging practices for church leaders and their  congregations.  Much of what is perceived to be  discipleship in our current church culture seems to be  broken down to a person’s conversion and regular  church attendance.  But is that really what Jesus meant when He said, “…go and make disciples”?

Pastors and church leaders so often are distracted by the organizational needs of the church, thinking that “doing church” will be enough to see people’s lives changed into the image if Christ.   When coaching pastors, church planters and lay leaders it doesn’t take long for that thinking to be shattered. 

Nothing is more heartbreaking to a godly leader than discovering that their spiritual investment in people has not made much of transformational difference. So, how can the practice of coaching help? 

  1.      It fills the relational gap.
  2.      It challenges the disciple to discover.
  3.      It produces accountability for forward motion to transformation.

These three dynamics are essential for behavioral change in Jesus, and I truly believe that the practice of coaching is the missing link to many of our discipleship efforts.  The kind of discipleship that Jesus modeled for us, in His ministry here on earth contained all of these important elements. So, they should be central to our discipleship practices. 

 Now, here is how coaching competencies can serve as an effective vehicle for transformation. 

Coaching at its core:

  •   Listens
  •   Asks powerful questions
  •  Creates steps for action

 Discipleship at its core:

  •  Connects people to God relationally
  •  Grows people in God foundationally
  •  Provides opportunity for people to serve generously 
  • Shows people how to reproduce in others continuously

Once you become familiar with simple coaching skills it is easy to use those skills to move people forward in their connection with God, growing in God, serving with God and in their activity in the discipleship of others…the core of discipleship!

What coaching offers that other leadership practices miss, are the opportunities for the one being discipled to engage relationally in the transformational process, and not just relationship with the coach, but more importantly, with God and His Spirit. 

 In summary, coaching for discipleship focuses first on being and then doing.

In my next blog I want to give you specific ways you can begin this process in your own coaching experience.  But remember, coaching for discipleship works best if you as the coach are experiencing transformation first.  So, with that being said…let me conclude with a few questions of necessary clarity as you prepare for this exciting journey:

  1.  How do you define discipleship?
  2.  How can you envision coaching as a discipleship tool in your ministry setting?
  3. How are you connecting, growing and serving with God and others and reproducing what Jesus so plainly showed us to reproduce?
  4. What are your next steps?

To see more from Kevin Weaver, click here.

Kevin WeaverKevin Weaver is involved in coach mentoring/training and leading a coaching cadre for Assemblies of God Kansas District.

While Kevin has a passion for church planting, his 30 years in ministry also testify to his heart and involvement for church revitalization.  Contact him by email at or follow him on Twitter @pkweaver.

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