By definition, Rookie Pastor‘s are new at what they do. And the same leadership characteristics that got them to the position they’re in (independence, high-capacity leadership, strong Biblical conviction) are the very characteristics that can hinder their development. They reason that no one is doing it right (preaching, leading, making disciples, etc.) and that’s why God called them to do it.
But, that attitude prevents learning from others who’s been there before. That attitude dramatically diminishes their capability to grow into their role. I know, I’ve been there. What the Bible calls pride, I called conviction.
And then I realized that I need insight, experience, and wisdom from somebody who’s done it before. Sure, I could learn on my own, but at what cost to my family, my church, and my ministry?
The alternative to having a coach is learning EVERYTHING the hard way
Now, I’m not saying that you have to join an expensive coaching network to grow (though I’ve never met anyone who has been a part of one that hasn’t praised it’s value). I’m not saying that you need me to be your coach. But you need to have a coach – or several.
I have two coaches right now. I speak with a church-planting coach every month. We connect through Skype or oovoo and he constantly challenges me to step deeper into my calling and gives me great ideas to help lead the church. I have never finished a conversation with him and questioned the value of being coached.
I also meet with a pastor in my area once every other month who coaches me specifically on working within our denomination. I’m new to this denomination and have found that it’s helpful to have someone with some experience working within it to help me navigate structures that I’m not familiar with.
A second option is learning from a distance
For a season, this is a great option. Church leadership podcasts and conferences have made it easy to glean great insight for next to nothing. But there’s no accountability there. There’s no one to get in your face and challenge you. There’s no opportunity to ask questions. So while this is easy, it simply doesn’t get the job done in the long-run.
Do you have a coach? Who are you learning from?