Tag Archives: discipleship

Gospel Coach: book review (sort of)

This week I picked up a copy of Gospel Coach by Scott Thomas and Tom Wood because it was cheap for the Kindle and looked like a book I would find helpful/valuable. It didn’t take me very far into the book to know I was going to like it. I’ve always had a few problems with various explanations of discipling/mentoring/coaching/training because of the way they separated each of those roles. It just never resonated with me and the success I find in my discipleship ministry.

In the introduction they explain how authors Stanley and Clinton define these different kinds of mentoring relationships in their book The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life. Apparently they explain that there are three types of mentoring-type relationships: the discipler, the spiritual guide, and the coach. The discipler “entails a relational process in which a more experienced follower of Christ shares with a new believer the commitment, understanding, and basic skills necessary to know and obey Jesus Christ.” The spiritual guide “is a godly, mature follower of Christ who shares knowledge, skills, and basic philosophy about what it means to increasingly realize Christlikeness in all areas of life. The primary contributions are accountability, decisions, insights concerning  questions, commitments, and direction affecting spirituality.” The coach, however, “provides motivation and imparts skills, encouragement, and application to meet a task or challenge.”

What Thomas and Wood propose is is that leaders/pastors need a “Gospel coach” who will do all of those things. You can read more by getting a copy of the book yourself (it’s still discounted for Kindle as I’m writing this). I appreciate this because it’s more what I do when I’m discipling and people generally compliment my discipleship skills. It’s nice to finally find someone that’s telling me what I’m doing is a good method.

Going deeper

My husband and I recently had a conversation about spiritual gifts as we were talking about a teaching I had heard this past weekend at a conference put on by our church. John had an illustration that was really helpful. He said that our spiritual gifts often are acted out so naturally that we forget that it’s supernatural. He gave an example of his son who comes rushing over to him with a glass of water and spills it. How you naturally respond to his son probably indicates your heart. Do you encourage him to try again? Do you instruct him on how to do better and not spill the water? Do you hug him and empathize with him because he’s all wet? However you respond may be an indicator of your spiritual gifting.

As I was sharing this with my husband and the conversation shifted to two separate conversations we had with Andy. Willy realized that Andy teaches to influence because leadership is his gift. Willy teaches to teach because he has the heart of a teacher.

In my conversation with Andy he stated frankly, “If you’re looking for consensus, you’re not leading.” My natural internal response was, “I’m not sure I really desire to lead. I can do it, but I don’t know if that’s really my heart.” I then wondered what was my heart in leadership and in my job? As Willy shared his insight about why Andy teaches versus why he teaches, I realized my perspective: I teach because I desire to see wholistically mature disciples of Christ. When I teach my girls, I want them to be well-rounded emotionally and spiritually mature people. I want them to know how to walk by faith, rely on the spirit, do evangelism, disciple others, but I also want to counsel them to a point of emotional maturity so that they can be the best disciples and leaders they can be. 

This is why I find a tool that a coworker developed called the False Hopes Testimony Worksheet so useful and powerful. This tool helps reveal a person’s false hopes/idols, it reveals the things they crave and vie for. As they wrestle with this it helps me to know what to target as I model to them how to preach the gospel to themselves, where they need to be surrendering to God, how I can coach them in living the Spirit-filled life. BUT, it also is a tool to help them in evangelism as they learn to share their testimony, and as they learn to decode other people’s cravings and longings so they can more effectively preach the gospel to others.

Anyways, this is all to say that I like the book Gospel Coach as far as I’ve read it (I feel affirmed!), and that I have a better insight into what makes me tick as a Christian and campus staff.

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Using Evernote to be productive in campus min

There are a few ways that I consistently use Evernote. I’ve had it on my very first iPhone and have been using it ever since. I’ve come to accept that there are certain things that I just like better on paper, but there are other things that I will never use paper for.

Track your reimbursements that require no receipt.

Anything under $25 doesn’t require a receipt in Power to Change, so I have a new Evernote for every new reimbursement time period. I write down what was purchased, how much, where it was purchased and for what purpose. This is helpful because I don’t have useless receipts collecting all over the place, and when I open up my computer to do my reimbursements the info is already there in my Evernote. Once I’ve submitted those reimbursements, I’ll mark in the subject (DONE) and move it into my Reimbursement folder. I keep it handy in case I need to go back and review a cost for any reason.

Track your to-dos or GTD system

As a new staff one of the biggest challenges I had coming out of University was managing my schedule. Over the (few) years I’ve toyed with various productivity methods. I recently read a really helpful article (Master Life’s Juggling Act: Maximize Daily Productivity with Evernote, GTD and a Daily Portfolio) on how to use the GTD system in Evernote. I’m still figuring out how/if GTD is the best for me, but there are some things that are really helpful. I’ve followed a lot of the tips, especially the Daily Portfolio idea and have found it to be helpful. It’s nice, again, because it’s cross-platform (and free). Even if you don’t use GTD method, the Daily Portfolio might be helpful. For me, it’s useful because I think of all areas of my life including meal planning and excercise. One thing I’m far better at than the other.

Yesterday I took some time to set up GTD contexts and projects using tags (@call, @meeting, @office etc) and notes. My biggest problem with getting a GTD method going was failure to implement a regular review of my projects etc. I think with the addition of the Daily Portfolio, this might really work for me.

Track your discipleship plans/meetings with Evernote

This is one area where I just much rather use paper, yet  I don’t really want to have the papers lying around all the time and for forevermore. In a city that has so much staff transition (especially on the women’s side) I’m coming to see how important it is for us to be recording what we’re doing with the girls we’re working with. One girl I worked with had had 4 different staff disciplers during her four years on campus because there was so much staff transition. How do you know she’s not getting taught the same thing over and over?

A few years ago a coworker tried standardizing our discipleship tracking in the region and I found the worksheet she gave to be helpful. Last year i had a 1/2 sheet paper copy with me at all appointments so I could record everything in a neat system.

Here’s an example of a fake student here in Montreal. Click here for the Evernote template link. This year, I think I’m going to keep doing it on paper mostly because a student can understand you taking notes while meeting them. Plus for this instance I just like paper better. BUT, I will be taking a picture of the paper and putting it into Evernote so that there’s a digital copy in the event I get accidenta-pregnant or something and have to hand over discipleship to someone else.

There are other ways I use Evernote to help me manage my life, but they’re more home-related than work.

How about you? How do you use Evernote?

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