Empowering Disciple-Makers through Coaching

By Eric Wenger    |    December 1, 2018

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:6-7, NIV).

God has given each one of His children gifts for service in the body of Christ.  Those gifts are meant to be fanned into flame for Christ’s glory as we go on His disciple making mission.  Christ-centered coaching can be a vital part of fanning gifts into flame by empowering disciple makers. This month’s coaching story shares specifics about what that looks like in real life. 

Aaron Hannemann is the church planter with The Gate in Ankeny, IA.  He has been receiving coaching through Iowa District West’s partnership with C4USM.  His experience is a great example of the power of Christ-centered mission coaching.  The following is Aaron’s story.

“I grew up playing all kinds of different sports and continued playing all the way through college.  Some of my fondest memories were the relationships that I built with my coaches.  One of my introductions to sports was playing T-ball in Lincoln, NE.  My first coach was Lanny Carlson whose son was on the team.  I played T-ball that year and continued throughout little league for several years with Lanny as my coach.  I don’t remember him teaching me all the finer points of the game like throwing, catching, hitting, or situational awareness, which I’m sure he did.  Instead, what really sticks out to me as I remember Lanny is that he believed in me, cared about me, and drew out the best in me.  That’s what great coaching is and does.

I’ve waved good-bye to organized sports for the most part (I still play some rec softball on Wednesday nights), but having a coach is still a big part of my life as a pastor and church planter.  I have found a great coach.  He does all the things a great coach does.  Now, I feel the stakes are higher.  I’m not battling it out on the grid-iron or on the baseball diamond but rather in the trenches of spiritual warfare and furthering the kingdom of God.  The last three years, my coach has been with me every step of the way encouraging me, praying for me, challenging me, and drawing out the gifts, ability, and vision God has given me. 

One of the great aspects of coaching in church planting is that you have someone holding you accountable to what you feel God is calling you to do.  Not only does my coach help me set goals for myself and for my congregation, but he also follows up and challenges me to accomplish them.  I think everyone-no matter your vocation in life-should have a coach.  I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without my coach and quite frankly, I probably would have quit by now.  The support, prayer, and encouragement I’ve received from him, along with many other mentors and friends, have given me the will and the drive to continue proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and reaching the lost.” 

I am thankful for the ways that Aaron has been blessed through Christ-centered mission coaching.  You are invited to connect with a coach, too.  Let me know your interest, and I will help you find a coach.  You can also find out more about our empowering coaches by visiting http://www.centerforusmissions.com/certified-coaches

In addition, you are welcome to be part of Mission Coach Training.  Another training cycle is beginning in February of 2019.  Find out more at http://www.centerforusmissions.com/coach-certification-training.  Feel free to contact me at 920-393-3532 or ewenger@livingraized.com with questions.

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all’ (2 Corinthians 13:14, NIV).

Moment Extras

Questions for Discussion

1.      Where in your life do you need the accountability of a mission coach in order to help you maximize your growth?

2.      What challenges are you facing that you could navigate more effectively with the empowerment of a mission coach?

3.      What benefits do you envision mission coach training adding to your empowerment of disciple makers?

4.      How can a culture of mission coaching in your congregation or organization help you multiply Christ-centered leaders?

Resources You Can Use

 Empowering Leaders Through Coaching by Steve Ogne and Tom Nebel


Mission Moments is the e-newsletter sent by the Center for U.S. Missions to bring information and encouragement to all who desire to share God's great love in Jesus Christ with others. Permission is given to copy this article for distribution within your congregation or organization. Please credit the author and the Center for United States Missions. For more information contact the Center at (952)-221-0362, or visit our website: www.c4usm.org

Center for U.S. Missions – Contact Information

Email us at: | Rev. Dr. Peter Meier, Executive Director; peter.meier@cui.edu  | Rev. Eric Wenger, Director of Mission Coaching; ewenger@livingraized.com| Kathy Meier, Coordinator; kathy.meier@cui.edu  | Mil Behnken, Office Manager; mildred.behnken@cui.edu