The Essence of Coaching – Cultivating Community
So last time we looked at some steps we could take to help cultivate a culture of transformation among our leaders and their Life Groups. Today we will take a look at what it would look like to cultivate a love for community in them.
One of my favorite theologians, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that community “is what we share in Christ” and is not something we create. In other words community is created by God; and we are called to participate in this reality. When talking about Life Groups we talk a lot about community (I talk a lot about community), to the point where it can just become a buzzword. So before we talk about the practical side of community I want to lay out a theological foundation….
Through Jesus’ atoning death on the cross for us we receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit reminds us as individuals of our union with Christ. The entire Church experiences union with Christ, therefore as individuals our connection isn’t merely a natural connection. We are quite literally united with Christ on account of his work for us on the cross. The Holy Spirit reminds us of this. We must remind ourselves and each other of this if we are going to truly be a community that experiences union with Christ.
So as you do your part to help your Life Group leaders cultivate community remind them that community is rooted in what Jesus did for us on the cross. Now moving on the practical side of things. As coaches we need to help support our leaders in creating community in their Life Groups. This will likely include helping them come up with ideas how they can grow in community in their groups. Hang outs, serving together, eating together are all things that help build community. Also being authentic during our times of sharing can help solidify the foundations of that community. So as you help your leader cultivate community in their group look back upon your own experiences and draw upon those to see where you have experienced the deepest community. Share those experiences with them, maybe it will help spark ideas for your leaders. Also as you are coaching make sure that your leaders feel connected with their groups. Nothing will kill community faster than a leader who is outside of the community. Finally, help your leader find community. I have run into many leaders who feel as though they aren’t being poured into or that they don’t really have any relationships that are helping them grown in Christ. This is your opportunity to help them in those areas! As their coach God might be calling you to be their primary spiritual relationship. However if they don’t look to you to be that for them don’t feel bad, that just means that they are getting healthy community somewhere else.
Some Questions to Reflect On:
- Do you remember when your first experienced true community? What did it look like and feel like?
- What can you do to help those you shepherd understand the gift of community?