It is old news now that the L.A. Lakers put together arguably one of the best lineups in all of the NBA and thus far have started the season with a big flop. It was no real shocker then when the team decided to let their current coach go in search of another, hopefully more successful one. But one could ask, is the coach really that important? Absolutely!
Just as a team can only be successful with no coach or a mediocre coach, so in ministry we too are only so successful when we lack a Gospel Coach in our life. I just finished reading "Gospel Coach: Shepherding Leaders to Glorify God" by Scott Thomas, who points out that even Michael Jordan and his team only won 48 percent of their games and their team had no championships, prior to Phil Jackson coming onto the scene.
After Jackson became the head coach of Jordan and the Bulls, they won 75 percent of their games and six championships. The point that Thomas is getting to here is that Jordan always had the talent and ability, but coaching made a significant difference in helping him reach his full potential.
The same is true in ministry, that we may be able to accomplish some good things, but that the Gospel Coaching relationship will allow us to reach our full potential as we are constantly reminded of the gospel. Scott Thomas says, "The benefit of gospel coaching is that it takes the message of the gospel - a message proclaiming that God takes a weak and ordinary people and does great things through them to show off the surpassing greatness of Jesus Christ - and uses it to transform leaders and their churches so that they, in turn, will be used to transform the lives of others."
Often times as leaders in ministry we are busy shepherding others souls to the point that we neglect our own. This is one reason that many ministry leaders fall into sin as they are busy shepherding others, they often allow a secret sin to enter into their lives that they allow to stay there as a secret until one day they fall. Those around the leader are often left in shock as they wonder what went wrong with this man of God. Ultimately these leaders failed to believe the gospel on some level, but if they had a gospel coach that they met with regularly than perhaps some of these secret sins could have been caught early on and avoided altogether.
Thomas continues by saying, "What leaders need is someone to shepherd their souls so that they, in turn, can lead others to the chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Coaching for church leaders looks less like corporate consulting and more like biblical shepherding."
So just as the L.A. Lakers and Chicago Bulls can and will only be so successful without proper coaching, ministry leaders too will be more likely to succeed with a gospel coaching relationship. I will take this a step further by suggesting that we all have a gospel coach in our lives and we too are also coaching someone else.