Next Steps in Coaching

Coaching helps develop leaders, helps folks take action, helps people think well about their life. I’ve personally benefitted and have thoroughly enjoyed watching my clients take bold new steps.

Here’s a few ways The Navs can help you learn how to help others more deeply through the coach approach.

  1. Learn the Coaching Conversation basics. In a half hour we can explain to you some quick start insights to help you take a first step.
  2. Attend a Deep Dive workshop. This four hour workshop will augment what you’ve learned with the coaching conversation. You’ll practice these skills with others and strengthen your coaching.
  3. Be coached in our Core Four process. This year long coaching relationship will help you personally. You’ll take the DiSC personality profile. You’ll put together your personal vision statement. Twenty-six coaching calls will enhance your life and leadership.

Contact me for more information.

My Ten Year Mission

I’m excited to consider what could be done in the next ten years. As I’ve moved through my first years with The Navigators I’ve learned even more what I am to do.

At first, I was learning new skills of the ministry. It then moved to understanding what are the building blocks of my calling to the Navigators Church Ministry. This last year it clarified further by considering what I can set myself to do in the next ten years.

The first building block is our Life and Leadership Coaching. This is a year long process

Core Four

that helps a coachee excel in their personal life and their vocation. It is sort of like Steven Covey based on the Christian faith. Through asking questions the coachee can begin to understand where they are at and how they can get to where they want to go.

Does it work? Yes! One pastor has loved the experience so much that asked me to lead his associate through it and now he had me start with his youth pastor. His comment a number of times has been, “I wish I had this coaching when I first started out in ministry! It would have saved me so many times.”

The second building block is our three year Growing Intentional Disciplemaking Cultures. We focus on a different group in each year. The first year we work with a small core team to GiDC-Overviewgain discipleship and disciplemaking skills and understanding. As this team makes personal gains the move into the second year where we begin to build a unified discipleship culture. We work on how they can have shared language, values and vision for disciplemaking. So if you poked the average guy in the pew they’d be able explain what a disciple is and how to go about making one. The final year the church begins to reach outside the walls of the church with the gospel.

I’m thrilled to have eight churches working through the GiDC right now. Two of my churches will finish our three year process. It has been a joyful journey, but each knows the work has just begun. Pastor Bob has said, “We are just beginning to implement these principles. Our core team is starting to lead discipleship triads. My hope is two or three years from now we triple the size of our core team and start seeing the Lord change them and change our church.”

In 10 years I am trusting the Lord that I could take 50 men through Life Coaching & take 35 churches through our GiDC process. 

See my Prezi explaining how I got to this point.

Our 3 year Disciplemaking process

You may have heard me talk about a three year disciplemaking process. The Navigators have been working at this process for 25 years. My predecessor Dave Johnson helped test it.




In the “Growing Intentional Disciplemaking Churches” or GiDC, we start with the pastor meeting every other week to coach them on life and discipling. As the pastor gains insights and skills, they pull in a few others in their congregation to widen the learning. At the beginning of the second year this little group each invites a few others to practice what they’ve been learning. As we round out the their third year more and more folks from the congregation begin experiencing these biblical principles. By the end of the process the church has made significant gains in: discovering truth from the scriptures, learning to connect more deeply with each other, defining a disciple, increasing the number of individuals who know how to mentor spiritually and living on mission.
The goal of the three years is to help churches be disciplemaking entities. I’m thrilled to see the excitement already in the churches who’ve just completed their first year. To read more at this link on one of these congregations.

GiDC illustration

The spiritual discipline I didn’t like

I remember when I was living in Charleston hearing about a someone journaling. I thought that sounds so awful, like a writing in a diary. I was reminded little book with a locket that I would write everything from the day. Today I …_____. Yuck.

It just didn’t sound like something I’d want to do.

But like many things that I didn’t like at first, it has become something I’ve gained a taste for over time. Slowly over years I had a change of heart.

First, a friend shared with me how to use a journal. He told me not to write everything down, only the important ideas. That opened up a whole new way of thinking about a journal. My first attempts were a bit awkward. Sometimes I picked up the habit for a bit and then dropped it for months.

As the years went by it slowly became a more significant spiritual discipline. Here’s why I am committed to journaling regularly.

  1. When I write I am more active in my thinking. There is something so much more solid when I see it written out than simply in my head.
  2. When I journal I can write down my application. By having it on paper I find I can prompt myself to live it out. Eugene Peterson said in his Twitter feed, “The most important question we ask of this text [the Bible] is not, “What does this mean?” but “What can I obey?” When I write down an action step I’m much more apt to obey.
  3. I have found that journaling slows me down. When I slow down I think more deeply. 2016-03-29 14.55.33.jpgThis process is very satisfying. It’s working in the not urgent but important quadrant which Steven Covey says is the most enriching type of work we do.
  4. A journal is a great way to write out your prayers. If you’ve never prayed this way try it. I use the acronym Knute Larson encourages P-R-A-Y. …Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield. Just write your praises, confessions and petitions. Don’t worry about punctuation or spelling it perfectly. Just get your prayers on paper.
  5. It also is a great place to write down prayer requests others ask you to lift up. I got this idea from Steve Bucy, who I served with at The Chapel. I noticed when I shared a request he wrote it down on his journal. Sometimes a month later he’d come back and ask, “How did ________ go?” I was stunned I hardly remembered I had asked him to pray this way.
  6. Using a journal will give you your spiritual story. When I review my journal I remember what I’ve been thinking about, my joys, what I’ve struggled with, what I’m learning. I quickly forget what God has been trying to teach me, so journaling helps me.
  7. When I review I begin to see the ups and downs between day to day. I recently reviewed my writings. I was surprised to see one day I was full of faith and trust. Then the very next day I was stumbling and struggling. Those two days teach me life is a battle with lots of twists and turns.
  8. As I look back in my journal I find that recurring themes pop up. I find I bump into the same ideas over and over again. That keeps me humble at times and reminds me of the important things God is teaching. I found as I reviewed this past week that worship kept coming up in my writing over the last four months. I found it in the verses that were significant. I saw it in my written out prayers. Some days I sensed my ability to worship was lacking. I learned looking back that the Lord has been working to teach me about worship over these few months.
  9. Finally when I look back I find I can learn something new, something I didn’t get the first time around. When Matua Mahiaini, the International President of The Navigators spoke at the National Staff Conference I wrote some notes down from his talk. It wasn’t until a few months later that I returned to it and considered it again in light of what God was teaching to me about worship that it popped off the page for me. I was grateful I took the time write my notes in my journal and came back to it. God taught me what I missed the first time.


Meditation insight from Shelton

This morning I was leading a monthly video conference with two churches in Shelton, CT. We were focusing on the seventh chapter in The Ways of the Alongsider. The question we proposed was, “How do we love and live the Scriptures?”

Hand Illustration.jpgDawson Trotman years ago used the hand illustration to teach how we incorporate the Word into our lives. See the attached document. There’s five ways to do it. One for each finger of our hand. The idea is to work at each of these to more fully engaged with God’s thoughts.

Meditation is one that for many of us is underused. We think of sitting down cross-legged and humming. :^) Pastor Ken today had the best comment on meditation this morning. Ken quoted Rick Warren, “If you know how to worry you can meditate.” Wow most already can do it. A part of the human experience is to worry.

Which finger do you do well at? Is there and underdeveloped digit in your life? Jump into it today. I’d love to hear your best ways of doing each: Hear, Read, Study, Memorize & Meditate.

My Ten

Click here for the ten churches I’m serving!

State of the Ministry Jan2016   


Equipping the Chinese Church

One of the surprising outcomes of the summer was being involved with the Chinese Church of Akron. It wasn’t even on my radar in May, but in July things changed. That was fun.

Todd leads the teaching at the training. I could tell he had taught them before. He had them engaged with the topic!

Todd leads the teaching at the training. I could tell he had taught them before. He had them engaged with the topic!

My friend Todd McKenney has ministered for a long time with them, particularly when he on staff at The Chapel. Todd needed me to fill in for him on the preaching schedule in late June, so I gladly did so. If you’ve ever had an interpreter as you spoke you know that it can take a bit to get used to. Just when you’re on a roll with a good story you must remember the interpreter needs to catch up with your words. That’s exactly what I did. I looked over at my interpreter and she had a glazed look on her face. Oops! I launched into a great story and realized about halfway through that I needed to slow down. I preached from Philippians 4:2-9. There’s powerful truths about how we secure peace in our lives.

After the service I had the privilege of teaching them in their seminary. About thirty members from the church gather after lunch for a two hour for training and equipping. Todd and I taught for three Sundays in July at the seminary from the first three chapters of “The Ways of the Alongsider.” Through a variety of methods (discussion, Bible study, and illustrations) we helped them to think about:

  1. Thinking small to have big vision.
  2. The way of the amatuer.
  3. Being a friend of God.
  4. Engaging with the Scriptures.
  5. A picture of a disciple.

Making disciples that make disciples is hard stuff for churches or for anyone. The Chinese Church wants to strengthen their skills. This is a great conviction. There is a bigger vision though.

Pastor Wang, who leads the church told me that one third of the Chinese churches in the US do not have a pastor. Why don’t they have a pastor? One reason is the lack of disciple-making. The God-sized vision for this church is to disciple in such a way that not only do the help mature every believer in their congregation, but they impact also all Chinese churches in the US. Isn’t that a God-sized vision that He would use them to make disciples and fill The Church with fully formed disciples! May the Lord use them powerfully.


Two churches thinking deeply

This week I’m taking a new step with two of the churches I am working with. They have taken the Reveal Survey, which will give them a huge amount of information about the spiritual condition of the their congregation. It will give them a number of priorities to be engaged with for their church’s health. I’m looking forward to being with Pastor Eric and Pastor Bob this week! Here’s a sample church of the results churches can get from the survey.  REVEAL-DataPack-5779- Sample Church


Stories behind the Postcard

I had a hard time picking just three pictures from my trip to Scotland for the postcard I sent out. Here’s the story behind each of them.

2015-05-11 07.54.28The big picture is at St Andrews. There’s a huge St Andrews cathedral built bearing his name. It is Kate’s and my favorite places we visited. Golf started in the town. The beach running scene in Chariots of Fire is also from there. It also was at the epicenter of the Scottish reformation. You can see on the ground the letter “PH”. At this place in 1528 Patrick Hamilton a protestant reformer was burned at the stake. John Knox, who’s known amongst Presbyterians also preached and ministered there. Here’s a fact for recent history …Kate and William first met for coffee at a shop we saw in St Andrews.

2015-05-14 06.38.42

This next photo is from the training time with you Young Life staff. We were in the middle of The Alongsider clinic, drawing our picture of a disciple. This clinic helps give the participant the relational and biblical principles that build spiritual maturity. Here’s one comment from the time. “I loved the practical ways to grow and focus on discipleship. I want to continue considering having goals and vision when discipling others.”

DSC_8186Here’s the picture of the UK staff for Young Life. What a great collection of people, wonderfully gifted and committed to the Great Commission. Pray for them this summer as they open up camp at Loch Monzievaird.



Key Moment in Disciplemaking in Scotland

I just finished today our three day conference with the YL staff. What an honor to be with them.
This is such an exciting time for the UK young life staff. They have a neat unity within the team. It’s fun being with them to enjoy the community. They have been given a beautiful camp, “Loch Monievaird.” They have comfortable cabins set around a lake…all to themselves. In YL anytime you put a camp in a particular area a lot of new ministry percolates up. This first summer will be exciting to see God work.


They are also a an interesting place in disciplemaking. Andy one of the senior staff told me that the first wave of kids who met Christ in the ministry now are taking leadership roles. That makes discipleship a critical component at this stage in their development.
I had the privilege to lead them for three days.
I spent the first day walking them through a workshop called the “Spiritual Secret.” I gave them a new way to be engaged with the Scriptures, which is the secret. That sounds like something you hear in Sunday School. We grow no matter where we are maturity-wise when reflect & meditate on the Word. Ask me about it and I’ll give you the method.
I led the a disciplemaking clinic based off The Ways of the Alongsider on day two and followed up with a small group workshop.


So what was the effect??
My prayer had been as I prepared that each attenders would take two things with them they can immediately implement.
Here’s some of them comments. Craig from Ireland wanted more of the books because he wanted to take his leadership through the Alongsider.
Rachel said, “I was convicted I wasn’t using the Bible enough in my own life and with those I’m leading. That’s got to change.”
Annalea told me, “I’m grabbing as many extra handouts so I can take my girls through it Saturday night!”
Tom, my longtime mentor, “Dane-o this is exactly what our staff needed. We haven’t been able to dig into discipleship with this kind of breadth and practicality.”
I am grateful to the God who answered my prayer to speak powerfully to each of these YL staff. May the Lord move in even more power when these good people take it to their individual ministries around the UK!