Aim Small:  Groups Pastor

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 9/24/19 9:26 AM

We are working our way up the small group organizational chart to learn how Churchteams can be used to serve the pastoral care and leadership development needs at each level.  This post focuses on the Small Groups Pastor and their relationship to their coaches. 

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Tags: Small Groups

Aim Small: Coaches

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 9/17/19 8:57 AM

Coaches is a fairly common term used in small group ministry circles to identify mentor/shepherds who oversee many small groups.  In some churches they are called Directors, Coordinators, Ministry Leaders, Community Shepherds, etc..  In military terms if small group leaders are Sargeants, Coaches are the Lieutenants.

We started with a passion for helping churches make multiplying disciples and realized from the very beginning that this coaching level was key to building and ensuring consistency in the execution of a church's vision.  

Here's how Churchteams helps churches "Aim" their coaches.


Rear Sight - How To Find And Organize Coaches

The obvious place to start looking for coaches is among your group leaders.  You are looking for leaders with experience who also have an elementary understanding of the discipleship objectives of group life.  You can use data to help you find group leaders with the gift of leadership, encouragement or discernment for instance.  

Set up your coaching organization by clicking groups then Coach Area.  If the Coach term has been customized (Settings / Basic Settings, step 1), you will see that name in the circled position.

On the next page find and add the people who serve this role in your church. 

Once you choose a coach, you can click on their name to go to their coaching page and add in the groups that they oversee.  This becomes the coach's hub for tracking and communicating with their leaders.

Add in an additional level of oversight by selecting Staff Area (or similar term) and choosing the Coaches that the staff person oversees.  This becomes the staff's page for tracking and communicating with their coaches.  

Click on the Reports button in the black navigation bar across the top, then choose Organizational Chart to see your entire ministry organizational structure.  It will look like this:

Besides giving you a visual overview of your ministry structure, setting up the organization this way also:

  1. Copies Groupfinder generated emails sent to leaders to the upline coach and staff.
  2. Sends copies of group meeting reports to their upline coach and staff.

Front Sight - How To Build Culture And Train Coaches

A coaching culture is built by training on values, using common language and embracing common tools.  

Training on the vision and values of small groups and small group coaching is essential for building culture.  Otherwise, every leader is doing their own thing and the ministry feels disjointed.  Here are four ways to use Churchteams to develop training structure and feedback depending on training approaches.

  1. Create an event or group and use the Registration features for open-ended invitations.
  2. Use the RSVP feature for a closed group of invitees to accept or decline participation.
  3. Benchmark training course completion using member attributes.  
  4. Use attendance reports to track ongoing coaches meetings.  Helps track consistency which is an indicator of commitment. 

Training with ongoing gatherings builds the values and language for coaches. Churchteams is the common tool for execution and communication.  This happens as coaches embrace it for monthly reporting on their interactions with leaders.  Go to Settings / Groups / Email Reminders to find the option to Enable Coach email reminders.  You can even edit up to 4 times per month for them to receive these.  

Coaches are sent an email that provides a link back to their Coaching page and a list of their leaders.  One click on a leader's name takes the coach to a page to enter a coaching note on their interaction with that leader.  These can be reviewed on the coaching page.  They are used to track things like praises, problems and plans for the leader and their group.

We will talk more about using coaching reports to help the small group  pastor(s) develop coaches in the next post.  The goal for this section is to demonstrate how to setup and embrace  Churchteams as the common tool for executing a coaching culture.


Target - How To Track Leader Development

The purpose of the coaching reports is to help coaches track their objective and interactions with group leaders.  These notes become a leadership development trail that helps coaches mentor and shepherd their leaders.

Because the coach is copied in on the meeting report from each leader each time their group meets, they are seeing how a leader interacts with his/her people.  Used optimally, this report reminds the coach to pray for that leader.  Often in the course of prayer the Lord gives the coach other insights that are helpful for mentoring that leader.  A  simple reply back in the email gives the coach a way to instantly share the insight. Then by clicking a link on their coach report, the coach enters the same insight as a note on the leader's member record and schedules a follow up reminder.

Another best practice is for the small group pastor to give coaches access to a "Potential Leader" group.  When a coach spots someone they think might be a potential leader, they have permission to add that person to this group.  It's a great way to keep funneling people into the leadership pipeline.

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Tags: Small Groups

Aim Small: Leaders

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 9/10/19 8:37 AM

Remember that aim small means aligning the sight closest to you with the sight at the end of the barrel and the intended target.  Aiming group leaders starts by selecting people in your circle, training  them to be authentic in how they live and communicate, and giving them spiritual growth targets to aim for.

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Tags: Small Groups

How our Small Group Software became a full Church Management System

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 9/3/19 8:33 AM

20 years ago I was at a place in ministry where I wanted out.  It was not what I expected it to be when I started working for a church full time 9 years earlier.  Maybe you've been there.  If so you likely know that hardship like this is often the path God uses to mature us and refine our calling.  

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Tags: Church Management Software, Small Groups, About us

Aim Small:  Using Groupfinder to Connect People, Part 2

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 8/27/19 8:40 AM

No one likes bottlenecks. And if there's a way around, we want to know and use it.  Groupfinder is a way for people to get around typical bottlenecks associated with finding a small group.  Check out the last blog to see recommendations on how to customize it for your church.  In this blog we're going to show you how to link Groupfinder to Text-to-ChurchTM, and use maps to help people find a group.

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Tags: Small Groups

Aim Small: Using Groupfinder to Connect People, Part 1

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 8/20/19 8:30 AM

Bottleneck.  If you've been in one of the hundreds of small group webinars I've done, you've heard me talk about how I used to feel like the bottleneck to people connecting in groups when I was on church staff.  Sure, I was the catalyst in the sense of promoting, creating events, responding to cards, and meeting with people to help them connect.  But because our team was central to all of these, I felt like we were the bottleneck in the system. 

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Tags: Small Groups

Aim Small: Groups

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 8/13/19 8:20 AM

In a classic scene in the movie, The Patriot, Mel Gibson as Benjamin Martin gives his sons shooting advice to save their brother, "Aim small, miss small."  It is the pivotal point in the story where Benjamin transitions from disengagement in a great cause to full engagement.  

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Tags: Small Groups

How To Conquer Volunteer Scheduling In Your Church

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 8/6/19 8:03 AM

Eight weeks ago, I did a blog post on using Workflows to help you with volunteer recruitment.  This is the time of the year that most church staff are stressed out to make sure all the volunteers needed are in place.  But, once you get them recruited and trained, there is still the challenge of getting everyone scheduled.

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Tags: Church Management Software, Volunteers

How text to give is helping churches

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 7/30/19 1:30 PM

We released text to give in early 2017. To get an idea about what difference text to give is making in churches 2 years later, I researched giving over the past six months in five churches that have been intentional in using online and text giving as part of their stewardship development strategy. 

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Tags: Giving

Using Check-Scanners For Contribution Data Entry

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 7/23/19 8:04 AM

I'm in the process of writing another blog post on giving by text with some new statistics I'm eager to share about how texting and online giving work together.  But we've needed a blog post for quite awhile to follow-up this blog post in April, 2018 about Check Data Entry.

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Tags: Giving

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