Home > Blog > Coaching to Satisfy Heart Hunger

June 2, 2016

Coaching to Satisfy Heart Hunger

By Daniel Im

Every month, Plus Members get video enhanced training from Ministry Grid on topics like leadership, ministry systems, residencies, multiplication, church planting, and multisite. This month, Dino Senesi, Church Planter Coaching Director with the North American Mission Board, discusses ways churches can create a discipleship coaching culture.

*Plus Members can watch this entire Video Training by logging in and clicking here.

Snickers Coaching: Satisfying Your Heart Hunger

I remember the farcical Snickers Super Bowl commercial with Willem Dafoe dressed as Marilyn Monroe. In the commercial Dafoe played a grumpy irritated person as he tried to pose in the classic Marilyn Monroe picture. About halfway through the scene the director gave Dafoe a snickers bar at which point he transformed back into Marilyn Monroe. The main point of the commercial communicated how a snickers bar can satisfy your hunger; because when you’re hungry you’re not yourself!

Based on the snickers branding message—“You’re not yourself when you are hungry, so why not grab a snickers to satisfy your hunger”—snickers coaching seeks to discern the heart hunger of those you lead so that you can properly coach them towards Christ-likeness. As you coach them towards Christ-likeness, God satisfies their heart because through discipleship He is conforming them into the image of His beloved Son, King Jesus.

In the most recent Ministry Grid training video, Dino Senesi speaks to the five heart hungers that coaches must be aware of so that they can speak into the life of those they lead. By being aware of and constantly speaking into these areas, leaders create a discipleship coaching culture in their church that helps shape those they lead into the person God desires them to be.

Before I list Dino’s heart hungers, I think it is important to emphasize what is meant by creating a discipleship coaching culture verses just a discipleship culture. According to Dino, the difference is between “do” issues and “be” issues.

For many, creating a discipleship culture is about listing things for people to do, such as spiritual disciplines: pray, read your Bible, meditate, attend corporate worship, share the gospel, etc. In short, a discipleship culture—if not careful and intentional—can become about checking boxes. While spiritual disciplines—the things that believers should “do”—are extremely important and necessary, Dino stresses that they are not the only things.

In addition to spiritual disciplines, it’s important for churches to have discipleship coaches (or mentors) who focus on the “be” issues of the heart. Discipleship coaches target the heart through asking probing questions and helping people craft a plan to grow in particular areas—especially the ones they struggle in.

Not only does a coaching discipleship culture focus on the “be” issues, but according to Dino, a coaching discipleship culture is created when coaching takes place holistically and consistently. In other words, when coaching consistently happens through preaching, pastoral counseling, and all the various small groups, a church is well on its way to cultivating a coaching discipleship culture.

Now that I’ve covered the difference between a discipleship culture verses a coaching discipleship culture and how a coaching discipleship culture can be cultivated, here are Dino’s five heart hungers that coaches should be aware of.

Heart Hunger #1: Deeper, more intimate relationship with God.

Salvation by grace alone through Christ alone brings about a heart change, a new nature. Given that believers have a new heart—Christ’s heart—there will be this longing to know God deeper and more intimately. Coaches discern the longings of the heart of those they lead and help direct them through inquisitive questions on how to take practical steps to knowing God more.

Heart Hunger #2: Family.

Since the gospel saves in totality and is manifested in every area of life, Dino expresses that coaches must listen for the heart hunger of a person longing to be a better family member—whether that be a better spouse, parent, or even child. Once again, discipleship coaching leads through probing questions like, “What can you do next week to be a better parent?” in an effort to lead people to become the family member God desires for them to be.

Heart Hunger #3: Health.

Dino exclaims, “My body is what I have to serve God with.” What a sobering statement! Understanding this truth, in addition to the truth that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, should lead one to care for their body. Thus, we don’t pursue health in worship of our bodies, but as an act of worship to God to be used for His glory, the advancement of His mission among the nations, and the good of the world. For coaches, it’s important that they not only model this heart hunger, but help lead others to physically care for their bodies.

To read the final two heart hungers that help create a discipleship coaching culture, click here for the full video and post. This video is part of Plus Membership, so to get full access to it, and much more, I encourage you to become a Plus Member. Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.

Tweetables from the Video:

  • @DinoSenesi speaks to the five heart hungers that coaches must be aware of so that they can speak into the life of those they lead.
  • The difference between a discipleship culture and a coaching discipleship culture is between “do” issues and “be” issues.
  • It’s important for churches to have discipleship coaches (or mentors) who focus on the “be” issues of the heart.
  • Discipleship coaches target the heart through asking probing questions & helping people craft a plan to grow in particular areas.
  • When coaching consistently happens through various leadership means, a church is well on its way to cultivating a coaching discipleship culture.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Im

Daniel Im (@danielsangi) is the Founder of NewChurches.com and the Director of Church Multiplication for LifeWay Christian Resources. He is a Teaching Pastor at The Fellowship, a multisite church in Nashville. He is the author of No Silver Bullets: Five Small Shifts that will Transform Your Ministry, and co-author of Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches that Multiply (2nd ed) with Ed Stetzer. He also co-hosts the New Churches Q&A Podcast, the 5 Leadership Questions Podcast, and a brand new podcast with his wife on marriage and parenting called the IMbetween Podcast. He has an M.A. in Global Leadership and has served and pastored in church plants and multisite churches ranging from 100 people to 50,000 people in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Korea, Edmonton, and Nashville. Visit Danielim.com to learn more.

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