A little over three years ago, I was invited to participate in the New Church Ministry’s coaching program as part of our Movement’s covenant with the Pacific Southwest Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). I accepted this invitation and opportunity. However, I did so with a healthy amount of skepticism, hesitancy and even a little trepidation as to the time requirement involved, and what value it would provide. Rev. Steven Smith was assigned as my coach, and he has supported and journeyed with me for over 3 years. Here are some takeaways:

Coaches help us live into the mission and vision

The skillset of a movement initiator, formerly known as a church planter, will rely heavily on experience, training, and knowledge. However, one of the most life-giving and necessary skill sets is one’s ability to grow, pivot, and adapt amid unforeseen changes, challenges, and new ways of doing things.  

A coach is there to remind you that your peace, health, and well-being are not separate from the mission and vision

Rather, they are a part of what God is up to and doing in and through your new movement, and vital to its success.

Coaches bring an objective and unique perspective that help movement initiators stay focused and relate stronger to how God sees and values them

Many times, Steven has offered Godly and objective strategies and perspectives that effectively helped me navigate blind spots and avoid the trappings of self-imposed and unrealistic pressures to succeed. He has been a Godsend in helping me not get overwhelmed as a movement initiator and passive with my own self-care.

As movement initiators, we are tasked with walking and journeying unknown paths and blazing new trails by faith, totally relying upon God’s presence and guidance. New Church Ministry and its team of coaches are an earthly, real-world manifestation of God’s divine promise to never leave us and always have our backs. (Deuteronomy 31:8/Romans 8:31). Despite my initial hesitancy, I can affirm that New Church Ministry and its coaches are for us, and here as a provision of God’s grace. They show us that God values what we are doing, and is with us always.

~ Pastor Ronnie Taylor, Movement Initiator, Life Ministries, Los Angeles, CA.

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