Phil Miglioratti Interviewed Shawn Lovejoy and Quovadis Marshall, "Courageous Pastors" Coaches
PHIL @ The Reimagine.Network >>> Why has “coaching become a significant component of the Church’s mission mind-set/ministry toolbox? In other words...why do we need coaches...and maybe, why do some think we do not?
SHAWN >>> I believe every leader needs two things in their lives: Permission and Perspective. Without permission, we second guess and doubt our decision making, so we experience paralysis by analysis. Coaching gives us permission to pull the trigger. Perspective on the other hand from an outside party, allows us to skip over another leader’s pain. Why not learn from another Leader’s mistakes? Why repeat the same mistake? Perspective allows us to fast forward our efforts by learning from the successes and the failures of others.
QUOVADIS >>>The three greatest influences in a persons life are their parents, peers, teachers and coaches. The reason is because these people provide more than technical skills in a given area or subject, these people play a transformational in the identity and understanding of a persons outlook on life and self. The best coaches take time to understand not only the skill set and weakness but also the motivation and potential of each player. More often than not a coach sees in you what you don’t see in yourself or lack the courage, training or discipline to achieve. In many ways that is how I see what we do. I am a Pastor and understand what it’s like to be in the trenches of attendance, budget, family, staffing and the battles that come with being both a human and leader. My step-father was a boxing coach, and what he taught me was that every boxer needs a sparing partner, cutman and a coach. Every pastor will take hits, some seen and some unforeseen. As the great theologian Mike Tyson once said, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
At CourageousPastors we want to help every leader win.There can be various reasons why a pastor doesn’t pursue coaching is either they don’t know where they can go, don’t think they can afford it or they aren’t sure who they can tell that they’ve taken some blows and aren’t doing well. To that I say, we are here for you, and you can’t put a price tag on health. Allow us to help you get healthy.
[Note: Scroll to the Comment section for more on Quovadis ~ Get To Know Coach "Q"
PHIL >>> What did the Lord use to get you into the ministry of coaching? What was the reimagining process in your journey/development?
SHAWN >>> I was a business guy before I was a pastor. I was a successful real estate developer in my 20’s before God called me to vocational ministry. After I became a pastor, I always felt like a business guy trapped in a pastor’s body. I was really good at the ‘between Sunday stuff”: Building and maintaining the Culture, the Team, and The Systems. I quickly realized that most pastors and churches don’t feel as equipped to lead “between Sundays” and began to coach churches over 20 years ago.
QUOVADIS >>> Like most things in life it’s our own personal pain that serves as a catalyst to our assignments. A year and a half into our church plant we were seeing significant growth, salvations and impact when I had two staff members resign out of the blue. That was a punch that I didn’t see coming. Their reason for resigning wasn’t due to some scandal or sin but undeveloped areas in my own life. I immediately called a more seasoned pastor and over lunch and through tears I shared my pain and anger with their departure. HE wisely walked me through a process that helped me get to a place of healing. He helped me by coaching me through that storm. We hired him as a coach to walk with me and work with our staff. We met monthly for a year and it has been transformational to my leadership and our church’s health, effectiveness and impact.
Now, I don’t even want to imagine who I would be and where we would be as a church if I hadn’t had him as a coach.
PHIL >>> Apply the term “coaching” to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, especially within pastors and church leaders.
SHAWN >>> God has always chosen to use people. I tell Pastors all the time that “The Holy Spirit is more intentional and strategic” than He is spontaneous. For example, the words faith and money are never used in the same sentence in the Bible. On the flip side, almost every time money is mentioned. wisdom is alluded to. God speaks through prayer, the Bible, but also the church: his people. God uses coaches as part of His arsenal to be that source of wisdom that someone farther along can provide to a Leader.
QUOVADIS >>> I have been reading through the letter from John, in 1 John and I was struck again by the nearness and leadership of the Lord in my life. 1 John 2:27 in particular stood out to me. But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. A few thoughts to set up the scenario in light of this verse. What John is not saying is that you don’t need anyone to teach you anything, because He is writing a letter teaching them things. What John is saying is that the Holy Spirit will grant you discernment to guide in your walk with God. There is a specific path that the Lord has marked out for each of us and the holy Spirit will confirm to you what that way is. Jesus described the holy Spirit as the Comforter/Advocate/Helper or in Greek: Paraclete, which is someone who cam alongside you teach, guide or coach you. A great picture of how we use this word in our day and time is that of a paraeducator. They come alongside the teacher to help a student that is stuck. Another example of this is what a coach does with an athlete. They come alongside them to show them how to something correctly or better. At CourageousPastor that’s what we do. We allow the Paraclete to lead us as paras, one’s who come alongside pastors to help them win.
PHIL >>> How is “ministry” and “marketplace” different? Similar? Critical to the Great Commission?
QUOVADIS >>> Both have been tasked with leading their organizations. In many ways that are transferrable pains, principles and pathways for growth. People, data, a product, systems, resources a plan and goals are things that both ministry and marketplace leaders need to know how to navigate and lead. The end goal of each is different but often times there are similar building blocks in both arenas that effect the overall health and growth of their organizations. Our CEO and Founder Shawn does a lot of work in this area and can speak this in more detail.
SHAWN >>> Well, first of all, I am not easily offended, but I sort of jump on the question: “Do you miss the ministry?” I had a ministry in my church and community before I was a pastor and I have an amazing ministry since I handed off my church to coach full-time almost a decade ago.
This is true for marketplace leaders. They have a ministry. They have a flock for which they feel a responsibility. I call ministry leaders “Shepherd on Sunday,” and marketplace Leaders “Shepherds between Sundays.” Both are vitally important elements of Christ’s church and His great commission.
PHIL >>> How does a ministry-driven leader begin to incorporate coaching in their roles of thinking-planning-teaching-leading? ...and how can we connect with you for help/resources?
SHAWN >>> Every Leader needs a Coach. What some out there are calling coaching is really just content delivery, or consulting. Coaching requires a relationship. That’s why we have built our entire model of coaching around 1:1 relationships. We have over 20 coaches now and place a Coach with his/her Team at the church in a 1:1 relationship, hopefully for an extended period of time. Frankly, the longer we walk with a leader and their team, the more effective we become as Coaches! Pastors can find out more at courageouspastors.com/strategy. Marketplace leaders can visit CourageToLead.com/strategy. This link allows us to jump on a Zoom call for a few minutes with a Leader to assess if the timing is right for both parties to enter a coaching relationship with us.
QUOVADIS >>> We would love to serve pastors and teams in helping them win at what matters most. Our team at CourageousPastors is positioned to provide ministry leaders with tools, coaching and a suite of resources that will help them in whatever area they want/need to grow. Shawn has done a great job of making it easy for pastors and leaders to take advantage of all that CourageousPastors has to offer.
PHIL >>> What are you trying to thought-provoke in us about our ministry with this announcement?
"Q brings a unique perspective to our team. He always knew— since he was first called— he would plant a church in his hometown.
His church is in Iowa, a state that’s 4% Black. His church is 50% White, 35% Black, 15% Asian + Hispanic. And, he’s married to a White woman."
SHAWN: First, pastors need to know that most churches are flatlined or declining for one reason: A lack of COURAGE. Most churches are a few courageous conversations and a few courageous decisions away from breakthrough but they are paralyzed by fear. It’s either deep change or slow death for churches, or any other organization.
Secondly, we can’t shy away from having the courageous conversations with our people on issues like race, gender, etc., that agree so prevalent in the media right now. “Pastor Q,” as we call him, for example, brings a unique perspective to our team. He always knew— since he was first called— he would plant a church in his hometown. His church is in Iowa, a state that’s 4% Black. His church is 50% White, 35% Black, 15% Asian + Hispanic. H also happens to be married to a White woman and he has a unique, profound perspective he brings to our organization and to the Big C Church.
QUOVADIS >>> Agree. Obviously I am passionate about addressing the racial tension in our world. The church should be so different from the world! You can’t read the Bible without coming into contact with diversity and God’s dream of multi-ethnic family. This has always been His plan. The Father has always wanted a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural- multi-generational family who reflects His imagine and joins Him in His mission by inviting the world into His family. There are about 300,00+ Churches in America and of them 92.5% are monoracial. Only 13% of churches in the US reflect a demographic of 20% in diversity. A lack of diversity is a indicator that we aren’t reaching our communities. To make matters worse, we are taught what is known as the Homogeneous Unit Principle in seminary. Essentially the ideas is find a bunch of people who are a like and build a church around that. The danger of this ministry philosophy is that it creates segregated missiology and produces an anemic church. God has given us a heavenly view of the kingdom in Revelation 7:9, this is the reality of heaven today and will be our experience when Jesus returns. A multiethnic, multicultural family of affection united around His throne! One of the reasons that haven’t been able to walk in unity on this issue is because we aren’t uniting around His throne but around ours, our political, geographical, socio-economic and ethnic thrones and kingdoms. What we know and have been taught to pray by our King Jesus is for His Kingdom to come and His will be to done on earth as it is in heaven. If heaven is multiethnic then His church on earth should be as well. Anything short of that when we are able is falling short of God’s vision of the kingdom. The watching world will be convinced of our claims concerning Christ whenever they see the church unified, especially around the dividing lines of race. Jesus said, “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” John 17:23 NLT It is hard, messy but it is worth it. I would love to walk alongside you as you discover how to grow a multiethnic congregation or ministry.
PHIL >>> One more thought/idea you consider important for us to ponder and pray over...
SHAWN >>> The #1 mistake I see pastors (and churches) make is ISOLATION. Leader, You can’t do this alone. You need help. You need permission. You need perspective. Ask for help. You are not as far away from health and growth as you might think!
QUOVADIS >>> God is with you. You can get better. You are not alone. We are here to help. Healing starts where honest begins, hope arises when we know that help is on the way. The Father hasn’t forgotten you, He will help you. You can accomplish His will for your life, but you can not do it alone. Ask God to give you the courage to ask for help and the humility to change. Things can get better than they are today. That is good news and a reason to be thankful.
PHIL >>> Quovadis, Shawn, please give us a prayer to make our own that cries out for courage to lead...
Father, today I acknowledge you in all things. All that I have and all that I am is yours.
Father you called and commissioned me to join you in your work of world redemption, allow me to hear your voice and respond in trust.
Jesus you are my light and my salvation, all of my hope is in you., Make me strong and courageous as I do your will in Jesus name, amen.
Lord, grant the leaders in your church and your businesses boldness!
Set them loose to lead! Get them off their heels and back up on to the balls of their feet!
Give them courage to storm the gates of Hell and snatch people from darkness in Jesus’ name!