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My favorite coach is John Wooden. During his time coaching college basketball with the UCLA Bruins, Wooden won 10 NCAA titles, including seven in a row from 1967 to 1973. His UCLA teams also had a record winning streak of 88 games, four perfect 30-0 seasons, and won 38 straight games in NCAA Tournaments.
Yet, Wooden wasn’t overly focused on winning basketball games. He was more concerned about building character in his players. He stimulated his players to be successful in their school studies, attitudes, and behavior - which ultimately resulted in success on the basketball court. And Wooden lived the life that he asked his players to follow. Wooden was an amazing coach because he built into the lives of his players and developed their character.
Coaching small group leaders has similar characteristics. The goal of Christian coaches is to move people toward Jesus Christ. The Christian coach strives to lead people forward to conformity with Jesus Christ, knowing that the ultimate crown is the one that will last forever (1 Corinthians 9:25).
While Christ-like character is most important, a small group coach also equips leaders with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities they need to develop themselves and become more effective in small group ministry. A cell coach encourages, nourishes, and challenges cell leaders to grow and multiply their cell groups.
The word “coach” is descriptive of the role a person plays as he or she supports cell leaders under his or her care. It is not a sacred term. In fact, churches use many terms to identify the role played by the cell group coach: supervisor, section leader, G-12 leader, cell overseer, cell sponsor, even “L” (which is the roman numeral for 50).
I have another, more-in-depth book on coaching called How to be a Great Cell Group Coach. Some of the same concepts are covered in both books, but the major difference is that this book is a hands-on-training manual to prepare someone to be a coach of small group leaders. My other book How to be a Great Cell Group Coach would be a great reference manual to use alongside this book.