Coaching. The Latest Trend in Ministry Partner Development

More and more faith-based nonprofits are turning to coaches and mentors to help staff raise support.

New staff often say that raising support is the hardest thing they’ve ever done.  To be successful, they must confidently and efficiently build and maintain relationships as they manage their day-to-day tasks.

Life coach Karyn Ross explains that coaches must challenge individuals to change or adopt new behaviors. She believes coaches can push individuals out of their comfort zones to develop the courage they need to act in new ways. She says coaches are able to instigate that first act, the doing, and that leads to new mindsets. These new mindsets help build courage and confidence.

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We worked with leading organizations across all industries to investigate how they support their staff. We identified a pattern.

1. Organizations that provide administrative tools to help track and manage daily tasks, see higher success rates than those without any tools.

2. Organizations where coaches work with new staff are able to address some of the emotional stresses that hinder new staff success.

3. Organizations that find the most success incorporate purpose-built software to support new staff and the relationships between coaches.

The same is true in establishing ministry partners.

The power of coaches can be seen across all industries

Most people aren’t surprised to hear that clients who use a personal trainer experience significantly increased changes in their physical activity as compared to those who don’t have a trainer.

Just as a personal trainer can help people get in better physical shape, MPD coaches can help new staff establish more ministry partners.  

Qualified coaches lead to greater success

Innovation expert Annabel Acton says, “The importance of mentors cannot be overstated. A good mentor inspires you, stretches you, connects you, develops your EQ (emotional quotient), opens your mind and most importantly, doesn’t judge. They provide a safe space to learn, experiment and ask questions. In short, mentorship is a way to soak up the wisdom of those who have gone before you, in a way that sticks.”

Access to someone who’s gone through ministry partner development can be a huge asset to new staff. Coaches and mentors understand the frustrations, personal limitations and fears of building their ministry. When new staff are discouraged, coaches can provide the encouragement to contact one more person. Coaches can talk new staff through pains or frustrations and can also provide training tips to support staff efforts.

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Some organizations struggle to embrace the coaching trend

Even when presented with evidence of increased success through coaching, some organizations still operate without the support of coaches or mentors.

Staff I’ve spoken with, who’ve established ministry partners without the help of a coach, are quick to point out their frustrations. They explain that someone to help them with training, guide them toward the right approach and resources, and to offer support and encouragement would have been a game changer.

The demand for MPD coaching is so high that individuals around the world are stepping in to provide a third-party solution. They offer (and charge for) their services separate from any organization. New staff may pay a set monthly fee or a percentage of their raised funds for this service. New staff say that the support received is well worth the cost.

As Converge states, “MPD Coaching accelerates both your competency and accountability.”

What makes successful coaches

Teach Beyond explains that coaches are meant to provide accountability, encouragement and access to greater assistance.

Charlie Berry, MPD guru, makes it his mission to “equip and inspire laborers to be Christ-centered, fully funded, and financially faithful.”

East West Ministries International lists the following skills as requirements of a good coach at their organization:

  • Experienced in raising personal and ministry support

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • Excellent phone skills

  • Ability to listen well

  • Experienced with one-on-one ministry

  • Administrative skills

Staff should be able to relate to coaches because they have prior experience in ministry partnerships. A great coach should be able to inspire new staff to give it one more day, just as a good personal trainer can encourage you to do one more rep, when all you want to do is quit.

Ministry Partner Development and Mentorship

Amplify coaches and new staff with the right tools

Organizations with successful coaching programs face their own challenges. Coaches work with several new staff at once. Their attention is often divided and they can miss important opportunities to assist new staff. Software is one way to support the relationships between coaches and new staff.

Software to support the staff and coach relationship

A relationship-centered platform gives new staff and coaches a place where they can connect with one another. It also allows access to useful content and relevant data so coaches and new staff can tailor their approach. Because coaches must support a large number of new staff, the right tools will also help them know who needs attention and what they need. That way they focus their effort on the right person at the right time.



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