20 Movement Leaders' Lessons
Global #NoPlaceLeft has been influenced by movement leaders from all over the world who have gone before and sacrificially given to emerging leaders as they sought to make the ceiling our foundation.
In the spirit of “freely giving as freely we received” we seek to do the same. We hope these learnings from developing leaders spurs you on as well.
Quarterly iron on iron / two of which are at a midlevel is #1 for me. The cross-pollinating and peer learning at the midlevels has been key. From that formed #2 which was the unstructured time with partners where peer relationships and deeper learning formed. #3 Then monthly-ish calls with mentors in between where I ask practical questions and get answers and ideas on who else I should go to and ask the same questions. #4 is having a healthy church and harvest rhythm within a 20 minute drive that includes guy or girl only accountability rhythms. #5 has been a rhythm of joining in on other network’s training every 3-6 months.
Prayer and fasting. Listening to the voice of Jesus to discern who the Father is giving to me to disciple/coach. If He gives them, the fruit sustains. Some of my biggest mistakes have been made trying to force a discipleship/coaching relationship that God wasn’t giving. Failing forward…
Probably the one thing I have learned in coaching / discipleship relationships: God somehow supernaturally connects you with people that are like-minded in vision and practice to co-labor with. And once you are connected you begin to sharpen one another in specific skills or tools. The principle is that: common vision and common practice united our hearts together to labor in Christ's. We frequently met, multiple times a week throughout different seasons. We engaged in prayer together, scripture study together, the harvest together, church together, and training together. Now we are each in different cities, pursuing the same vision, via similar practices.
1) Always a player-coach. The percentages of time spent as a player v. coach will shift from season to season, but in the kingdom one does not happen without the other.
2) Pray and fast
3) Problem solve with principles from the Word and raise up leaders who can do the same. I try to ask myself, "Is 'Jesus' my first response to the person I'm coaching?"
4) Lead from one step ahead, and follow one step ahead. It's so easy to look around at the amazing leaders in #NPL and think, "I want to be like him. I want to do that." And get pulled into things that are too many steps ahead. It takes patience, self-discipline, and trusting God to only take one step at a time.
5) Love them with your whole life and allow them to meet your needs.
I’ve adapted something that I heard from a movement leader used with emerging faithful leaders:
Month 1 - once a week interaction
Month 2 - once every two weeks
Month 3 - one interaction
After that you give them full availability
It’s flexible depending on each situation.
Quality time with mentors has been huge.
About once a year spending undivided time with them. Usually 3-5 days.
I’m learning to find the God prepared Timothies and not force them.
Iron on Irons have helped me and helped others for sure.
Doing an intensive with others has been helpful to learn from others and get hang time with them. Maybe one or two of these a year for me.
Prayer and fasting to discern who God wants me to focus time giving my life away to.
Daily time in the Word to feed others from the “fresh bread” God gives me each morning.
Relational time with disciples/those you’re coaching to enjoy time together. This goes a long way in building trust.
In general, I’ve observed that there are at least two tracks when it comes to investing in others: strategy and relationship. It is really easy to make everything about the strategy. But without investment in the relationship, there is no trust. When adversity comes if time has not been spent investing in the relationship then trust is easily fractured and takes much time to re-cultivate.
As relationship grows, open more and more of my own life up to those I’m investing in.
Staying committed to them even when they fail, disappoint, or hurt you. If the Father gave them to you, then it’s a call to love them.
Learning and using practical tools for: empathy, vulnerably expressing your own needs, and how to reconcile well after conflict (difference between good and bad apologies). This has been a game changer for our team(s)!
Take those you’re investing in to learn from movements abroad.Having my own personal exposure to movement focused people who are seeing fruit using other methods. This has helped me to learn and challenge my thinking/assumptions. This also makes what you can draw from more diverse when it comes to coaching. There is no “one shoe fits all” solution in multiplication. Ex: we’ve spent time learning from a Disciple Making Movement and it has served to challenge us and grow our understanding of the Kingdom.
As I look back, one of my failures in coaching has been aiming to override people stages of growth in the kingdom (first the grain, then the stalk, the head, & then the full kernel) which has led to my own frustration and theirs. In other words, it has been seeking to bring them to my level instead of meeting them at theirs.
Taking into account my own journey.
I found it important to coach the whole person, not just their fruit. (A lesson learned from a movement leader). Use open-ended questions often.
Sometimes coaching is seasonal & sometimes lifelong.
To provide training based on the presenting need of the person(s).
Refrain from giving quick answers, coaching them to trouble shoot themselves, learn intuitive thinking, and Spirit reliance.
Reminding them that your time together is important. Be there prepared to be nowhere else.
Attend to what motivates them, emotionally. Help them discern the positive and negative impact of their actions or restraints.
Ask if there is anything they need to make their action plans a reality.
Remind them that accountability is ownership. It’s about me helping them live out their values in contrast to “making them live it out.”
If you have a coach, let them get time with your coach.
It all flows through my dinner table. For me the definition of a practitioner is someone who is actually walked through all of the fields and gotten their feet dirty. As a result they have developed as a leader. ￼￼The guys I know in this group I would consider practitioners because they have suffered the pain of disciples and churches falling off. They have faithfully done the right things for the right reasons no matter the results. ￼ they have celebrated success with teams and not taking the credit for themselves. This is why I say it all starts at the dinner table and the Lord’s table. The greatest work the Father has done in and through my life has been the work that very few have seen, and it has been sharing meal after meal with those I am discipling and coaching. For me the formal teaching and the training are the easy part but sharing meals is where the rubber meets the road. ￼￼￼So I have shared meals with my family, with those far from God, and my church family. “Be hospitable to one another”
“The foundation of Christ’s movement didn’t remain in the temple. It was laid in homes, with pockets of people who committed their allegiance to Him. It appears that they gave not only their lives, but their homes to be used for gatherings to support the movement; to disciple new believers; and to lovingly host journeying strangers. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me…” (Matthew 25:35-36, NIV).
What about these verses?
“Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2, NIV).
“Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-”
“controlled, upright, holy and disciplined” (Titus 1:8, NIV).
“Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Rom 12:13, NIV).
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9, NIV).
There is a strong connection between the loss of our vision and mission, and the loss of hospitality. One of my favorite quotes supports this:
“If every Christian family in the world simply offered good conversation around a table once a week to neighbors, we would eat our way into the kingdom of God.”
Remind them of how much can be accomplished if they don’t have to get the credit.
For those I’ve coached—and as I reflect on my own journey—coaching is both practical and relational. It’s a progressive hands on repentance process that happens in the life-on-life transfer from bumping elbows with a lot of people and changing the way we live. I like how one movement leader calls that the “cool uncle” syndrome wherein someone outside the network can say the exact same thing but the lightbulb goes off.
In my experience coaching has been about 90% encouragement. As people learn to listen to the Word and Spirit they become natural problem-solvers and just need encouragement to live out what He is saying even when it’s difficult.
One movement leader told me recently that even when his coaches were showing him in the word his tradition wasn’t Biblical, it didn’t move him. Only the combo of the word and the Spirit caused him to change.
Loads of encouragement. Model of steadfast resiliency.
You have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you speak. Listening is the key to discipleship. Listening both to the Lord, and those you are discipling. Never stop listening.
One thing I thought of was affirming that leaders give emerging leaders exposure to movements, other movement leaders, and movement practitioners has been really impactful.
One movement leader launched me into a lifelong study of Acts, Paul and Epistles for best principles and practices. After training a segment of the four fields at a four-day training, he walked up to me and gave me this feedback: "Hey bro, you got to stop saying [Movement Leader] said..' and start saying 'Jesus says' or 'scripture says'... If I'm the foundation for your practice, then I promise I will fail you. If scripture is the foundation, it endures forever."
After encouraging, I usually start asking questions about their 1-3-9 (their timothies and their timothy’s timothies). It’s gotten to the point where the folks I’m coaching just naturally move the conversation to the greater things their disciples have done (John 14:12). Every 6 months, we plan out how they will get intentional fellowship and strategy time with their timothies. All new training is to find the 5-7 with whom they will invest 5-7 days per month.