Archives For Mentoring

You can be a leader or you can develop others. Which should you do? The answer is “both.”

A leader must lead while also developing others. In this post I explain that there are (at least) four reasons leaders must develop others.


4 Reasons Leaders Must Develop OthersPhoto Credit: BibleVector

I believe there are four reasons that leaders must develop others.

1. Jesus Developed Others

The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are each filled with stories about Jesus developing His 12 disciples. Jesus sent those disciples out and He developed them. He taught them and then released them to attempt ministry on their own.

Jesus had a five step process for developing His disciples:

Leaders are teachers. Teaching is how leaders equip their team and prepare them for the work that needs to be done.

3 Ways to Use Gagne's Theory of Instruction for Better Teaching

Flickr Photo Credit: mcholdnicki

However, teaching most be done often and it must be done correctly. While reading the book, Psychology of Learning for Instruction, I learned about Gagne’s Theory for Instruction. It has three lessons leaders can learn for better teaching. Continue Reading…

Discipleship is core to the Christian faith. It is the way we reproduce ourselves and pour our lives into the new Christians learning to live a life obedient to the Bible and Jesus’ example. But, what should a discipleship meeting look like? How should it flow? What should be talked about?

pic of two people meeting

Flickr Photo Credit: Digital Internet

As I shared in a past post I have began discipling a young man named Allan (not his real name). We have been meeting and I am doing my best to disciple him. My model of discipling Allan comes from what I was taught while at student at Fresno Pacific University and what has been modeled to me through the mentorship of Steve Elliott.

Based on these experiences, here is a picture of what I believe a disciple meeting should look like. Continue Reading…

The process of discipling a new Christian is important and critical to the Christian faith. Therefore, deciding what to study when a discipleship relationship begins is also vitally important and must be done with care and tact.

pic of books to study

Flickr Photo Credit: jimmiehomeschoolmom

This year I have enjoyed the process of discipling a young man named Allan (not his real name). However, the beginning of a discipleship relationship is very important because it lays the foundation for what is going to occur later in the discipleship process. In the second meeting Allan and I had we were faced with the topic of how to decide what to study. Continue Reading…

One of my wife’s girlfriends recently began dating a young man who was a new Christian. I wondered if Allan (not his real name) had anyone who was discipling him. Later I learned that Allan had been connected to someone at his church to disciple him, but the person had not returned Allan’s calls.

pic of question mark

Flickr Photo Credit: Colin K

As a result, I asked to be connected to Allan and see if he might be interested in meeting with me to discuss the possibility of me being a disciple to him. The meeting went great and we have been meeting twice a month since then. (If you’re not sure what a “disciple” is, this blog post will help.) Continue Reading…

When a person comes to the end of his life he is going to be selective with his last words. He will only say what he feels is most important; those will be the words remembered by everyone who hears them.

Why Discipling Others is Important pic

Knowing the importance and significance of a person’s last words helps us to understand the importance of Jesus’ final words:

. . . Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always even to the end of the age. 1 Continue Reading…


  1. Matthew 28:19-20 NLT

Today’s post is the final part of a series about coaching. I wrote these articles while interning with Church Assistance Ministry and have decided to share them with you because coaching is one of the many elements of leadership.


As a result of being coached by Steve Elliott I have done much more than I ever thought I could.

Mentoring Coaching

I have done great things that I never would have done by myself.  For two more years I lead A Day of Hope while being coached by Steve.  During those two years we experienced explosive growth in the amount of people we were successful to feed. I wish I could take more of the credit for the growth we experienced, but to be honest, much of it was because of the coaching Steve was giving to me.

Steve has reminded me of the things I know, and helped me to take them further.  He has also helped to draw out of me the good qualities and strengths that laid dormant within me.  But as a good coach does, he drew them out of me.

After being coached by a great leader, a great man, and a great Christ follower, I know have:

  1. More patience with people to allow them to catch up to my vision and goals
  2. More openness to new ideas and suggestions of others when those ideas and suggestions don’t agree with mine.
  3. More security in myself as a leader and am confident in my ability to lead.
  4. More comfort in approaching conflict because I know it is a necessary part of leadership.
  5. More understanding of what my strengths are and how I use them for the benefit of leading others.

Not only has Steve helped to develop leadership qualities and skills into my life, he also played a crucial role in me making a decision to become a follower of Jesus in November of 2009. Earlier I did not share that Steve had offered to mentor and coach someone (me) who was not even a Christian. I had yet to make that decision in my heart to follow Jesus. In spite of that decision I had not made (which he knew about) he continued to coach me every month. As we would meet he would drop in some Bible teaching to me and we would talk about the Bible and Jesus. So when that opportunity presented itself on a Wednesday evening at a friend’s home to accept Jesus into my heart, I took it. And Steve played a crucial role in helping me become ready to make that decision.

This article has included what the impact of coaching has had on my  life so far.  I have shared with you what I have done and experienced as a result of being coached by my dear friend, Steve Elliott.  I have shared with you the impact coaching has had on my life so far.   However, my story is not over.  The impact that Steve has had on my life will continue to affect me for the rest of my life.  The affects of coaching has been good so far, now I get to see the rewards and what happens in my life for the following years and decades.  I am only 25 years old, and I am excited to enjoy many more learns of life and coaching.  My story, is just beginning.

People come into your life for a reason, a seasons or a lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support,
To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Author Unknown

 Question: How has coaching made a positive difference in your life?

Today’s post is part of a series about coaching. I wrote these articles while interning with Church Assistance Ministry and have decided to share them with you because coaching is one of the many elements of leadership.

Mentoring Coaching



One of the great benefits of having a large age (at least for me) difference between Steve and I is that I mature greatly while spending time with him.  Who we spend time with today determines who we will become tomorrow.  That has become very evident to me after spending a significant amount of time with Steve.

As a result of spending time being coached by a man with 40 years of ministry experience, I now look at the world different.  Steve is able to tell me about how the church ran in the sixties and seventies, which brings perspective to me and my life.

Becoming more mature through coaching also allows me to move faster and quicker through life.  One example is that he has taught me to have a list of core values that help guide my life.  These core values clarify who I am as a man, and allow me to make important decisions with ease and confidence knowing that I am making a decision based on a view of who I am and who I want to be.


A benefit of meeting with Steve one-to-one has been that he is able to see me at my worst as a leader.  Steve knew about my struggles as a young leader.  He knew about volunteers that stopped volunteering with me because of my lack of good leadership.  He has been me react emotionally to people and treat them unkindly when I should have been more professional and patient.  And when I ay he knew it, he read actual emails that were being sent between unhappy volunteers and myself.

Leaders need someone who they can be totally open and honest with to share our hearts and our feelings with.  This is where good coaching takes place.  It goes deep into you as a leader and examines you and improves who you are at your core by getting rid of the bad that’s in there, and draws out the good that is in there.

A good coach is someone who allows us to peel back that outer protective covering so that he can see what’s in there.  Once the coach sees what is in there, he then is able to coach us based on the weaknesses we have and build on our strengths.

A young leader desperately needs a coach who can offer this to him.  There were many times where I needed Steve to be an objective person who I could talk to about issues that were inappropriate to talk with my volunteers at A Day of Hope.

Through all this transparency and peeling back the outer layering of a leader, is that a coach will still be right there to encourage and coach the young leader.  No mater what I have been through and told Steve about, he has always affirmed his belief in me and told me that he knows I will be able to pull off what I needed to do.

Question: What do you believe the elements of coaching are?

Today’s post is part of a series about coaching. I wrote these articles while interning with Church Assistance Ministry and have decided to share them with you because coaching is one of the many elements of leadership.

Mentoring Coaching


From my personal experience, I believe there are five elements of being coached.  Since this is my personal experience, your list might be different, but this is my list of what has been key parts of being successfully coached by Steve Elliott.


If I could summarize one word to symbolize what Steve coaching me has meant, it would be the word “belief.”  Steve’s belief in me as a leader has been the most impactful thing to me more than anything else.  Steve has believed in me more than anyone else has before, and that’s  probably one of the reasons that he has had a greater impact on me than anyone else.  That belief is transferred into my own life, and as he has expressed that belief to me month after month, year after year in our coaching time, it has become part of me.

There are six things that has caused Steve’s belief in me to be so impactful:

  1. He expressed that belief to me directly.
  2. He expressed that belief to other people who knew me, and they told me about it.
  3. There was no personal gain for him expressing his belief in me
  4. He is 65 years old with many people and life experience, so he knows how to recognize good talent.
  5. He is a great leader who also teaches other leaders to be great.
  6. He develops tests and behavioral interviews to evaluate potential leaders and church planters.

Thinking about the impact Steve’s belief has had in me as a young leader reminds me of when I was being taught by a golf instructor by the name of Chris Bitticks.  Mr. Bitticks and I are still friends today, but when I was a teenager he had a great impact on my life as a golfer and a young man.  Bitticks believed in me and always knew that I had wha tit took to reach my goals.  Bitticks expressed his belief in me with actions instead of words.  He always gave me his time to instruct me on the golf course, eat meals with me, and talk over the phone when I was away playing in golf tournaments.  Bitticks always knew that I worked hard on my golf game, and he responded with his belief in my golf game by always giving his time to help me.

Experiencing coaching from someone who greatly believes in your gives you a tremendous amount of confidence because you know someone has your back.  No matter what you do or say, you always know that you have an experienced person who believes in you and what you are doing, even when other people do not.


When meeting with steve I have been fortunate to ask him many questions.  Asking Steve questions and having him answer them has probably been the majority of the time we spend together.  I often come to Steve with questions about what I experienced, what I have had to go through, what I don’t understand, and what I do not know how to do.

Because Steve has 40 years of ministry experience, he has many answers to those questions.  He is able to dig deep into his rich life of ministry experience and leadership experience to provide coaching to assist me.  Answers to those questions has helped to provide specific coaching to me in areas that I need help.  It allows us to go deep into issues that I can improve and draw out of me the skills that I need to be an effective leader who can serve others.  Those answers take me further, to new places as a leader.

Often when Steve would be answering my questions he would take the topic deeper into areas that I had not thought about before.  Or he would provide coaching on the problem I asked a question about, then tell me what to expect next once I solved the problem.  Often these were scenarios and topics I had not thought of before.

If Steve saw an area that he thought I needed coaching in, he would add value to me and teach me in that area, even if I didn’t ask a question.  He would look at the areas of my leadership and offer advice and hold me accountable to what I had said I would do.


Being coached by Steve Elliott has also given me specific skills.  As I referenced earlier, sometimes leadership conferences are filled with the “fluff” to motivate you to want to learn and grow as a leader instead of them providing you with training for new skills.  For me, I have always had the strong desire to lead and serve people, but only thing holding me back where specific leadership skills to help me lead effectively.  I had a strong motivation to lead people, but my skill set did not match up with my motivation.

When Steve and I meet, we both know that I have a strong desire to lead, and that allows us to go further, faster.  Because we start with the skills that I need to go from there.  This has helped me tremendously to improve my skills by maximizing my time with Steve.  Skills such as how to run a meeting effectively, how to prepare to deliver a talk, or how to deal with difficult people.  I have had the desire to lead people and serve people, and these were skills I needed to have to effectively lead others.  And Steve provided the training for that.

Today’s post is part of a series about coaching. I wrote these articles while interning with Church Assistance Ministry and have decided to share them with you because coaching is one of the many elements of leadership.

Mentoring Coaching


According to the definition that Steve has taught me, there is a difference between mentoring and coaching.

  • Mentoring: is where the mentor pours into me what he knows.
  • Coaching: is where the coach draws out of me what is already inside of me.

Most of my time with Steve has been focused on coaching, drawing out of me what is already inside.  He has helped to pull out what is on the inside by discerning my strengths as a leader and helping me to develop them the best I can.

A key assumption that coaching requires is that the person being coached has a strong motivation to grow and develop.  Like me, I’m sure you have attended lots of leadership and church conferences.  Many of these are filled with what I call “fluff.”  Fluff is that stuff they do to engage you, entertain you, and motivate you to learn while at the conference.  This might be great music, an inspiring story told by the opening speaker, or some other crazy act they might do.

But, coaching assumes that you already have this strong desire within you to grow as a leader.  Coaching’s job is to draw out of you the skills and tools that you need to lead people.  Because you already have the desire to lead, you need someone who can show you how to do it and coaching you to finding your own way of leading people.

In my experience, I had tremendous desire to serve families through A Day of Hope, but I did not have the skills necessary to make it happen.  I had the “want” but did not have the “how.”  And that’s what Steve provided me through coaching: the how to lead people.

Question: What do you believe is the difference between mentoring and coaching?