Ten Reasons Every Leader Needs A Coach

Written by Shawn Lovejoy on Oct 05, 2021 in Pastoral Helps

Read Time: 4 minutes

I just turned fifty years old. I find it hard to believe that I have already been coaching pastors for twenty years. However, when I am speaking to a group of leaders, I will often say: "If you hear me say something and think to yourself, 'I have heard that somewhere before.'" I can promise you that's true. I have rarely had an original thought! Everything I know I learned from someone else ... probably a coach!" 

I have indeed had some great mentors and coaches in my life: Sam Chand, Andy Stanley, Larry Osborne, Dave Ferguson, Todd Wilson, Rick Warren, and others. I say this not to name-drop, but to express that I am who I am because of the great coaches investing in my life. 

I just simply believe that every leader should have a coach. I have usually had at least three different coaches regularly speaking into my life at the same time! I process every major decision through a coach and many minor decisions as well. Why do I believe in coaching so much? Well, listed below are ten reasons I believe every leader needs a coach. 

1. Coaching is Biblical 

God reminds us over and over in Scripture about the importance of seeking counsel and getting advice from wise people around us.

Proverbs 19:20 is a great example: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life." 

Proverbs 20:18 says, "Plans succeed through good counsel; don't go to war without wise advice."

Notice it says wise advice. It's easy to get counsel from all our friends. However, what we often need is counsel from someone who's been where we're going. Someone more experienced than we are. Someone wiser than us. It's Biblical! 

2. Coaching protects us 

I'm proud of the fact that in 20 years of vocational ministry, I never had a trainwreck. The ministries I led never went off the rails. Because I'm perfect? No. Because I stayed in relationship with Godly, wise coaches in my life, it helped keep me sane, centered, and married. I sought counsel before every major decision, so it made my choices better! We never had a trainwreck in the ministries I led because coaches always helped me see the potential train coming and helped me navigate around it. Coaches have helped to save me many times! 

3. Coaching gives permission 

I have found that we as leaders often have a sense deep down in our minds of what the issues are. We have a sense of what God wants us to do. We just need to hear someone else say we're not CRAZY for thinking what we're thinking! We need the courage to move forward! I call that giving leaders permission. 

4. Coaching offers an outside perspective

We all have blind spots. We all have a certain lens through which we see the world and the organizations we lead. We all have specific ways of thinking. The challenges in front of us often become like forgotten cracks in a mirror we don't see after a certain period of time. Coaching addresses all of that with a new, fresh perspective!

5. Coaching talks leaders off the ledge

There have been many days I have called a coach because I thought the sky was about to fall. Things were not good. The stuff was hitting the fan. My mind was stuck on the worst-case scenario. However, when I get the sound wisdom I need from a coach, I can change my perspective and come down from the ledge in those moments. 

6. Coaching inspires us

Not one time in a coaching conversation did I ever come away discouraged. I went into almost every coaching conversation that way...but didn't leave that way! I can honestly say that I have been most inspired to think and dream bigger and pursue the vision God has placed on my heart on the heels of coaching conversations. Coaching has that kind of power! Good coaches inspire their players. I have been inspired, and I love doing the same for other leaders. 

7. Coaching challenges us

Iron sharpens iron. Do you know HOW iron sharpens iron? Heat and friction! We need both. We need to be pushed. We need to be held accountable. We need to execute. We need to read. We need to learn. We need to get and stay healthy. Coaches are like personal trainers. They provide challenges and accountability that we can't get by downloading content or attending conferences.

8. Coaching grows the leadership capacity of myself and the organization I lead 

 Almost everything I know I learned from someone else. So when I spend time with someone who's been further down the road than I am now, I glean from their lives and grow in ways I wouldn't otherwise be able to. My capacity to lead expands, and so does the organization I lead as a result.

9. Coaching confronts isolation and loneliness

Sure we can attend conferences and download content, but where can I sit down and talk through whatever's keeping me up at night. Where else can we go and ask: "So I've got this worship leader…”? A great coach starts with my challenges, not their content! We're passionate about that aspect at CourageToLead.com!

10. Coaching gives us an advantage

Learning, growing, leaders win. They succeed. Period! Isolated leaders? They stop learning and stop growing. Sooner or later, the organizations they lead do the same. Don't allow that to be you! 

Get the coaching you need

These are just ten reasons I have surrounded myself with coaches and given my life and ministry to coaching leaders. 

Our team at Couragetolead.com would love to provide all of this for you! Why would you NOT get coaching? Because it costs something? What will it cost you if you don't have a coach? I believe a far greater cost! That's why we want to help you.

I am excited to share with you that StartCHURCH and Courageous Pastors have partnered up to offer outstanding coaching to all the church planters, pastors, and ministry leaders that StartCHURCH has the privilege of serving. We are excited to now offer fantastic coaching packages that are financially accessible for every planter. You can find out more about it here: 

Learn about our partnership with Courageous Pastors!


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Raul Rivera

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