The Spirit-Led Leader
I realized early on in ministry that I was not smart enough to be the Holy Spirit. The best I can do is to help people listen to what God is doing in their life and then to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to see God’s agenda become a reality.

Written By Robert E Logan

Christian Coaching Pioneer, Strategic Ministry Catalyst, Resource Developer, Empowering Consultant : Logan Leadership

The Coach’s Role

When we are discipling people, I’ve found that almost everybody knows at least one area where they need to grow. We all recognize the need—we just need the support and encouragement to get there. So why should I tell people where God wants them to grow? They can listen to the Holy Spirit for themselves. My role is to help them listen to the Spirit, to ask them good questions that point them toward God and what he may have for them. Even if people don’t know fully where they need to grow, they usually know something and can start there.

A coach’s role is to discover what God is already doing in your client as nurture it.

Listening to the Spirit

It was a life-changing, paradigm-shifting moment for me when I truly recognized the role of the Spirit in our lives. It has profound implications for how we listen to God and others, how we trust God and others, and how we see our own role. The best leaders in ministry today don’t lead from a place of self, but by listening to the voice and direction of God.

Consider: Do you really believe that the Holy Spirit can speak to people? To you? To others? Regardless of our different theologies, we can all agree that the Spirit communicates with everyone, although we may differ on how exactly he does that. All believers have the capacity to hear from God. If that’s true, it changes everything.

Spirit-led leader listening to the Holy Spirit

Following Jesus’ Example

The world sees as leaders those who are full of confidence in themselves, who know the right answers, who always know what to do in every situation. Jesus’ view—and the example he sets—of leadership is much different. He models a leadership that relies heavily on God the Father and the Holy Spirit. We see him praying for his disciples, discerning who to invest in, and figuring out where to go next. “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19). It’s a posture of humility.

Powerful Leadership

Our being in cooperation with what God is doing in the lives of other people is what can truly make our leadership powerful—not our own skills or insights. As Henry Blackaby has written, “Find out where God is working and join him there.”

Take this approach even in your strategic planning: staying connected to Jesus, listening for the voice of the Spirit, discerning our next step, then looking around and listening again. We might be able to see clearly the end goal where we need to go, but we often need to hear from God step by step how to get there. Do this together with others on our team, listening to God together.

Spirit-led Leadership Simplified

Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit in all aspects of life: how he wants you to grow next, who he wants you to invest in, where he wants you to focus your energy. And trust that God is working in others too. Help them learn to listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit. This mutual leaning on the Spirit should be the default posture for our leadership, our discipling relationships, the way we are helping others develop, and our own personal life.

If it is not, we become the branch that is no longer connected to the vine, believing we can lead with no nutrients and no energy source. As Jesus said, “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4).

Note: A version of this entry first appeared on Christianity Today.

Building and Supporting a Network of Excellent Coaches

It is incredible to see coaching championed as a vital component to church planting, church revitalization, and leadership networks. But for coaches—and those they coach—to thrive they need more than initial coach training…

How to Make Change Stick

As a coach, you know change is hard. That’s why people need the help of a coach when making real change stick.

Working with Clients to Declutter Time

Spring is here… and so is spring cleaning! But have you ever thought of spring cleaning applied not just to your house and garage but to your time? Your calendar? Your list of responsibilities? 

Your coaching business depends on THIS

You want to be the one people look to when they need help or when they are ready to do what it takes to make their dreams come true. To be that person, there is one area that you absolutely cannot let falter…

4 Keys to Effective Fundraising

When coaching people in the nonprofit sector the topic of fundraising is bound to come up. Here are some tips to help.

Simple Ministry Assessment

Your clients have plans and systems in place. The big question: Are they working? Help the ministry leaders you coach take a clear-eyed snapshot of where their ministry current is while creating action items with this simple ministry assessment.

What is your vision to cultivate leaders?

Every church should have a leadership development system. Even if that system is currently working, it needs to be assessed regularly to meet changing needs. Here are the basics that every leadership development system should have…

How to connect with high-level leaders

You want to build your coaching business but you don’t want to feel like a salesperson working on commission. The good news is: you don’t need to work up a semi-uncomfortable sales pitch and practice delivering it. Here’s what to do instead…

Get your clients ready for change

You are coaching change leaders, people who need to get others on board and growing toward to what’s next. Here’s a simple way to gauge the level of receptivity for change and discover the way forward.

What is the best way to turn a corner? 

The ultimate goal of coaching is to help clients change their lives for the better and grow personally and in their ministries. As you help people prepare for what’s next, it’s important to help them slow down, assess and adjust so they can round the next corner with confidence. Here’s how…