5 Ways that Leaders Can Foster a Growth Mindset in their Churches

  • 27 March 2017
  • Randy Wollf

vine climbing up tree trunk How do we cultivate a church culture where people actually want to grow in their affection for Christ and in their capacity to serve Him more effectively? Without a growth mindset, people will likely be satisfied with a mediocre distortion of biblical Christianity—"a standard churchy spirituality that doesn't require any real action, courage, or sacrifice" (Allan Hirsch).

A deep, disciple-making movement is possible when people grow in their relationship with God, develop godly character, pursue their God-given calling, love others, and hone and use their gifts/abilities in tandem with others (see Seven Dimensions of Christian leadership).

Let me share five ways that leaders can foster a growth mindset in their churches:

1. Share what you're learning

Growing leaders inspire others to grow. I would encourage leaders to humbly share what they’re learning from Scripture, what is helping them from their other reading and watching, and the lessons God is trying to teach them through their mistakes and successes. Be open and transparent about your journey.

2. Facilitate learning experiences

If you’re a ministry leader, you must facilitate learning experiences for your ministry team. Regularly debrief with team members one-on-one and as a team to catch key lessons that will strengthen people and the ministry. Do training activities with your team whether it’s 15 minutes at the start of a meeting or at an annual retreat.

Note: MinistryLift is available to help you with your training needs. Feel free to contact us for live training options or check out our Video Training Resources.

3. Provide appropriate resources that build capacity 

8 Characteristics of Disciple-Making Relationships

  • 20 March 2017
  • Randy Wollf

3 women laughing togetherGrowing relationships are an essential component of discipleship in the church. Without relational depth, discipleship suffers.

In this blog, I will describe eight characteristics of effective disciple-making relationships within a larger community.

1. Transparency

In a transparent community, people are open and real with one another. They share successes and struggles. They’re not afraid to deal with tough questions. In fact, when this kind of transparency exists in a church, young people are much more likely to stick with the church as they move into adulthood (see blog on the Hemorrhaging Faith Study).

2. Investment

Developing deep relationships requires a significant investment of time and energy. Are we willing to carve out this space in our busy lives? Of course, maintaining meaningful relationships takes time and effort, as well. When we get close to people, we enter their world—a complex and sometimes messy place. Living in those spaces requires commitment!

For several years, my family participated in missional communities that met in homes. Some people called them "simple church." Yet, we discovered that even though the structure was simple, the life-on-life discipleship that took place was far from simple. However, the Jesus-followers in effective disciple-making communities are willing to invest deeply in one another's lives.

3. Levity

When we laugh and enjoy one another, we are in a much better position to go deeper with one another. Levity is the gateway to and moderator of the intensity that is often required for deep discipleship.

4. Intensity

We want to have fun together, but we also need a certain amount of intensity that will position us to press more deeply into one another’s lives. For example, if someone is struggling with a particular temptation, we would want to provide the necessary support and accountability.

5. Prayerfulness

The 5 Stages of a Structured Coaching Conversation

  • 27 February 2017
  • Randy Wollf

man listening to friendCoaching and mentoring are a way of life. We can turn any conversation into a mentoring opportunity by listening, asking good questions, helping people focus on what’s most important, and empowering them to take next steps (I address these four skills in my blog, Why Being a Mentor Isn’t as Scary as You Think). However, there is also a place for using these skills in structured coaching sessions where we intentionally engage in disciple-making conversations during several planned sessions. 

In this blog, I will describe the five stages of a structured coaching conversation using the COACH Model for Christian Leaders by Keith Webb (you will notice that each stage corresponds to the letters in the word COACH). 

Connect – build rapport and trust 

Every mentoring conversation requires a meaningful connection, so that the other person is willing to share and explore possibilities. At the start of the session, it’s important to take time to build rapport, revisit goals from the previous session, and pray together. 

Sample questions:

  • How have you been?
  • What progress have you made on the action steps you identified the last time we spoke?

Outcome – find out what the person would like to discuss 

In a coaching session, it is highly beneficial for the coachee to identify an outcome for the conversation. This helps focus the interaction on what’s most important to them, leading to better results. Asking good questions can probe beneath the surface of a presenting issue and uncover something that might be even more critical to discuss. Make sure that the outcome is achievable during the time you have together.

Sample questions:

  • What would be most helpful for us to work on today?
  • What result would you like to take away from our conversation? 

Awareness – discover more about the issues and current reality