I mentioned in the Where’s Chris? article that I’ve been spending a lot of time meeting with mentors from all across the world. This has been going on for several years now.
I’ve always been a big fan of coaching. I think everyone needs a coach. Coaches make you better at whatever you do.
As we all know, even professional athletes have a coach. No one has to convince them that they need one. Everyone recognizes that you can be better in business, in professional sports, & in virtually every aspect of life if you have a coach. The same is true for churches too.
Before we started eLife 10 years ago, I knew I needed a church planting coach. I had no idea how to plant a church. I had never done that before.
I remember getting a flyer one day in chapel at my seminary about a guy named Sam Douglass who was coaching church planters. I held on to that flyer & decided to give him a call. When he answered, I told him I was looking for a coach that would help me learn to plant a church. He said he’d love to help.
We started meeting on a regular basis at a donut shop in Fort Worth, TX & Sam walked me through the process. He taught me how to put together a proposal for the new church. He taught me how to approach people & raise money. He taught me some of the strategies I could use to start the church. He walked with me all the way to our launch & throughout the history of our church.
I had planned to start a church in either Frisco, TX or Round Rock, TX, but it was Sam who challenged me to consider going back to home to Lubbock, TX to start my church.
Without Sam, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today. I definitely wouldn’t be in Lubbock. God used him in a tremendous way in my life over the past 10 years. He’s been a pastor to me & someone who was always available for a phone call if I ever had any questions or difficulties. He’s exactly what you’d hope for in a coach & he’s been by my side for over 10 years now. He’s cheering us on into the next 10!
As we began venturing into the world of DMM, I knew I needed another coach. I had never been a part of a Disciple-Making Movement (DMM) before. All I knew about them is what I had read. I knew that a coach could help me get started, avoid pitfalls, and guide me through the process.
One of our mission partners that I referred to in the Millions article has a staff member that lives here in Lubbock. He happened to attend our church. When he heard I was getting interested in some of what was happening overseas, he said, “Chris, one of the coaches in our movement named Stan is going to be in town soon, would you like to meet with him?”
I was like, “Absolutely!”
I thought, “If this guy is coaching that organization, and they’ve reached over 10 million people, he could be exactly the guy I’m looking for.”
I met Stan a few weeks later & we immediately connected. I met Stan a few weeks later & we immediately connected. This is the same Stan referred to in the What is DMM? article.
After spending a day with our team, I knew that this was a guy that we needed to stay in touch with. We met a few more times & I felt like he would be the best coach for us in the next season of our church.
The only problem was that he was already coaching all over the world & was highly sought after as a DMM coach. I didn’t know if he’d be willing to coach us since we were just getting started & really hadn’t borne much fruit yet.
Plus, he lived in Dubai & wasn’t in the US much. Much of our coaching would have to happen over Zoom (a video conferencing tool).
I still thought I would ask him & see what he said.
When he said yes, we were thrilled! We considered it such a great privilege to be coached by someone of his caliber.
He’s been coaching us for several years now & every time I talk to him, I feel like God speaks to me through him. The stories he tells about what God is doing all over the world are amazing. His experience with coaching people that have reached millions has been so beneficial to myself & our whole team.
We asked him what he wanted us to do first as we moved toward DMM.
He said he wanted to take us through a 12-week DMM Catalyst Training.
He told us he had taken a husband & wife through it who were missionaries in another country. After embracing the training & beginning to implement it, this couple saw over 5,000 churches planted in their first 4 years. And this was in a very difficult part of the world.
What?!?!?! Seriously? He was totally serious!
He told us several other amazing stories of what had happened when people implemented this training.
We couldn’t wait! We thought, “This is exactly what we need!”
Little did we know that this training would radically change our lives & the lives of many in our church!
Part 10 – DMM Training