Dave and Jon Ferguson, founding pastors of Community Christian Church in Chicago, join us for our next edition of the Exponential Podcast. In this conversation with two brothers who share a love for reproducing leaders that reproduce, the Fergusons look at three simple and proven tools any church can put into practice to raise up and disciple leaders who multiply.
Since starting Community Christian with a few college friends in 1989, Dave and Jon have become students and now teachers of church reproduction, leading Community to multiply to 10-plus locations throughout Chicago and coach close to a thousand churches. In the podcast excerpt below, they talk about their third tool for developing reproducing leaders—six coaching questions to ensure you’re always ready to have a one-on-one conversation that will help someone develop as a leader.
- How are you? This is always the first question you ask. You have to check in relationally and make sure you know where they’re coming from. They may have had a big fight with their spouse, or their kids may be wreaking havoc. Always remember that relationship is what you’re going after.
- What are you celebrating? This second question starts the meeting on a positive tone. It gives people permission to kind of brag about the things that are going well. Bragging doesn’t really fit into a lot of church cultures. So this question gives you as the leader the chance to say, “Great job!”
- What challenges are you facing? This is probably the second most important question. You want to start with their agenda: Where are the places you’re feeling stuck or discouraged?
- How are you going to tackle those challenges? This is the most important question. Most of us have been trained to give the answer. Resist the temptation to fix it for them. You’re also setting up leaders to be coaches who will coach others in the future.
- How can I help you? At that point, you can feel free to go ahead and enter into the solution.
- How can I pray for you? This could be reciprocated both ways: “How can I pray for you? Here’s how you can pray for me.” This question ties together the coaching conversation from one week to the next because you’re praying for that person.
Dave Ferguson is the lead pastor of Community, an innovative multi-site missional community passionate about “helping people find their way back to God.” Dave also provides visionary leadership for NewThing, a national church-planting network focused on being a catalyst for a movement of reproducing churches, and serves as president of Exponential. Dave is the co-author of The Big Idea, Exponential, On The Verge, Discover Your Mission Now and Finding Your Way Back to God. Next to Jesus, he loves his wife, Sue, immensely and their three terrific kids, Amy, Joshua and Caleb.
As a founding pastor of Community, Jon Ferguson is passionate about the mission of helping people find their way back to God. He leads the church’s Chicago Network, provides leadership for Staff Champions and teaches in weekend services. He also provides strategic leadership for NewThing. He has co-authored The Big Idea, Exponential, Discover Your Mission Now and Finding Your Way Back to God. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Chicago. They have two children, Graham and Chloe.