Tag Archives: Xenos Summer Institute 2011

Scott Risley on Coaching According to the Pastoral Epistles

Dwight Marable and Jim Egli state that coaching is key to long-term success of groups.

I & II Timothy is a good Biblical basis for coaching.  That being said, note that it’s only 10 chapters and the intent of these books was not specifically to
give us a coaching manual.

Issues to Balance:

  1. Relationships and Tasks.
    1. Paul and Timothy express deep affection for each
      other.  They reference family, shared experiences, and mutual friends.
    2. However, ministry advice dominates the letter.  Relationship happens in the ministry.
    3. Application. There are no false dichotomies.  Relationships and tasks aren’t opposed to each other.  Working together creates a common bond, so put a slight emphasis on the task.  Do the work along natural/organic relational
      channels.  People already bonded relationally will work better together.
  2. Instructions and Principles.
    1. Paul gets really specific and authoritative in
      instructions in I Timothy– who to confront, how to confront, qualifications of leaders, who goes on the widow list and what is to be done for them.
    2. By II Timothy, advice is broader and with more
      of an explanation on “why?”
    3. Application.  Start with instructions in early relationships but move to principles when they are up to speed.  Less experienced leaders need explicit advice.  Help them succeed first, give them the why later.  Competency is necessary – there are things to
      get done.
  3. Character and Skills.
    1. Character is pounded on in the Pastoral Epistles.  He emphasizes it for Timothy and he emphasizes it as qualifications for elders and deacons.  Elder/Deacon selection is weighted 4:1 favoring character over skills.
    2. Skills are still a real asset.  You can’t just work on character with people.  You can do work without character, but you can be full of character and still a clutse.
    3. Application. Don’t overlook weak character. Monitor health habits like marriage, relationships, sin habits, rest/Sabbath, spending time with God in solitude.
  4. Holy Spirit and Strategy
    1. Interestingly, there are almost no explicit references to the Spirit’s role in ministry (some implicit references).  It’s somewhat shocking when you consider how much the Holy Spirit shows up in Acts. There are many references to prayer.
    2. We’re to take a holistic consideration of all scripture, but the Pastoral Epistles greatly place the emphasis on sound strategy.
    3. Application. Super-Spiritual Mysticism is not substantiated.  We’re not intended to just pray and wait on prophetic leadings.  Pray it through thoroughly, but then move forward with sound well-counseled strategy.  We need to share knowledge and experiences, arriving at contextualized practices.

For a solid guide on how to lead during which phase of development for leaders, see Ken Blanchard’s Leadership and the One Minute Manager, 30, 68.

House Groups and People with Disabilities

One of the more emotionally compelling presentations that I experienced at the Xenos Summer Institute was on the integration of people with disabilities into the life of the church…

54 Million Americans have disabilities; that’s 1/6.  If you live long enough, we are all likely to experience a disability.

Disability is a feature of body or environment, inhibiting you from normal functioning in society. For example, people requiring wheelchairs aren’t necessarily disabled until buildings put in stairs.

Three common
experiences for people with disabilities in church.

  • Overlooked – no thought registered on the topic.
  • Separated – ministry with/for disabled people.
  • Mainstreamed – welcomed in with the rest, as
    long as no additional accommodations are necessary.

Integration Requires
Good Theology

  • I Corinthians 12:1-20 covers the concept of one
    body with many parts.  We therefore need
    an integrated approach.  Overlooking the
    value giving potential of those with disabilities is a travesty, and a
    separated approach prevents the church body from benefiting from the fully.
  • “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to
    acts of love and good works.”  Hebrews
  • Just like Jesus had vision for Peter, we need a
    vision for what people can become.
  • Did Moses have a speech impediment?  Was the most powerful figure of the Old
    Testament disabled?
  • For Jesus to become man, he took on disability.

Integration Starts
with Leaders and Involves the Whole House Group

  • Hebrews 13:7 indicates that the example of
    leaders is an inspirational lead to others.
  • Find creative long-haul solutions to welcome
    disabled members.
  • Start with people when they are young.  Expose your kids to disabled people.
  • Encourage self-advocacy by disabled people.  They must assert what accommodations they

Integration Requires
Flexibility and Creativity

  • People with wheel chairs might be hesitant about
    joining a group because of stairs or the need to rely on people to get up
    stairs.  You need to insist that they are
    welcome and should come.
  • One Xenos ministry house incorporated a handicap
    ready rental a few doors down.
  • Figure out how to involve their input in group
    discussion and gifts into ministry teams.
  • Offer a personal “buddy” to any children with
    disabilities that need special attention.
  • Offer a translator at one service.
  • Wheelchair friendly ramps, isles, and seating.

Word gets around fast in
disabled communities.  Don’t wait for
them to come and then accommodate.  Make
the accommodations, use your church’s communication channels to make the accommodations
known, and you’ll find word of mouth travels quickly.

Xenos Conference Video Debrief #5 – The Outtakes

Unfortunately, this is the only video of Jon that worked out!

Xenos Conference Video Debrief #4 – Brian on Committed Churches

Xenos Conference Video Debrief #3 – Joe and Phil on New People in Groups

Xenos Conference Video Debrief #2 – Phil on the Character of Hospitality

Xenos Conference Video Debrief #1 – Brian and Rick on Conference Favorites

I’m still unpacking lessons from the Xenos House Group Conference in Columbus Ohio two week back.  Thankfully, I have a little help from my travel companions.  Stay tuned for video debriefs all throughout this week on what the five of us learned.