To: SEND community
From: Ken Guenther, SEND U Director
Hello fellow-SENDers,
Over the past several months, in my monthly "comments on coaching" emails, I have been sharing some of what we (those of us in SEND who are coaching and being coached) are learning about this important tool for enhancing our ministry effectiveness. It has been encouraging to receive responses from missionaries all across SEND's world, asking for coaching or sharing about their personal experiences in coaching. Some of our women have had to wait a while until more SEND women coaches were trained, and I appreciate their patience. I am happy to report that in April, three more SEND women (and three SEND men) went through Keith Webb's training in Singapore, and are beginning to coach others. The backlog of those wanting to be coached is now being addressed.

I have also been keeping track of how many total hours our SEND U coaches are coaching, and I am delighted to see a steady climb in total coaching hours each quarter. At least eleven different SEND missionaries are coaching others, and I know of about 30 missionaries who are currently being coached. More than 50 have been coached at some point in the last couple of years. The majority of these are mission leaders, and it is encouraging to see that they are setting the pace. In many ways, we are still just beginning to develop a coaching culture, but it is a solid beginning.

As you probably recognize, coaching is only part of what SEND U is all about. I frequently refer to SEND U as SEND's training department, although I realize that training is also only part of what it means to "equip SEND missionaries and leaders to more effectively mobilize God's people and engage the unreached in order to establish reproducing churches." Maybe we should see training and coaching as two complementary "hands," both needed to develop our membership to accomplish our mission.

In fact, training becomes much more effective when combined with coaching. An article in Public Personal Management analyzes the impact of a managerial training program. They found that the training itself improved the managers' productivity by 22.4 percent. But when the training was followed by 8 weeks of one-on-one coaching, the productivity of these managers increased by 88 percent. The reason for this significant jump in training impact is not hard to understand. The training course supplied the content, the information, the framework. But the coaching helped each participant put that information into practice by giving encouragement, accountability and help with goal setting, problem-solving and evaluation. That great material didn't just stay in the binder and fill a spot on the managers' bookshelf, but actually was translated into real life changes in the way he or she led.

How can we effectively use coaching to follow-up on our training seminars or the online modules which we will be developing? Should this coaching be provided by team leaders, by SEND U personnel, or by other participants in the seminar (peer coaching)? These are questions which our SEND U Leadership Team will seek to address in the coming months. I invite you to share your ideas and thoughts with me about how coaching and training can work together. My email address - kenguenther@gmail.com

If you are interested in being coached to help you maximize the impact of some training or learning that you are currently engaged in, let me know. I find great joy in connecting SEND coaches with SEND missionaries, and seeing these relationships blossom as we work together for the sake of Christ's kingdom.

Finally, just a reminder to check out the SEND U wiki, which is a growing resource base for training and coaching. If you become a member (no cost, and described on the home page), you can also add helpful links and articles to the wiki.

Ken