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Gospel Coach: Shepherding Leaders to Glorify God Paperback – April 28, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"This is an outstanding book, filled with immense amounts of spiritual and practical wisdom concerning the training of leaders among God's people. The book reflects a solid understanding of Scripture and many years of pastoral ministry experience. It challenged and encouraged my own life, ministry, and walk with God. Highly recommended!"
    Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies
    Phoenix Seminary, Phoenix, AZ
"I've seen my friend Scott Thomas shepherd church leaders for years. Scott is aware of the issues leaders face and their personal, spiritual, ministry lives. Gospel Coach is a practical and theologically rich book that will help produce healthy leaders to lead missional churches."
    Ed Stetzer, President of Lifeway Research, edstetzer.com

From the Back Cover

Every Leader Needs a Coach. 
    Many ministry leaders serving in churches find themselves overwhelmed, disillusioned, and depressed by the enormous and challenging task of leading and serving others. When leaders aren't healthy, the result is often an unhealthy church.
    Every church leader -- from full time ministers to volunteer leaders -- needs a gospel coach, someone to come along side them with words of truth and wisdom to encourage, admonish and help them in their life and leadership.
    This comprehensive, gospel-centered resource shows you how to disciple, mentor and shepherd leaders in a loving yet focused manner, probing the heart for compulsive unbelief or selfish motivations, disobedience, and sin, leading people back to the transforming power of the gospel through faith, repentance, and obedience.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (April 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031049432X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310494324
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris Meirose on May 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I got one of the early copies (the "hairy knuckles" cover) as part of taking the Gospel Coaching course led by Scott Thomas. I've read through the book 3 times and completed the training and currently have my first group of people I'm leading through the coaching process.

As I first read the book I was impressed with the pastoral heart and the focus on the Gospel as the agent of transformation in our daily lives. We should never underestimate the power of the Gospel, but it happens nonetheless, even to pastors. This book brings that back clearly into focus and adds in some very practical ways to move Gospel knowledge to Gospel action and transformation.

This book is in a sense a road map for life coaching with the Gospel as the lens through which we view that process. While the book is fantastic, getting to one of the trainings will take it to a whole new level beyond that. While the intent of both the book and the training is for coaching others, it goes beyond that and had a great impact on pushing me to examine my own faith and how to better live a life that reflects the good news of Jesus Christ in all that I do. It pushes the user to make things actionable - it isn't enough to know you need to change, you have to take action.

I also appreciate that this book is more than just pious spirituality. It intends to change all areas and aspects of life. It has been helping me re-frame my need to get into better shape for instance.

If you are a pastor this is almost in the "must read" category in my opinion. If you lead other people it fits that same category as well. If you simply want to grow in your day-to-day living out your faith in Jesus Christ this is an exceptional tool as well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To tell you the truth (once again) I found myself reading a lot more Systematic Theology this year and a lot less “ministry” books. I often find myself going through cycles though, for a few months it will be all NT studies, then all ministry, then all charismatic, then all systematic theology. Also, this year I didn’t find a ministry book that I was in love with, except for this one. Gospel Coach was so good and so practical. See here is the thing, I am huge on multiplying leaders and groups. Multiplication is a big deal to me, and you can’t multiply leaders/groups without coaches. So I really believe in coaching.

Thomas and Wood tell us why we need coaches and provide a bunch of helfpul/practical ways to help our coaches do their job. However the thing that makes this book stand out is that it isn’t simply practical adivce, its practical advice rooted in the truth of the gospel. Coaching in light of the gospel; “A gospel coach provides Christian leaders a theological foundation and a practical system to develop and equip other leaders in the local church to make disciples and to shepherd them to glorify God and to effectively lead.” If you want to raise up these kinds of leaders read this book. If you want to raise up leaders who not only make other disciples but make other leaders, read this book.

(Note: This was my top "Ministry" book of 2012)
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Here is a book that has shifted my thinking about coaching in general and coaching church planters in particular. I had previously learned a way of coaching that was more passive and was characterized by what this book calls "a nondirective, client-centered therapy (CCT) approach to solving personal problems in which the therapist/coach deliberately avoids directing or instructing the client in a particular way--even if he feels it can help the client" (45).

Scott and Wood give another approach to coaching described as "gospel coaching" where the good news of the gospel permeates both the coach and the person being mentored. Instead of "performance-centered living" (63), the person being mentored moves to "gospel-centered living" (69-70) where the roots are found in our being in Christ. This means realizing all that I have in Christ and living on that identity.

This does not lead to a passive life style since this "gospel-centered life" has as its goal the worship of God and is empowered by the Holy Spirit (77).

The effective coach is a "shepherd-leader" (chapter six) and out of this flows the four qualities of a shepherd: knowing, feeding, leading, and protecting the disciple leader.

The coach is also concerned to help those being mentored to avoid the idols of power, approval, comfort, and security (69). The authors state their concern that "ministry leaders often drink a poisonous cocktail of narcissism and isolation" (69). Gospel-centered mentoring deals with the person, spiritual, and mission aspects of the disciple-leader (97).

There are six appendices where this type of gospel-centered coaching is worked out in practice.

How much I wish I would have had this help when seeking to help other church planters and pastors as well as seeing how this works out in my life. It will certainly make a difference as I help in mentoring church planters in the future.
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This book stresses the importance of motivating people with the Gospel, while explaining how to do so in some concrete, practical ways. I have read more than a few books on the importance of the Gospel for growth in a Christians heart, but this book takes the ideology and puts it into shoe-leather. Get it. Read it. Digest it. Then feed it to others. Your leadership team will thank you for it, and eventually so will your people.
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