As an intuitive leader I don’t believe in a cookie cutter approach to pastoral consulting, coaching or mentoring because every person, church and situation is unique. However there are 10 basic questions that any good pastor shepherd or coach should start with. Where you go from there is based on intuition. I have seen some great mentors in my day, and I have seen some not so good. The not so good are those who don’t have a clue about pastoral coaching but somehow are in that position. This person really just wants to see if there are results and therefore will usually just talk about the destination. They are oblivious to strategy or how to develop people in leadership which will raise leadership potential. This type of “coach” is also clueless to the importance of relationship and how to develop it with a variety of personality types. Spiritual formation may not be the best fit for this person but nonetheless he has this role. With a desire to grow this pastor coach can become more effective.
Here are the questions I ask:
1. How are you doing personally? Spiritually? Family? Physically? Mentally? (I will go deeper according to response.)
2. Talk about your devotional life? How is God speaking to you through the Word? (Find out if this is separate from teaching prep.)
3. How are you growing? What is your growth plan?
4. What are you currently reading?
5. Tell me about your prayer life?
6. What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
7. Are you spending the majority of your time using your strengths?
8. Who is your network? Who is your inner circle?
9. Update me on your vision for the church? Strategy?
10. Who are you personally investing in? Are they reproducing?
Another benefit to good questions is to help you connect. Without connection you will not have influence. This is a skill that anyone can learn. Learn to ask good questions can help you take a quantum leap in your leadership. Apply these principles and those your shepherd will be more motivated and inspired.