Coaching Reflections from a Church Planting Wife
By Heather Bond
I am a church planting wife. You, too? Then you will know exactly what I mean when I tell you how I fell in love with my husband’s passion 25 years ago—his passion for life, for people, but mostly for God. I absolutely adored his big dreams and endless lists of unimaginable ideas. His shoot-for-the-moon vitality of life inspired me, not only to love him deeply, but also to follow after God with zeal. Oh, the adventure I saw in this man and in our future!
And then, 22 years, 2 kids, and lots of life later … another adventure began. We stepped into the water of faith, and the rushing river of God’s plan led us to planting a church 3,000 miles from home, in a land where we knew no one but God. And you know what? I love this adventure our faithful God has us on! And I still love my husband’s passion, his crazy ideas, and his we can do anything God asks us to do faith. But sometimes those amazing qualities we love so much in our husbands can be the very things that drive us up the wall about our church planters.
A church planter’s passion can lead to always being on the go, always doing more—a never-resting kind of lifestyle. The endless ideas can lead to long, ever-growing task lists. And the dreams can become quite scary when you feel ill equipped, overworked, and lonely.
So, here are five reasons why I want my husband to have a coach:
1) Coaching helps my dreamer dream. Coaching funnels those dreams through the filter of a coach who is not emotionally attached and helps us know when to move forward and when to wait.
2) Coaching helps my dreamer hear. Coaching is like noise-canceling headphones; it takes all those voices, internal and external, in my husband’s life and helps him discern which one is the Holy Spirit’s.
3) Coaching helps my dreamer believe in himself. Coaching draws my husband back to God’s plan, power, and ability to accomplish His will through him. It helps him fight the spiritual battle of low self-esteem and low productivity by focusing his attention on what God wants him to do next.
4) Coaching helps my dreamer unwind. The verbal outlet with a coach who gets this whole church planting adventure is vital to my husband’s mental health. He needs to talk to someone who is not financially or emotionally invested, not part of the church, and not his wife.
5) Coaching helps my dreamer move from dreams of grandeur to real-life success. By defining success, creating action plans, and being held accountable, my church planter can accomplish God’s plans and experience the joy of every victory, both small and God-sized.
Coaching is not just one more thing to add to our busy schedule. Coaching is a lifeline for my husband as a church planter—and it’s a lifeline for our marriage, too. If your husband doesn’t have a coach, encourage him to find one today. Ask your sending church pastor, Church Planter Catalyst, or Send City Missionary about coaches in your area.
Matthew and Heather Bond moved from Fort Worth, Texas, to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, three years ago to plant Ekklesia Community Church (www.ekklesiabc.ca) in Sidney, BC. They have two boys: Ethan, 17, and Joseph, 15.
Published October 9, 2015