The benefits of team-based learning through community of practice (COP) and team coaching.
By Glen A Weber, Central Region Support Rep and Coach
The first Hope Avenue training was held in early 2020. Some of us were asked to coach those who went through the training. For many, that was a six-month commitment, but in our Central Region, we have continued the coaching monthly for three years. Soon after I began coaching the Hope champions, the Love and Faith champions wanted to know why they weren’t being coached. So, we added separate calls for each group, even though their official training did not take place until much later. Once a month I have been honored to coach the pastors as a group, and in separate groups the Faith champions, Hope champions, and Love champions. (Thank God for Zoom!)
These sessions continue to be transformational for our champions as they were able to share and hear what the other champions in their respective Avenue were planning and accomplishing.
In early March, three of our teams were invited to the FHL Training in Jacksonville, where they worked through a congregational MAP (ministry action plan) together with a coach. Those three teams were deeply impacted by the experience. Later in March, our region hosted a similar training to which the six Vision Team congregational teams were invited. The three that went to Jacksonville were given a coach to lead them beyond their MAP to focus on preparation for a neighborhood day camp. Five of our Vision Team congregations will be hosting neighborhood day camps in early summer. The two church teams who did not attend in Jacksonville were coached on working as a team to develop a congregational MAP by Mike Rasmussen and me.
Again, this was a tremendous learning experience for the teams. The teams realized that in spite of all the coaching we had been doing, there were still areas where the teams had not yet learned to work together and communicate as effectively as possible. The results have been better communication and greater cooperation between the three Avenues, and with their pastor. We are already seeing improved interaction, which impacted the results of activities during Holy Week and Easter (primarily with Easter Egg Hunts or similar). I’ve haven’t yet heard the exact figures, but the five congregations in our coaching group had more than 1,400 children and parents attend the activities they offered! That is very exciting for five congregations whose total average weekly attendance is between 200-250 people and the average age is probably 60 years or above for four of those congregations!
During their Easter interaction with their neighborhood, each of the congregations advertised their “what’s next” activity, which will be a neighborhood day camp. And we are now coaching them in the preparation process of having an even greater impact as they show the love of the Father to their neighborhoods.
In the Central Region we are looking forward to how we can continue coaching our Avenues as a group, while also coaching the congregational teams (F,H,L and pastor) together to continue to develop the communication and interaction that will lead us to be more effective as we participate with Jesus in our neighborhoods. I cannot stress enough the value of being coached as a team along with your pastor. It’s given the Central Region teams clearer vision, better planning, and greater collaboration.