|Photo: Greg Nelson|
In Gallup’s research into human potential over the past 30 years—including interviews with more than 3 million people—the evidence is overwhelming: You will be most successful in whatever you do by building your life around your greatest natural abilities (strengths) rather than your weaknesses. Your strengths should be your primary focus.
The problem is that most people don’t even know what their greatest strengths are, even in the church world where theology reveals that God wants us to use our talents and do ministry in unique ways. According to Gallup’s latest study, over half of churchgoers say they don’t get to do what they do best in their congregations (even in spite of the emphasis on spiritual gifts discovery over the last 20+ years).
Fortunately, Gallup’s research led them to developing one of the most effective tools for discovering and utilizing a person’s top strengths, called StrengthsFinder. And when used in a congregation, this discovery has the potential of unlocking a congregation’s most powerful resource: people and their God-given strengths.
What’s the differentiation between spiritual gifts and strengths? Spiritual gifts help people find what the ministry is that God has placed them in the church body to accomplish; strengths are God’s way of empowering them with how they will accomplish their ministry. Spiritual gifts define the outcome; discovering strengths defines the steps.
So if we want congregations to not only develop effective ministries but also to empower people with how to engage in those ministries the most effective way possible, we must bring strengths discovery and coaching into congregational life.
Dr. Greg Nelson’s Strength Coaching
Greg has been doing strengths coaching with individuals, teams, and organizations for the last 8 years. Having previously helped develop the Adventist Church’s Connections spiritual gift assessment tool, Greg has found the strengths work to be even more effective in helping members and congregations find their God-given sweet spot in ministry and mission. What is missing from the spiritual gifts resource is the “how” of living out one’s individual gifts which the strengths discovery provides with great clarity.
What Can Strength Coaching Look Like in a Congregation?
- Building strength-based congregations begins with the pastor, the pastoral staff, and the church board (and board of elders) or leadership team. Each person takes the StrengthsFinder assessment to discover their top five strengths with corresponding definitions.
- Coaching then helps each individual unpack the strengths and see how to roll them out in increasingly effective ways in their current roles.
- Ministry teams are led through a process of discovering how each person’s strengths work together with everyone else’s in the most fulfilling & productive way. A group’s strength profile is outlined and unpacked—which strengths are most represented that reveal where this group is strongest and how to leverage this for mission (this can be done with groups as well as the whole congregation to determine the strongest contributions God has designed it to make to the community)—“how we serve others best.”
- A follow-up program involves training and mentoring congregational strengths coaches for ongoing assessment and mobilization of the members to build a strength-based congregation. Benefits of Working With Dr. Greg Nelson
- An intimate knowledge of congregational life and ministry from thirty-five years of pastoral leadership, developing strategic visions and effective strengths-based, purpose-driven volunteer mobilization for both small and large churches
- Expertise using Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment for radically increasing personal and organizational effectiveness
- Thirty-five years as a popular speaker at churches, convocations and conferences, leadership retreats and symposiums
- Published author and writer about topics such as how to discover and live out the soul of individual and institutional mission
- Experienced coach of hundreds of individuals, groups, teams, churches, & organizations to greater purpose & effectiveness
- One weekend at a church
A. Friday evening meeting with the pastoral staff and leadership group—strengths assessment and unpacking
B. A Sabbath sermon on God’s design for spiritual growth and mission Sabbath afternoon meeting with the congregation—strengths overview and unpacking, congregational strengths profile & mission implications
C. Sunday follow-up with the pastor and church leaders—what next?
- Church weekend PLUS multiple follow-up sessions with pastor/staff & leadership team to continue effective roll out into congregational life & a strength-based church
- A conference pastors’ retreat or entire church family retreat Strengths overview, Strengths assessment with definitions and unpacking, implication for ministry and mission
- With spouses: how the two strengths profiles fit together and create their strongest unified relationship (individual strength comparisons & contrasts and implications)
- How your strengths shape individual & relational spirituality
Available for individual, ministry teams, and congregation coaching, keynote speaking, workshop presentations
If you’re a pastor, lay leader, or conference leader who is curious about what a speaking or coaching relationship with Dr. Nelson might look like in your circumstances, contact him about the possibilities.
Call: 415.748.0015 | Email: Greg@FlyAgainCoaching.com