Through the years, your Alabama Baptist state missionaries have partnered with local churches and associations in a variety of roles, including consultants, conference leaders and co-laborers. In the future, many state missionaries will be trained to serve in a new capacity as a coach. It might serve us well to describe how a state missionary would function in these various roles.

Consultant – A consultant is usually one who has expertise in a certain field and is used by the church to strengthen a specific area of ministry. The consultant provides analysis and clear guidance in accomplishing a desired goal. The length of time the consultant spends could be rather brief, though he or she may be asked to monitor or evaluate progress.

Conference Leader – A conference leader is also one who has expertise in a certain field, but shares information and instruction rather than to guide a church through on-going application. In this role, the state missionary is utilized for inspiration more than transformation.

Co-laborer – As co-laborers, state missionaries join forces with churches and associations to address a need. An example of this is when a state missionary works alongside fellow Alabama Baptists in disaster relief. Often pastors, staff members and other leaders call upon a state missionary as a co-laborer for encouragement and support.

Coach – This is a new venture, but not an unfamiliar term. The word is most often associated in Alabama with sports: head coach, football coach, running backs coach, etc. The image conjured up when one thinks about a coach in sports is not the type of coaching you will receive from a state missionary. To get the right image, it would be better to think of a means of travel like a stagecoach or carriage. A state missionary will come alongside you to help you journey toward the destination that you believe God desires for yourchurch. Bob Logan describes coaching as “the process of coming alongside a person or team to help them discover God’s agenda for their life and ministry and then cooperating with the Holy Spirit to see that agenda become a reality.” In the process of Church Revitalization, do you need someone who can help you in the process of discovering God’s plan for your church and His path to that new reality? Then maybe you need a state missionary to come alongside and join you on that journey as a coach – a Journey Coach.

For more information about this process, please visit alsbom.org/revitalization.

– Daniel Edmonds

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