Fact: Your Small Group Leaders are a pivotal part of what happens in your youth ministry. So the question is: What are you doing to make sure your SGLs are at their best every week? What are you doing to lead your leaders and make sure they feel cared for, equipped, and encouraged? In this episode, we’re talking about the valuable role Small Group Leader COACHES can play, what to look for in a great SGL Coach, and what it practically looks like to launch an SGL coaching strategy in your ministry.


  • What is a Small Group Leader Coach? (0:51)
  • Have any of you had Small Group Leader Coaches before? (2:38)
  • 3:41: “When you’re running a Small Group Leader Coach strategy correctly, you will see growth.” – Tom Shefchunas
  • Unpacking some of our biggest fails with Coaches (6:51)
  • 13:51: “You don’t advertise the coaching job; you invite people to join. It’s a lot of responsibility, and the right person really responds well to that.” –Tom Shefchunas
  • What if you only have a few Small Group Leaders – should you start training a Coach?(15:56)
  • 16:06: “If you have more than ten kids in more than one gender in your ministry, you need help from a Small Group Leader Coach.” – Tom Shefchunas
  • 16:15: “Creating a coaching model creates a pool of people you can hire from when you have an open position on your team.” – Ashley Bohinc
  • How do you manage the tension of making sure the volunteers still know you care about them? (19:29)
  • 21:25: “I used to see things that needed to be done, not people who needed to be loved. When I switched to thinking of the people who needed to be loved, I found coaches who would love on people AND help with what needed to be done.” –Tom Shefchunas
  • What type of person should you look for in a Coach? (23:42)
  • 27:24: “If your volunteers leave without relationships with other adults, they’ve missed out on one of the most important and fulfilling part of serving.” –Ashley Bohinc
  • What are some of the things the coach would be doing in that role? (30:32)
  • What’s the best way to train Coaches without a big financial investment? (32:41)
  • 33:48: “Creating community within your leadership community is so important. And it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money!” –Charlie Conder
  • There are a lot of great things about adding a Coach, but have you ever seen it add complications to a ministry? (34:16)
  • Do the coaches train the Small Group Leaders or do you step in as the director? (36:56)
  • Any final thoughts on what a Coach should be? (39:32)
  • 43:54: “Implementing a coaching strategy requires some humility – empowering someone else to have those conversations with the students.” –Ashley Bohinc


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