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Vidar Ligard | Coaching Pastors in East Africa

Sports teams have coaches. Why? Because coaches help the players perform at a higher level. So why can’t we develop a system of coaching pastors to help them be better at their calling. Today, Vidar Ligard talks about his system for coaching pastors in East Africa.  That is what we are talking about on today’s podcast. 

Website: www.safarimission.org 

Book: A Fork in the Road Order Now:  https://amzn.to/33iwhKN 

Show Notes: 

Vidar and Cathrine Ligard are the Directors of Rhema Bible Training College Kenya and are both graduates from RBTC in 2001 and 2002. In 2006, after completing their bachelor and masters degrees in engineering and church leadership/business at ORU, they relocated to Kenya to pioneer a bible school that equips pastors and leaders in rural areas of East Africa. Today, with the help of a national team, they oversee multiple campuses across Kenya. Their main focus is training and transforming people with God’s word in a way that affects their everyday life and gives them tools to transform their communities. 

Key Thoughts: 

Football teams have coaches. Top producers in business have coaches. Pastors should have coaches too. 

Churches need to develop systems in order to grow. 

How do you coach pastors to be successful? 

What does the process of coaching churches look like? 

  1. It starts with Personal Growth 
  2. One hour a week coaching system. 
  3. Every two weeks doing a one hour conference call. 


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):

Sports teams have coaches. Why? Because coaches help the players perform at a higher level. So why can’t we develop a system of coaching pastors to help them be better at their God-given calling? That’s what we’re talking about on today’s podcast.


Evangelism Podcast Host (00:18):

Jesus said go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be welcome to the evangelism podcast with dr. Daniel King we’re Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host missionary and evangelists Daniel King.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:56):

Welcome to the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King. And I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. We have a special guest. His name is Vidar Ligard Did I say that right?


Vidar Ligard (01:12):

We, we, we got it almost Vidar Ligard


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:15):

Vidar Ligard, So hopefully I don’t mess it up too much. And brother VR is a missionary over in East Africa and is planting Bible schools and also doing a lot of work coaching, local pastors. And so tell me a little bit about how you coach people. Sure. So


Vidar Ligard (01:43):

We’ve done work over there since 2006, we’ve got a two year training program and we found out that a lot of pastors that come to us and they might have 30, 40 members. And a lot of times they’ll grow to 200, two 50, 303, you know, that rain somewhere. And that’s about the range where if you don’t start delegating your pastoral care, at that point, you’re going to be overwhelmed with every single church member wanting to have personal contact with you for everything that need. And so you’re, you’re, you’re overwhelmed. You can’t grow any further. And so we saw the need for, for, mraduates to be coached. How do you get to the next level from here? And, ht’s, it’s interesting because in ministry, most people don’t think much of coaching. You think of Bible colleges and getting some training. When I think of coaching, I usually think of a football coach or a sports coach, someone who is out there telling people to do more exercises.


Vidar Ligard (02:44):

Yes, exactly. You know, somebody like Michael Jordan just, you know, pick any top player in any field you want, every single one of them is going to have a coach. And you would think there’s something even wrong with the top player if they didn’t have a coach. Well, it’s the same in the field of business. Utop producers in the field of business, they all have mentors. They all have coaches and sometimes multiple coaches in, in various areas. And,uyou know, we’ve got the church movement here in the United States that the arc movement, and there’s a strong component of coaching with that church planting movement. And they’re doing pretty well. Uone because the financial model that they have, but also because of the strong element of coaching, I think they’re very


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:28):

Well for two reasons. One is the coaching aspect. And then the other aspect is developing a system that can be implemented by multiple people. I mean, that’s what makes McDonald’s so successful is they have a system that works even for the lowest common denominator of worker, any worker that McDonald’s hires, they have developed a system to teach them how to make McDonald’s French fries. And every McDonald’s in the world, the French fries tastes exactly the same because there is a system. And so you’re developing this coaching system, coaching people, how to be pastors. So what does that look like? Yeah. So that, that,


Vidar Ligard (04:15):

That’s exactly right. It’s, you know, in a classroom, it’s very difficult to tell people how to do children’s ministry successful. You, you need some hands-on and so you can try a few things with labs, but unless you’re, you know, in a church where you’re seeing the growth of these kids over time, that’s when you really start to see, okay, this is what really works. And this is what doesn’t work say in children’s ministry. So what we’re working to do is, is have different modules in this coaching program where one module is how to do effective children’s ministry. A module that we’re working on now is, is youth or teenager ministry,ubringing experts that really have done well in that field. And then taking the ones that we are coaching and say, Hey, this is a way that teenagers and youth ministry can be done really well. Pastoral care is another area. So we take the various areas that you deal with on a day-to-day basis, in a church. And then we have packages for how we coach that. Uwe start off with personal growth and that’s, that’s where everything starts.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:23):

Okay. So take me from the beginning all the way through the end, you start with personal growth. What are some of the things that you coach people in the area of personal growth?


Vidar Ligard (05:35):

You know, you can, you can make things simplistic. You’ve got two kinds of people. You’ve got the kind of person that they do the same thing day in and day out. Uthey’re in the same segment of society that their parents, parents were because they have the same habits that their parents had. So they grew up working class. They’re going to be class. If they grew up upper middle class, they’re going to be upper middle class. That’s the majority of society. But then you have some that are really have a growth mindset. They’re always looking to learn more. Ufor most people, whenever they finished high school or finished college, that’s when their education stops. But then there is this other growth kind of segment of society and they don’t stop reading books. They don’t stop listening to podcasts whenever they’re done with formal education.


Vidar Ligard (06:26):

And these are the ones that actually move society forward. They’re the pioneers in society, if you will. And so the first part of our coaching program then is to help somebody to understand all this and absorb a growth mindset so that sure they might be coming to us and us, you know, resources in different areas. But somebody with a true growth mindset will no longer be dependent on me or anybody else. They’ll, they’ll be resourceful. They will, there’ll be a person that will find resources in whatever areas they’re struggling. And if somebody can get that one down,uI think that 75% of,ubeing on the way to success right there, because now they’re, you become unstoppable, basically


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:10):

They’re looking for solutions. Okay. So, so it starts with personal growth. And then where do you take them? What’s the next step


Vidar Ligard (07:16):

At that point? It depends on the particular church. Like one of the churches we’re working with now,uthey’re really working on strengthening their small groups. So we help them in that particular area. We’ve got a system where,uyou know, we, we give pastors,uabout a one hour a week, hoaching session. And so at that point, it’s, it’s, it’s tailored to the various ones. Ume also have a segment where every two weeks we do a one hour conference call, that’s a group. And so then we talk more about current issues that we see the most people having needing help with. So two different tracks, if you will, how


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:56):

Many pastors are you coaching right now?


Vidar Ligard (07:59):

On the call we have about 80 pastors every two weeks. Uthe other set, it, it varies. Uwe started with seven and we had several dropout. And,uyou find out that,ua lot of people want coaching, but they don’t want to change. And I think any coach will tell you the same thing. Uso right now that’s,uduring this, this segment, we’re actually down to one church.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:26):

Okay. So you’re with those seven, those you’re meeting with once a week. Yeah. And you’re, you’re addressing their concerns, helping them with their needs. And, but you’ve got 80 that are part of the conference call. Yes. And so do you plan to expand and to do more?


Vidar Ligard (08:46):

Yeah, we, we are, you know, looking at our own resources and looking at different ways to do that. And that’s why we have both the conference call and individual coaching as well to see, you know, what works best for, for the most amount of people. And how can we be the most effective of duplicating our stuff.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:03):

So I’ve preached a lot of churches in East Africa. There’s a wide variety of churches. Some are out in the villages, just a little hot with a dirt floor, chickens running around. And some of the leaders there are very effective. I mean, I went to one church one time, and this is, this is how he was coached. I, m preached in the church and, and there were people hanging in through the windows. It was packed out probably about 250 people in this little tiny hut, dirt floor, chickens running all over the place. And I looked over and he had his Bible. And on top of his Bible, he had a book that was covered in duct tape. I said, what’s that book there? And he says, Oh, that’s, that’s from a TL Osborn, the great missionary evangelist. He said, h0 years ago, TL Osborn came to my country and did a crusade.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:54):

And he gave my father this book. So my father preached every Sunday from TL Osborn his book. And he said, last year my father died and I became the pastor. And so now I’m preaching from this book. And so that was the extent of what coaching he had. He had one of TL Osborne’s books, which of course, you know, are, are tremendous resources. And it provided 20 years worth of sermons in that church. Yeah, that’s amazing. And so, so that’s, that’s one level. I’ve also been to some very large churches in Nairobi that have huge buildings, very successful Bible schools. They have a daughter churches that they’ve planted all over Kenya and they’ve got great systems. So, so how do you take someone at one level and, and train them to, to be more effective in what they do? Well,


Vidar Ligard (10:49):

You, you, you have to look at where is this particular church at and you know, in a big church, you’ve got many wheels that are spinning and you can’t make every single wheel spin faster in the same week that you’re talking with the head pastor, you just kind of have to pick an area that they would like to grow in. And usually it doesn’t matter the size of the church. They always have some area that they realized that we can use a little help in this area. So it starts out Y doing a little diagnostic, asking some questions and seeing where we’re at. And then just like in sports, whatever level they’re on, you don’t have to start there and then help them go to the next level.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:28):

Now, earlier you said that, that everyone could use a coach. So do you have a coach? Yes, I do. Now tell me about your coach and what your coach challenges you to do. Yes.


Vidar Ligard (11:40):

So, you know, I have coaches and mentors in different areas. When it comes to the ministry right now, we’re working with with the business coach because ministry is both but there’s also a business side. And so we are with the thrive time show in in Jenks, Oklahoma,


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (12:00):

Clay Clark. And actually he just recently started helping to coach me and my ministry too. And he has a very successful business podcast and he challenged me to start this evangelism podcast. And so already I’ve seen how seeing someone be successful in an area and start coaching can, can help me be, be more successful. So, so what are some of the things that you’ve learned in, in your coaching?


Vidar Ligard (12:25):

The relationship? Well, one of the things I really learned is that the more I talk to people, everybody’s got a coach and in different areas. And so you just need to look at the, where do I need to grow and then, and then find a mentor or a coach,uin that area. Umanagement skills is one of the things that we’ve learned. Um’ve the day-to-day operations. I was working 20, 30 hours a week. And, mhrough better processes, better management, I’m able to manage our teams now, 40 individuals with three to five hours a week, just because we’re using better methods and better processes.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:08):

So it’s a much better use of your time.


Vidar Ligard (13:11):

Absolutely. Yeah.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:13):

I also written a book called F fork in the road, and this book has a lot of principles that, that help with coaching. Uprobably use some of your extra time you found in order to write this book. So tell me some of the, the, the content of this book and how it can help people.


Vidar Ligard (13:32):

It really is a book on personal development. I think everybody wants some level of financial security. Everybody wants some level of, of success, which success is not really a destination. It’s a journey it’s, you know, successful person is successful every year, just not in their 80th year, but it’s the the personal growth principles and how to become a resource it’s principles like what we were paid last month as a result of the value of the services and products that we provided somebody else, whether we were employed or in business, or, or even in ministry the gifts that people gave they are related to the value of the services and the, whatever we did in ministry. Very often that type of thing. And then there’s a whole section in this book about taking your vision for life turning that into measurable goals.


Vidar Ligard (14:28):

You know, a lot of people say, I want to start a business. Well, that’s wonderful, but are you talking about being a one-man plumber? Are you talking about having a corporation with 50 employees? You gotta be able to measure those goals with the timeline then you plan for how are you going to reach and achieve those goals. And then you’ve got to make sure you stay on target each and every single day that what you do is not just provide lunch for the kids and send them to school, but there’s gotta be some tasks each and every day that has to do with your goals and your, and your vision in life.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:00):

That’s tremendous. Well, if you’re listening and you want to be mentored by brother Vidar or know more about him, probably the best way to get started is by getting a copy of his book it’s available on Amazon. And tell me what the website of your ministry is.


Vidar Ligard (15:18):

Yeah. So you can go to Safarimission.org. That’s a Safarimission.org. You can find information about the book. You can buy it from there, or you can go to Amazon. A fork in the road is the name of the book, but a contact us. There’s a contact button there reached out to us and we’ll see how we can help you get started.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:37):

Thank you so much for being on the podcast. Appreciate it.


Vidar Ligard (15:39):

Thank you, Daniel, for having us.


Evangelism Podcast Host (15:41):

Bless you for more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches. Visit King ministries.com. Again, that’s King ministries.com.

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