Posts by Aaron Couch

Joining God In The Journey $

Joining God In The Journey

Joining God In The Journey

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"Without the presence of God in the conversation, no discipleship process will work."

John 5:19 English Standard Version (ESV)
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

This is not a new idea. But it may need a new application. Making disciples is a life long pursuit for me and for many of us who work in vocational ministry. I often find myself in conversations about disciple making and how we can accomplish the mission of “Reaching the world for Jesus, one person at a time.” I love these talks and I love the passion with which men and women attack this topic. It is a joy for me to see people everywhere whole-heartedly sold out to God’s Kingdom, His work, and His results.There is a nuance to this conversation that is subtle on the surface but profound in execution that I would like to offer here that will hopefully empower each of us in helping others become everything that God intended them to be. It is not flashy, but it will change everything about how we develop and lead disciples to make disciples.

“What’s your process? I get this question at least twice a week and usually much more. How do we make disciples? And how do we program for maximum disciple making effectiveness? And how should we staff for disciple making? And how should we budget for disciple making? And what should we teach in your small groups or classes – or sermons? These are all good questions. And they are helpful. Wrestling with these topics will help a church become better at facilitating disciple makers that are making disciples.

But therein lies the rub. While we have set the church up structurally to succeed we haven’t necessarily given the proper tools and attitudes for a person to be able to succeed at making disciples. So, what about our “SCMD” process? It is also helpful. It helps me understand how people mature and develop. And it gives me a way to answer 3 very fundamental questions about disciple making: where are they, what do they need, and where can they go to get it?

But there is something below the surface here that doesn’t get enough attention. In the moment of the conversation – the real arena of making disciples – am I aware enough of what God is doing in that moment to be able to respond to His leading? I told you, it isn’t flashy. But this may very well be the single most important part of making disciples. Without the presence of God in the conversation, no process will work.And if I am dialed into the Holy Spirit’s work in the moment, perhaps whatever process we use can be effective. I just wonder if sometimes in our making of disciples, we get lost in strategizing and programming and branching and growing and we miss the amazing presence of God in the moment. I know I struggle to stay focused on that.

It takes a different level of engagement in the conversation for me. It takes a different kind of questions. It takes a different commitment to walking the journey with others, regardless of our process.

Processes aren’t bad. They are necessary and can be very useful. But the very thing that gives us power for living, wisdom for making decisions, and awareness of how we can grow in Christ is the Holy Spirit living and working in us. I just wonder if we don't sometimes want process at the expense of relationship – with God and others. And maybe those relationships were the point to begin with.

Next time you are in a “disciple making” conversation, try being fully engaged and present with the person and the Holy Spirit. See what happens. It may very well change everything that you thought about how to make disciples well.

Author:

Aaron Couch: Lead Coach at Real Life Ministries, Moscow/Pulman
Aaron has been in ministry for over twenty years. As a pastor in his second church plant, he is still amazed at how God works. God has been truly faithful. Aaron has been privileged to be part of a movement of churches that is changing the face of how discipleship is accomplished within the churches of America. As a result of this, he gets the opportunity to travel and speak often. Aaron has a master’s degree from Hope International University and a bachelor’s degree from Boise Bible College, but his greatest joy is his family. Aaron is married with four kids. Aaron and his wife, Kelli, have served in ministry since the beginning of their marriage. They love the church and love watching God empower people to be set free.

 

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Interested in hearing about our DiscipleShift 1 Training? Click HERE

Price: $0.00

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Joining God In The Journey

$

Picture

"Without the presence of God in the conversation, no discipleship process will work."

John 5:19 English Standard Version (ESV)
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

This is not a new idea. But it may need a new application. Making disciples is a life long pursuit for me and for many of us who work in vocational ministry. I often find myself in conversations about disciple making and how we can accomplish the mission of “Reaching the world for Jesus, one person at a time.” I love these talks and I love the passion with which men and women attack this topic. It is a joy for me to see people everywhere whole-heartedly sold out to God’s Kingdom, His work, and His results.There is a nuance to this conversation that is subtle on the surface but profound in execution that I would like to offer here that will hopefully empower each of us in helping others become everything that God intended them to be. It is not flashy, but it will change everything about how we develop and lead disciples to make disciples.

“What’s your process? I get this question at least twice a week and usually much more. How do we make disciples? And how do we program for maximum disciple making effectiveness? And how should we staff for disciple making? And how should we budget for disciple making? And what should we teach in your small groups or classes – or sermons? These are all good questions. And they are helpful. Wrestling with these topics will help a church become better at facilitating disciple makers that are making disciples.

But therein lies the rub. While we have set the church up structurally to succeed we haven’t necessarily given the proper tools and attitudes for a person to be able to succeed at making disciples. So, what about our “SCMD” process? It is also helpful. It helps me understand how people mature and develop. And it gives me a way to answer 3 very fundamental questions about disciple making: where are they, what do they need, and where can they go to get it?

But there is something below the surface here that doesn’t get enough attention. In the moment of the conversation – the real arena of making disciples – am I aware enough of what God is doing in that moment to be able to respond to His leading? I told you, it isn’t flashy. But this may very well be the single most important part of making disciples. Without the presence of God in the conversation, no process will work.And if I am dialed into the Holy Spirit’s work in the moment, perhaps whatever process we use can be effective. I just wonder if sometimes in our making of disciples, we get lost in strategizing and programming and branching and growing and we miss the amazing presence of God in the moment. I know I struggle to stay focused on that.

It takes a different level of engagement in the conversation for me. It takes a different kind of questions. It takes a different commitment to walking the journey with others, regardless of our process.

Processes aren’t bad. They are necessary and can be very useful. But the very thing that gives us power for living, wisdom for making decisions, and awareness of how we can grow in Christ is the Holy Spirit living and working in us. I just wonder if we don't sometimes want process at the expense of relationship – with God and others. And maybe those relationships were the point to begin with.

Next time you are in a “disciple making” conversation, try being fully engaged and present with the person and the Holy Spirit. See what happens. It may very well change everything that you thought about how to make disciples well.

Author:

Aaron Couch: Lead Coach at Real Life Ministries, Moscow/Pulman
Aaron has been in ministry for over twenty years. As a pastor in his second church plant, he is still amazed at how God works. God has been truly faithful. Aaron has been privileged to be part of a movement of churches that is changing the face of how discipleship is accomplished within the churches of America. As a result of this, he gets the opportunity to travel and speak often. Aaron has a master’s degree from Hope International University and a bachelor’s degree from Boise Bible College, but his greatest joy is his family. Aaron is married with four kids. Aaron and his wife, Kelli, have served in ministry since the beginning of their marriage. They love the church and love watching God empower people to be set free.

 

Picture

Interested in hearing about our DiscipleShift 1 Training? Click HERE
5 Key Ideas That Will Help You Do Your Part To Successfully Achieve The Dreams God Has Placed In You $

5 Key Ideas That Will Help You Do Your Part To Successfully Achieve The Dreams God Has Placed In You

5 Key Ideas That Will Help You Do Your Part To Successfully Achieve The Dreams God Has Placed In You

people jumping hurdles

5 Keys To Successfully Managing Your God-Given Dreams

The following excerpt was taken from a blog post written by Aaron Couch, the lead coach of Real Life Ministries in Moscow, Idaho - which is one of the RDN's Mentor Coaching Churches. You can read the full post here -  Aaron's blog.

I often hear from leaders that if someone else did “X” (whatever “X” is), then I would be able to do my stuff. I want to scream at people who make this statement. Not out of anger, but from a deep sadness because they rob themselves of success in the things they give their lives to. My success in taking hold of the dreams God has placed in me will never rise and fall on anyone else.

What happens over time is that we begin to settle, survive, and believe that our dreams are out of our reach. Life happens, responsibilities consume us, the tyranny of the urgent takes control. Our dreams die, and with them a little piece of our own souls die.

So here are some keys to filter through your psyche to see if there are ways each of us can personally grow.

1. Be thankful:

Ingratitude is cancer for your dreams. Be thankful for everything, not just the big successes. Be thankful when your spouse makes a meal. Be thankful when your kids clean their room. Be thankful when someone asks you how you are doing. Be thankful all the time. Maybe even keep a thankfulness journal to help you get into the habit of looking for things to be thankful for. I learned this from my good friend Shane. He has taught me over and over the power of thankfulness. And I am so grateful to him for that. I have seen the true beauty of the life around me because my perspective has shifted as a result of his influence in my life. Thankfulness is contagious.

2. Stop complaining.

Gary Vaynerchuk says the quickest tell on whether someone is a team player or not is if they complain. He says complaining is a zero-return investment. Truthfully, anyone can be a critic. That is easy. Stay positive and focused on solutions.

3. Network:

Networking is the currency of leadership. Social capital is the top priority of those who want to lead well. Say hello to everyone. Smile, hug (appropriately), laugh, joke, inspire, compliment. Do those often. I understand the trouble with having an intense personality. It is a fight I struggle with daily. But as we grow in leadership, we have to grow in our ability to relate to others well. Further, connecting people to each other and getting others to expand the value of one another only helps me achieve my dreams, as well.

4. Rethink Success.

What does success really look like? Is it a dollar amount? Is it a product amount? Or is there something deeper? Consider the “triple bottom line.” What is good for the company, the investors, and the environment? What would give my success real meaning? Would a car be meaningful, or knowing that my success helped someone else?

5. Measure.

Always be measuring your social impact. I hate this one. It is so hard to come to terms with how much we can affect others. I am just me. I am no big deal. That is probably true, but the impact I can have in the lives of others is pretty staggering. Checking back often with people to see how the relationship stands is critical to forward momentum.

Remember that success comes over the long haul. Nothing worth doing comes quickly. If this is your dream, stay at it. Whether the dream is being thinner or building a company, consistent decisions in a singular direction are key to your success. Hang in there. The tipping point could be just around the corner.

Hopefully we can continue to inspire one another as we all work toward making a dent in achieving the best version of the life God intends for us.

Aaron Couch Bio

Price: $0.00

Loading Updating cart...

5 Key Ideas That Will Help You Do Your Part To Successfully Achieve The Dreams God Has Placed In You

$

people jumping hurdles

5 Keys To Successfully Managing Your God-Given Dreams

The following excerpt was taken from a blog post written by Aaron Couch, the lead coach of Real Life Ministries in Moscow, Idaho - which is one of the RDN's Mentor Coaching Churches. You can read the full post here -  Aaron's blog.

I often hear from leaders that if someone else did “X” (whatever “X” is), then I would be able to do my stuff. I want to scream at people who make this statement. Not out of anger, but from a deep sadness because they rob themselves of success in the things they give their lives to. My success in taking hold of the dreams God has placed in me will never rise and fall on anyone else.

What happens over time is that we begin to settle, survive, and believe that our dreams are out of our reach. Life happens, responsibilities consume us, the tyranny of the urgent takes control. Our dreams die, and with them a little piece of our own souls die.

So here are some keys to filter through your psyche to see if there are ways each of us can personally grow.

1. Be thankful:

Ingratitude is cancer for your dreams. Be thankful for everything, not just the big successes. Be thankful when your spouse makes a meal. Be thankful when your kids clean their room. Be thankful when someone asks you how you are doing. Be thankful all the time. Maybe even keep a thankfulness journal to help you get into the habit of looking for things to be thankful for. I learned this from my good friend Shane. He has taught me over and over the power of thankfulness. And I am so grateful to him for that. I have seen the true beauty of the life around me because my perspective has shifted as a result of his influence in my life. Thankfulness is contagious.

2. Stop complaining.

Gary Vaynerchuk says the quickest tell on whether someone is a team player or not is if they complain. He says complaining is a zero-return investment. Truthfully, anyone can be a critic. That is easy. Stay positive and focused on solutions.

3. Network:

Networking is the currency of leadership. Social capital is the top priority of those who want to lead well. Say hello to everyone. Smile, hug (appropriately), laugh, joke, inspire, compliment. Do those often. I understand the trouble with having an intense personality. It is a fight I struggle with daily. But as we grow in leadership, we have to grow in our ability to relate to others well. Further, connecting people to each other and getting others to expand the value of one another only helps me achieve my dreams, as well.

4. Rethink Success.

What does success really look like? Is it a dollar amount? Is it a product amount? Or is there something deeper? Consider the “triple bottom line.” What is good for the company, the investors, and the environment? What would give my success real meaning? Would a car be meaningful, or knowing that my success helped someone else?

5. Measure.

Always be measuring your social impact. I hate this one. It is so hard to come to terms with how much we can affect others. I am just me. I am no big deal. That is probably true, but the impact I can have in the lives of others is pretty staggering. Checking back often with people to see how the relationship stands is critical to forward momentum.

Remember that success comes over the long haul. Nothing worth doing comes quickly. If this is your dream, stay at it. Whether the dream is being thinner or building a company, consistent decisions in a singular direction are key to your success. Hang in there. The tipping point could be just around the corner.

Hopefully we can continue to inspire one another as we all work toward making a dent in achieving the best version of the life God intends for us.

Aaron Couch Bio

Did The Beatles Get It Right? Is Love Really All You Need? $

Did The Beatles Get It Right? Is Love Really All You Need?

Did The Beatles Get It Right? Is Love Really All You Need?

daisy-heart-flowers-flower-heart

 

All you need is love, right? That's what the Beatles sang in 1967 and it hit the top of the charts almost instantly. Sounds pretty simple doesn't it?

The truth is, relationships are not easy even when love is present. But God calls us into relationship with him and with each other. In fact, relationships are very important to God - so important that he talks about them all throughout his Word.

Watch this video of Aaron Couch -lead coach of Real Life Ministries in Moscow, Id - as he takes a look at the Old and New Testaments through the lens of relationship. You might be surprised at what you see!

 

To find out more of what God says about relationship as it pertains to Disciple Making, check out our DiscipleShift 1 Training page at: DiscipleShift.org

Price: $0.00

Loading Updating cart...

Did The Beatles Get It Right? Is Love Really All You Need?

$

daisy-heart-flowers-flower-heart

 

All you need is love, right? That's what the Beatles sang in 1967 and it hit the top of the charts almost instantly. Sounds pretty simple doesn't it?

The truth is, relationships are not easy even when love is present. But God calls us into relationship with him and with each other. In fact, relationships are very important to God - so important that he talks about them all throughout his Word.

Watch this video of Aaron Couch -lead coach of Real Life Ministries in Moscow, Id - as he takes a look at the Old and New Testaments through the lens of relationship. You might be surprised at what you see!

 

To find out more of what God says about relationship as it pertains to Disciple Making, check out our DiscipleShift 1 Training page at: DiscipleShift.org

3 Simple Ways to Create a Culture of Relationship $

3 Simple Ways to Create a Culture of Relationship

3 Simple Ways to Create a Culture of Relationship

Creating A Culture Of Relationship

 

People felt safe coming to Jesus. We see this again and again. From children to the woman with the issue of blood, somehow Jesus was able to create the kind of space in a relationship where people could bring the truth of their circumstance forward and deal with it. We call this space a relational environment.

Relational Environments are much more than simply small groups. They certainly include small groups, but everywhere you go, you have a “vibe,” a feeling that people get about you.

I say it this way – everywhere you go, you give off an emotional stench. We want this stench to be a good smell, not a bad one. Now, people can absolutely misread us. That happens all the time. But it happens a lot less when we are intentional about how we come across. Here are some actions that will help manage the culture in a positive way.

Eyeglasses manSmile:

I am genetically flawed for leadership. Here is what I mean: I have an oversized head, squinty eyes, and a natural scowl. Simply being lost in a thought for a brief moment gives off all the wrong ideas about how I feel and more importantly how I feel about the people I am with.

An intentional smile makes all the difference. When I was younger in ministry, an older man who had many years of experience challenged me with this idea – just intentionally smile. It seems silly, but it is a game changer for the people we serve and the people we serve with.

you are great compliment    Be generous with compliments:

Speak blessings into people’s lives. It is a big dose of life giving energy. The Jews believe that when you bless someone, you obligate God to pull off the words you speak. This is also true for curses. Be in the habit of speaking life and the power of God into people’s lives.

Some of the ways you can compliment:

  • Compliment who people are, not what they do.
  • Tell them how much they mean to you.
  • Let them know that you would be less effective if they weren’t in your life.
  • How have they made your life better?
  • And always make sure that you reaffirm other people’s potential and the truth of who God made them to be. If you can’t answer that question as a leader, look deeper.

 

thank you orange speech bubble isolated on whiteAccept feedback with a Thank You:
It is always interesting what people take away from sermons. And most of the “critique” that we receive has nothing to do with what we were actually trying to communicate. Recently, I went on a tangent in the sermon that apparently set off one man in particular. He couldn't get to me in the lobby fast enough. And he completely missed huge pieces of what I had said because he had already decided what he was going to challenge me on. I would have loved to let him have it. He was wrong. And he was unfounded. And more than that, he embarrassed me in the lobby of my own church.

I simply said, “Thank you. I will do better next time.”

Now, before we get to “Oh what an amazing leader,” make no mistake – all I wanted to do was punch him in the mouth. But I believe in the value of feedback. So, I must be willing to take feedback with which I disagree, with as much grace and value as that with which I agree. An open door policy is not an open door policy if people are afraid to walk through the door. Just because your door is open doesn't mean people can talk to you.


  • Just say Thank You. Process it later when it is safe and the risk of damaging the other person is gone. If the person wants to process it with you, set up a time a little later to do that so you have time to think through what is being said. Pray before you speak.
  • Please don't defend yourself. Be like Jesus. 1 Peter 2:23 says, “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

There is certainly more to be said on this topic, but hopefully this will get the conversation going.

So please share: How do you create a relational environment?

Aaron Couch Bio

Price: $0.00

Loading Updating cart...

3 Simple Ways to Create a Culture of Relationship

$

Creating A Culture Of Relationship

 

People felt safe coming to Jesus. We see this again and again. From children to the woman with the issue of blood, somehow Jesus was able to create the kind of space in a relationship where people could bring the truth of their circumstance forward and deal with it. We call this space a relational environment.

Relational Environments are much more than simply small groups. They certainly include small groups, but everywhere you go, you have a “vibe,” a feeling that people get about you.

I say it this way – everywhere you go, you give off an emotional stench. We want this stench to be a good smell, not a bad one. Now, people can absolutely misread us. That happens all the time. But it happens a lot less when we are intentional about how we come across. Here are some actions that will help manage the culture in a positive way.

Eyeglasses manSmile:

I am genetically flawed for leadership. Here is what I mean: I have an oversized head, squinty eyes, and a natural scowl. Simply being lost in a thought for a brief moment gives off all the wrong ideas about how I feel and more importantly how I feel about the people I am with.

An intentional smile makes all the difference. When I was younger in ministry, an older man who had many years of experience challenged me with this idea – just intentionally smile. It seems silly, but it is a game changer for the people we serve and the people we serve with.

you are great compliment    Be generous with compliments:

Speak blessings into people’s lives. It is a big dose of life giving energy. The Jews believe that when you bless someone, you obligate God to pull off the words you speak. This is also true for curses. Be in the habit of speaking life and the power of God into people’s lives.

Some of the ways you can compliment:

  • Compliment who people are, not what they do.
  • Tell them how much they mean to you.
  • Let them know that you would be less effective if they weren’t in your life.
  • How have they made your life better?
  • And always make sure that you reaffirm other people’s potential and the truth of who God made them to be. If you can’t answer that question as a leader, look deeper.

 

thank you orange speech bubble isolated on whiteAccept feedback with a Thank You:
It is always interesting what people take away from sermons. And most of the “critique” that we receive has nothing to do with what we were actually trying to communicate. Recently, I went on a tangent in the sermon that apparently set off one man in particular. He couldn't get to me in the lobby fast enough. And he completely missed huge pieces of what I had said because he had already decided what he was going to challenge me on. I would have loved to let him have it. He was wrong. And he was unfounded. And more than that, he embarrassed me in the lobby of my own church.

I simply said, “Thank you. I will do better next time.”

Now, before we get to “Oh what an amazing leader,” make no mistake – all I wanted to do was punch him in the mouth. But I believe in the value of feedback. So, I must be willing to take feedback with which I disagree, with as much grace and value as that with which I agree. An open door policy is not an open door policy if people are afraid to walk through the door. Just because your door is open doesn't mean people can talk to you.


  • Just say Thank You. Process it later when it is safe and the risk of damaging the other person is gone. If the person wants to process it with you, set up a time a little later to do that so you have time to think through what is being said. Pray before you speak.
  • Please don't defend yourself. Be like Jesus. 1 Peter 2:23 says, “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

There is certainly more to be said on this topic, but hopefully this will get the conversation going.

So please share: How do you create a relational environment?

Aaron Couch Bio