One on One with Dino Senesi on Sending Well: A Field Guide to Great Church Planter Coaching

Every planter needs a coach because every planter needs a lot of help.

Ed Stetzer: Share a little about your experience with church planting and church planter coaching.

Dino Senesi: My journey with church planting began in New Orleans in the late 1980s. The church I pastored at the time was in a more urban location and God gave us the opportunity to address the diversity through church planting. We walked beside ten new churches. I was not a church planting expert and do not consider myself one today, but we saw church planting as a way to aggressively reach people with the gospel.

So I began the church planting journey as a supporter, encourager, mentor, and friend to planters. That has remained my primary role over the past 30+ years through various ministry platforms. I have personally been a part of new churches and led a one-year-old church plant for a season—but that is the extent of my hands-on experience beyond support roles.

Coaching was a natural transition for me in 2002 because of my background. Bob Logan was my first coach. I have been engaged in being coached and coaching leaders since then.

Ed: In a couple sentences, how would you define a church planter coach?

Dino: Planters have multiple valuable voices speaking into their lives. Church planter coaches provide a walk-beside relationship to planters, giving a unique voice of listening, caring, and encouraging. A coach provides an intentional, supportive relationship that gives a planter space to reflect, process, hear God, and be accountable to take action. Coaching helps planters pursue their unique kingdom assignment.

Ed: People hear many things when they hear the word “coach.” They hear mentor, leader, boss, etc. What is a church planter coach not?

Dino: I prefer to explain how coaching is ‘different’ ...

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