Why Does Peer Coaching Bring Growth and Strength to the Burmese Church?

You may have heard Zúme’s goal to “make disciples who make disciples.” A critical part of that divine multiplication is coaching believers in how to multiply, following up on them, supporting them, and strengthening them along the way. “Follow up and relationship and development help[s] people catch the vision,” says Jacob,* an American supporting the local churches in Myanmar.

There is no doubt that the church in Myanmar is growing—it was doing that even without Zúme. A 3/3 group started by one Burmese brother kept asking him to print off Bible verses for them, since the participants struggled to navigate the structure of the Bible to find particular verses. After several months, when the Burmese brother checked in on that same group, they had continued meeting together, learned how to look up verses themselves, and even begun another group.

The current focus of the Burmese simple church multiplication movement is on building peer coaching relationships to not just keep multiplication going, but to strengthen and train local believers along the way. “That’s actually become more of our focus area,” says Jacob. “How can we make sure that our catalysts, our movement leaders are staying in contact with the disciples that they’ve trained and that those disciples are multiplying? What leadership questions do they have, and how cane we provide coaching support to keep those connections solid and growing?” While the church is growing regardless, multiplication also “brings a lot of challenges” because it constantly involves “new questions and new problems . . . it can be exhausting at times.” That’s where the coaching comes in.

Peer coaching provides a network of support for Burmese planters of simple churches. When they face struggles, they can look to other local groups that are facing similar problems. In that way, coaches can learn from each other’s approaches. Peer coaching networks enable sharing ideas within the culture, strengthening the Burmese church itself. Giving ownership to the local leaders equips the groups to move and grow with them. It makes evangelism for the local people of Myanmar, rather than an outside force. “I want to get out of the way,” Jacob says. He sees his role as equipping and training the local leaders so that they can equip and train others, starting more 3/3 groups and teaching more people about the gospel.

The next focus area? Finding local leaders in the network who are willing to go to the unreached people groups and remote regions of their own country. These interactions, even from within the context of the region, are cross-cultural and carry the associated challenges.

Continue to lift up our Burmese brothers and sisters in prayer as they work both within their community and cross culturally to spread God’s Word. May their roots deepen in the true source of life, strengthening them for the journey.

Find their story and others on our podcast, or learn how to start your own 3/3 group with our free online course.

*Name changed for security.