Self-Scouting

A few weeks ago I had the unique experience of chatting with Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy, in his home.  Long story, but I was given an on-field pass before the Packers/Broncos game, watched the victory with the coach’s family in their luxury skybox, then went to the house after the game.   (I said to my wife later, “It was the best day ever!  I mean…ummm…after the wedding.  Yeah, and the birth of the kids.  Uh-huh.”

I asked the coach about his schedule for the upcoming week.  Among other things he told me that at 6:00 a.m. Monday the coaches would gather to break down film and give every player a grade on every play they participated in.  At 9:30 each player would receive their grades.  The coach called it “self-scouting.”  He said, “It’s important to scout your opponent, but it’s possibly even more important to scout yourselves.  You need to know where you’re good, and where you need to improve.”  It’s the culture of his highly successful team.

How are you with self-scouting?  I’m a latecomer.  Historically it has been hard for me to open myself up to the scrutiny of others, but I’m getting better.   Example:  a few years ago my public speaking went from good to better-than-good because I listened to a lady’s suggestion after one of my messages.  Today, I never preach without having a team tell me what they see in advance, and afterwards I look forward to getting their feedback.

I’m privileged to lead Converge Church Planting, and in our movement we like to say, “No one should plant a church alone”.   Church planters are encouraged to recruit others to move with them, reducing the endemic risks of starting a new church from scratch.  Each church planter has a coach, who brings strategic support to the venture.  All of this is good.  But I’ve noticed something: the church planters who really thrive are the ones who go even further.  They are committed to self-scouting.  They have confidants in their lives who have permission to tell them what they see: skills, character, strategy.

How are you with self-scouting?  What will you do to create that culture in your life and ministry?