The GROW Model - Week 5 (Monday Morning Devotion)

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We just spent six weeks discovering “What is Hope?” and now it’s time to share that hope.

The next six weeks will revolve around starting conversations that lead to proclaiming God’s Word and His Will for all mankind - a restored relationship with Him.

Need to start at the beginning? Read Week 1 here.



Tim Gallwey had been a nationally ranked tennis player and captain of his team at Harvard. Later, while Gallwey was on sabbatical from his career as a college administrator, he decided to try coaching tennis.

Gallwey encouraged his students to do two things: "Each time the ball hits the ground, say 'bounce,' and each time you strike the ball with your racket, say 'hit.'" Two things. Gallwey's players' games improved. He became convinced that the most important thing for new players to learn was "the moment of discovery"—that precise moment when the ball hit the ground.

Gallwey kept questioning traditional coaching. What if every player could discover for themselves which areas of their game they needed to improve? He stopped giving instructions and focused instead on questions. The stunning results led Gallwey to organize his system and published it in a book called The Inner Game of Tennis.

It wasn’t long before human performance researchers began applying and testing Gallwey's methods in their fields. Based largely on Gallwey's experience, Sir John Whitmore developed "The GROW Model," a method for owning your own growth. Now we use this acronym to train all of our coaches, mentors, staff, and volunteer leaders at Life.Church. If you pay attention, you’ll realize these researchers discovered something Jesus had already modeled for believers.

Goal. Ask, "What—specifically—would you like to get out of this conversation?" You want to come to an agreement on the issue you’re discussing and determine what the person would like to take away from the conversation.

Reality. Be genuinely curious about what's happening in the person's life. Follow paths of apparent pain, assumptions, or discomfort. Ask open-ended questions to help unveil an honest, realistic perspective. First, ask about what's happening now and then about what outcomes might be possible, given their circumstances and abilities. It’s a good idea to ask, “What do you think God might be saying to you?”

Options. Stay curious with your questions in this phase, but shift gears to begin exploring the future. You want to ask questions to help them picture what growth could look like in the future; what possible tools, resources, or approaches could get them there; and what barriers might arise along the way. Spend some time here. It’s okay to feel repetitive in your questions.

Way Forward. You talked about options, now land on specific actions. What step do you think you’ll take next? When do you plan to do that? Who else will keep you accountable? Should we have another conversation?

We’ve been using this framework for a few years, and Jesus was asking questions like these long before Tim Gallwey, or Jeff Galley. It simply works.

Act: Get the full, free GROW conversation model. Then, put it into action in your next group or one-on-one conversation.

(These devotions are based on: “Conversations” created by Life.Church)