Sometimes when I’m coaching people who are running up against very challenging circumstances or wrestling with very difficult problems, I need to remind myself of this: If it were easy, they wouldn’t need you.
When people need coaching is when they’re struggling with something. There are numbers of issues in my life where I don’t need coaching– I just need to do it. But then there are those other issues that require more thought, are more complicated, or where– for whatever reason– I just haven’t gotten traction. That’s where coaching is shows its true value. And when you as the coach roll up your sleeves and help your clients sort things out and figure out how to move forward, that’s when you really feel how powerful coaching is.
Like peanut butter and chocolate, some things are just better together. Coaching and missional movements are like that. You understand the value of coaching. You want to cultivate a missional movement. But what happens when you put those two things together?
That’s one of the questions we’ll explore at the upcoming Cultivating Missional Movements Workshop– how can you apply coaching toward the goal of a missional movement? We’ll look at:
- Coaching at the grassroots level
- The coaching of church planters
- Coaching apostolic leaders
- The coaching support systems behind the whole movement
I’ve been working with a few groups on ways to revamp their credentialing or ordination process– essentially, how to prepare ministers for ministry. This week on my blog I’m reflecting on some of my general thoughts in this topic.
Some form of coaching or mentoring is essential for a quality preparation process. Each ministry candidate should have someone who walks alongside them throughout their experiential training to help them reflect on and process what they are learning. The difference in quality with and without coaching is dramatic.
I’ve loved being a coach for the 20+ years I’ve been doing it, but lately I really love being a coach. It means having a front row seat to seeing some amazing breakthroughs with the people I’m working with. Because I honor confidentiality I can’t share specifics, but lately I’ve seen some truly profound breakthrough insights that would not have happened without coaching.
I’ve always said that we should follow where God is blessing and be a part of the work he’s doing, and lately coaching is where I’ve really seen God blessing. Coaching really makes a difference and is truly worth the investment.
I was recently asked this question in an email: “Bob – are you familiar enough with spiritual direction to be able to articulate the general differences between that and coaching?”
As it happens, my wife Janet is a spiritual director, so I am familiar with the concept. Yet I found it surprisingly difficult to write out a formal distinction. After all, there are certainly many points of overlap: listening, asking questions, discerning what the Holy Spirit is doing, trusting the process.
But here’s a simple distinction I came up with:
This blog entry is part of a series of three that focuses on the three environments for making disciples: peer-to-peer discipleship, guided discipleship, and focused discipleship. Each of these represents a relational, intentional way to make disciples within our churches.
The focused discipleship approach is especially useful for either brand new believers who need more focused attention or for fruitful disciples who are emerging as leaders. Focused discipleship relies on coaching as its means. People grow through a coaching relationship tailored to help them discern how they’re going to grow and serve and what steps are next for them– in both personal development and ministry development.