I virtually always find coaching to be meaningful work. But then there are the times when God’s presence is just glaring.
I was coaching a leader who was unsure of his agenda for our coaching session. He had just come out of a season of change and transition and it seemed to him that he was on an even slope now. There wasn’t anything obviously pressing to talk about and he wasn’t sure what to focus on. So I started asking him some questions around one of the general challenges he had identified at the beginning of the coaching relationship: how could he find potential young leaders?
We discussed the characteristics he was looking for: people in their 20s with a missional focus and a blend between thought leadership and action. We started talking about that. I asked, “Who do you know who thinks like you do about this?” He mentioned some older people his own age. I asked, “Who do they know that’s in the demographic that you’re trying to reach?”
Then the lightbulb came on. Laura! Laura (not her real name) worked for a large corporation and had planned to move for a promotion, but it fell through at the last minute. It was a major disappointment for her. Two years ago, Laura had suggested moving ahead in a “thought leadership” capacity to start facilitating raising up new potential leaders from the harvest. It didn’t work out at the time. But the man I was coaching sensed that the timing might be right this time.
He told me, “This is amazing. Just yesterday I wrote Laura a condolence email about her promotion. Today I’m going to call her and help her think through what God might have in mind in light of this new opportunity. She’ll be blown away!”
We sat in silence for a few minutes in the presence of God. I said, “I feel like I need to take my shoes off right now.” “Yes, we’re walking on sacred ground.” What God had put into her heart to do two years ago, and he just cleared her schedule to be able to focus on.
Coaching gives the opportunity for those God moments. God is always guiding us, but then there are times when it’s like the burning bush because of the clear way he is speaking. This guy didn’t have any agenda. He didn’t even know what to focus on. Then, when you least expect it, the extraordinary breakthroughs, the scale and scope of something big, the glaring involvement of God.