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Key Distinctions in Christian Coaching

The primary distinction in Christian coaching is based in the precept that God seeks active involvement in the lives of humans.  Christian coaching enables the coach to:

  • invite the Holy Spirit into the conversation in a three way partnership;
  • ask the Holy Spirit to guide the coaching conversation;
  • directly ask questions pertaining to the integration of faith;
  • encourage the client to consider God’s will and plan;
  • allow the expression of the client’s faith to grow;
  • challenge the client to view life from a biblical perspective;
  • create awareness, design  actions, and formulate  solutions using scriptural references; and,
  • encourage the client’s transformation into the image of Christ.

Coaching Concepts & Biblical Worldview

It is CCNI’s position that the coach brings their belief system into all areas of life. We may not overtly express our beliefs while coaching, but they frame the questions we ask, they direct what we notice or focus our attention on, and they influence how we treat the client and the interventions/assessments we might use.  

Below is not a CCNI Statement of Faith, but more a list of distinctions delineating some of the basic perspective differences between Christian and “secular” coaching.

The human condition was radically altered by Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. The earth fell under a curse. We became subject to physical death. What was once “very good” became defiled and subject to error, disease, decay, and eventual death (Gen. 3:6; Rom. 5:12-19).

Human nature became morally corrupt. As a result, humankind was alienated from intimate relationship with God. The authority that humans held over the earth was lost. Our desire for personal authority is a God-given trait, but we lost the ability to reign with purity. Our sinful nature is passed on from generation to generation (Acts 1:8).

Reconciliation is necessary for a person to reach their God-given potential. This is only possible when we accept Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection as the atonement for our sin (Rom. 6:9-10).

Knowing God in an intimate personal relationship is the greatest good that can happen to a person. This makes it possible for a person to experience a full and abundant life and reach their God-given potential (Eph. 3:19; Hos. 4:6).

Relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, begins an inward transformation process that reshapes internal thought processes and external behaviors (2 Cor. 3:18).

Christians have an eternal perspective that shapes their attitudes and choices in the present life (2 Cor. 5:17).

Human potential is limited. Potential exists because we are created in God’s image. Through dependence on God, there is a higher potential that exceeds all efforts at self-actualization. (Jer. 29:11, John 15:4-6, Rom. 12:2).

Psychological approaches to human development have merit and bring a greater understanding to the different stages of human growth and change.

Hope cannot reside solely in the client or in the coaching process.

  • Deference to the Spirit of God is necessary in order to fully realize the potential of hope in any given situation (Jer. 17:9).
  • Hope has to be based in God and his promise to work in the life of the client (Phil.1:9).
  • It is this greater hope that changes us, and consequently our world (1 Pet. 1:3).

Relativism tolerates all views on morality. This view purports that it is the individual who determines what is right and what is wrong. If we follow the logic of relativism, then “evil” could essentially be classified as “good.”

  • Scripture teaches absolutism; a moral right and wrong by which we are to gauge our thoughts, attitudes, and actions (John 17:17).
  • Scripture warns against mixing good and evil (Isa. 5:20).
  • God will judge everyone on the basis of his absolute, eternal, unchangeable law regardless of one’s position on relativism (Eccl. 12:13, 14; 2 Cor. 5:10).
  • Despite the clear moral boundaries set by scripture, Christians are commanded not to judge the intentions of another (James 4:12, Matt. 7:1-2).

The Christian is called to a life of holiness. This means living by God’s standards first and foremost. God does not call us to be perfect, but to be distinct from the world (1 Peter 1:13-16, Lev. 19:2).

Values stem from personal beliefs. They are shaped by society as well as personal experience. They are the ideals, virtues, and expressions we deem important. We assign value to everything. We often filter our choices based on our values.

  • Christianity imposes its value system upon the believer (Matt. 6:33). The imposition is not a dictatorial one but one based on the concept of covenant. God is active in the lives of his children.
  • As we prioritize our role in the kingdom, often forsaking our own priorities, God has promised to provide for us and lead us effectively through choices and opportunities.

God provides all our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19). He also gives us our wants as we delight ourselves in Him (Ps. 37:4).

Goal-setting is the process of setting one’s mind and heart on a desired future outcome. In Christian coaching, this entails also focusing on the “upward call of God” in our lives (Phil. 3:13-14; Prov. 16:9).

People with an internal locus of control believe that they are responsible for the outcomes they experience. Those with an external locus of control feel that outside forces are responsible for these outcomes. In Christian coaching, we encourage the external control of God to become the internal control of the believer (John 10:10). 

Responsibility and self-governance is a right, privilege, and expectation of mature individuals. We are stewards of our lives. We are responsible and accountable to God for the decisions and choices we make. 

Our motivation for growth and change works in tandem with our call to become Christ-like.

The success of our change has the potential to expand God’s reign, rule, and influence (Kingdom) and leads to a spiritual inheritance.

In Christian coaching we understand that respect and impression of self are based not on personal accomplishment or goal attainment, but on the value of life because we have been created in the image of God. Impression of self is based on scripture and what we understand as God’s view of his created people. Personal esteem is not built on the approval of man, but for the approval of God (1 Thess. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:15).

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