Leading the World by Supporting Christian Coaching

Coaching as Intentional One Anothering, part 4

By Pamela Mertz

Who are my One Anothers?

When I first dove into this concept and was being intentional about “one anothering”, I needed to know who that is!  I was overwhelmed by the thought of serving everyone, as I was already a mom of three boys, working full time, and in part time ministry.  How could I possibly serve more?

I began to study the term “one another” in the Bible, using inductive method and doing a word study on this phrase, as well as “each other”.  These are different and I will explain later in this writing. When I first did a study, using BlueLetterBible (one of my favorite Bible Study tools, by the way!) and did a search, I was shocked at how many times this phrase was used in Scripture. This phrase is used 155 times and illustrates people in relationship with others.  This is beyond the word community or congregation and yet broader than family. This word is singling out another created being to be in relationship with. 

As I kept digging into this, I chose a Bible study by Wayne Jacobsen, Authentic Relationships, to do with the small group that my husband and I lead.  The subtitle of this study was “the lost art of one-anothering”. I LOVED that. We studied this together with our small group and gained some insight into the process of how to “one another”. 

First, I was relieved to better understand that it was not every person I ever encountered. This was initially overwhelming as I mentioned, and to learn that my one anothers are those that are like me, in my sphere of influence and could have a relationship with. This helped me to breathe a little easier as I thought about how I wanted to fulfill these commands.  God wants me to do much with “one anothers” and I needed to have clarity on who those people where. So, these are people in my church, my neighborhood and surrounding areas that are Believers.  My one anothers are Believers that I interact with.  This gave me great joy!  This was some instruction on how to do life together as Christians.  What a blessing to understand this more fully.

So, your One Anothers are those who believe in the Triune God and follow Jesus, like you do. 

Also, as I continued this learning journey on who this defined, I became aware of the deepening of relationship as each command was explained.  Notice Jesus started with Love God, and then Love One Another. These are comprehensive and then all other commands fall under these two umbrellas, or filters. Each command that is related to “one anothers” gets increasingly more intimate as well.  Notice that it starts with LOVE. That is always a great place to start!  I shared more about that in the first piece in this series.  Always operating in love, we can then begin to see the next commands deepening in the relationship.  After choosing to love, we pray, and then serve, bear burdens, forgive and so on.  Notice that we can’t serve well if we don’t pray, and we can’t bear burdens if we don’t know what they are, so that requires intentional relationship, asking questions, like “How can I pray for you?” And we wouldn’t have need to forgive if there wasn’t a hurt, and hurts happen later in relationships (usually, after we get comfortable and things can get messier, more real).

As coaches, we also get to operate in this model of relating to clients. We first love them, as we are commanded to. We then begin to get to know them and then we can continue to be bolder with them as we gain more insight into their needs, dreams, goals, vision and purpose.  We can also be able to gently challenge our clients, using the “one-anothering” command to admonish.  Questions like, “How does this action line up with your values you hold tightly?”  or “What might God have to say about this plan?”  These are gentle reminders of their journey with the Lord, and you can be an effective “one another” in this space with them.

I believe that each client that comes our way is an ordained assignment, a place to operate in our calling and gifting as coaches. We get the privilege of “one anothering” in our coaching practices and it may be the only safe space clients have to be able to explore the deep things that God has for them. 

I said I would explain “each other” and how it is different.  In original language it refers to “ourselves, or yourself”.  So these commands are to be extended to ourselves as well.  God is good at making things clear.

How does this concept change the way you think about your next client? What might God be showing you about this? Enjoy exploring for yourself.  

Pamela Mertz, CPCC, PCC is passionate about Christian coaching and loves sharing how God continues to show her how impactful it is for the world! She works with many Christian coaches around the globe through her roles at Promised Land Living, Professional Christian Coaching Institute and CCNI as Board Secretary.  For more information about Pamela you can visit her website at www.blueprintlife.com

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