by Ircel Harrison
When we present our “elevator speech” about coaching, are we drawing the circle too small? In promoting coach training, I have often referred to the process as “an additional tool in your ministry toolbox.” As I talked with a ministry leader recently about coach training for his denomination, I realized that coaching is much more than simply a skill. I needed to enlarge my perspective and see coaching in a new light.
First, it is a biblical approach to developing disciples. We believe that each person is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and is unique in the sight of God. Because of this, each of us has a special calling, one that can be discerned through interaction with a coach. As believers, we are also commanded to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18, NIV). Entering the life of faith is just the beginning because we are invited into a process of lifelong learning and serving. This journey can be facilitated through a relationship with a Christian coach.
Second, coaching is a way of knowing. When we come into a new environment with questions and anticipation of unlocking possibilities, we engage in a new way of knowing and discovery. We are equipped to see everything with fresh eyes and an attitude of learning. We deepen our perception and open ourselves to unexpected insights. A Christian coach can increase our capacity to learn.
Third, coaching can become a lifestyle. When we ask questions of others and unleash their desires, dreams, and potential, we are operating as change agents. Whether we are talking with business colleagues, family members, or people in our congregation, our desire to ask and support opens new possibilities in their lives and our own. We are creating a new way of living for ourselves and others. A Christian coach can encourage us as we live abundant, God-honoring lives.
If we think of coaching in these ways, we are not only practicing a skill, but we are also seeing the world in a whole new way with a different set of eyes. As Christians who are coaches, what better gift can we provide to others?