by Michael Baker, MS, CSC, CCNI Director of Membership and Outreach
As Christian coaches, we often feel that we are called to serve others through coaching. It may be life, leadership, or executive coaching. Or even financial, fitness, or nutrition. The key here is that we are called to serve others through our gifts and talents given by God. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
As a new coach, I struggled to find what God was calling me to do. Coaching was the focus, but who would I serve? What is my niche? What types of programs would I offer my clients? And, of course, what would I charge?
It has been nearly four years since I began my coaching journey. Every question above challenged me to the point of sleepless nights. My fellow colleagues probably thought I was off my medication many times, vacillating back and forth from a good idea to a great idea and back to a not-so-good idea.
Well, I’m happy to say I believe I figured it out. How? By literally burning myself out emotionally. I hit a low spot where all I had left was to surrender myself to God and ask him where I should go and who I should serve. My mind was finally quiet enough to hear God’s voice.
I’ll be honest, I never heard specific answers. God did not consult with me or tell me what to do. He facilitated my journey. He coached me. What heard was:
- “What is the difference you can make in my world?”
- “How will that help my people draw nearer to me and my Son?”
- “Through your coaching, what do you want people to know about their relationship with me?”
- “Will you use my word or man’s to spread your message?”
Because I listened, here is my response:
- The Great Commission tells all Christians to go forward and make disciples of those we meet. (Matthew 12:18-20) My mission is to help Christian believers change their identity in Christ from adjective to verb. Today, more than ever, we need action in our faith; to be walking demonstrations of Jesus’ love. Saying you are a believer has no meaning unless there is purposeful action behind the words. I want to help people become stronger in their Christian identity and lives.
- My clients need to understand that God knowing us before we were born, had a plan for us, and set us up to prosper, gives us power over everything evil. We should name it, claim it, and live it to the full! (Jeremiah 1:5, 29:11) We are told to “seek first the kingdom of God…” (Matthew 6:33) If God knew us then, he expects us to know him now.
- First and foremost, we are made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27) Not in physical likeness, but in the Spirit. Could it be that our soul is a tiny piece of God, given to us for safe keeping? We are each uniquely designed with gifts and talents, all different but from the same Spirit. When my clients know how they are uniquely designed their focus turns inward with God-centered self-discovery, then turns outward to live richer, fuller, more abundant lives. (1 Cortinthians 12:4-6) My clients have had great success with the CliftonStrengths assessment in discovering their genuine identity.
- Whether I’m coaching in faith or doing secular work, the above-referenced scriptures are a foundation of me, personally, and the work I do. God asking me the questions I needed to hear has lead to new doors opening for me, and a direction where I am comfortable in walking.
As for who I serve, I am primarily working in the education space. Our education system is a hurting market with a focus more on survival than outcomes. Administrators, teachers, and parents are desperate for direction away from unfounded policies that serve the few in non-Christian thought. Our children deserve better.
Several years ago when I was in my struggle, I heard Jesus say, “Walk with me.” It took a while for me to match his stride and speed, but I’m getting better at it. But what pleases me most is that I am on The Walk, going in the right direction, doing the work God designed me to do.