Do you remember the coaches that have made a significant impact in your life? Usually, the first one’s that pop into our minds are athletic coaches. In my case, the coach that came to mind is a life coach. Jane Creswell wrote in Foundations of Christian Leadership Coaching that regardless of the field, a coach “gives honest feedback and support, inspires, challenges, facilitates growth and change, and partners with another person to achieve stated goals.”
Coaches usually begin a coaching session with a simple question such as, “What do you want to focus on during this session?” It was a point in my life, where I was struggling with dreaming…I had little vision…and was even discouraged. The Bible is clear that “Without a vision, the people perish.” Therefore, my response on this afternoon was “let’s continue drilling on goals and dreams for my work for the Tennessee Baptist Convention.”
Coaches surface real solutions by listening intently, asking stimulating questions, and responding with concise messages that encourage the person being coached to examine how to reach their maximum potential. In Executive Coaching, Mary Beth O’Neill wrote, coaches are involved in “helping leaders get unstuck from their dilemmas and assisting them in transferring their learning into results for the organization.” I was stuck. My work was not energizing me and I was praying for God-given dreams that would re-energize me and enable me to be of greater assistance to the churches of Tennessee.
For several sessions, my coach had listened intently, asked stimulating questions and led me to actions to deal with my dilemma. Finally on this afternoon, he stopped and gave me a concise message with a follow-up question. He simply stated that “Dreams are birthed from passions. While you certainly are capable of doing everything that you are assigned to do, are you passionate about it?” A time of self-reflection occurred as I began to reexamine my call. God used a coach to reconnect this minister to his calling, passion, and dreams.
What about you? Are you passionate about your work? There are times when everyone has to work at things they are not passionate about. When I served on church staff, I was not passionate about visiting the hospitals, but I gladly fulfilled my obligations as a minister. Are you struggling with dreaming new dreams? Are you stuck?
Christian coaching is an effective form of discipleship. Christian coaches come alongside people to help them in their journey. The journey of discipleship has no closure as long as a person lives. Christian coaches assist persons in developing sensitivity to God’s leadership in their lives. The coach can become another set of ears to listen for God’s leadership, helping that person mature in his or her spiritual journey.
C.S. Lewis once said, “Put on your best shoes when going to follow your dreams, because it can take a lot of walking. But when you finally reach your destination… [it will be] well worth it.”
As a certified coach and someone who knows the value of a coach, let me encourage you to consider contacting the Center for Christian Coaching at the Tennessee Baptist Convention and explore the possibility of engaging in a coaching relationship. If you would be interested in having me as a coach, I would be happy to join you in pastors, staff, and church leaders in a coaching relationship. You can contact me directly or go through Center for Christian Coaching.