Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The power of coaching

Next month I am scheduled to train some UM pastors who will be coaching bivocational ministers in their district.  I'm really excited about this for a couple of reasons.  One, it's exciting to see judicatory leaders looking for new ways to resource their bivocational ministers.  Two, I know how helpful it can be to a bivocational minister to have a coach.  This will be a win for both the pastors and the district plus those who are serving as coaches are going to be blessed in ways they do not yet understand.

Over the past 3-4 years I have become convinced that there are few things more powerful in a leader's life than having a coach.  I benefitted from a coach who helped me through some decisions I had to make about my life and ministry, and I've been privileged to coach a number of other ministers.  We all get stuck sometimes in our lives.  We all have those times when we just aren't sure of the best direction to take.  Every minister has those seasons in his or her life when there is more doubt and frustration than faith.  Often, in our most challenging moments, we aren't sure who to turn to or talk to about the issues facing us.  In those times, having a coach come alongside to walk with you can be quite powerful.

Coaches don't give advice; they ask questions.  They challenge the person being coached (PBC) to think deeply about the issues facing them and to consider possible solutions.  Coaches encourage and at the same time hold the PBC accountable.  They speak directly to the PBC, sometimes saying things the PBC would prefer not to hear, but it is always with the desire to help the PBC move forward in his or her life.  Coaches don't dwell on the past; they help the PBC move forward in life.  The best coaches want the PBC to experience everything God has planned for his or her life and is committed to helping them achieve that.

As you think about 2012, are there goals you would like to accomplish but are uncertain how to best do that?  Do you see some decisions that you will have to make next year that have you really concerned?  Are you fearful that 2012 will be a repeat of 2011, 2010, 2009, etc, and the thought of that bothers you more than you would like to admit?  Does your life and ministry feel like a wheel in a hamster's cage, and despite all your activity you feel like you're going nowhere?  If you answered yes to any of these questions you might be ready for a coach to help you move forward.

With my other responsibilities, I can only coach up to five people at a time, and I currently have openings.  Virtually all my coaching is done over the telephone so it doesn't matter where you live.  I've coached people from several states and Canada.  Most of the people I've coached have been bivocational ministers, but I've also coached fully-funded pastors, and I am open to coaching persons who are not in the ministry but want help with some aspect of their lives.  I am a charter member of the International Christian Coaching Association.

If you want to move forward in your life and ministry in 2012 I encourage you to consider having a coach assist you in that process.  If you feel that I may be able to assist I would be honored to discuss that with you.

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