At this time of the year many in leadership are looking ahead to the next twelve months. This week is a good week to clean up loose ends of 2012 and prepare for 2013. Some will make New Year's resolutions while the most effective leaders will set some challenging goals for themselves and their churches or other organizations. One of the things I always include in my goal setting is a list of people who I will need to help me accomplish that goal. I agree with John Maxwell's teaching that if one can accomplish his or her goal by themselves the goal was too small. We need a team to help us achieve the goals that will bring the greatest accomplishments. For some, that team needs to include a coach.
The ministry in which I serve saw the value in coaching a few years ago and provided training for our staff. As past of the coaching training we received we were coached by one of our trainers. It so happened at that time I was facing a crossroads in my life and wasn't certain which way to proceed. I was really torn between taking two different roads and wasn't sure which I was being called to take. That became the focus of our coaching sessions, and by the time those sessions ended I had a clear direction. My coach did not direct me in one direction or the other but simply challenged me with questions to help me clarify in my own mind which road God was calling me to take. Coaching made such an impact on me I have sought to coach others to help them find the answers to some of their challenges. It has been my privilege to have coached a number of bivocational and fully-funded pastors and to do my DMin project on the value of coaching bivocational ministers.
In coaching, the coach is not the expert as might be the case in a counseling or mentoring relationship. The person being coached is considered the expert in his or her life. The coach functions to help draw the answers out of the person being coached that already reside within the person. This is done primarily through asking powerful questions to help the person being coached think through possible solutions to his or her issues. One of the greatest moments for me is when I ask a question and the person being coached suddenly becomes very quiet as he or she becomes aware of the answer to their challenge. As they describe that answer they sound as if the weight of the world has been taken off their shoulders.
Most coaching is done over the telephone so it doesn't matter where the coach or person being coached lives. My sessions usually last 45-60 minutes at a time that is convenient to each person, and because I see coaching as part of my ministry to leaders my fees are much lower than you might pay to a life coach or executive coach.
If you believe coaching would help you achieve your goals in 2013 I would love to talk to you. Due to my other ministry responsibilities I limit myself to only five persons being coached at a time so it's important you contact me soon if you are interested in having me on your team and you seek to accomplish much more in 2013.