Thursday, January 31, 2013

Coaching in the Church

Tonight I begin a fifteen week online class on “The Ministry of Coaching” for Central Baptist Theological Seminary students.  My goal in this class is not to train the ten students to become professional coaches but to learn how to apply the techniques of coaching in the local church.

The underlying idea of this course is that coaching is a ministry skill that can be used in the church in several ways.  Clergy can use coaching skills in pastoral care situations where church members are trying to adopt new behaviors that will improve their relationships, their quality of life, and their spiritual growth.  Christian educators can use coaching skills to assist believers in their growth as disciples and to learn spiritual disciplines.  Both clergy and lay leaders can use coaching skills to identify, equip and encourage new leaders in all aspects of church life.

Coaching is not counseling but a process that provides a supportive framework for a healthy, committed person to grow spiritually, personally, and relationally.  The person being coached is recognized as a competent, growing disciple who can state their personal needs and abilities, formulate growth goals, and identify the action steps that will help them to achieve their goals.  The coach provides feedback, clarity, and support as the individual pursues the plan he or she develops.

Much like the asset mapping approach used for community development, coaching helps people to use what they already possess more effectively and intentionally.  With the coach’s assistance, they develop skills for self-leadership and self-management rather than being handed the answers on a platter.

My goal is that these students from five states will come to understand the unique ministry of coaching and be prepared to practice coaching skills in congregational or other community settings.


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