Sunday, March 26, 2017

Trends in Coaching and What They Mean for Faith Communities

Coaching in various forms is increasing, so it is getting more attention.  This means that change is at hand.  In a recent blog, Edmée Schalkx addressed “Trends in Coaching2017-2022” and specifically noted what this means for users and coaches.

As one who believes both in the effectiveness of coaching and its usefulness in religious settings, I suggest what these changes in coaching means for those of us who work with churches.

First, faith communities will recognize that they need trained coaches.  Churches, judicatories, and other faith-based institutions will discover that coaching promotes retention, provides focus, and maximizes use of resources.  With less to work with, coaching will increase the impact of the work of faith-based organizations in all areas of ministry.

Second, seminaries will give more attention to teaching coaching skills and integrating coaching into the curriculum. Seminaries and church related colleges will add certification and degree-level educational programs for those who will practice coaching both in faith-based and secular settings. As a result, more research will be done on the effectiveness of coaching for leadership and personal development.  

Third, coaches who work in faith-based settings will need cultural agility.  They will need to be equipped to work with people from different cultural, economic, ethnic, and faith traditions.  As I argued in an earlier blog, we will have to redefine faith-based coaching in such a way that we can benefit those of other faiths.  This does not mean changing our worldview but practicing it.  Coaching will become more theologically informed.

Fourth, as clergy become more familiar with the coaching approach to leadership development, they will require additional training, resources, and networks to implement a coaching culture in their congregations and judicatories. This added support will come from cross-denominational and para-church organizations as well as seminaries and colleges.  The challenge will be to assure quality and accountability in this resourcing.

The impact of coaching is only just beginning to emerge in faith-based settings.

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