Lessons that I’ve gleaned:
So far, I’ve focused on the importance of the spiritual foundation (Lesson #1: Discern the will of the Father and helping those you coach, do the same) the relational foundation (Lesson #2: Value the other person) of coaching. This week, I focus on the personal foundation.
Lesson #3 – Embrace your unique contribution
Each of us has a unique contribution God has designed us to make. This is not a pre-destination issue – it is a design issue. Based on your unique design, what is your contribution?
When I first began coaching I was 28 years-old, recently graduated from seminary and single. One of many mentors the Lord used in my life modeled the kind of ministry I sensed God calling me, so I asked him if I could carry his bags to assist him on any upcoming projects. Over the next few years I immersed myself in learning all I could on church growth, leadership development, church planting & multiplication. This led me to pursue my doctorate through Fuller Seminary where I received my DMin at the age of 32.
During those early years I was developing the skills of a coach, trainer and consultant with the singular focus of starting healthy churches that reproduce. The more I refined my unique contribution the more I sensed God’s pleasure. It was, and remains, an ongoing process of stretching myself by taking measured risks, reflecting on the experience and assessing the fruitfulness of the work.
This three-step process of action – reflection – evaluation has served me well. Of course it is never as clear as it may appear in writing, but, the process does work itself out if you are committed to discovering your unique contribution. To help you through that process here is a list of 9 questions to help you refine your Unique Contribution so that you can more faithfully steward the gifts the Lord has given you.
Unique Contributions Reflection Questions:
- What am I passionate about?
- What abilities have I demonstrated that produce fruitful results?
- What spiritual gifts fuel these skills & abilities?
Feedback from others:
- What positive feedback do people share with me?
- What skills do people consistently affirm in me?
- What impact do these skills have on other people?
Spiritual Litmus Test
- How do I measure effectiveness?
- What activities leave me energized?
- When do I sense God’s pleasure most?
Next week I will share another lesson that I’ve learned as the Lord has allowed me to partner with leaders who are making a significant contribution to the work of cultivating disciplemaking movements.