Humility & Coaching

Humility & Coaching

Coaching demands humility. When you as the coach, humble yourself and are willing to lay aside your agenda for the sake of others e.g for a God-honoring endeavor like disciplemaking and leader-development – amazing things happen. That is the “magic” of coaching!


To coach & be coached

To coach & be coached

In 2005 I took a sabbatical. To prepare, I asked a colleague to coach me to take advantage of the opportunity. What I gained from that experience stays with me to this day.

One of the most important learnings I have from that experience is the value of being coached as you coach others. I need to be reminded every 30 days, what if feels like to be on the receiving end of a coaching conversation. Responsibility to set the agenda, anticipation for the appointment and the satisfaction when I realize that our time was well-spent, focusing on the important and not urgent areas of life/ministry.

When I was in Delhi, India recently I met a young Indian by the name of Mushek. He is launching a coaching business called Lead Well with the unique strategy to serve others who seek to do Business as Mission (BAM). That evening he asked me about my vision, where I am headed and how to get there. He coached me!

It was humbling to sit in the seat of the “person being coached” – but worth it! It was refreshing to share my vision and to have someone listen. And to leave with a fresh perspective and actions to take.

Most times I meet with my coach I leave with clarity of vision, practical steps to implement and a new perspective on my situation. Then I’m better able to coach others because I can empathize with them as they sit in my seat. What are the benefits you experience as you are on the receiving end of a coaching relationship?

Barnabas & coaching

Barnabas & coaching

Last week I was in Delhi, India to train leaders in coaching.  Today, I’m reflecting on the view outside my hotel room in Ankara, Turkey, located northwest of Antioch (roughly a 7.5 hour drive), as I prepare for a second round of training with another group.  Antioch was a ministry base for the Apostle Barnabas. One of the things I’ve been pondering lately is the biblical basis for coaching – especially reflecting on Barnabas and his role in apostolic ministry.  It is easy to get caught-up in the techniques, process and skills of coaching; but lose sight of the “why”.

Here are a few ponderings on biblical passages relating to coaching:

  • “…don’t ever forget that it is best to listen much, speak little, and not become angry;” James 1:19 – Listening
  • “Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.” Proverbs 25:11 – Speaking
  • “When you obey me you are living in my love, just as I obey my Father and live in his love.” John 15:10 – Obeying (all references from the TLB translation)

I like to refer to these as a three-legged stool for coaching: Abiding (obeying) – Listening (for self discovery) – Speaking (when necessary).  This simplifies the correlation between the foundational competencies of coaching.  Obedience leads to listening, listening leads to powerful questions, and powerful questions can lead to speaking.

You probably have your favorite passages. What verses do you practice as a basis for coaching? Please share your thoughts and together, let’s create a firm biblical foundation for those we train to practice the “ministry of Barnabas”.

Until next week – Coach on!

The power of coaching

The power of coaching

I’ve been reflecting on a theological basis for coaching. From observing Jesus, I’ve arrived at three reasons why Jesus used a coach approach to disciplemaking & leader development. One disclaimer – He had the distinct advantage of divine insight, knowing when to be the expert vs. when to practice listening and asking questions to gain traction on the path to self-discovery; so our results might vary.

Here are three reasons why Jesus used a coach approach.

  • Reason #1 – Identity: Jesus coached people to discover for themselves who He was (Mark 8:29).
  • Reason #2 – Being: Jesus coached people to discover who they were in relationship to him (John 15:4).
  • Reason #3 – Doing: Jesus helped people discover how to lead like him (Matthew 16:24).

Regardless of who I am coaching I am likely to address one or more of these issues in most coaching conversations. Working with a leader through transition, he processed his responses to #2 and #3 in regards to the opportunities in front of him. The reflections that he was empowered to make through a coach approach helped him transition well into his next season of ministry. This week, as you coach new disciples or develop leaders, see which of the three areas you find yourself coaching in most frequently.

Here are three questions you can use:

  • What is Jesus teaching you about Himself? – Identity
  • What is Jesus teaching you about yourself? – Being
  • What is Jesus asking you to do? – Doing

What questions have you used to coach people through one of these issues – Identity, Being Doing?

Please comment below, I’d love to hear your experience.

I am entering the social media community and the 21st. Century. I am in India (5.6.16-5.14.16) & Turkey (5.15.16-5.21.16) to conduct coach training workshops. Please “Friend me” on Facebook or “Follow me” on Twitter to receive updates along the way.

Have a wonderful week!