Ethical Guidelines (ICF/Christian Coaching)

Ethical Guidelines (ICF/Christian Coaching)

How is Christian coaching different from secular coaching? Below are the differences between International Coaching Federation and Christian Coaching. This week and next, we will share wisdom on the topic, beginning today with this post on the difference in ethical guidelines. Bob Logan is one of the best thinkers in the church planting world and a fantastic coach. We wrote the Coaching 101 Handbook together and our new book Christian Coaching Excellence will be available November 1st! Enjoy this post!

Observation #1: Ethical Guidelines

An excellent beginning

I wholeheartedly support and include all of the International Coaching Federation Ethical Guidelines in the practice of Christian Coaching. In fact, I would suggest that this is a solid foundation to begin the conversation of Christian coaching ethics. Notice the word “begin.” There is more to contribute on the issue of Christian coaching ethics that go beyond what is stated in the ICF Ethical Guidelines and specifically, in the ICF Code of Ethics. As Christian coaches this explanation is insufficient. How so?

Christian Coaches pursue ongoing spiritual growth and go beyond the ICF understanding of the Ethical Guidelines. 

Here is what ICF articulates in their Ethical Guidelines:
  1. Demonstrates personal integrity and honesty in interactions with clients, sponsors and relevant stakeholders
  2. Is sensitive to clients’ identity, environment, experiences, values and beliefs
  3. Uses language appropriate and respectful to clients, sponsors and relevant stakeholders
  4. Abides by the ICF Code of Ethics and upholds the Core Values
  5. Maintains confidentiality with client information per stakeholder agreements and pertinent laws
  6. Maintains the distinctions between coaching, consulting, psychotherapy and other support professions
  7. Refers clients to other support professionals, as appropriate
Further, under the ICF Team Coaching Competencies, ICF integrates the following Ethical Guidelines:
  • Coaches the client team as a single entity
  • Maintains the distinction between team coaching, team building, team training, team consulting, team mentoring, team facilitation, and other team development modalities
  • Demonstrates the knowledge and skill needed to practice the specific blend of team development modalities that are being offered
  • Adopts more directive team development modalities only when needed to help the team achieve their goals
  • Maintains trust, transparency, and clarity when fulfilling multiple roles related to team coaching

Here is the difference

It leaves out the spiritual dimension. Most coaches recognize some element of this other dimension, but address it differently. In Co-Active Coaching the term used to describe this other dimension is “intuition.” For some secular coaches that would suggest human intuition, or perhaps, the “gut.” For other secular coaches it might infer a “spiritual” force or entity inside or outside the client that connects her/him to a greater purpose. It depends on the individual coach.

However, there exists a completely different paradigm that Christian coaches operate within in contrast to the secular coach. At her/his disposal the secular coach might sense something other… but that something other may or may not be a person. The Christian coach listens for that still soft voice that is the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit– the third person of the Trinity. The focus of the Christian coach is to find ways to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as a coach, and to challenge the client to do the same.

Borrowing terminology from John 15, Christian coaches call this competency Abiding in Christ. This one competency shapes our Christian Coaching Ethics. Implicit to the Christian is the quest for personal growth, through an ongoing relationship with Christ.


  • Coaching 101– An introduction to Christian coaching, Coaching 101 will help you discover the power of coaching in your life both as a coach and as someone being coached.
  • Coaching 101 Handbook- This handbook is packed full of practical ways you can improve your skills in coaching those God has brought your way. You will gain a deeper appreciation of the coaching process and ‘coming alongside’ to help others as you understand the model outlined in these pages.
  • 360 Coaching Assessment- Every coach should occasionally step back and assess their coaching skills. The 360-Degree Online Coach Assessment—named for its ability to provide feedback from the range of perspectives—is a research-based assessment tool built around nine core coaching competencies. It’s an effective way to get quick, accurate feedback on a person’s current level of coaching skills.

Countdown to the launch of a NEW COACHING WEBSITE and the release of Christian Coaching Excellence!

If you missed the announcement of these resources, learn more CLICK HERE
Photo by Vlad Bagacian from Pexels


Just like you, we did some pivoting when Covid hit. We pulled up our list of “Things we want to do” and went to work. One of the top projects surrounded coaching. The goal was twofold: update our coaching resources and organize them so you can access and utilize them easily.  We are really excited to share that work with you!


I’ve partnered with Dr. Robert Logan of Logan Leadership to bring you the best of Christian coaching all in one place. We’ve created an online space focused on resources, assessment, and training of Christian coaches.


Whether you are a seasoned coach or just starting out, we have what you need to take your coaching to the next level. The website will offer the BEST books and resources for Christian Coaching including FREE downloadable documents that every coach needs. Additionally, we will have a brand new blog that will be dedicated to coaching. You will be able to subscribe to this blog and get regular coaching tips from top Christian coaches and the latest in Christian coaching resources.


Assessment is a powerful tool for targeted growth. The new website will host the only researched-based 360° Christian Coaching Assessment that is proven to accurately identify your coaching strengths and areas for development. Upon completion of the assessment, your report will direct you to resources that specifically address your needs so you can maximize your time and efforts to raise your effectiveness as a coach.


Bob and I have spent considerable time working on how to develop and equip high caliber Christian coaches for a variety of contexts. With the launch of this website, we will begin offering 5 unique training paths:

  • Independent Self-Study – A great way to kick-start your coaching journey and learn the fundamentals of coaching.
  • Personalized Coach Mentoring – One-on-one mentoring to accelerate your growth as a coach.
  • Equip People to Coach- A training kit with everything you need to train discipleship coaches.
  • Coaching Excellence Track- The next step for experienced coaches who want to raise their effectiveness.
  • Reproducible Coach Training- A training customized to your specific needs so you can multiply coaches in your context.


In conjunction with this new website, we will be releasing a book that I have co-authored with Bob. It’s called Christian Coaching Excellence: Pursuing the Journey of Ongoing Growth. This resource takes you beyond the 5 R’s and outlines a clear pathway for greater coaching effectiveness. It will help you dig deeper by guiding you through specific ways to raise your competence in critical skill areas.

We are excited!

Statistics are clear: the American Church is in decline. We believe we have built something special that meets a deep need and has the potential to change the trajectory from decline to healthy and catalytic growth. Join us in counting down the launch of these exciting new resources!

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The post A NEW WEBSITE IS COMING! appeared first on InFocus.

1 Week Countdown to the Discipleship Coach Habits Webinar!

1 Week Countdown to the Discipleship Coach Habits Webinar!

Only 1 week to go!

October 11 is right around the corner, and you know what that means… Our 5 Discipleship Coach Habits Webinar is finally launching! After putting a lot of time and effort in creating this training approach to disciple-making, we are so excited to finally begin this journey with anyone who feels ready to take the next step in their discipleship coaching. The webinar launches on October 11, 2021 from 10am-3pmPST.


For those just joining us now, this is a webinar focused on building five strategic habits that all discipleship coaches need: missional values, active prayer, relational connections, disciple making cycles and strategic partnerships. This webinar is for anyone aspiring to take their disciple-making to the next level: pastor and church leaders, church planters or even just dedicated Christians looking to make a difference in their community. We have been commissioned to share the love of the Lord and discipleship is the best approach to create a sustainable pattern of multiplication. But multiplying churches and followers of Christ is more difficult than ever (only two percent of churches are growing!) and we are here to offer support and guidance to your team of disciple-makers and their disciples. We can always build more awareness of ourselves, learn new ways to reach others and build stronger connections within our teams and with Jesus. 

This is a five-hour webinar that will be led by InFocus’s Executive Director Gary Reinecke, and long-time InFocus partner Micah Dodson of Thrive Church Planting. We are also offering personal triad sessions following the webinar: five sessions for fifty-five minutes, the times are TBD. In these sessions Gary or Micah will work closely with you and another disciple coach on your team, processing new information and insights from the webinar, working through your personal strengths and weaknesses, and discovering your own unique and most effective way of discipleship coaching. We believe that sharing this journey with a small group, including a mentor, adds to the process and the level of personal engagement as well as grows the relationship between team members.

Take the Disciple Coach Quiz!


2-week countdown Disciple Coach Habits Webinar

2-week countdown Disciple Coach Habits Webinar

We want to give you a gentle nudge to consider a coach approach to disciple making – CLICK HERE

Five shifts to empower your teenagers to become self-led adults

Shift #5 – Reflection to Action 

You may have been reading the previous four blogs that I wrote on the topic of five shifts that will help empower your teenager to become self-led adults.  Here are the first four shifts that we have previously covered:

Shift 1 – Shift from talker to listener

Shift 2 – Shift from the center to the side 

Shift 3 – Shift from casual interaction to a conversation with purpose 

Shift 4 – Shift from being the creator to co-create the agenda 

The fifth and final shift to make if you want to apply a coach approach to parenting your teenager is “shift from reflection to action”.

Bottom line: our kids are self-led, aware and have developed interdependent relationships with their peers and mentors. I guess the previous four shifts are a means to this end; but this final shift is the ongoing relationship that you have with your teen leading into adulthood and beyond.

Our eldest followed his passion for economics and is an economic analyst for a firm in Boston, MA. His primary interests are anit-trust cases to help combat larger companies from monopolizing an industry. Their firm draws clients from the medical, telecommunications, .com, high tech and computer fields. They are industry leaders. Any and all things related to intellectual property fall into the service the firm provides, to analyze data to create the strongest argument for law firms that seek their services.  

We refer to our youngest as an “old soul”. She is in her early 20’s and going on 45. She settled into university life, graduated with a degree in international development and is now at graduate school. Her focus is Education Policy with a unique emphasis on helping resource refugees who are on the move to avoid bad things in their country of origin. Her end goal is to identify the best means to provide education to these families whose lives have been disrupted and for some, never to be repaired.  Her “Why?” is compelling. Early in her education she spent a summer in Malaga, Spain to study the human sex trafficking. Due to the location of Malaga to northern Africa, the industry in Malaga has become the world leader. From her research, she concluded the best way to address the issue is prevention – which led her down the education policy track.

Today the tables have turned slightly.  We are now relating more and more – adult to adult. We still coach. Sometimes the tables are turned. Here are some guidelines we followed to make the shift from taking responsibility to empowering 

Key Question: How can I inspire a person to take action?


  • Challenge the other person to act
    • Do not allow the newest disciple to remain in a state of reflection.
  • Use questions to help a person articulate what they will do
    • Let questions do the heavy lifting.
  • Gain commitment from the other person
    • What are you willing to give-up to take this step?
Five shifts to empower your teenagers to become self-led adults Shift #4 – Creator to Co-Creator

Five shifts to empower your teenagers to become self-led adults Shift #4 – Creator to Co-Creator

The last few weeks we have been looking at five shifts to make that will help empower your teenager to become mature, healthy self-led adults. We have looked at Shift #1: Talker to Listener, Shift #2: Center to Side and Shift #3 – Causal Interaction to a Conversation with Purpose.  As a reminder, I am not an expert in parenting. But I have learned a thing or two about coaching and helping people take action towards the direction God has designed for them in life and ministry.  Also, these five shifts are not limited to parenting. They relate to working with teenagers in youth groups or wherever you’re connecting with people in meaningful ways to help them take the next step on their journey to follow Jesus’ mission for their life. Let me give a bit of background so you have some context.

Shift #4: Creator to Co-Creator 

In our last post, I shared that my wife and I attempted to use a coach approach whenever we could while raising our kids. Starting very early, we did our best to listen and ask questions when the situation warranted it, as opposed to telling them what to do all the time. We wanted them to be able to process the world around them for themselves and make their own decisions… while providing guidance when necessary. 

This led to some very interesting conversations during their teenage years. One of the most invigorating conversations we shared independently with both kids was the lingering question – “What are you doing upon graduation?” Of course, it was never so eloquent or overt; but part of the answer was that in the case of both kids, college was clearly their next step. At least we understood the vision. Getting down to the goals and action steps were more nuanced depending on which child we are discussing.

Our oldest was a bit more reluctant to enter the college application process. It took a bit more finesse to engage him in setting his goal and action necessary to apply.  But apply it he did, and the rest is, well, very cool indeed.

Our youngest was very clear on her goal and how to get there. Not a lot of coaching was necessary until it came to the dreaded “loan tolerance” conversation. Needless to say, I did the heavy lifting running the numbers to reflect on the three options in consideration. She chose wisely. Made the choice that made the most strategic, financially responsible and practical sense.

Below is a simple framework of the things we did to help our teenagers co-create their agenda.


  • Release the need to control the agenda
    • Internally, align your agenda with the Holy Spirit’s agenda.
  • Allow the other person to set an agenda
    • Connect and allow the new disciple to reflect.
  • Engage the other person to set the agenda
    • Ask: “What do you want at the end that you don’t have now?”

Real – time Actions:

·       Ask the your teenager to clarify their “win”.

Below are two opportunities that can help you refine your disciple-coach skills!

5 Disciple Coach Habits webinar – Monday, October 11 from 10-3 PST


Cost: $250.00

The full package includes the webinar AND triad sessions:


Cost: $475.00