This month, we have been discussing how abiding in Christ is the most important of all Christian coaching competencies. What we uncovered in our original research, documented in Christian Coaching Excellence, is that abiding in Christ is the one competency that separates good Christian coaches from great Christian coaches. As we abide in Christ, we help our clients abide in Him, partnering with the Holy Spirit for greater significance in our coaching relationships, life, and ministry effectiveness.
This week I will unpack the fourth of five behavioral expressions that comprise Abiding in Christ:
- Spiritual guidance: Wisely applying spiritual resources (e.g., prayer, Scripture, spiritual disciplines) to guide the coaching relationship.
Last week we discussed the competency of prayerful preparation – prayer in anticipation of specific coaching sessions for those we coach. We also need to learn to wisely apply spiritual resources during coaching sessions. The common spiritual resources listed above (prayer, Scripture, spiritual disciplines) are not meant to be exhaustive; there are many others to be discovered and utilized in coaching sessions.
The application of spiritual resources allows coaches to be spiritually receptive to what God is doing in a coaching relationship. Sometimes this can mean bringing relevant passages of scripture into the conversation. Other times, it can mean recommending spiritual practices, books or conversations that might be helpful to your client. Relying on spiritual guidance forms a tacit recognition that you don’t expect your client to be able to do everything on their own. They shouldn’t expect that of themselves, either; part of the Christian coaching relationship is helping our clients discover ways to rely on God.
Here are some suggestions and exercises for growing in the area of spiritual guidance:
Brainstorm possible spiritual resources. It’s best not to have just one or two options, but a whole array of possibilities. The list below is a beginning. What additional options can you think of?
- A Scripture passage
- A prayer retreat
- A book
- A conversation with someone about spiritual things
- A spiritual director or mentor
- A spiritual practice
Consider Barnabas. Looking at the life of Barnabas, what ways do you see him relying on spiritual resources as he supports others?
- Acts 4:36
- Acts 9
- Acts 11:19–25
- Acts 13:9–12
- Acts 13:42
- Acts 13:49–52
- Acts 15:36–40
- Acts 16:1–3
Become more aware of and fluent in the spiritual disciplines.
- Read a book like The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard, or Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster.
Coaching Tip: Following are seven ways to identify the positive impact of applying the above spiritual resources in your coaching sessions:
- Grace when the client is being too hard on themselves.
- Forgiveness when the client is in the wrong.
- Wisdom when the client lacks insight into a situation.
- Energy when the client lacks strength.
- Strength when the client wants to give up.
- Patience when the client feels overwhelmed.
- Confidence when the client is doubtful.
- Has it been a while since you participated in coach training?
- Is it time for you to consider an assessment to evaluate your coaching?
- Are you interested in taking the next step in your coaching development and working with a mentor?
At Christian Coaching Tools (a platform I co-founded) we launched the Coach Excellence GrowthTrack this year. Our first cohort is underway! This is what one participant had to say about the experience of working with a coach mentor alongside their 360° Online Christian Coach Assessment:
“When used with the 360° Christian Coach Assessment, a coach mentor can maximize your development as a coach and your impact for the kingdom of God. Training alongside mentoring results in excellent coaches.” – Dennis P
The next round will begin in the Spring. To learn more about this unique training opportunity CLICK HERE.