This week, I continue to explain the differences between International Coach Federation and Christian Coaching. In this post, I will explore the differences in personal assessment and focus of coaching. 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, which will be released on November 1st! Enjoy this post!

Observation #1: Ethical Guidelines

There are few differences between the Ethical Guidelines of the International Coaching Federation and Christian coaching. However, those differences are critical. If you missed last week’s post comparing Ethical Guidelines you can read it – CLICK HERE.

Observation #2: Personal Assessment

Christian Coaches constantly assess how they are helping their clients, make changes when necessary and adapt new approaches to help clients accelerate their development.

The Christian coach that believes that personal assessment is important will advance in their development. Did you catch that? Coaches who practice Self-Assessing are always developing! But that is not limited to the technical aspects of coaching. Christian coaches have the added dimension of their spiritual development that is intertwined with their values and ultimately their ethics.

The Bottom Line

In coaching we use the term Bottom-Lining. This is used when the coach senses the opportunity and necessity to help the client capture the moment in an impactful observation. And to say it in such a way that it carries a “punch.” Let me bottom-line the point we want to make under this observation.

Christian coaches who integrate their spiritual formation in their personal development will meet and exceed the ethical guidelines of secular coaches. Why is that? Because the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit reveals that which is hidden. In response, the self-aware coach will take notice of what He is bringing to her/his attention. Based on this personal assessment, the coach makes adjustments and changes their behavior.

Assess and Adapt

When I took my first Online Coach Assessment in March 2006 my overall score was in the Medium range (59.7) and the lowest score was in Abiding in Christ (52.2). That new awareness showed me that if I gave more concerted effort in this competency area, especially in the Micro-Skill of “Intercessory Prayer,” that I could improve my overall effectiveness. But first, I needed to come to grips with the realization that I was not paying attention to one of the meters on my coaching dashboard! What happened? Well, I would suggest it was a reality check that needed to register in my spirit to bring about the needed change. Which it did. From that point on I made a concerted effort to pray for each and every client, during each and every coach appointment, so that each and every client knew that I prayed for them.

Three years later when I took a second assessment my overall score jumped +4.1 points (63.8) and Abiding in Christ jumped 3.9 points (56.1). I shifted by effectiveness from a Medium performing coach to a High performing coach. I progressed in my development.

Observation #3: Focus

Christian Coaches focus on Kingdom impact and build-on the ICF understanding of the client’s goals in the Coach Agreement

Perhaps no question summarizes the focus of the Christian coach in setting the foundation for the coach agreement than the question we (Gary & Bob) have asked hundreds of leaders over our combined 65+ years of formal coaching experience. This one question distinguishes the Christian Coach from the secular coach. It may be worded differently given the client and the context but it has the same impact.

The question goes like this: “If you knew that you could not fail, what would you attempt for the Kingdom of God?”

Where the focus differs

I remember asking this question coaching a church planter not too long ago. The question caused him to stop, listen and reflect. This question does not make the list of best practices under the ICF Core Competencies. The reason: because we are intentionally and unapologetically bringing God into the conversation.

Simple questions can lead to profound insights. The church planter I asked that question to responded with his vision:

…to plant five missional communities with liturgical worship at the heart of these worshipping communities. The vision was planted in a marginalized community. And the people that participated in the mission served incarnationally. Ultimately, people would be missionally engaged (making disciples on purpose) with the goal of community transformation.

Wow! That is the kind of stuff that ushers in the Kingdom of God.

Bottom line. Christian Coaches focus on the impact clients can have on the Kingdom of God!


  • 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.
  • Coaching Resources- We partner with Resource Zone to offer you excellent coaching guides, storyboards, profile assessments, and skills builders on a variety of topics. These resources are invaluable tools to help those you are coaching move forward and achieve their goals.

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Just one more week to the launch of a NEW COACHING WEBSITE and Christian Coaching Excellence!

Photo by Lawrence Jing from Unsplash


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