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!


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