“The Coaching 101 Handbook” was published so that church planters, pastors and church multiplication network leaders would be equipped to empower missional leaders (2003).  Since then, the handbook has been translated into a couple of languages, hundreds of leaders have been trained and are coaching using the process known as the Five R’s.  The purpose Bob Logan and I co-authored this resource was to offer a comprehensive coaching process that is spiritually anchored in Christ.

I’ve done a bit of reflection on the basic skills of coaching since then.  As a result, I’ve altered the language slightly under the third area, from giving feedback to “Timely Advice”.  It focuses on the the “timeliness” of the feedback  Of course, advice-giving is discouraged in coaching and only encouraged when the person being coached has exhausted her/his ideas.

Why is that?  I like to put it like this:

You have a 50-50 chance that anyone will do anything you suggest; but when people discover something for themselves, the ratios change drastically (like to 95%) that they will act!

  • Listening: “…it is best to listen much, speak little, and not become angry;”  James 1:19
  • Asking: “Then he asked, ‘Who do you think I am?’ Peter replied, ‘You are the Messiah.'”  Mark 8:29
  • Advising: “Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.”  Proverbs 25:11 

I have also re-discovered that the most important discipline is at the hub of the illustration.  Apart from Him, we can’t accomplish anything of value.  The ability to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit and help leaders align themselves with God’s agenda sets world-class coaches apart from good coaches.  This reminder gives us confidence in a Helper to accomplish the task.

  • Abiding: “When you obey me you are living in my love, just as I obey my Father and live in his love.”  John 15:10

Abiding in Christ is the glue that makes the three skills above “sticky” – it is a game-changer for leaders.  How many times have you had people you coach come back days, weeks, months or even years later telling you that what you helped them take action on – confirmed the very thing the Lord had been prompting them to do?  This is the gift that you give to people and sometimes, you receive a gift in return and experience the impact.

If you have a story of how you have helped people take action in obedience to Christ or make shifts in their leadership, please share your insights below.  Until next week – keep on empowering leaders!


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