When you think of coaching, you might think of sports and getting specialized training, encouragement, and discipline to hone skills and become as close to unbeatable and as valuable to your team as possible. So, what does Christian coaching look like and where does it benefit us? Does it only apply to the spiritual realm?
What is Christian Coaching?
I define Christian coaching as one Christian helping another believer in Jesus Christ develop and implement aspects of godly character. The main reason you may want to work with a Christian coach is if you want to have a solid foundation for all aspects of your life.
If you built a house and in one room you used shifting sand for the foundation, in another room concrete, in another mud, in yet another old driftwood, and so on, any contractor or city inspector would laugh you off your land and tell you to tear it down. It would be deemed unsafe, out of compliance with codes, and unable to withstand natural disasters and you would have wasted time, money, and energy.
So too with our lives. If we think we can fully compartmentalize faith in Jesus from professional ethics, relationships, and how we parent, just to name a few examples, thinking we only need a solid foundation in one room called Spirituality, we are fooling ourselves.
Can you really check the principles taught in the Word of God at the door to your office, your child’s school, or to walk into a bar or strip club? I don’t believe you can.
If you are seeking to be an honest, trustworthy spouse, parent, employee or employer, and faithful friend, it is critical to realize that being a Christian necessitates the integration of biblical principles throughout all areas of life.
Working with someone who provides Christian coaching can help you to map out goals in each area of life and see the common, critical elements that are required to be successful.
Let me show you what I mean with the following example:
|Area of Life||Goal to Attain/Maintain||Necessary Characteristics||Can Christian Coaching Help You in This Area?|
|Home/Family Life||Be a faithful spouse; Set a godly example for children; Be a person of your word/keep commitments; Provide financially||Commit to doing what you say you will. Work smart and be intentional in your actions.||Yes|
|Professional Life||Be dependable; Become valued as an expert; Build trust; Be honest in business dealings; Make a good salary||Commit to doing what you say you will. Work smart and be intentional in your actions. Diligently look for opportunities to advance in your field. Treat others the way you would want to be treated as a colleague, customer, associate.||Yes|
|Church Life||Show you value others; Be valued as a member of community; Be known as honest, kind, compassionate||Treat others respectfully; Tell the truth in love; Volunteer; Attend regularly; Offer any services or expertise you have in order to help the congregants||Yes|
|Hobbies, Other Chosen Arenas||Be fun; Be an expert; Be competent||Study; Learn; Do not take yourself too seriously; Show others your passion and teach them||Yes|
There is redundancy in the above table since we are holistic beings. We cannot truly separate out portions of our life. It is a tall order to cultivate a godly, God-centric life, but with Christian coaching we can make significant positive progress.
In Proverbs 27:17, we read that one person can sharpen another just as iron sharpens iron. Most of us too, I believe, understand that if we have a goal in mind, we need someone or maybe a group of people who are more skilled, practiced, and generally experienced in pursuing or achieving said goal.
So too, if you want to cultivate a Christian worldview, you’ll need to pray, spend quiet time with God, read the Bible, and engage in praise and worship in your daily life. You’ll also want to find effective Christian coaches. These might be found as your local pastor, others who participate in organizations you may join, seasoned family members, or friends. They can also be professional counselors or therapists who are committed Christians.
It is important to first examine your true belief system and worldview to ensure you are not simply going along with what others expect of you. If you do not hold biblical principles as a necessity, you will likely achieve very minimal benefit at best from Christian coaching.
If however, you believe your purpose is to love and glorify God, cultivating relationship with Him first and foremost and that a heart for others is born out of said view, I submit that it is critical to find at least one Christian coach and embrace the blessings of that relationship.
For one-to-one situations, I recommend that men counsel other men and women counsel women to avoid temptation and the appearance of anything inappropriate. With couples and groups, it is ideal to have both a male and a female coach present at all meetings.
You will want to be intentional and open with your mate and include them in your plan for Christian coaching. If you are single, you may want to invoke another accountability partner in addition to your coach. This helps you stay on track with your commitment and avoid potential pitfalls.
Understand that the enemy is sneaking around and tempting many with various modes of compromise. He particularly likes to strike when you’re feeling confident and solid in your progress. That is part of the reason the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:12 to take heed when you think you are on solid moral ground, lest you fall into sin or Satan’s trap.
Why do I hammer home this point? It is because I’ve seen it time after time from those in the pulpit to those in the pews. When you set your course, you will be attacked in your mind, plagued with inward and outward distractions and problems, and tempted to be moved from the narrow way to the broad path, from conviction to compromise.
In therapy, we use the term “protective factors.” What we mean are those people and things that help you to stay the course for health, healing, purpose, and fulfillment. When you have accountability with one or more Christian coaches, godly family members and friends, you will be much more likely to succeed in achieving your goals and conducting yourself in a manner to maintain progress and success.
While you may want to see someone professionally for a season of life to jumpstart or reignite your process, it is imperative to find and cultivate natural supports in your day-to-day community who will walk with you long-term. In my private practice, I offer Christian coaching. However, during that process, I help clients identify individuals who will provide ongoing support to them.
Over and over, the Bible is clear that we are designed to seek God’s wisdom, in fact to ask Him for it (James 1:5) and that we are made to love one another and live in community. So, I encourage you to:
- Ask for God’s wisdom in prayer
- Read the Bible daily
- Cultivate relationships with other believers
- Determine to pursue godly character in all areas of life
- Find Christian coaches, mentors, and friends who can pour into your life
- Serve others by becoming a Christian coach to them
These practices will set you up for cooperating with your God-given destiny. Please start today and don’t hesitate to reach out to a Christian counselor or therapist who provides Christian coaching to take the next step in advancing in your calling. I challenge you to do it right now.
“Open Bible”, Courtesyof Free-Photos, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Coaching”, Courtesy of TheDigitalArtist, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Pyramid of Success”, Courtesy of Geralt, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “The Centrality of Skills”, Courtesy of Geralt, Pixabay.com, CC0 License