The best way to help someone reach his potential is through coaching. Coaching is the art of working with another person to help that person reach his potential. This post is the beginning of a series of posts based on my research of the art of coaching both current and future Christian leaders.
Flickr Photo Credit: euthman
If done right, Christian coaching has the ability to help Christian leaders develop their potential to lead even if they are not in a formal position of leadership.
The research of coaching in ministry is interesting because very little exists. A search of the words “ministry coaching” and “church planting coaching” yielded no results in a college database. 1
Fortunately for Christians, one of the great instances of coaching occurred in the friendship and ministry partnership between Paul and Timothy in the New Testament. At certain points in a person’s life there are vulnerable times when a coach has the opportunity to pour into a leader and make a difference similar to the way Paul does for Timothy.
Alexander Whyte describes it this way, “There are a great many young men among ourselves exactly like Timothy. Like Timothy they are richly talented, well educated, religiously educated, and every way well brought up young men . . . Yet all the time they have not themselves taken the great step. And this goes on till one day their day of grace at last comes to them, as Timothy’s day of grace came to him.” 2 The day of grace Whyte refers to is the beginning of a coaching relationship when the grace of Paul came to Timothy.
There is a strong need for Christian leaders in the world, and coaching is the solution to this need. Coaching can strengthen the Christian community so that the body of Christ, churches, parachurches, and Christians everywhere can be relevant leaders. Coaching is a way to fill the leadership pipeline 3 and a pipeline of strong Christian leaders is exactly what the Christian community needs. Coaching is about creating leaders by raising them up out of where they are. Many a potential leader lays dormant in small roles where their potential as a Christian leader goes untapped. Coaching has the unique ability to fill the leadership pipeline. It helps to train a coachee so that when the opportunity comes to lead, he is ready.
Question: Why do you think Christian coaching is needed?
- This is ironic considering most searches done in academic databases yield many more results than needed and often require extreme filtering of what was searched. ↩
- Alexander Whyte, Bible Characters: The New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1952), 300. ↩
- Doug Riddle and Sharon Ting, “Leader Coaches: Principles and Issues for In-House Development,” Leadership in Action 26, no. 2 (May/June 2006), 13. ↩