July 30, 2012

Today’s post is part of a series about coaching. I wrote these articles while interning with Church Assistance Ministry and have decided to share them with you because coaching is one of the many elements of leadership.

Mentoring Coaching


According to the definition that Steve has taught me, there is a difference between mentoring and coaching.

  • Mentoring: is where the mentor pours into me what he knows.
  • Coaching: is where the coach draws out of me what is already inside of me.

Most of my time with Steve has been focused on coaching, drawing out of me what is already inside.  He has helped to pull out what is on the inside by discerning my strengths as a leader and helping me to develop them the best I can.

A key assumption that coaching requires is that the person being coached has a strong motivation to grow and develop.  Like me, I’m sure you have attended lots of leadership and church conferences.  Many of these are filled with what I call “fluff.”  Fluff is that stuff they do to engage you, entertain you, and motivate you to learn while at the conference.  This might be great music, an inspiring story told by the opening speaker, or some other crazy act they might do.

But, coaching assumes that you already have this strong desire within you to grow as a leader.  Coaching’s job is to draw out of you the skills and tools that you need to lead people.  Because you already have the desire to lead, you need someone who can show you how to do it and coaching you to finding your own way of leading people.

In my experience, I had tremendous desire to serve families through A Day of Hope, but I did not have the skills necessary to make it happen.  I had the “want” but did not have the “how.”  And that’s what Steve provided me through coaching: the how to lead people.

Question: What do you believe is the difference between mentoring and coaching?

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I also may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."