In any coaching, mentoring, or discipling relationship there comes a point when the person who has been on the receiving end of the relationship needs to take the step to be the giver. After several years of being discipled, that disciple then goes on and disciples someone else. After several years of being mentored, that person takes initiative to mentor someone else. The same is also true with coaching. After a significant amount of time being coached, there comes a point in time when the coachee must begin to coach others.
Flickr Photo Credit: acaben
One of the most revealing statements about the coaching relationship which Paul and Timothy share is shown when Paul encourages Timothy, “Teach these things [things about having a strong faith, women being modest, elders having a Godly home, etc.] and insist that everyone learn them. Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them” (1 Timothy 4:11-13).
Paul, an elder man who was a powerful and knowledgeable Pharisee before being converted to a Christ follower, was encouraging Timothy to coach others in the correct way of a Christian life. Despite what the people might think because of Timothy’s age, it was important that Paul have Timothy coach other leaders. In the Jewish culture, much emphasis was placed on “age,” and that made a big difference in the social status of the people who attempted leadership.
For example, some people believe that one of the reasons Jesus waited until he was 30 years old to begin his ministry was because the Jewish culture would be more likely to accept his teaching at that age. 1 Throughout all of Paul’s coaching of Timothy, he strongly encourages Timothy to coach others. He urges Timothy that despite his young age, Timothy must develop the church and coach a new group of church leaders in an effort to strengthen the church of Ephesus. In fact,
Timothy’s diligence as a student qualified him to be a teacher of new workers. The things he learned, Paul wrote, ‘these entrust to faithful men.’ The word [Greek] (‘these’; literally, ‘these things’) stressed that he was to teach others the message he himself had been taught. His duty was not to develop a new and different teaching but faithfully to transmit the message received. 2
Timothy’s heart for Jesus and his diligence as a coachee of the apostle Paul positioned him well for the task of coaching others. Since the essential element of a potential leader and coachee is that, “those taught must be ‘able to teach others also.’ The essential task of Timothy was the multiplication of gospel workers. The very nature of Christianity demands that it be propagated, and this demands trained workers who, having been entrusted with the divine message, are able and willing to pass it on to others.” 3
Since there is a responsibility for coachees to eventually be coaches, the good news is that the mere act of being coached often helps a coachee be ready to coach. Many of the strategies that a coach uses are easily caught by simply being on the receiving end of the coaching. The elements of coaching such as looking for potential in the coachee, providing encouragement, being an example of a holy life, placing ownership on the coachee to drive the agenda of the meetings, and companionship are all things which the coachee probably notices happening in the relationship he is currently in with his coach. Therefore, this makes it easy for the coachee to do those same things for someone else if he begins to coach another.
Question: Why do you believe a coachee must eventually begin to coach others? How should this be done?