Why a Coachee Must Also Coach Others

May 3, 2013 — 5 Comments

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.

picture of a coach

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?

Notes:

  1. A conversation, Jeffrey Harrington, D.Min., August 11, 2011.
  2. D. Edmond Hiebert, “Pauline Images of a Christian Leader,” Bibliotheca Sacra (July-September 1976), 215.
  3. Ibid., 215.

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.

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  • HI Christopher, it seems like the coahee becoming coach should be a natural progression for the process. One reason is we actually learn a lot about ourselves when we begin to teach. We often discover talent we did not know we have. And humbly can also show us our weak spots that we need to work on.

    I am not sure that there is one best way to do this. The coachee’s current coach could be a behind the scenes adviser through the coachee’s first time.

    • Jon,
      I like your idea of the coach being behind the scenes helping the new coach learn to coach others. This would be coaching the coach on how to coach!

      I do agree with you that there might not be “one” right way, but instead several ways depending on the needs of the coachee learning to coach others.

      Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

    • I agree Jon. Great points.

  • Hello Chris,

    The process is not complete until the coachee starts coaching someone else. It’s an important step to make because the coachee solidifies what they have learned while benefiting the people they are coaching. Great post and thoughts!

    • Dan, great point! I agree that the process is not complete until the coachee begins to coach others. Once the coachee begins to coach others, he/she solidified what has been learned by putting that information to use.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Dan and for stopping by.