It seems like a lifetime ago that I attended the Auburn Seminary’s Coach Training in Florida.In the time that has passed I have used the skills and techniques of Coaching both formally and informally in my ministry. The art of coaching is one of questions. I believe that the coach approach is a great tool to have in my pastoral tool box.
Often people come to me looking for quick answers or my solutions to their problems. Wise pastors, of which I hope I am one, know that our job isn’t to give answers to peoples problems. We are guides along the way in people’s spiritual journey. Sure, there are times when a direct question is asked and an answer can be given but those times are more informative than discerning.
Utilizing coaching as a tool for discernment has been a place of great reward in my ministry. Helping individuals, teams and congregations move from a place of being stuck to movement and growth is a wonderfully special opportunity.
One of the principles of the coaching I practice is that those who are being coached are naturally creative, resourceful and whole, and completely capable of finding their own answers to whatever challenges they face. This means that in most conversations I am not the expert. Sure I may know a lot about what a person is struggling with but the resources to move beyond the struggle are within the individual. I love this foundational principle of coaching. This allows for the coach to partner with the “coachee” and act as a personal champion. This means that I am able to encourage and explore without the temptations of being the problem solver. Ok, I am still tempted but the coaching framework is a great guard against that temptation.
Today, I submitted my final application for certification as an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation. This has been a longer process than I anticipated. Seventy hours or training, ten hours of mentor coaching and one-hundred hours of coaching experience is a lot of work. It has also been a rewarding journey and I want to thank everyone from the congregation that took advantage of my coaching services. When I began this journey the Session made Coaching part of my official work as your pastor. I have been amazed at how God has meshed the powerful skills of coaching with the unique calling to pastoral ministry.
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If you are feeling stuck and would like to give coaching a try please feel free to ask for an appointment. Coaching is another way that God is working in the midst of the lives of Christ Presbyterian Church’s members and friends. Did you know that the average cost of “life coaching” is $100 – $300 per hour? This is a ministry that our congregation has supported through my continuing education funds so we can offer it at no cost within our congregation and presbytery.
Give coaching a try today.