By Earl Gray, Connections Pastor for The Church at Severn Run
(Editor’s note: Coaching has always been an integral part of the church planting process. In the future, the anticipation is that it will be even more important…and not just for church planters, but for all who are in ministry. The following article reveals why it is an invaluable resource for everyone who joins God in His work. –David Jackson)
The greatest thing a coach will do for you is ask you great questions.
Questions will lead you to personal discoveries and personal applications of your personal values because coaching is exactly that: personal. The coach makes an ongoing commitment to you and to your personal effectiveness.
Coaching can sharpen your focus. Your coach will ask you questions that will lead to discovery, and to follow-up questions which lead to deeper discovery. Sometimes that discovery will be about focusing on something in the distance, bringing it into view like seeing it through a telescope. Sometimes that discovery will be about focusing on something that is already very close, bringing the component parts and connections into view like seeing it through a microscope. Your coach will help you discover and rediscover what God has put before you, and see it with increasingly greater clarity.
Coaching can connect your values to meaningful actions. Real values are always lived out, and they are always lived out in the 3-D, anything-but-theoretical world filled with real people. When those values are lived out in your life and in the life of your faith community, how will lives and the quality of life all around you be different? What will it look like, over the horizon, in measurable ways? Your values will make broken things become whole, and things that never existed before come into being. Your coach will be committed to helping your values come to life in powerful ways.
Coaching can provide a safe place for you to be real. There is great strength and freedom in authenticity. Your coach will be committed to confidentiality and to believing in you, so you will never have to fake it. Being free from pretending will set you free to celebrate, develop and heal as a person in the process of ongoing renewal. That will always make a difference in the lives of the people in your family, faith community and the community all around you.
Coaching can identify obstacles that have you stuck. Sometimes those obstacles are ones around you. At other times the obstacle is inside you. Your coach will help you see your personal patterns of action and reaction, and help you discover and deploy effective strategies to start moving forward again.
Coaching can propel you forward by holding you “able”…able to become who you say you want to be, able to do what you say you want to do. Your coach will hold you able by focusing on those areas that you identify as being the ones most crucial. Having someone believe in you is an incredibly powerful asset. Your coach will be committed to celebrate every positive move towards a win with you, and will be just as committed to sorting through the moves you made that didn’t work out for you.
Coaching can give you fresh momentum in your life beyond anything that you could develop on your own. There is a coach ready to begin putting that momentum into play on your behalf, momentum that will become life changing for you personally and extend out from your life in life changing ways for others.
Are you ready to begin exploring the possibilities?
Earl Gray is Connections Pastor for The Church at Severn Run and serves as a certified coach, a trainer and an assessor of church planters with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. He can be reached at (443) 995-5906 or by email at [email protected].