I realized one day that it is instinctive for a father to think, “I need to find a baseball coach for my son who loves to play the game and wants to win place on the team.” It’s just as natural for a mother to think instinctively, “If my daughter really hopes to excel in ballet, I need to find her a coach.”
Then I began to think about and research what others I respected said about getting a coach: That it is natural everywhere but inside Christian circles. I also had thought how reaching out to a coach, as a pastor, might be unusual. However, here are a few quotes I considered:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Solomon
“I need a coach, everybody needs a coach.” Eric Schmidt, CEO Google
“I never cease to be amazed at the power of the coaching process.” J. Russell, Harley Davidson
Not all coaching and not all coaches are equal. So I looked for a coach. The first time I had a professional coach some years ago I actually didn’t feel it helped much. However, I didn’t give up on the concept and later I had a breakthrough. My second attempt at being coached was a success. My coach clarified for me the distinction between different kinds of practices. When he used one particular bicycle riding metaphor, things clicked for me.
If someone asks, “Can you help me learn to ride a bike?” These four people-helpers would answer in very distinctive ways:
1. A Therapist would ask, “Why do you want to ride a bike?”
2. A Mentor would say, “Watch how I ride a bike and do what I do.”
3. A Consultant would say, “Here is what you are doing wrong and what you can do differently to ride better.”
4. A Coach would ask, “Where do you want to go that you believe God is directing?”
I loved the forward direction that a second coaching experience afforded me. I especially appreciated the level of clarity my coach was able to help me achieve. My view is that clarity is “the well” from which so many good things come from. Clarity is power and energy for the leader and those she/he leads.
Once a leader becomes crystal clear about their direction based on a deep and pragmatic understanding of their God given strengths; that kind of leader is going to break through barriers, overcome obstacles, and more importantly, that kind of leader will have people wanting to step-up and follow them on the journey God laid out for those people before the foundations of the world. Good coaching that’s not only reflective but also engaging and sometime directive gives leaders an Advantage, a Ministry Advantage, that the majority of pastors, clergy, and lay leaders have never have the chance to experience.
If there is one over-arching purpose in a coaching relationship it should be to clarify what God wants done next, what role is he asking me to play in it. If you are a pastor (or church leader) who would like more information on securing a personal coach please contact us at http://www.ministryadvantage.org.
This week’s article is submitted by Russ Olmon, President, Ministry Advantage and Charles Stone, Certified Ministry Advantage Coach & Author. For more on this and other helpful subjects, go to www.ministryadvantage.org.
For over ten years Ministry Advantage has been one of the premier church resources that provides coaching and training for pastors and church leaders helping them turn their vision into reality.