From my earliest days in ministry I can recall my older pastor friends saying, “Never forget, every young Timothy should have an Apostle Paul, and every Apostle Paul should have a Young Timothy.” If that is not enough biblical evidence to motivate pastors and church leaders to seek out some form of coaching, then just look to Ephesians 4:11-15.
Pastors often don’t want to use the method of coaching because they perceive it as remedial. As a result, they picture that going to their congregation or session and saying, “I’ve engaged a coach to help me in leadership” that they will be then perceived as, ‘I’m doing something wrong, I’m not very good at my job, I’m really on the edge here … I need somebody who’ll help me shore up the things that I don’t do well so that maybe I can skate by.” That’s often people’s perception of coaching, and it is the antithesis of what coaching is supposed to be.
Coaching is about identifying strengths and building upon them. It’s about using strengths in the best available way. The best business leaders, athletes, singers, and high performers in general all use coaches not because they’re doing things wrong, but because a coach helps them enhance their performance. Coaching, therefore, is developmental — it is not remedial.
Gary Collins, one of the gurus of Christian coaching, gives these 8 reasons why anyone would want a coach. I see great applicability for anyone in ministry. Here’s what he writes when he answers the question, “Why would anybody want a coach?”
- To get unstuck
- To build your confidence
- To expand your vision
- To fulfill your dreams
- To unlock your potential
- To increase your skills
- To move through transitions
- To take practical steps toward your goals
The best evidence that a mentoring model is working ultimately has to be the effect. One of our Ministry Advantage Pastors recently wrote to us and said:
“This coaching experience has changed my ministry in so many positive ways, and I cannot thank you enough for making it possible for me to have this amazing opportunity. My conversations with my coach have been so helpful. He is encouraging, yet challenging as he helps guide me through the steps of transition. He provides great insight, and he is willing to share his experiences (positive and negative) in his efforts to help me become a better pastor and leader in my church and my community. While the coaching has been such a tremendous help to my ministry, the materials from Ministry Advantage have been a game-changer. For the first time in our church’s 35 year history, we have a clear plan. We know what we are trying to accomplish, and we have a plan as to how he hope to make it happen. I cannot put a price on the value of this experience. It has truly changed my ministry, which has changed our church, which will change our community, and in turn, our little part of the world!” Pastor Brian Newell
For some brief video stories of the effects of what I believe is a biblical mentoring model, just click the link to a four-minute video on Coaching that you might find helpful, insightful, and encouraging: click here.
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.