8 Important Things to Know Before Taking a Christian Life Coach Certification Program
According to the Harvard Business Review, the life coaching industry is raking in billions of dollars every year. Many executives are turning to life coaching to give their career trajectories a push in the right direction. But even more significant is the growth of Christian life coaching. More Christians are realizing the power of personal coaching, and this has given rise to a demand for Christian life coach certification programs.
The best endorsement of a certified professional Christian life coach program is the ICF, Independent Coach Federation, accreditation. However, before you jumpstart your Christian life coaching career, it is important to understand what life coaching is and is not. Here are eight things you need to know about professional Christian life coaching.
A professional life coach is one who can help clients achieve their goals.
Contrary to common belief, not every coach is a professional. One of the greatest challenges with life coaching is anyone can become a coach. There are online schools that offer people a generic certification after only a few hours of training. Some coaches feel they are fully qualified after watching a few life coaching training programs on TV or YouTube. Unfortunately, this almost always results in underqualified life coaches who can ruin the reputation of the other good coaches in the industry.
To solve this problem, the ICF was formed. One of the main mandates of the ICF is to give a solid training requirement for all their life coaches. For instance, there is a minimum number of hours of training that includes supervised mentor sessions. This helps to separate the “wheat from the chaff.” In other words, if you want to become a professional Christian life coach, then make sure to take a Christian life coach certification program that is ICF certified.
Life coaching is not just for problematic people.
There is a common misconception about coaching: It is the last resort for a lousy employee who is on the brink of getting fired or for the frustrated individual trying to change something in their life. While it might be true that life coaching can help the underperformer, life coaching is much more than that. A life coach can help improve the performance of those who are already at the top of their game.
Life coaching is often used by companies that are looking to improve the performance of top achievers earmarked for management positions. And for those who have their personal life on the right track, life coaching can help a client to continue their forward movement and even greater success. This is true in all forms of coaching, and especially so in Christian life coaching. A Christian life coach focuses more on the strengths of the client and seeks to help them achieve their God-given purpose, which is a prerequisite for living a fulfilled life.
Life coaching takes too much time.
Most people cringe at the mention of life coaching because they are already busy with other things, and they do not have the hours spend on life coaching. However, life coaching should not be confused for counseling. Life coaching is high-leverage. Even the busiest person can achieve great progress with only a couple of hours of life coaching per month. In fact, it is possible to have four, twenty-minute sessions a month that will greatly empower the client.
These sessions can be face-to-face, on a phone call, or via a computer link. Spending up to sixty minutes a month on life coaching is not a huge investment in time, especially when compared to the results the sessions will yield.
A life coach is not a friend with whom to bounce ideas.
A life coach who has a certified professional Christian life coach training will know how to treat their clients with respect. Life coaching is not just about achieving results but changing and transforming lives, and this is best done in a cordial environment, which the life coach will endeavor to create. However, the coaching relationship should never be reduced to mere friendship.
A life coach will help their client discover and pursue purpose and passion. They will be accountability partners and help their clients attain their ideal goals. This might require a coach prodding their client in ways that might seem uncomfortable. This is why the coaching/client relationship should not be deemed a friendship. This relationship is purely unilateral because the life coach is fully focused on their client.
Every Christian can benefit from having a life coach.
In John 10:10, Jesus explains the kind of life he wants every Christian to enjoy: abundant life. The Amplified Bible describes it this way, “. . . I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
It is clear that God wants all his children to be the best in whatever they are doing. So whether you are a Christian professional or a full-time minister, life coaching is good for you. Life coaching is not just for managers or entry-level staff who are struggling with fitting in the company. Every child of God owes it to themselves to work with a certified professional Christian life coach to help them achieve all that God created them to be.
Jesus made this very clear in the parable of the talents. When the master gave talents to the servants and went away for a couple of years, he fully expected them to multiply those talents, not just to sit on them. When he came back from his journey, those who had multiplied their talents were rewarded, while the servant who just buried his talent was chastised. As a committed Christian, God expects you to develop the talents he has given you to the full, and a Christian life coach can help you with this.
A coach will tell their clients what to do
A poorly trained life coach will tell their clients what to do. But a life coach who has gone through certified professional Christian coach training knows better. A life coach is not a parent, coworker, sibling, or friend who keeps telling their client what they ought to be doing. The goal of a life coach is to work with each client until the client makes what they feel is the best choice based on their goals. Life coaches do not focus on giving instructions. On the contrary, they focus on helping their clients to make behavior changes that will help them become more successful in their endeavors.
Life coaching is too costly.
It’s true that coaching can be costly. According to the Harvard Business Review, a life coach can charge up to $3,500 an hour. Obviously, this is not the norm and most life coaches will charge much less, typically between $75-$200/hour. The best way to look at life coaching is not how much it costs but in how much it yields.
If you think about it, most people wouldn’t pay a $10 annual subscription to a magazine they do not read. However, the fact that people are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for coaching should be enough proof that life coaching actually works. Life coaching is an investment that has an awesome ROI. And the best part about life coaching is that you are really investing in yourself! You will see that ROI in multiple areas of your life.
Christian life coaching is “too spiritual.”
Some Christians might be afraid of working with a life coach because of the misconception that Christian life coaching makes the coaching process too spiritual. Another misnomer is that a coaching session should focus solely on prayer and quoting and memorizing scriptures.
It is true that Christian life coaching relies on the gifts God has given them and proper biblical application, but these same coaches take a professional and practical approach. Bible study and prayer are indeed part of the coaching experience, but that is not the entire scope. In fact, Christian life coaches who are ICF certified understand the depth and breadth of the coaching experience.
Completing a Christian life coach certification program is a worthwhile endeavor, but be sure you attend a program that offers the best certified professional Christian life coach training. Check out the program’s reputation via reviews and do your research. You want the best for yourself and your clients.
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