As spirituality becomes increasingly welcome in corporate culture, the demand for Christian life coaches continues to grow by the day. This interest has been spurred on by an increase in research on spirituality in the workplace. One of the more interesting research topics is how people can find the best Christian coaching programs and what these programs have in common. Every life coaching program has its unique approach, but all of them have the same goal, and ideally they adhere to the same guiding principles. The following are some of the common characteristics of Christian coaching programs:
All Christian coaching programs emphasize the identity of both coach and client being rooted in their personal relationship with God. There are many subthemes that are explored by different programs at different schools, but the bottom line is they deal with identity. Christian coaches know that their relationship with God will have a direct influence on how they practice coaching. A Christian life coach considers him or herself an avenue through which God guides others to be, do, and accomplish what he created them for. The Christian life coach recognizes God’s sovereignty and helps his or her clients to know God’s will for their lives. As a Christian life coach, coaching is not just about what you can offer, it is about who you are.
The best Christian coaching programs will emphasize the Christian worldview. There are many themes relating to the Christian worldview and we will look at the most significant:
God has a unique plan for you
Every human being is created with a unique purpose and plan. Christians do not believe that humanity is a result of some cosmic accident or other chance event. God pre-arranged the purpose of every individual before he created them. There are a number of scriptures that illustrate this point, but the most commonly quoted is Psalms 139. In this scripture, God reveals to David that he saw him even before he was formed in his mother’s womb. This echoes what God told the prophet Jeremiah, that he called him to be a prophet while he was still in his mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Therefore, Christian life coaching must be based on this biblical truth, that everyone has a unique purpose.
The Christian view of the client
This theme is probably one of the biggest differences between Christian life coaching and secular coaching. The Christian life coach does not view his or her client as just another individual, but someone special in God’s eyes whom they have been given the privilege to serve. When interacting with clients, life coaches must remember that their clients are made in God’s image and are, therefore, to be treated with honesty, integrity, and respect. The client is not a specimen on which to test and try technique, but a child of God and therefore deserving of authentic solutions.
God working through coaching
Christian coaching programs will instruct life coaches to always remember that it is God who works through them to achieve meaningful life change in their client’s lives. The Christian life coach is encouraged to “practice God’s presence” because his presence is arguably the most impart part of the coaching session. The same way Moses refused to continue leading Israel without God’s presence, the Christian life coach must endeavor to always rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit in the life coaching process.
Christian value system
Value-free coaching is an oxymoron. Every life coach relies on his or her value system when coaching clients. Christian life coaches understand that their biblically-based value system allows them to see life coaching from an eternal perspective, i.e., that what a client does or doesn’t do has eternal value in God’s kingdom. Faith in Christ is the foundation on which a Christian life coach coaches his or her clients. Instead of basing their practice on what the world deems right, they look to God’s Word to shape who they are, how they see life, and how they view their clients. This is important because it will help both coaches and their client to stay within the parameters of God’s will.
One of the advantages that Christian life coaches have at their disposal is a unique set of resources they can use to make their coaching process easier, more insightful, and more effective. Here are some of the coaching resources that are emphasized by the best Christian coaching programs:
Prayer is a powerful coaching resource. Through prayer, humanity can tap into the vastness of God’s providence and gain his guidance, direction, and solutions. Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Prayer is the higher pedestal that both coach and client can stand on in order to help the client move forward in his or her life. A good life coach will not underestimate the power of prayer. Sometimes, the simplest of prayers have the most profound effect. That is one of the reasons why Jesus encourages all people to ask, seek, and knock (Matthew 7:7)
The example of Jesus
Jesus is our ultimate role model, and the desire of every Christian should be to be more like him. Christian life coaches should endeavor to help their clients follow the example of Jesus in their lives. Jesus modeled how to lead a life of purpose, how to relate to fellow humans, how to develop a great relationship with God, and much more. In the words of John 14:6, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the way that we may never get lost. He is the truth that we might never be deceived. He is the life that we might enjoy eternal life.
The Bible is the word of God and it is our manual for living. As Paul observed,
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
The Christian life coaching process must draw its inspiration and be founded on the teaching of the Word of God. Even though there are several tools that are employed to make the work of the life coach easier, the Bible should always be supreme. To this end, a life coach must be a good student of the Word, and he or she should also assist clients to study their Bibles to find the answers they are looking for.
Faith is another awesome resource in life coaching. Hebrews 11:1 (Amplified Bible) defines faith as a title deed of things hoped for. Faith is a force that infuses energy into believers. The Bible is full of ordinary people who did extraordinary things simply because they stepped out in faith. When faith is incorporated into the life coaching experience, the coaching objectives are realized quicker. Faith reminds the coach and the client that they have an invisible helper, the Holy Spirit, who enables them to do everything through Christ who strengthens them (Philippians 4:13).
Personal testimonies have no equal. There is unique power in sharing one’s own personal story of victory. In Revelation 12, we are reminded of how the early church overcame the evil one with the word of their testimony. A Christian life coach knows when to share a personal experience with his or her client—and asks permission to do so—to let the client know that it is possible to achieve his or her goals. A coach’s testimony can help the client realize that seemingly lofty goals are actually within reach.
These are just a few of the many awesome characteristics of Christian life coaching programs. As a Christian life coach helps his or her client connect with God, the client will see possibilities, answers, solutions, and ways to move forward that would not have previously been possible. The client will also see that his or her life is not just about him or her; God has an eternal perspective that changes everything in a client’s life.
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