A recent study shows that even though organizations spend billions of dollars on seminars and other staff development programs, less than 10 percent of attendees usually show any meaningful change. The lack of support and follow-up on the trainees is probably the biggest reason why these seminars do not work for most people. Life coaching helps bridge this missing link and this would explain why most people who get a life coach end up experiencing tremendous improvement. But what is the difference between Christian and secular life coaching?
Christian life coaching is not to be confused with other Christian jargon like disciplining and counseling. For instance, the goal of disciplining is to help the Christian attain spiritual maturity, while the role of counseling is to help bring healing or offer direction to clientele. However, the purpose of coaching is to help the individual attain a completely new level of excellence. The main purpose of a Christian life coach is to use professional coaching skills to help their clients to effect change in their lives within the context of their personal Christian worldview. The following are some of the important life coaching concepts are part of a biblical worldview.
- The human condition – After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, the earth was cursed and man became subject to physical death. As a result, man now has to struggle in order to make ends meet and everything that God had described as “very good” is now subject to decay (Romans 5:12-19).
- Human nature – As a direct consequence of the fall of man, human beings became morally corrupt. Man not only lost the authority they had enjoyed over the earth but they also lost the intimacy they had previously enjoyed with the creator. The desire to exercise authority is a God-given desire that rests in every human begin but that is often misused because we lot the purity of heart at the fall of man.
- Reconciling to God – It is not possible for one to attain their God-given potential without first being reconciled with God. Reconciliation happens when man accepts that God sent his son, Jesus, to die for our sins and believes that he rose from the dead after three days.
- Knowledge of God – This is the most important intimate relationship a person can attain. The only way to attain the abundant life that the Bible promises is to cultivate a close relationship with God. This is also a prerequisite for realizing the full potential of an individual.
- Renewal of mind – a personal relationship with Jesus Christ leads to an inward transformation that begins to reshape the thoughts of an individual which eventually shows in their changed external behaviors
- Eternal perspective – As Christians, we have an eternal perspective that gives us hope even in death. The eternal perspective gives us a different approach to our assignment on earth because we begin to view our time on earth as a preparation for eternity.
- Limited potential – Human beings are limited or as the hymn says, our strength at best is weak. However, by fully depending on God’s help, we can get an inexplicable infusion of energy that can allow us to achieve impossible things. We, therefore, reach out to God in faith for a higher potential that goes beyond what can be attained through human effort
- Divine provision – God is our source and he provides for all our needs according to his riches in glory. Apart from providing for our needs, he also shapes our desires and wants so that we want what he wants for us.
- The call – The purpose of any goal setting is to help us achieve or realize the call of God upon our life. Every Christian has a unique call upon his life and this call can be made clear as one develops their intimacy with God through prayer, worship, and Bible study.
- Stewardship – As Christians, we believe that God owns the earth and everything in it. We believe we are fully in his family, and like all family members we have responsibilities. Our responsibility is to be a steward who takes care of the Master’s property. When all is said and done, the faithful stewards will be rewarded.
- The value of “self” – As Christians, we appreciate that the value of “self” is not based on any personal accomplishments or attainment of predefined goals. The value of “self” is founded on the truth that all humans are made in God’s image; we are valued because we reflect who God is. Additionally, self-esteem is not established through the approval of others but rather through our acceptance just as we are by God.
How Ministers Can Benefit from the Services of a Christian Life Coach
Pastors and other church leaders/workers can benefit greatly from Christian coaching. The following are just some of the benefits.
- Life plan – Leaders have to juggle various tasks that have different priorities. Even though each task is often important, it is easy to lose perspective on one’s life that gets lost in the helter-skelter of everyday life. A life coach can help you to develop a life plan in order to help you come up with practical and actionable goals. This can help you to plan your weeks around a set of priorities that will ultimately result in more effectiveness in ministry.
- Vision plan – Every leader must have a clear, God-given mission that is backed by solid biblical values. This will help the leader to be more effective, as well as achieve excellence in their leadership. Too often, leaders just react to events rather than follow a proactive direction according to their God-inspired mission. A good coach can help you review your mission and help you come up with personal and ministry mission values that can help define the bigger picture.
- Ministry plan – A coach can also help a leader to develop a ministry plan. The ministry plan helps establish priorities that lead to accomplishing their vision. The ministry plan entails the creation of effective teams, learning the tenets of change management, pulling both human and other resources together, as well as developing projects that are strategic to the overall mission.
- Priority management – After the plans and the people are in place, the ministry leader needs to focus on priory management. In order to increase efficiency, a regular pattern of review has to be established. Regular reviews mean that priorities can change to reflect the needs of the ministry. If not done properly, this can cause undue stress on the leader and team. A good coach will help the leader understand the team he or she has and the role each person should fulfill.
Keep in mind that Christian life coaching focuses more on the purpose of the individual than on the individual. While secular coaching will try to show you how you can be anything you want to be, Christian coaching focuses on helping you realize who God created you to be. This is a more effective approach because God knows us better than anyone else, including ourselves.
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