From the biblical point of view, mentoring can easily be confused for coaching. To understand what biblical coaching entails, we must start by differentiating the two. A Christian mentor is someone who guides their clients based on their own personal experiences in a specific area. The wisdom that the mentor dispenses to his or her protégé, therefore, relies heavily on his or her expertise.
On the other hand, Christian life coaches help their clients to draw from their own intrinsic resources in order to move from their current situations to future desired states. While mentors will teach and guide their clients, coaches will help their clients to understand, learn, and accomplish their goals through their own aptitudes. Christian coaching is the process of helping a client to draw out what God has placed within them. Proverbs 25:2 states: “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”
Biblical coaching helps clients to discover their untapped potential, then guides them to unlock their potential for maximum effectiveness. Biblical life coaching will help you to attain relational, and rational maturity. Relational maturity refers to loving God with all of your heart and loving others as you would love yourself. Rational maturity refers to living wisely according to biblical principles and precepts.
Important Biblical Principles in Life Coaching
In Christian coaching, all sessions are conducted in tandem with guidance from the Bible. The Apostle Paul’s words to his protégé in 2 Timothy 3:16, that, “all scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is therefore profitable for correction,” hold especially true in biblical coaching. A Christian life coach must be one who regularly studies God’s word and has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The following are some of the important biblical principles that must be adhered to in the relationship between life coaches and their clients.
All people are of infinite value in the eyes of God. John 3:16 states that God gave his son to die for mankind because he loves all of humanity. God doesn’t play favorites. His desire is that every human being experiences his genuine love for them. Christian life coaching should, therefore, provide an environment that is safe and non-threatening where the client can sense the love of God and understand the depth of relationship God desires with him or her.
Every person deserves to be treated with dignity. Dignity is derived from the fact that God made men and women in his own image and likeness. While some people don’t feel they deserve to be loved, by treating clients with dignity, the coach will begin to help them to see themselves through God’s eyes. Through Christian life coaching, clients can rediscover and understand their real worth. He or she can truly see who they are, including their gifts and callings, instead of being defined by society’s dictates.
Compassion is the primary reason why Jesus ministered to the needs of people. Most of the miracles he performed were a response to a need that called for a touch of compassion. Whether raising the dead or feeding the hungry, Jesus lived to express God’s compassion. Biblical life coaching should endeavor to illuminate this important quality. In the words of well-known Christian life coach, John Maxwell, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
God believes in community, which is why he created the family institution. In Hebrews 10:25, the writer admonishes the church not to give up meeting together frequently. God clearly knows we need to be in a community because he has built in us the desire to be in relationship with one another. A biblical coaching relationship creates an environment that fosters fellowship and community between coaches and their clients.
Biblical coaching should never be conducted haphazardly. God expects everything to be done with decency and order (1 Corinthians 14:40). This is why Paul reminds to do everything to please God, not people (Colossians 3:23). Christian life coaches also knows that they must be accountable for their resources, including their time. Honoring appointments, coaching session time lengths, and having coaching resource material prepared, are key factors in coaching, and God is honored when biblical coaching is done with excellence.
Jesus put a lot of emphasis on the Kingdom of God. One of the most well-known scriptures on the subject is Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the kingdom of God…,” which reminds all Christians to keep the kingdom of God as their main priority. Even in the coaching relationship, a kingdom perspective and mindset must always be maintained. All decisions and direction in a biblical coaching session should be based on kingdom principles.
The Role of the Client in Biblical Coaching
It is incumbent upon the client to take the necessary steps towards change. A good life coach would never force his or her client towards an action. The coach’s role is to help him or her discover what they need to do, but the decision to follow through rests entirely with the client. This means that, even if the coach is outstanding, no meaningful change will be attained without the cooperation of the client.
One of the strategies to elicit the client’s participation is the assigning of homework at the end of each coaching session. The goal of such an assignment is not for the client to attain a particular grade or award, but to help him or her move towards the desired outcome, including a deeper relationship with Christ. However, it is still important for the life coach to check with his or her clients to ensure the assigned work is being completed; it will defeat the purpose of having more sessions if the client is not doing his or her part.
The following are some of the important commitments that an individual should make.
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Honesty – Clients must commit to sharing their struggles and hurts with their life coach. Holding back will slow down the process and it might even limit the final output of the coaching process
Self-evaluation – The client should commit to evaluating his or her motivations, actions, emotions, and beliefs.
Active participation – The client should commit to growing in his or her actions, convictions, affections, and emotions.
Preparation – The client must commit to always come to a session prepared. A competent life coach will review each client’s progress at the start of each session for accountability.
There are many factors that affect spiritual growth. Even though biblical coaching can help an individual to attain the outcomes he or she desires, the client must understand that other important factors like fellowship, stewardship, discipleship, and worship should be incorporated if he or she wants to attain an even bigger life goal: spiritual maturity.
Spiritual maturity is learning how to walk in obedience to God. It is making the choice to live by God’s viewpoint rather than your human viewpoint. While biblical life coaching can help an individual see what spiritual maturity looks like, it is up to each client to grow in his or her walk with God.