Will the Christian coaching movement really make a difference or is it just another passing fad?
The coaching movement is building up a head of steam as it becomes an increasingly hot topic in today’s world. Hot, because it focuses on the issues that are pivotal for most post-moderns, primarily the issues of personal growth and development. With knowledge and information moving at breakneck speed in today’s society, growth and development become imperative.
Coaching seems to be gaining popularity among traditional Christian organizations. Many groups/businesses are scrambling to catch up with the coaching wave, implementing it into the very core of their value systems and putting it into practice from the board room to the break room.
Many denominational leaders are also incorporating coaching among their ranks. Movements such as the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, the Assemblies of God, and the Southern Baptists are all exploring coaching methodologies in order to better under gird their pastors and ministers for 21st century effectiveness.
A Worldwide Movement
Not surprisingly, Christian leaders worldwide too are embracing the ancient/modern principles of coaching. From the United Kingdom to the Asian rice fields, Christian leaders are calling for new and better methods of training and equipping. Life coaching is helping facilitate that need.
In essence, a silent undercurrent of preparation is now evolving that will soon release an army of coaches into the body of Christ worldwide. How will this paradigm shift shape the church? Will it really make a difference or is it just another passing trend?
I, for one, believe it will depend largely on the church, her key leaders, and how they welcome the major paradigm shifts that must happen in order to embrace biblical coaching.
The Need for Major Paradigm Shifts
The question is: will the acquiescence of the coaching movement compel the church to adopt the strikingly new paradigms of coaching? Christian coaching leaders such as Tony Stolzfus and Joseph Umidi certainly believe so. Let’s take a quick look at just a few of the new paradigms that must be embraced as Christian coaching begins to establish itself in the body of Christ.
Let’s begin with the current generation of what I call “carry over” 20th century leaders. It’s a known fact that most leaders from the previous century operated from an “advice giving” paradigm. Advice giving is good and does have its place; however, the new coaching paradigm is about pushing the client to find answers rather than supplying them for them.
- The old mindset says, “You can’t solve this without me,” thus producing followers rather than leaders. The new coaching paradigm is built upon the premise that leaders are responsible to steward their own lives.
- The old model says, “Change is a product of information and knowledge. Given the right options, anybody can change.” The new coaching paradigm says, “Change is the function of support, encouragement, and accountability, rather than merely passing on information.”
- The old mindset says, “Most people will never get it right without my help.” The new way says, “I believe in people.”
- The old model says, “As a leader, I have to fix everybody.” The new coaching paradigm says, “I am not responsible to fix everyone. All have a responsibility to steward their own lives.”
- The old mindset says, “Here’s what I’d do if I were you.” The new coaching paradigm says, “Let me ask you powerful questions and help you discover what to do.”
Are you beginning to see the new paradigms that must evolve in order to spawn a coaching movement in the body of Christ? Outdated and unbiblical leadership philosophies must begin to shift. New, more biblical methodologies must be embraced.
Jesus’ main method of leadership was the coaching model. He practiced a Hebraic model of relational learning, coupled with real life experiences. His answers often came in the form of powerful questions; He broke through barriers by being authentic rather than using His position. He simply modeled that which He wanted His followers to discover. We must do the same.
Many in the church world believe the coaching movement is here to stay. I happen to be one of them. The coaching movement may not take the church world by storm; rather, it will influence little by little as a silent force, transforming one life at a time.
Will the church embrace this silent revolution? Only time will tell. But while we’re waiting, go ahead, check it out for yourself. It could transform your life.
Printed in Ministry Today in 2009
**This article is the intellectual property of John Chasteen & Hey Coach John. To publish or reprint without the author’s permission is a violation of international copyright laws and a punishable offense.
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