Coaching in its many forms has become integral to business, education, private and public sector leaders over the past 20 years. However, ministry leaders and churches have not been as accepting of these practices. We believe the concepts and principles behind a biblical-based coaching model are transformational by nature and intrinsically spiritual if executed by godly and trained coaches.
God’s methodology is to build leaders from the inside out. Since leaders need support, encouragement, and accountability we provide leadership coaching for all of our members. A few words of explanation might be
helpful in understanding how we view coaching as a part of the process of leadership development.
What is crucial in His priority is not what we know but who we are. Ministry is not something we call ourselves into and then initiate in our own strength, but rather an impartation of something we are which God has built into our lives at His own initiative.
Since the crucial element in ministry (& leadership formation) is being, the central element in ministry preparation should be development of the person, not simply the acquisition of knowledge, or even skill development. Most formal or informal training provides knowledge about ministry and focuses on skill development, while assuming that people will work at the “being issues” on their own. “Beingness”, as defined by Dr. Robert Clinton, includes character, personality, giftedness, destiny, gender, and values gained through experience. Leadership Coaching is designed to target those areas that maximize the formation of God’s emerging leaders.
What is Leadership Coaching?
Leadership Coaching is helping those we are training to understand, recognize, and cooperate with God in His unique process of formation. It means looking at everyday experiences and identifying where God is at work and embrace that work. Coaches can help emerging leaders turn everyday experiences into transformational experiences. Leadership Coaches have the biblical assumption that when God processes us and we respond accordingly, we really “get it,” in a way that is “lasting.” God’s processing gets God’s results! A transformational experience is a real life experience where God has processed us and produced lasting change in us—in our being.
Some principles that follow from this leadership development strategy include the following:
Since God initiates change, the coaching process must actively work with what God initiates in the person’s life.
Since God is uniquely and individually at work in the lives and experiences of each person, the coaching process must be personalized and customized for each individual.
Since transformation happens through experience, when the goal is transformation then real life experience should be maximized (work, family, marriage, relationships, etc.) instead of only working with the ‘ministry’ realm.
Since “being” is imparted rather than taught, those doing the training must have lives God has deeply processed and invested into.
Because much of the learning process involves reflecting on and responding to unique events in each individual’s life, coaching by a more seasoned leader will be a very effective way of helping gain perspective on what God is up to in a leader’s life.
Coaching others in methods of reflection, interpretation, distilling principles out of life experiences, and stories from them (imprinting) are foundations that should be established early in the leadership development process for rapid development and deployment of leaders.
The coach needs access to a person’ life for identification and interpretation to occur. Therefore, vulnerability, accountability, authenticity, and teachability are keys to success in transformative coaching. This must be modeled and initiated by the coaches themselves to create a culture of healthy and non-toxic coaching in the community.
Vanguard Ministries not only values leadership coaching but embraces it as a means of development, growth, encouragement, and accountability. All network members are provided with a trained, certified leadership coach with a series of sessions to be used over a year at the member’s discretion.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”