Think back to some of your most powerful times of growth.
Maybe a friend or mentor challenged something you said by asking, “how can that be true?” Maybe a spouse confronted you by saying, “tell me more about what you meant when you said…”
For me, when I was a young leader in my late 20’s, I had the CFO of a major health care organization ask me, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
This question both offended me and challenged me. “Wasn’t I already grown up?” I thought. But then, trailing immediately behind that thought were a few other questions like—How else do I need to grow up? Do I want to be in this job forever? Are there still more opportunities in my career I haven’t yet considered?
Do you see the power of asking questions? By simply being asked a question, a whole new world of thoughts and growth opportunities sprung up inside of me. That leaders name was Terry—Terry, thank you for taking the time with me to ask instead of tell. I’m a better person and leader because of it.
What Coaching is
Here I am now, over 10 years later and I work as a professional question asker. My speciality is in helping fragmented teams find focus and enabling executive leaders to lead at their best. I’ve also worked in recent years as a church planter and can tell you that coaching skills have been invaluable in my corporate work, ministry and marriage.
Because there is some confusion as to what coaching is, I’ll provide some definitions here from which to work. The simplest definition of a coach is a “thinking partner.” A coach is someone who journeys alongside their client to unearth their vision and fuel movement toward it through a helpful structure made of good questions and accountability.
A coach regularly assesses which category their client falls into. If the client has the will, but not the skill, the coach needs to provide resources and maybe do a little teaching followed by good application questions. If the client has the skill, but not the will, the coach needs to allow the client space to process what they know inspire them through powerful questions to move forward.
Coaching in Scripture
As a Christian, I view coaching as a response to God’s grace. From the beginning of time, we see God coming to humanity asking questions. If God is all knowing and all powerful, then why did he come asking Adam and Eve questions like, “where are you?” or “who told you you were naked? (Genesis 3:11) Simply put, questions convict and create space for God’s great Spirit to work.
Dr. Keith Webb has a wonderful definition of coaching as “drawing out, what the Holy Spirit has put in.” I like this definition because it honors the work of God’s Spirit who is always at work drawing people unto himself. Jesus said specifically that he would not leave his followers as orphans but he would send his Spirit to teach them all things (John 14:26). This is why Jesus followers, of all people, have got to learn the art of asking instead of telling.
I’m excited to be one of many coaches working with Saturate. Saturate Coaching Communities (SCC) were started because we knew there was a huge need for church planting practitioners to have space to listen, learn and process the best way to plant churches of missional communities. If you’ve found yourself thinking you are the only one who is trying to get the church to exit the building, SCC’s might be right for you.
I remember many years ago wondering where my tribe was. I was looking for people who wanted to equip and send believers into the world to be a blessing and organize their churches accordingly. That journey led me all over the country as we went through a season of listening and learning. We learned a lot that way, yet I wonder how our journey might have been different if we had a group of people to journey with from the start.
If you are a leader who needs space to pull out what the Holy Spirit has already put inside of you, these communities may be for you. Take a moment and ask yourself where you are at today in your leadership. Then ask yourself where you’d like to be. I think this kind of coaching would be a great way to facilitate that movement. To learn more, click here.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn,” said Ben Franklin. In a world filled with so much information, our issue isn’t access to that information. Rather, we are at a time where we need ways to be involved with the information we already have. This is what creates real learning. Come journey with us.