I recently met with a friend who wanted to talk about the future of coaching within the Christian community and he made a very clear distinction between “coaching” and “mentoring”.
He brought some clarity to me on the subject when he realized I was trying to put the concept of coaching into the behavior modification school of thought.
Mentoring has the context of advising or a low level of training, while coaching asks the question, “What if?” What if God does have a preferred future for you? Would you want to miss it?”
I certainly do not want to get into a semantic argument with all those out there who are big into either mentoring or coaching. What interests me is that there are approaches to changing lives that are emerging that are teachable, reproducible, and sustainable.
I’m personally part of a Convene group of CEOs. It has been an excellent venue for safe conversation and learning from each other. Christian Leadership Alliance is developing a similar model, and for a number of years, we sponsored the CEO Forums that are still active. Other groups such as Vistage, EO, and even YPO are further examples of value and this felt need to develop intentional relationships to address common issues and solve similar problems.
There is another similar, yet different process or methodology rising up to meet what will be a growing need.
It is Spirit-Filled Coaching. Here are the aspects of it that excite me:
1. God has a purpose for each of our lives (perhaps one for each stage of our lives).
2. We all deserve the opportunity to live a spirit-filled life with Jesus.
3. With coaching, we can find God’s purpose for our lives and make it actionable.
4. The result will bring meaning to us, a purpose for us, and a tremendous asset to our communities!
With this approach, we not only answer the question, “What if?” but we also develop a plan to change - not just a time to reflect and ponder. Don’t we all wonder, “How do I figure out and then get to my preferred future?” In conversations and certainly in the audiences I speak to, there is always the question or the person(s) that come up afterward that want to know the answer to both those questions.
I’m reminded of the George Foreman ad, “George, what do I do with my idea?” and his answer, “See my friends as InventHelp”. Similarly, “Bruce, how can I know my preferred future and then put it into action”. My answer should be, “See my friends at Spirit-Filled Coaching!”
To my knowledge, no organization like that exist but it should. And in God’s time, it will.
Further, in this conversation with my friend, he made the point that “Transformation always comes in relationships.” How true that is!
Our spiritual transformation takes place in our relationship with Jesus. Our physical transformation takes place best within a group. Our financial transformation occurs as we interact with those we care about and are financially responsible for.
Oh, also as an intrinsic part of the building of a Future Funded Ministry Plan otherwise known as “Retirement”.
I certainly have learned the most during times of pain, particularly the pain of a strained relationship. It seems like we all learn the most from pain and suffering and not so much from joy and gladness. Strange isn't it? I wish it were the other way around and I could learn from the joy and gladness of life while just enduring pain and suffering.
My friend reiterated that coaching is “solution focused” while mentoring tends to be more focused on learning.
As we launch The Live with Meaning Foundation with its siren call to the Retirement Reformation, there will be a growing need to help people discover their preferred future and help guide them into their unique action plan. And if it is true, as I believe it is, that God has a plan for each stage of life, the need to be part of a periodic discovery process will only accelerate. As a faith-based community, we will want to share our discoveries about this process and raise up those who God calls to help - Spirit-Filled Coaches. Then, when we stretch out God’s call for a lifetime, not just a season, there may need for an additional ministry - Q4 Spirit-Filled Coaches.
If you, your church, or organization would like to learn more about the Retirement Reformation that is breaking out, reach out and let’s talk.
Stay with us as we navigate the river of life with Trusted Advice along The Way.