There’s a renewed interest in coaching, which I find fascinating. In times when we’re beginning to explore far less structured, network based forms of church communities we still need the leadership factor. However, the style and approach is a crucial fit to make today, which is, it seems to me, why ‘coaching’ presents itself as a helpful model as an aid to our discipling of others:
Ed Stetzer.com talks about coaching in these kinds of ways:
1. Clarifying Calling--coaches help leaders practice their "first order calling" of knowing and following Christ (being) and their "second order calling" of serving Christ (doing). As coaches we assist leaders gain discovery and clarity about their personality, spiritual gifts, skills and passion. As leaders get clarity about God's call for their lives, they can give the best of their time and energy where they fit and flourish in their walk and work with the Lord.
2. Cultivating Character--ministry is often hindered or forfeited by character issues in the lives of leaders. Emerging leaders often come to ministry as broken people with visible character needs and no desire to pretend. Coaches help leaders identify character issues that are negatively affecting them, apply Biblical standards to the issue, develop a game plan to address where God wants them to grow and be accountable for change.
3. Creating Community--coaches come alongside leaders to help prioritize, create and experience authentic community both inside and outside the formal church fellowship. Healthy relationships are the highest value for emerging leaders. Old paradigms of coaching often focused on developing and maintaining programs. Our new approach focuses significantly on healthy Christian community that includes both Christians and pre-Christians.
4. Connecting with Culture--coaches help leaders produce devoted followers of Jesus who engage and transform their culture by living among, listening to and meeting needs...not for the sake of church growth but for the kingdom of God. Many leaders know how to "do church" but not how to become great missionaries...coaches help leaders be intentional about meeting needs so people can meet Christ. We're called to make disciples, not just hang out with fellow believers.
Bryn Hughes has written a helpful book too: ‘Discipling, Mentoring, Coaching’ – he was ahead of the current rise in interest, but I was surpised this came out in 2003. A great bloke Bryn.