Coaching Unveils the Next Step of God’s Plans

Posted on: January 24, 2017 Written by
Coaching Unveils the Next Step of God’s Plans
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­The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way.

(Psalm 37:23 ESV)


  • You have moved to a new place with a new culture.
  • You have a new language to learn and relationships to build from scratch.
  • You have a big project to complete.
  • You have family needs and schooling decisions to make.
  • You have health needs.
  • You need a job or additional income.
  • You have just returned from a long furlough.
  • Your have just added a new baby to your family.
  • You feel disconnected from God and need a reboot of your spiritual life.
  • You have dreams and a calling to live missionally.
  • The view ahead is hazy and unmotivating, like a cold, rainy day.
  • You want to move forward, but you feel like cement blocks have replaced your shoes.
  • You say, “If I only knew the next step—how to get started.


You need a coach.


“Living well is an act of faith taken one step at a time. Having a coach helped me discover the next right step for my life.” ~Deb


Coaching is an ongoing conversation that empowers a person to fully live out God’s calling. The goal of coaching is to listen: listen to the client and listen to the Holy Spirit. What results is the discovery of new things and the motivation to take action that will reshape life around that learning. The coaching relationship is expected to produce insights, greater personal awareness, changed behaviors, actions, and ultimately results.


“My coach asked pointed and relevant questions. She spoke truth that made me think and process things in new ways. In a professional manner, and in a language not my mother tongue, my coach helped me walk in the darkness (and wait for brighter days). Through her genuine caring and humble attitude, she allowed God to be my true Coach.” ~Tiia


Coaching is about learning. The client is the expert on his or her life. The coach uses techniques such as active listening, open-ended questions, encouragement, challenges to present thinking; the coach always remains supportive. All these methods are meant to assist the client in discovering insights and taking next steps.


“My coach has been a kind and gentle voice helping me to fulfill goals and dreams. I did not know where to begin. Even more, I was terrified! Engaging my fears with a practical plan of action has lead to deeper spiritual, emotional, and relational growth. My coach has helped provide structure, encouragement, and insight in this journey of personal discovery and tangible outcomes.” ~Caroline


Coaching is about action. Clients learn step-by-step how to live in new ways. Small actions lead to large accomplishments and need to be recognized along the way. Coaches love to celebrate a client’s success and also offer accountability which fuels the commitment to keep moving forward. Having a list of SMART steps (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) to take away from each coaching session empowers the client to continue toward the goals between appointments.


“My coach was very good at helping me prioritize and then set a reasonable time limit to each task so that it was not overwhelming. It was also helpful to know that I was held accountable to accomplish these tasks by our next meeting. I was able to open my team’s new business with my coach’s guidance.” ~Jenny


Coaching is tailored to the client: when, where, how, and what, all according to the needs of the client. Face-to-face interaction is not critical, since the coach’s role is to be the voice, guiding the session, but allowing the client to create the conversation topics and set the action steps. With today’s technology, coaching can and does happen all over the world, spanning the distant locations of coaches and clients.


“We met every two weeks over Skype, FaceTime, or phone. My coach was flexible with my changing time zones and erratic schedule. I felt connected, like I had a confidential companion listening, praying, challenging, and encouraging me as I made my way in a new chapter of life. I felt less alone, even though we lived thousands of miles apart.” ~Celeste


Coaching is not counseling or mentoring or training. Coaching works because it brings out the client’s best—what God put in! Coaches believe clients can create their own answers and are trained to support clients in that process.

Christian coaches encourage clients to listen more to the Holy Spirit and then to act. Clients can feel comfortable sharing their personal spiritual needs, values, doubts, and desires, knowing that their coach will confidentially support them where they are and facilitate movement in the direction they want to grow.


Do you need a coach? You have a calling from God, and He has a plan for your life. He has equipped you in life and for achievement. Coaching aims to assist you regarding your goals and actions—and specifically, the next steps you need to take.


The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

(Proverbs 16:9 ESV)

Question to consider: How has coaching (official or unofficial) helped you on your journey?


©2017 Thrive.

About the author

Gail Goolsby holds master’s degrees in Professional Counseling and Educational Leadership. She has over 25 years educational experience as teacher, school counselor, and principal, including the K–12 American school in Afghanistan. Gail places international students with Christian host families. As a counselor and life coach, Gail believes there is support and encouragement in God’s Word to help us all “learn to live well.” Gail and her pastor husband have been married 38 years and have three grown children, two sons-in-law, and three spunky granddaughters. They live where the wind blows over the prairie in south-central Kansas, and there really is no place like home.

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  • How do you find a coach? Is coaching usually a paid service?

    • Is getting a coach something that you are interested in?

      • Jill

        As a coach I have a conversation with the potential coachee before we begin coaching

        . We agree on an exchange of “payment” that is agreeable to the coachee. Most coaches do not want the “payment” to be the deciding factor for a person who is interested in coaching and “ready to grow”. I have received some creative “payments”. : )

        • Gail Wettstone Goolsby

          Totally agree, Jill!

      • Maybe… I’m not sure if that’s what I need.

    • @PhyllisHunsucker:disqus would you be interested, if this was a free service?

    • Gail Wettstone Goolsby

      There are all types of coaching and all types of fees. Leadership/executive coaches tend to receive the highest fees (usually paid by the organization). Life coaching is still finding its value and tends to be paid by individuals, not compensated through health insurance. I have a couple ladies that I have coached with for years and now do not charge a fee, but all my other clients pay and I think that sets a professionalism to the experience. I coach clients all over the world through phone or Skype. Let me know if I can help you, Phyllis.

  • A L WARD

    Even though many approach my (and my husband) for Biblical counseling ( the bulk of our time each week with missionaries online actually leans more toward what you describe as coaching. It is so good to see this addressed in today’s article! We have found, both in our overseas service, and now as those serving other missionaries from a home assignment, that the need you speak of is great: even though missionaries often belong to an organization with “member care” or “pastoral care” services, typically, these serve the missionaries as a type of yearly check up, or they come into play when there is a notable life crisis happening. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of resources available from sending organizations or churches to support those who are on the field with “listening, praying, challenging and encouraging”. Thank you for highlighting this need.

    • Gail Wettstone Goolsby

      Yes, thank you for commenting! I am presently coaching a woman with 20+ decades overseas service who now has returned to care for her mother. This is helping her through a difficult transition and I love being God’s assistant to support her journey.

  • Cheryl Prentice

    So glad Thrive has presented the resource of Coaching! Thank you to Gail for writing this so clearly! Coaching is a valuable partnership for anyone and specifically this audience. Thrive leadership may want to consider this for the retreats. (I’d be willing to help brainstorm the idea)
    Cheryl Prentice International Coach Federation (ICF) credentialed coach serving in Mexico

    • Gail Wettstone Goolsby

      Thank you, Cheryl, for reading and commenting! I agree that coaching has so much to offer cross-cultural workers, well, anyone, actually! 🙂

  • Patty

    CMI provides coaching and coach training specifically for cross cultural workers.

    • These are great links. Please post them so we can compile the list to prove to our global workers as useful resources!

      • Kathy Maurer

        Hi my name is Kathy I work with Coaching Mission International. Here are the links to find more information about getting coaching or becoming a coach. Let me know if I can help further. I will be attending the Thrive conference in Colorado this July as well as our head coach, Keisa. We would love to talk with someone about possibly creating a partnership to provide coaches for Thrive conferences or how we could be a resource in the future. or

        Links to our website


  • Cheryl Prentice

    Advance Global Coaching (AGC) offers coaching to cross cultural workers. Whether you are preparing to go, you’re ‘there’, on your way back or finishing your tour AGC is walking with you.

    • @cherylprentice:disqus This is an amazing service. Thank you guys for all that you guys do!

  • LaRae

    I really resonate with this article. Though I am in the field now with young children, I would like to one day be a coach for others. How does one go about being trained for this?

    • Good question. If you have any resources you find, please post them here. We would love to know!

    • Gail Wettstone Goolsby

      I highly recommend Creative Results Management. They align their training with the same competencies as needed for ICF certification (International Coach Federation). Check it out! I encourage people to select a program that is more than video or reading books. It was in the week-long training, full of practice sessions being a coach and a coachee that helped me understand true coaching.

  • heidi

    I have also experienced powerful coaching! I live in India and my husband and I have been trained in Keith Webbs model, , CRM coaching since 2011. Getting trained is an excellent tool to have. As a next career when your work takes you back to a “home country”, in parenting, in friendships, leadership roles, counseling, everything really! Coaching has changed my life and my relationships and I wish everyone was trained in this way. I am so excited that Thrive has this as a value also 🙂 I am also keen to experience other models of coaching as well- Heidi

    • It’s awesome to hear your positive experience. What was more beneficial for you, being coached or being trained to coach? What were some benefits of each experience? Please do share!

    • Gail Wettstone Goolsby

      I also received my coaching training with CRM. It was a powerful, wonderful experience and now 3+ years into coaching, I love how it transforms lives and brings people closer to God. Thanks, Heidi for your affirmation!