Coaching Unveils the Next Step of God’s Plans
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?
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.View all articles by: Gail Goolsby
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