I'm up at the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin, this week at a conference called Introduction and Foundations to coaching. I'm with pastors and missionaries from denominations such as the Evangelical Free Church, Brethren in Christ and American Baptist denominations.
Our trainer, Sandra Wimpelberg from Nashville, is focusing on developing and understanding the basic principles and practices of coaching.
There are a lot of hands-on exercises. I have a hard time not wanting to "fix" the person I am coaching. While I am coaching and asking questions, I find myself thinking what I would do and wanting to say, "Here's what I would do."
We are defining coachings as taking a person from where they are to where they want to go. For the believer it would be taking a person from where they are so where they believe God wants them to go.
Coaches ask questions like "What do you want to walk away with today?" "What are your options?" "What other resources do you need?" "Does this match your values?"
Yesterday, in front of the entire group, I coached a 58-year-old pastor who is worried about leaving his 30-year pastorate well. He said in the next 10 years he wants to center more just being effective. It went something like this …
"What does effective mean to you?" I asked.
"It means people are discipled well and able to train others coming after them."
So I said, "That's great. How do you plan to be effective?"
"I'm a teacher, and I want to center more of my energies on that."
"That's good. What kinds of things need to be put in place for you to make sure that happens?"
"Well, I'm not exactly sure. That's what I need to work on."
"Okay. When you leave in 10 years, God willing, how do you want to be remembered?"
"Wow, that's a good question. I want people to say that he loved people … that he was faithful … that he discipled them and had taught them to turn the church over to the next generation."
"That's oustanding. What do you want to take away from this coaching session today?"
And so it went …
That's coaching … and a bit about some of the methodology I am learning and practicing this week.