By Beth Eckstein in Taiwan — When was the last time you had a really good conversation? What made it impactful for you? The ingredients of a good conversation are essentially the same as those in a good coaching conversation. Active listening, powerful questions, and some type of insight or new discovery are key ingredients to both a regular conversation and a coaching conversation.
Coaching is simply an ongoing, intentional conversation that empowers a person or group to fully live out God’s calling, according to Keith Webb, developer of the COACH Model, which SEND International coaches use when working with our missionaries.
This definition helps distinguish coaching from just chatting with someone about life goals. It is something that happens repeatedly and has a focused agenda—an agenda that is set by the client!
In my eight years of experience as a coach, I’ve found that most people come to a coaching relationship with a foggy idea of how they can solve their problem, but they have not had an intentional conversation to help get them to the other side of “stuck.” Coaching helps an individual or a group figure out what things they need in order to do their best work, the work that God has called them to do.
Why would someone work with a coach? There are countless reasons, but here are some of the most frequent I’ve encountered:
- Transition: Walking through transition is unsettling and using a coach during this time can help you process what God is doing in you internally as you transition.
- Feeling stuck: Many people find a coach when they cannot figure out a life or ministry situation.
- Accountability: People like knowing someone is going to ask them what progress they made and enjoy the affirmation when their goals are accomplished!
- Achieving a goal: Often we do not know how to break down our big goal into reasonable chunks. Coaching helps you make progress.
Wherever you are in your missions (or life) journey, chances are you have some area in which you feel stuck or overwhelmed or in transition. We encourage you to find a coach who can intentionally help you figure out actionable steps you can take in order to do your best to fulfill your role in God’s Kingdom.
More on coaching
- SEND U, our department devoted to promoting lifelong learning, offers articles about coaching here.