Jump directly to the Content

Coaching from the Sideline

Instead of providing answers to problems, this mentoring strategy guides people to devise their own plays.

Carlos called me in a panic. His ministry was suffocating him and his mind was filled with thoughts of leaving. He'd waited until late afternoon to call, and I had thoughts of getting home to mow the lawn. I did not have time to let him cry on my shoulder (or in my ear, as the phone would have it). So I put forth the blunt question I reserve for need-seekers: "Why are you calling me?"

The truth was he was looking for a job connection. I considered hanging up. But rather than send him away empty-handed, I offered to coach him through the situation. I'd recently completed a certification process for coaching, and I figured I could practice my new skills on Carlos with little risk of botching it. After all, he was already prepared to leave the ministry. How much worse could I make it?

He responded to my invitation to coach him with a question of his own: "What's coaching?"

Basics of the game

Coaching assumes that a unique "solution seed" lies within ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

January/February
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Leader's Insight: Put on an Unhappy Face
Leader's Insight: Put on an Unhappy Face
There are lessons in lingering in your discouragement.
From the Magazine
Christianity Today’s 2022 Book Awards
Christianity Today’s 2022 Book Awards
Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.
Editor's Pick
9 in 10 Evangelicals Don’t Think Sermons Are Too Long
9 in 10 Evangelicals Don’t Think Sermons Are Too Long
Even with recent divides in congregations, survey finds high levels of satisfaction among churchgoers.
close