This week we had the honour of hosting Tom and Beth Camacho, who oversee coaching training for Vineyard USA. In sessions on Friday night and Saturday morning, Tom presented an introduction to Empowering Leadership through the use of coaching tools for our leadership community. The sessions were full of helpful and insightful tools for us to use in the different leadership environments in which we find ourselves.
In principle, God's desire is for us to multiply ourselves by equipping, empowering and releasing other leaders who can go on to empower others. This is part of the DNA of the Vineyard movement, where our founder John Wimber taught us that "everyone gets to play". He explained the process of releasing ministry to others as "I do it, you watch. We do it together. You do it, I watch. You do it alone." He modelled a 'coming alongside' leadership style which we can see in the lives of Barnabas and Saul in Acts 11:25-26. For a whole year Barnabas met with the church and taught great numbers of people, with Saul by his side. After this, Saul separated from Barnabas and himself began to teach as had been modelled to him.
Coaching is the process of coming alongside someone to help them discover God's agenda for their life and ministry or to get clarity and confidence in addressing life’s challenges and then cooperating with the Holy Spirit to see that agenda become a reality. Coaching is not about telling people what to do, but is more about listening well and asking insightful questions. In cooperation with the Holy Spirit, coaching can help a person or team sort out where they are, identify obstacles, set goals for the future, discover where God wants them to go, and then help determine how to best get them there.
There are three important skills to learn when we think about how to coach somebody:
Discovery listening involves developing the skills necessary to listen in such a way that we really understand what our coachee is saying. We might summarise what they are saying periodically without evaluating it, invite our coachee to say more and allow them to fully unpack their ideas before we give input and pay close attention to their body language, tone of voice and emotions.
Asking insightful questions is a key skill in coaching. Good questions are open-ended rather than closed-ended and create opportunity for deep reflection, helping the person think in a more helpful way about things.
Cooperating with the Holy Spirit to find the intersection of the passion, wiring and gifting that God has put in the person we are coaching. We are mining for the gold of the nature and image of Christ in each person, drawing out the son or daughter God created them to be.
The key to coaching is that the responsibility for growth and development remains with the person being coached. We don't take on their development, we just come alongside and partner with them and the Holy Spirit in their growth.
If you are interested in reading more, the recommended textbook for this coaching method is 'Coaching 101' by Bob Logan. An excellent 12 page summary of the book can be found here
Alternatively come and chat to Rosie so we can look at developing some further skills in this area in the spring.