Today we look to John Chapter 11-:38-44 for the story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. This story serves as a metaphor for what we do as pastors and coaches. In this passage of scripture, Jesus models three things for us:
1) WE CARE
We read that “Jesus wept” at the tomb of Lazarus.” In ministry, we work from a place of concern and respect for the individual. Caring is in our being; it’s part of our DNA.
By creating a safe space for others and meeting them at their own personal tomb, we demonstrate that we care.
What is your “caring quotient?” What is the relationship between the caring that you receive from others and your ability to genuinely care for others? What are three simple ways you can care more for others?
2) WE CALL FORTH
The first thing Jesus does is have the rock removed from the opening to the tomb. I love this about Jesus. He wasn’t afraid of what might be in tomb. He was willing to endure “whatever came out of the tomb.”
Just as Jesus called for Lazarus to come out of the tomb, we also, empowered by God, “call forth” the greatness in people.
What keeps you from calling forth? Who “calls forth” greatness in you? When was the last time you “called forth” the greatness of another person?
3) WE UNBIND
When Lazarus came out of his tomb, he was still bound by the burial clothes. Jesus ordered them unloosed. Jesus invites us to help people get “unbound” from their old “cloths.” Their old cloths could be: limiting beliefs, self-defeating behaviors, additions, etc.
Jesus also invites us to help others put on new clothes, such as new perspectives, new ways of being, new actions to take, etc. We do this by:
- Asking powerful questions
- Creating new awareness
- Clear up the view with our own version of “Windex”
As we close this study of coaching lessons from the Scriptures, I invite you to remember your own stories.
When have you felt empowered to peel off an unflattering label someone else gave you, as Jacob did when he called himself Esau?
When have you chosen to ignore someone else’s advice and use your own innate wisdom and strengths, as David did?
When have you felt as dead and buried as Lazarus did, and how did God via a coach, pastor, chaplain, professor or spiritual director bring you into new life?
I also remind you that YOU have important work to do also. There is at least one more Lazarus in your world, waiting for you to care, call forth and unbind.