How to Use Coaching in Discipleship

At Coaching4Clergy, we’ve observed that even though our coach training students are enthusiastic about the coaching tools they’ve learned, they’re sometimes not sure how to apply them in their local church.

One form of ministry where coaching can be applied is discipleship – helping another to grow and mature as a Christian. Discipleship is often delivered in a mentorship relationship where one person who is farther along will guide another, either one-on-one or in a small group.

Meetings may take place once a week over the course of a year. At meetings, they’ll study Scripture and discuss how to apply it to make positive changes in their lives.

What happens next? Well, just like in other areas of life, even though our intentions are to change, we fall back into old habits. The coaching approach of future planning and accountability is an ideal solution when this happens. Mentors who have coaching skills at their fingertips can help people create realistic future goals, as well as to follow through with those planned actions.

Another issue is that people sometimes feel like they can’t be real when they’re at church. It’s as though when they put on their church clothes, they’re also putting on a different version of themselves – a “church face.” Coaching creates a safe space for sharing openly; for being real and talking about what’s really going on.

Once you have the real issues, feelings, habits and behaviors on the table, plans become more personally meaningful and relevant, making it far more likely that people will achieve their intended changes.

When you add coaching into the discipleship model, you can empower people for greater success at becoming the Christians they want to be.

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