I have met a number of life coaches over the last decade, a growing trend that I admit I’ve always thought a little hokey. Hokey is the best word I can come up with, indicating a general unease or weirdness about the concept without any real data or even anecdotes attached to that weirdness. It just seemed odd and suspicious (my apologies to any who do that kind of thing for a full-time living). Without looking at any real data, I thought of it as a job for folks who liked to talk about things more than they actually liked DOING things. It made me think of that old saying, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” Despite the critique in that saying, I know my own desire to teach is a spiritual gift, and I have embraced that gift with gusto. I am coming to see coaching in a similar fashion, and my opinion of it has changed.
The primary thing that changed my opinion on Christian coaching was (as fits a math teacher) some data on the subject. In this video, Ross Kaellner at Tailored Coaching shared interesting results from a survey that convinced me that there was more benefit to a coaching/mentor relationship (with clear parameters and accountability from both sides to persevere with the relationship) than I had originally credited to such a venture.
All that to say, I am going to coach through Tailored Coaching starting in April. The topic is Women’s Ministry and Practical Theology, with six sessions for leaders on developing a women’s ministry that is …
1. Mission Driven.
This session will lay a foundation for orienting a women’s ministry around the larger vision for discipleship in the local church of which it is a part.
2. Jesus Centered.
In Luke 24, Jesus taught His disciples that all of Scripture points to Him, including the hardest parts of the Old Testament. This session will cover what a Jesus-centered hermeneutic looks like when developing and presenting content from Scripture.
3. Gospel Focused.
As leaders develop vision, content, and strategies, even the best will fail without the gospel as the oil that keeps the engine running. Friction inevitably develops when leaders attach their identity to how well their strategies are received. The good news of Jesus offers us an identity that holds fast whether we are affirmed or critiqued in ministry.
4. Theologically Rich.
How do leaders communicate the riches of the knowledge of God in ways that women in a particular ministry can receive and apply? This session will aid in developing practical theology—content that is both doctrinally correct and relevant to women’s daily lives.
5. Relationally Relevant.
Every individual church’s culture is at least slightly different from the next. This session will focus on understanding the language and culture of a leader’s particular church and translating into that culture in ways women in that ministry can receive.
6. Women’s Ministry Troubleshooting.
This session will help apply our understanding of the Triune God and our union with Christ to the various issues that cause frustration and discouragement in women’s ministries–gossip, family dynamics, critique, friction with other leaders, etc.
I am particularly excited about the first session, on helping folks develop women’s ministries that reinforce the larger mission of the church, working with pastors and elders to be genuine helps to their work of equipping disciples in the church. Pastors need the support of women leaders in their congregations. And women need the support of their pastors in a congregation. Building mutual relationships between pastors, elders, deacons, and deaconesses for the discipleship of the church is a great need about which I hear regularly.
If any of this sounds intriguing or helpful to you, you can find more information about it here. There is a cost, but I hope that cost feels reasonable for the time invested by all parties to make this a mutually accountable relationship. The first session begins on Friday, April 20. All monthly sessions will be on Fridays from 10 am – 12 pm Eastern. I apologize to west coast friends and hope down the road to offer sessions more convenient to those in mountain and pacific time zones.
Join us if you can!