“Coach” is a good word. I have had some good ones in my lifetime—on the football field, baseball diamond, and in the classroom for that matter. Coaches come in all shapes and sizes, in all fields of expertise. Some of the best teachers I ever had were coaches at heart.
When I say “coach” I think about my dad, about a high school bookkeeping teacher, and, of course, sports figures also. When I say “coach,” I think of those who have inspired, motivated, challenged, and encouraged me along the way. I’ve always aspired to be a coach myself—to see the good in someone and the value of a team all pulling in the same direction, accomplishing shared goals, crossing the goal line. As a high school quarterback, there was no better sense of accomplishment! Like I said, “coach” is a good word.
I’ve begun a new journey this year. In fact, I started last year. I contracted with a “coach” in ‘09 to work on some personal and professional goals. I figured at 54 I needed a bit of encouragement and a new challenge to refocus. We met every month at a common table—I did most of the talking, “coach” did most of the listening—sprinkling in timely and incisive questions, holding me accountable. It was a good thing for me.
Leadership coaching under a variety of titles includes professional coaching, executive coaching, and life coaching among others. Coaching has emerged as a powerful force and resource for helping individuals, organizations, congregations and systems realize their fullest potential. It is about empowering the other person and enabling them to discover and fulfill their goals and dreams. It is committed to helping others become self-fulfilled in their work and their lives. I think you can see how valuable this can be in pastoral ministry.
This year, as a result of the work last year, I have continued work toward becoming a licensed coach. I’m doing my work with the Pastoral Institute in Columbus, GA. It’s been very rewarding—good in every way for me.
If you think “coach” might be good for you—I’ll be more than eager to listen, to encourage.