? Discipleship, Leadership Development, Coaching and Spiritual Formation ?

How should we grow? How will we know?

This is a time of redefining norms for our world and for the church.

As we move through this season - people are coming back to church in person, or not. People are getting back to relationships they once invested in, or not. People are sticking with new habits they formed, or not. People are pursuing plans they once had, or not.

There's a lot to navigate.

For me personally, I would love it if God just gave us a step-by-step plan that we could follow, and then we would KNOW we were doing "it" right! 

I would love that full confidence and embrace the challenge to do all the things.

Turns out that is not how He designed our faith walk to be.

Well, not exactly.

The truth is He does have a step-by-step plan for us, but it is an individual path. You probably know the verse as well as I do, but Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."

I wish He would just give us a...

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The ONE Question Crux of Coaching!

Ever wish you had the golden question? 

The single bullet question to clarify everything?

Well, today is your lucky day!

This question is too easy, but the hardest question you'll ever answer, and one you will be asking and answering the rest of your life.

True coaching, for yourself or others, is based on this one single probe!

Ready?

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 spells it out for us! 

"So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ."

Did you see it?

WHAT IS YOUR FAITH PROMPTING YOU TO DO?!

This passage is so beautiful and SO CHALLENGING!

Let's break it down a bit. There are two kinds of prompts.

1) General prompts - these are for all...

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But Really ~ What's Holding You Back? (2 ways to use this empowering question)

When thinking about a decision it can be helpful to weigh the pros and cons. Personally, I like to write them out and then take them to an "altar" in prayer and talk to God.

I say something like, "Here we go God, this is what I can see, but you know it all. Help me choose wisely and guide me with Your Spirit!"

Sometimes, I think He gives me the choice myself and encouarges me to just decide, and sometimes I feel a certain sense of what I should do. Occasionally, He drops something in my mind or heart that is new information that helps guide me toward the wise choice.

Then, I ask myself this question: What's holding you back?

If the honest answer is fear of any kind: fear of the unknown, or fear of how I will perform, or fear of first (I've never done anything like this before), then I calm my soul and ask God for courage to say "yes". 

I can not let fear guide my life choices.

As promised, there are two ways you can use this empowering question. 

1) You can use this...

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What If The "Greater Things" Are Not What We Thought They Were?

"I tell you the truth, whoever believes in me will do the same things that I do. Those who believe will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." John 14:12

I always assumed that the "greater things" in this verse were physical miracles, and maybe they are, but what if....

What if the transformation of hearts and minds is the bigger, better, goal Jesus was talking about?

Is this why He was always telling people not to talk about the miracles they had experienced? Perhaps He valued the kingdom principles he was revealing to the world even more than the physical relief.

Really isn't that the longer play?

All of the people Jesus healed on earth are now gone, but the lives transformed live on forever! 

In Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus says, "On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’  But I will reply,...

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Single Question Biblical Leadership Test (Do you lead like Jesus?)

I believe if you are a believer then you are a leader, because whether you like it or not, whether you realize it or not, people are expecting you to model Biblical living. 

It's not easy, but it can be simple.  

YOU DON'T NEED TO BE PERFECT,  but you do need to be intentionally growing and authentic about your pursuit of becoming like Christ.  

So what was Jesus really like? What did He promote as leadership?  

Matthew 23:11 says, "Whoever is your servant is the greatest among you."  

In my opinion, serving is the best, hardest, and yet simplest lifestyle choice we can make as believers. Let me explain.  

It is best because Jesus called us to it. His Kingdom ways are upside down from the world.  

It is hardest because it does not come naturally, it requires practice and patience as we all learn how to realize who He is to us and reflect Him to others.  

It is simplest when we just let go....

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How To Help Your Client Prep For The Next Time THAT Happens!

[Tips and Tools Series]

You know that thing. The one that really ticks you off. And you're like "AHHHH!!! Why does this keep happening? Can't they see this isn't right?"

Or maybe you're more self-focused and you react to the thing by wishing you weren't so________________ (insert self-judgment here, so quiet, so moody, so wordy, so hot.... whatever.)

Whichever it is here's a quick tip to prepare for the next time THAT happens. 

Let me introduce the "Rethink and Prethink".

It's simple really.

You go back to that moment in your mind and define when you were triggered and how you reacted. Whether the other person was at fault or the situation wasn't right is not our immediate concern, but more so how we reacted in that moment.

Many times we live in a state of regret or anger. Or maybe we vacillate between both. 

The key is to look back and redo what happened in your head. Then rethink it. What should you have done? How would you like to have shown up?

Now take what...

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3 Invaluable Coaching Questions for "PPSD" [Post Pandemic Stress Disorder]

Ever heard of PPSD? If not yet, you will soon.

We've all been through a lot. Church leaders and businesses have had to move online. Schools were closed or disrupted. There were racial tensions on several fronts. Political issues were divisive. Social media moved from being a place to share pics of babies and celebration events to a rant fest. 

Let's take a quick review. How many of these were true for you?

___You added some new initiatives, especially if you are a church or business leader and you added online offerings.

___You adjusted to different ways to connect with family or friends.

___You learned Zoom or another online video connecting platform. 

___You got some sort of government money and you either needed it because your financial situation was severely affected, or you felt awkward and weren't sure why you were gifted and what, ethically, you should do with the money.

___You had to adjust your life around school being virtual at times.

___You were quarantined...

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The 3 Most Transformative Things Coaching Taught Me (Guest Blog by Sarah Fulton)

Editor's Note: Sarah Fulton facilitates the Coaching Certification cohorts for Bridges Coaching. She and her husband Jordan live in upstate NY with their 5 children. Her heart for coaching comes out in every area of her life and she helps others grow to their full potential.

I have a confession... I have always been kind of scared to parent teenagers.

Maybe it’s all the horror stories: “Oh, they’re cute now, but just wait until they’re teenagers!”, “They’ll turn into little monsters that you can’t wait to get rid of...

Have you heard those too?

I knew God had more for me during this season of parenthood.

He wanted to equip me to navigate it well; I just had no idea I’d find powerful tools for parenting in coach training.

My first coaching course was intended for ministry training. I wanted to learn the most effective way to help people navigate transitions and grow quickly -- and it did that!

I still believe that...

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Even If Someone Asks For Advice, The Best Way To Help Them Grow Is Through Coaching

Telling > Teaching > Training > Trusting

That’s the growth paradigm we unpack in Coach Training.

Seems so simple at first glance. It goes like this:

When a child is young we tell them, “You can’t cross the road!

Then we teach them, “Don’t cross the road without looking - there may be cars coming!

Training comes next, where we teach them to look both ways and ask them if there are cars coming.

Then comes the day when we trust them and let them ride their bike to a friend’s house on their own and eventually “confidently” give them car keys, etc.

Easy right?

But what about topics where the stakes are much higher.

How does it work with issues like choosing a mate, career choices, financial investments, or even walking out a life of faith?

Often when parents of adult children have questions or concerns they revert back to telling or teaching.

It’s easy to do.

You have such deep concern about your adult...

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Patience, Trust and Belief: 3 Must Haves To Be An Effective Coach

Did you know, true coaches DON’T tell people what to do?

True coaches use active listening and powerful questions to help people engage with God toward the desires He has put in their hearts and the way God is leading them!

True coaching requires patience, trust, and belief. 

These things take time and don’t come easy. Let's explain.

Patience

Coaching walks with a person while they are learning to hear God’s voice for themselves. It would be much easier for me to just tell them what to do!

BUT woah! What if I am wrong? …. That is a scary thought and dangerous. However, if I am right it can be equally not good, if I am right I am teaching them that they need to go to someone else to hear from God… How sad. God wants to talk to them personally, and I want to get in the middle for expediencies sake?!

Trust

If I am honest, really honest, sometimes I don’t trust the Holy Spirit. I hate even...

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