Build Disciples not Dependents

In the famous Great Commission verse, Jesus challenges his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). In its simplest definition, a disciple is a follower of Jesus. So how do we go about making disciples like Jesus asked us?

One way is to follow Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 11:1 which says, “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” This verse comes right after 1 Corinthians 10 where Paul talks about how to decide whether to eat meat offered to idols or not. Notice he doesn’t say whether people should or shouldn’t but rather he gives guidelines about how to make good decisions.

"Encouraging builds disciples, telling builds dependents."

We don’t really have the option to eat meat sacrificed to idols in our society, but we do have plenty of other decisions to make that may be questionable to some people. Encouraging people to make their own decisions is a great way to make disciples, not...

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Three “Must Haves” To Be A True Coach

Indulge me a little musing in this blog?

I was chatting with a couple coach trainees recently and we got to talking about how much easier it is to just tell people what to do… But 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 God has put in their hearts and the the way God is leading them!

True coaching requires patience, trust and belief. These things take time and don’t come easy. Let me 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...

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Three Ways Coaching Is Like Eating Organic Food!

Talking with a couple coach trainees yesterday got me to thinking about how eating organic food is like coaching.

Here’s some of my thoughts. Organic food by definition is pure. It has no additives or artificial interference. It is slow, you can’t rush it or grow it in a hurry and it has a different constitution than say, fast food.

So, here’s the three ways that Coaching is like eating organic food.

1.Organic food is not what we naturally crave.

I crave a soda and fries… but as I learn to listen to my body better I am finding that those cravings were a mask to what I really wanted and needed.

In my spiritual life I crave someone just telling me what to do. I don’t really want to dig behind the mask to find out what is really needed in my life.

2.You probably can’t get organic food in a drive thru.

I want a quick fix. If I could get a godly answer in a drive thru situation I would wait in line for it. But the waiting God has for me is of a...

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3 Essential Elements To Being Coachable [Step 2: Build a Plan]

Defining “Coachable” is vital!

In Part 1 of this series we saw that without choosing a focus the coaching conversation (and our lives) are just rambling around with no destination.

Once we know where we are going we need to have a way to get there.

It seems elementary, but just like no one sets out intentionally to not focus, few people choose a focus and then choose not to make a plan.

We all do it though.

We want something that we aren’t really doing anything about.

Which of these are on your list?

  • to retire fully funded.
  • to eat healthfully.
  • to be fit.
  • to stay connected with family.
  • to make our living environments aesthetically inviting.
  • not to be too busy for the important things in life.

The list could go on and on, but it doesn’t need to.

Once we have narrowed down our possibles to one specific next goal, we can take Step 2 and begin the journey. (See the Part 1 post if you need help here.)

There are a lot of O words and Opportunities involved here....

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3 Essential Elements To Being Coachable [Step 1: Choose A Goal]

Coaching isn’t for the weak. Moving forward isn’t usually easy. It takes clarity, confidence and courage to advance, for both the coach and the coachee.

Let’s break it down. If Coaching = moving from here to there, then a vital element in the coaching conversation starts with the “there”.

If someone isn’t sure where they are heading, they are just roaming.

Roaming means wandering around, or not having a destination. There are two common detriments that distract people from having a focus.

1. Lack of vision. This type of roaming focuses more on circumstances than the change needed to experience release. It comes out as complaining and can disguise itself in the need for empathy and validation while being absent of hope and forward movement. [The 10 spies had this problem! What they saw was real, they just didn’t have the right focus. Or the guy with one talent who did nothing with it…]

Honestly this can happen for me when I am looking...

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Top Ten Reasons Coaching Works Better Than Telling

Everyone can use the coaching paradigm! Here’s 10 reasons why:

10) You don’t have to know everything for everyone.

Leaders who tell have to know what’s best for every situation and each person in order to be effective. That’s a lot of stuff to know! (And what if you aren’t right?)

9) People love it when you focus on them.

Active listening is highest form of loving someone. When the focus is on the other person there is a lot less pressure on the coach to solve issues. It is way easier to be curious, trust the Holy Spirit and listen than to have to diagnose and prescribe.

8) Relationship trumps regimen every time.

God designed us to be in relationship with Him and others. When we reduce leadership to telling people what to do, we can easily “cookie cutter” people by categorizing them and offering a rules pathway to results rather than connecting relationally to walk through life with them.

7) Anyone can do it.

Tools needed for coaching are a...

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How To Avoid The "Instawall!"

You already know what the Instawall is! You’ve likely been on one side or the other multiple times, but now you have a word for it.

It happens when someone says something that builds an instant wall between two people where no matter what was said it cannot be considered a valid choice. A line of respect has been breached and the listener feels small, invalidated or infantized.

Most often the Instawall happens after openers like these:

“You know what I would do if I were you….”

“Okay, so here’s what you need to do…”

“Did you want to (insert what the speakers want them to do) ….?” (this is the soft sell version)

“Listen to me now! …”

Each of these lines assumes the speaker knows best what should happen next for another person.

The kicker is that the speaker may be right! But if the statement is made in a way that makes the other person feel like they are being bossed, or belittled or just flat...

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How To Facilitate An Aha Moment (It’s easier than you think)

Ahhh…. That glorious “Aha moment”!

This is the actual moment in time when someone sees something differently for the first time. It could be that they:

  • recognize a dream
  • identify and obstacle
  • own a viewpoint
  • see a way forward that they never saw before

The Aha Moment is a hope and joy for every coaching leader, and truly for every person being coached!

The Aha Moment brings clarity, hope and vision that were not there before it happened.

The Aha Moment is the first step in getting unstuck.

So, how do we get there? How can we facilitate an Aha Moment?!

The best thing we can do as coaches is to provide a safe place for processing. This opens the door of opportunity for two things to happen.

1) The person being coached gets the floor.

Simply allowing someone “air time” to verbalize what they are going through can produce an Aha Moment. I can think of a number of times I was going through something, took it to a friend or leader and as I talked out what...

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Why Hermits Don’t Need Coach Training (And Five Reasons Other People Love It!)

I’m not really sure if this guy is a hermit or not. In fact when I looked for a photo to use I had to search on the word “Lonely” instead of hermit. (I only got crabs when I searched using “hermit”.)

Next I thought I would make a list of stereo typical things people think about hermits but the only universal one I could come up with is they don’t interact with other people much or at all.

So what’s that got to do with coach training?

Let me back up a bit and give you a few reasons people take coach training.

  • They want to enhance their leadership skills and help their people grow.
  • They heard coaching is Biblical and they want to check it out.
  • They want to be better parents, and help their children take ownership for their lives.
  • They are looking for tools to build better relational skills.
  • They heard coaching helped others in their marriage and with other family relationships.

When marketing people ask me “Who would benefit from...

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Just Tell Me What To Do!

Sometimes I just want someone to TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!

Other times I’m on the receiving end of this statement.

Either way it’s a painful moment…

When someone is at that place they feel things like frustration, disconnection, hurt, despair and maybe most of all confusion. Somewhere inside us all we just want to do it right and to know exactly what that means.

If someone will just make “it” clear then we can do “it”. Then one of two things will happen- we will get the results we wanted or we won’t. If the later happens we can then blame the process and likely the person who gave it to us in the first place. If we do get the results we want we can keep going to that person to tell us what to do.

The New Covenant isn’t like this. In the New Covenant the plan is for us to go to God for ourselves and learn to hear from Him. In some ways I like the Old Covenant better where I could just pay someone to go to God and tell me what to do....

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