Many describe One Challenge as a “come alongside” organization. How this looks depends on need, ministry, culture, and context. One type of ministry many OC mission workers use is coaching.
Keith Webb, author of The COACH Model for Christian Workers, defines coaching as “an ongoing intentional conversation that empowers a person or group to fully live out God’s calling.” Coaching uses the skills of active listening and asking powerful open-ended questions to enable others to develop meaningful action. Spiritual growth and holistic development are achieved through ongoing, intentional, other-focused conversations.
A Biblical Example
This practice of “coming alongside” the body of Christ is rooted in the Bible.
Joseph, a Cyprian-born Levite, was a man God used to come alongside others in their spiritual growth. He was called Barnabas by the apostles, which means “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36). Barnabas came alongside the apostle Paul from his dramatic conversion and during several fruitful ministry trips. Barnabas encouraged the brethren at Antioch in their faith (Acts 15) and came alongside Mark after the separation with Paul.
Likewise, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to stimulate our growth through His indwelling presence and the Word of God. The Holy Spirit constantly comes alongside those who belong to Christ by teaching, exhorting, convicting, and comforting. This transformational work of the Holy Spirit is achieved through his intimate, personal presence.
Coaching at Work
Karl and Jenny, OC workers in South Africa, have the privilege of coming alongside a variety of leaders to encourage God’s purposes in and through them. Karl regularly coaches about 16 strategic leaders in Africa and around the world.
“Due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, most of these conversations have been virtual,” Karl says. “Many of these leaders are trusting the Lord for church planting movements among least-reached peoples around them. The goal of these ongoing coaching times is to strengthen each leader and assist them to better develop other leaders for fruitful kingdom impact in their region.”
Here are some responses from several of leaders as a result of their coaching conversations:
- I remain grateful to the Lord for being privileged to have Karl as a coach. His openness, networking ability, and passion to see kingdom leaders empowered and successful in their callings is of high note.
- The questions have helped me to think clearly about what I sense God is wanting me to do and then to take concrete action steps to do whatever He is calling me to do. They have helped me see new possibilities and have strengthened my faith in believing that I can actually do and accomplish what God is desiring.
- Coaching has grown me to be a better listener and better leader.
- We have seen several family members in our neighborhood start reading the Bible and then make commitments to Christ. We have seen multiple answers to prayer. We have seen others trained in and become excited about the Discovery Bible Study method. We have completed writing and sharing a Bible study helping others discover their freedom in Christ. We have learned how to teach webinars on freedom in Christ and are currently leading groups helping people experience more freedom in Christ. We have discipled others who are now discipling others to experience more freedom in Christ.
- It has helped me to grow in many areas of my life, giving me inspirational ideas to do my ministry in a more relevant way.
- Along this coaching, I have learned different ways on HOW to keep improving in my ministry. I knew WHAT to do but hearing from others gave me much more input and confidence.
- I am more comfortable in my leadership position, as I meet on a weekly basis with another group of young and potential leaders. I feel that I am better equipped to continue equipping them. For this, their vision and commitments have been growing lately.
- Being coached by Karl has been more than helpful. He has really helped me gain clarity on some crucial decisions that I needed to make and given me the confidence to pursue those avenues with a positive attitude. I would recommend his coaching to anyone.
Coaching is not only one-on-one, and the techniques are easily replicated. Karl has had the opportunity to facilitate five online and 18 in-person coaching skills workshops for over 400 participants in the past five years.
“Most of these participants are now coaching at least three others toward God’s purposes in their lives and communities,” Karl says. “Praise the Lord for the opportunity to invest in these relationships for God’s kingdom!”
Many OC workers are certified coaches and implement coaching in their ministry. Similar examples to these in Southern Africa can be found around OC’s world.
Pray with One Challenge
- Pray for greater personal growth and ministry impact through One Challenge mission worker’s coaching relationships.
- Pray for open doors for other strategic training opportunities.
- Pray for the formation of a forum in South Africa to encourage and develop more fruitful coaches.
- Pray for the expansion of the Church Planting Coaching Connection (www.cpcc.world) to effectively match church planters with coaches/mentors around the world.