"And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan." Genesis 14:14
Coaching is one tool that can be used to assist others to develop. It is increasingly becoming popular and effective in the ministry of the word. One development tool that is often confused with coaching is training. Training is the process by which someone learns a new skill or acquires a new segment of knowledge. At the end of training, the individual may be able to do the job, like is the case with the scripture above. It is possible to train, but fail to achieve the required standards. Training can be formal (e.g. training courses) or informal (on-the-job). True learning occurs when the learner has transferred it from the training environment into the ‘real world’, and when he/she has made a substantial change in behaviour or way of doing things. This is where coaching comes in.
That’s the reason why, coaching has become a buzzword of sorts. It can take various forms – Life Coaching (personal needs and development), Business Coaching, Executive Coaching, etc. But in its best sense, coaching is the process of helping an individual to enhance or improve their performance for a set of tasks by reflecting on how they apply a specific skill and knowledge. I have discovered that believers know their bible, but the question is do they know it well?
Coaching is concerned with awakening development in individuals beyond where they currently are. We used to sing a song, my heart has no desire to stay where doubt arise and fear dismay. Development in coaching refers to a continuous process of growing and learning; by developing, we continuously become more than we were. It’s unfortunate that only few believers are prepared to do that. But it should be every believer’s desire to want to know God more. If that’s the case believers need to adapt to a culture of learning.
Coaching helps people to reflect on their performance in a specific area with an informed helper. It is about assisting individuals to implement their learning within a given context, say personal life and therefore improve their performance to take it to the next level.
Coaching does not deal with teaching something new. The primary objective of coaching is to use available skills and knowledge to maximize performance.
"And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together." Genesis 22:7.
All the resources were there, except one that needed coaching. You don’t train to experience God that way, you are coached instead. Elisha needed coaching also, and so were the disciples!
"Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him" Acts 8:35-38. That you see isn’t enough, you need a spiritual awakening.
It is for this very reason that many trainers struggle to define the difference between coaching and training.
It is also worthwhile to note that training and coaching often overlap. This may be realized when the learner does not have necessary skills or background knowledge. At this juncture, coaching has to be halted for training to begin, so that you may know and understand scripture first before you rush into coaching. Both training and coaching are the backbone, and the continuum of spiritual growth.
I have said a lot today, I will leave the benefits of coaching for another day.