Tuesday, November 04, 2014

A modest plea to coaches

Scot McKnight shared this post from Geoff Holsclaw ,'A Modest Plea for Coaches to Stay Pastors.' I read it with interest since I seem to be on a coaching track myself. Can't say that I disagree with anything Geoff says. Personally, I really had no intention of leaving the pastorate, or becoming a coach. I think he is right in that someone who is a pastor should not take lightly this new trend toward coaching. My only concern might be if by chance someone is better suited to do kingdom work as a coach rather than a pastor. However, I believe his main argument is with 'young' pastors who do so. So... I don't know.

At any rate, it got me to thinking about where I am in this whole pastor/coach situation. As I said, it was not my idea to quit being a pastor - a church board decided that for me. Then I noticed awhile back that my phone number and email had been removed from my profile on our denominations contact page (even though I am still ordained and still listed as a pastor). It's been over a month now since I contacted them and asked to have it updated. I was told they were waiting on the person who keeps the website. I think they probably are, but... it's obviously not a priority.

As far as coaching, I think Tom put it best in a response to Bill in a comment on an earlier post. This is my take too:
 Bill, I'll take a crack at it since Dan probably won't respond. I think of coaching as just another skill to add to your skill set. Though some who are really into coaching would probably disagree with me, I don't see coaching as some new and great innovation that is going to completely change my ministry. I see it more as a recovery of a lost art that can be very helpful.

As for Scripture, it is loaded with coaching in the sense that God/Jesus ask powerful questions and makes statements all the time that are not designed to inform Him of an answer, but to get people to think. It starts early in Genesis when he asks Adam and Eve, "Where are you?" and, "Who told you you were naked?" With Samuel when he says, "How long will you mourn for Saul when I have rejected him as king." And Isaiah, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?"

We also see it in Jesus many times but the most obvious is when he asks, "Who do people say that I am? But who do you say that I am?" Another, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" And, "Do you want to be made well?"

As for Acts, probably the best example is, "Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?"

Like I said at the beginning, it is a skill that has been used since time began and you've probably done a lot of it yourself. For some of us coaching classes just help us learn a skill while for others I suppose they see it as a career. It is good for some of us to learn another way of communicating truth...

I couldn't have responded better myself (so I didn't). I still don't know what I'll do with this coaching thing... Or about being a pastor again. I am simply trying to better myself as a person, and this is an opportunity to do that right now. I will say that it 'feels' very natural to me when I do it. So far. We'll see.

So, all that said, I guess what I mostly wanted to share was Geoff's post. Good stuff if you're into that sorta thing.


JAH said...

Very interesting thoughts/observations. Not sure what
I think but definitely something to think about.

bill Sloat said...

I'll ask a question I've asked in other settings: What in the Word is a pastor?

And a new one: What in the Word is a coach?

Pastor D said...

Let's be clear you are no longer serving at particular parish...you still have a pastoral heart. It's who you are not what you do. BiIG difference. We serve in the vocation to which we have been placed.

MR said...

meh. I hear what he's sayin' and all, but... well, there's a great scene in Good Will Hunting (copy & paste on the way):

Sean: Do you have a soul mate?

Will: Define that.

Sean: Someone you can relate to, someone who opens things up for you.

Will: Sure, I got plenty.

Sean: Well, name them.

Will: Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Frost, O'Conner...

Sean: Well that's great. They're all dead.

Will: Not to me, they're not.

Sean: You can't have a lot of dialogue with them.

Will: Not without a heater and some serious smelling salts.

I think the dialogue from a person living a life like your own is important. Better from a peer than a deity. It's more laid back that way, too.