What coaches do
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 sheds light on how coaching is done: “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory”
The Apostle Paul paints a picture of how we are to develop others in their faith—as a father dealing with his children. The functions a father performs are encouraging, comforting, and urging. These are the core functions of coaching as well.
Dennis Easter explains these three actions of coaching (the following is used by permission):
- “Yes, you can” – provides the encouragement needed to keep working toward a goal.
- “Yes, you will” – provides the comfort of perspective. God is faithful to his promises and you will find the way forward as God has done in the past.
- “Yes, you must” – urges toward doing the right thing even in the face of difficulties.
Another passage I find immensely helpful in my coaching is Hebrews 10:23-25, as it helps people think through how they may spur one another on toward love and good deeds:
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (NLT)
Remember that “meeting together” does not necessarily indicate a church service, which is not possible during certain times and in certain countries. Rather, it can mean meeting in smaller groups of twos and threes and fours—wherever we can experience Christian community.
- How many people are involved in a Hebrews 10:23-25 kind of a relationship?
- How many people in your church are in a focused and intentional in discipling relationships, one where they have a chance to reflect on their spiritual formation and mission?
Questions to help people live on mission
Here’s one template I created that a group of two to four people could use in a Hebrews 10 kind of relationship. The big three areas that really get to the heart of the matter—in my opinion—can be summed up as Love God, Love Others, and Make Disciples. People could ask each other these questions and engage in prayerful reflection and thoughtful conversation together.
- How are you deepening your experience with God?
- How is Jesus changing your life?
- How has the Holy Spirit been prompting you?
- In what ways are you being genuine with those around you?
- How have you had opportunity to value people?
- How are you relationally engaged with others?
- How have you been the hands and feet of Jesus?
- In whom do you see God working?
- What conversations have you had about spiritual things?
- Who have you encouraged to become followers of Jesus?
- How are you helping new believers follow Jesus?
- How are you helping new followers make more followers?
These are questions that can be asked in small groups of twos, threes, and fours—virtually or in person. As long as the relationship is one of intentional, focused discipleship, the specific meeting context does not matter. It’s still meeting together and spurring one another on toward love and good deeds. That’s coaching for discipleship.