October 19, 2022

Christian Coaching Essentials

Introduction to Christian Coaching Essentials

Christian Coaching Essentials, our latest book, focuses only on the most important elements of coaching. Together, Bob Logan and Gary Reinecke fold over 70 years of coaching experience into easy-to-understand and actionable principles to help you accelerate your early development as a coach.

While you can certainly work through the resources in this section on their own, they were created to compliment the book.

You can purchase Christian Coaching Essentials on Amazon.

Working with a Coach-Mentor? Download a complimentary fillable PDF of the following reflection questions, then share and discuss your answers with your coach-mentor.

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Introductory Action Steps

Reflect on your own experience and on the reading.

Before you go any further, pause and reflect on your vision for coaching. Prayerfully consider how the Holy Spirit is guiding you. Respond to these questions:

  • How have you experienced the power of coaching?
  • What energizes and excites you about coaching?
  • What are you trying to accomplish in your ministry?
  • How could coaching help you accomplish that?

Pray and listen to God about how he might want you to make use of coaching in your ministry. What could that look like? Spend some time dwelling on the vision, and then listen in silence. What are you hearing from God?

How God Is Involved In Coaching

Coaching is quite popular right now, and that’s with good reason—it works! Listening and asking good questions to help someone reflect on where they are, where they want to go, and what next steps they could take to move in that direction is powerful. Of course people would want to use such a tool in business, secular leadership, and personal growth!

Yet the coaching we engage in as followers of Jesus is different. Chapter 1 in Christian Coaching Essentials focuses on God’s part in coaching: the role of the Holy Spirit, how God is at work in others, and how you can tap into that divine presence as a coach. Christian coaching should include all the effective elements used in secular coaching, but with two significant additions: a purpose aligned with God’s will and a dependence on the Holy Spirit. Those two factors are what makes coaching Christian.

Working with a Coach-Mentor? Download a complimentary fillable PDF of the following reflection questions, then share and discuss your answers with your coach-mentor.

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Action Steps

Reflect on your own experience and on the reading.

  • What did you find valuable from reading this chapter?
  • What are some of the times you have sensed the guidance of the Spirit in your life? What do those experiences tell you?
  • In what ways have you come alongside others in their journey of hearing from God? (in either coaching or non-coaching relationships)
  • What are your current spiritual practices in life?
  • How might you further integrate your personal spirituality into your coaching ministry?
  • Key question for reflection: To what degree do you really believe that people have the capacity to hear from God?

Practicum

  1. Interview one or more experienced coaches and ask them how they have incorporated their faith into their coaching practice. Here are some areas to explore:
    • How have you prayed with and for clients?
    • How have you encouraged them to listen to God’s voice for direction?
    • When have you been tempted to be directive with clients and how have you handled that?

    Reflecting on these interviews, what insights did you gain?

  2. Study Hebrews 10:24-25.
    • What qualities of coaching do you see reflected in this passage?
  3. Study Barnabas in the book of Acts.
    • Note all of the different ways you see him functioning as a coach.
  4. What are your current spiritual practices in life?
  5. Take a week and be more sensitive and attuned to the spiritual dynamics in your coaching relationships.
    • What are you seeing?

Additional Resources for How God Is Involved in Coaching

The Two Pillars: Listening and Asking Good Questions

If you could only have two skills as a coach, these would be the ones to choose. Listening and asking good questions are the two foundational skills of coaching. They’ll be a part of everything you do from everyday conversations to the most intensive coaching interactions.

Listening and asking good questions may sound easy. Warning: it’s much harder than it sounds! It often requires a good deal of unlearning and relearning of relational habits. Ingrained communication practices such as interrupting, asking closed-ended or leading questions, or tuning others out while formulating your own thoughts can be surprisingly hard to shake.

Working with a Coach-Mentor? Download a complimentary fillable PDF of the following reflection questions, then share and discuss your answers with your coach-mentor.

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Action Steps

Reflect on your own experience and on the reading.

  • What did you find valuable from reading this chapter?
  • What observations have you made by observing others listening and asking questions?
  • Ask a close friend or family member about how they experience you as a listener. What do you do or not do that supports their evaluation?
  • When is a time that you listened well and summarized back what you heard?
  • What are some examples of powerful questions you’ve been asked?
  • About what percentage of the time are you thinking about your response while listening to another person?

Practicum

  1. Interview one or more experienced coaches and ask them how they have improved in their listening and question asking skills. Here are some areas to explore:
    • How have you learned to be a better listener?
    • How have you improved your ability to ask good questions?

    Reflecting on these interviews, what insights did you gain?

  2. Study Hebrews 10:24-25.
    • What qualities of coaching do you see reflected in this passage?
  3. As you practice your listening and question asking skills with those you are coaching, consider your experience. What worked well? What did you learn?
  4. Take closed questions and turn them into open questions.
  5. Create a list of good open-ended questions you could use regularly in your coaching practice. Come up with at least ten and post them where you coach.

Your Takeaway Action Plan

Spend at least 30 minutes praying about how you listen and ask questions. Ask God some questions, then spend some time listening in silence. What are you hearing?

  • What do you need to stop doing?
  • What do you need to start doing?
  • How will these shifts change your effectiveness?
  • What are some options for making those changes?
  • Of those options, which will you choose? When and how will you make those changes?

Additional Resources for Listening and Asking Good Questions

  • FREE fillable PDF of Chapter 2 Action Steps

    To make it convenient to apply the above action steps to your coaching journey, we’ve created a PDF that you can download and fill in .

  • Online Article: Coaches and Timely Feedback

    Instead of handing out answers, a good coach will help the person they are coaching discover and deliver solutions that are uniquely their own. This article explores when feedback is appropriate and how to keep the focus on the client’s ideas and solutions.

  • FREE download: Ten Pointers when asking Powerful Questions

    Learning to ask great coaching questions takes practice. Print this out and post it where you will see it often .

  • Online Article: Five Questions to Greater Clarity

    A few questions that help people determine what to do in a wide range of situations.

  • Online Article: The Barnabas Questions

    Learn about a simple set of questions that bring a whole new level of intentionality, support, and encouragement to ministry relationships.

The Five Rs

The 5 Rs form a framework, or structure, for the coaching relationship. A chapter is dedicated to each in Christian Coaching Tools , but here’s a short-hand version of what each component consists of:

  • Relate: Here the coach establishes rapport and clarifies expectations. Then they can provide ongoing relational and spiritual support throughout the coaching process.
  • Reflect: People can’t get where they want to go until they first know where they are. Here the coach helps the client examine their current situation and the key issues they are facing and need to address.
  • Refocus: With this perspective, the client can then look toward where they want to go. This aspect of the coaching process involves envisioning and deciding on goals then strategizing about how to move forward toward them.
  • Resource: People will almost certainly need some things along the way to accomplish their goals, whether time, money, connections, locations, knowledge, curriculum, team members, etc. In resourcing, the coach helps the person reflect first on what resources they already have and then on which ones they may still need to find.
  • Review: The review portion of the coaching relationship is designed to help people pause and assess how things are going so far. Here the coach helps those they are coaching celebrate what has been accomplished so far, articulate their learnings, and think through what’s next.

Working with a Coach-Mentor? Download a complimentary fillable PDF of the following reflection questions , then share and discuss your answers with your coach-mentor.

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Action Steps

Reflect on your own experience and on the reading.

  • What did you find valuable from reading this chapter?
  • In what ways is the 5R coaching process linear? In what ways is it not?
  • What do you observe about the questions at the end of the chapter under each of the 5 Rs?
  • From what you have read so far, which of the 5 Rs do you do well? To which do you need to give more attention?
  • Write out in your own words what needs to be accomplished in each of the 5 Rs.

Practicum

  1. Interview one or more experienced coaches about their coaching process. Here are some areas to explore:
    • How would you describe or visualize your coaching process? (e.g. stages? diagram? cycle?)
    • How do you discern which coaching skills you need to focus on in a coaching conversation?
    • How do you help people transition from one stage or task to the next?

    Reflecting on these interviews, what insights did you gain?

  2. As you practice your coaching process with people, consider your experience. What worked well? What did you learn?

Your Takeaway Action Plan

Pray and listen to God about how you want to grow in navigating the coaching process. Spend at least 30 minutes, reserving some time for listening in silence. What are you hearing?

  • What do you need to stop doing?
  • What do you need to start doing?
  • How will these shifts change your effectiveness?
  • What are some options for making those changes?
  • Of those options, which will you choose? When and how will you make those changes?

Additional Resources For the 5 R's

Relate: Connect and Envision

Coaching—at its core—is a human relationship. It’s a trusting, interpersonal connection where you are figuring out what you want to work on and how you’re going to work together. It’s a relationship with a purpose. You sort out the expectations and parameters of the relationship so you can get traction and move forward effectively. To do that well, you need to establish a foundation.

Relate means connecting with the other person and establishing the relationship in such a way that you can move forward together in a productive coaching capacity.

In coaching, 3 key skills fall under Relate:

  1. Establish coaching relationship
  2. Facilitate ongoing support
  3. Provide spiritual support

Prayer Guide:

Lord, may you give me the strength to treat everyone with the dignity deserving someone created in your image. Help me to trust that each person I work with has the capacity to hear your voice for themselves, and remind me that I am not in control.

Working with a Coach-Mentor? Download a complimentary fillable PDF of the following reflection questions, then share and discuss your answers with your coach-mentor .

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Action Steps

Reflect on your own experience and on the reading.

  • What did you find valuable from reading this chapter?
  • What are your primary motivations for coaching others?
  • How have you connected with people in the past?
  • What can you learn from that experience and apply to your coaching going forward?

Practicum

  1. Interview one or more experienced coaches and ask them what they have done to connect with clients. Here are some areas to explore:
    • How have you built rapport?
    • How have you helped people gain focus?
    • How have you gotten agreement and alignment with someone you’ve just started coaching?

    Reflecting on these interviews, what insights did you gain?

  2. Practice building rapport with a person you have just met and keep the focus on them. What worked well? What did you learn?
  3. Practice empathy when you are connecting with someone in your daily non-coaching relationships. Listen for where the person is struggling, hurting, or suffering and see what you can do to show you care. What new insights does this practice yield about relating to people?

Your Takeaway Action Plan

Pray and listen to God about how you want to grow in relating to people and what changes God may be calling you toward. Spend at least 30 minutes, reserving some time for listening in silence. What are you hearing?

  • What do you need to stop doing?
  • What do you need to start doing?
  • How will these shifts change your effectiveness?
  • What are some options for making those changes?
  • Of those options, which will you choose? When and how will you make those changes?

Additional Resources For Relate

Reflect: Where are you now?

80% of a problem can be resolved by helping people thoroughly understand the situation facing them. However, it is easy to skip or dilute in-depth reflection of the reflect phase in the rush to move into the visioning and planning done in the refocus phase. Resist this temptation. Often the initial issues that surface in the reflection mask over the real issues. Staying in a place of reflection just a bit longer can reap greater insight.

The job of a coach in reflecting is to help people slow down enough to take stock of their current situation and gain perspective as to where they find themselves now.

The three main tasks in Reflect are:

  1. Explore your challenges and opportunities
  2. Prioritize key issues
  3. Count the cost

Prayer Guide:

Lord, guide my mind and my soul to dwell on what you wish. Keep my ears open to your Holy Spirit and help me reflect on my past experiences in ways that provide direction for how you want me to go forward. Please help me not to waste the pain and energy of past mistakes I have made, but allow me to learn and grow stronger from them. Help me also to be attuned to where you have placed me right now and any opportunities you have for me here and now.

Working with a Coach-Mentor? Download a complimentary fillable PDF of the following reflection questions, then share and discuss your answers with your coach-mentor .

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Action Steps

Reflect on your own experience and on the reading.

  • What did you find valuable from reading this chapter?
  • How have you helped someone reflect on their life or ministry situation?
  • What did you actually do to help them reflect and uncover new insights?
  • What can you learn from that experience and apply to your coaching going forward?

Practicum

  1. Interview one or more experienced coaches and ask them what they have done to help clients reflect. Here are some areas to explore:
    • How have you helped people explore their challenges and opportunities?
    • What ways have you assisted clients with identifying and prioritizing their key issues?
    • How have you encouraged them to count the cost of moving forward?

    Reflecting on these interviews, what insights did you gain?

  2. As you practice your reflecting skills with those you are coaching, consider your experience. What worked well? What did you learn?

Your Takeaway Action Plan

Pray and listen to God about how you want to grow in reflecting and what God may be calling you toward. Spend at least 30 minutes, reserving some time for listening in silence. What are you hearing?

  • What do you need to stop doing?
  • What do you need to start doing?
  • How will these shifts change your effectiveness?
  • What are some options for making those changes?
  • Of those options, which will you choose? When and how will you make those changes?

Additional Resources For Relate

Refocus: How will you get where you want to go?

Although those you’re coaching likely already have some sense of their vision and dreams, the refocus component of the coaching process helps people shift their focus back and forth between the big picture and the immediate next steps needed to move forward toward that long-range goal.

The coach’s main goal during refocus is to help people identify where they want to go and then create a plan for how to get there.

The three main tasks in Reflect are:

  1. Articulate the desired result (What?)
  2. Consider the people involved (Who?)
  3. Create an action plan (How?)

Prayer Guide:

Lord, help me see clearly the vision you have for my life and ministry, and not just the vision I have for my life and ministry. Allow me to see what is similar and what is different and keep me open to a life of obedience. Please provide focus and direction for me to move forward, so that I am following you rather than wandering off on my own. In all things, help me balance planning and flexibility as I take intentional steps of faith.

Working with a Coach-Mentor? Download a complimentary fillable PDF of the following reflection questions, then share and discuss your answers with your coach-mentor .

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Action Steps

Reflect on your own experience and on the reading.

  • What did you find valuable from reading this chapter?
  • How have you helped someone clarify their vision?                 
  • What did you do to help them to make a plan and take action?     
  • What can you learn from that experience and apply to your coaching going forward?

Practicum

  1. Interview one or more experienced coaches and ask them what they have done to help clients refocus. Here are some areas to explore:
    • How have you helped people articulate and flesh out their desired result?
    • How have you helped people consider the impacts that moving toward their goals may have on others? (both intended and unintended)
    • How have you helped people create action plans?

    Reflecting on these interviews, what insights did you gain?

  2. As you practice your refocusing skills with those you are coaching, reflect on your experience. What worked well? What did you learn?

Your Takeaway Action Plan

Pray and listen to God about how you want to grow in this area and what God may be calling you toward. Spend at least 30 minutes, reserving some time for listening in silence. What are you hearing?

  • What do you need to stop doing?
  • What do you need to start doing?
  • How will these shifts change your effectiveness?
  • What are some options for making those changes?
  • Of those options, which will you choose? When and how will you make those changes?

Resource: What do you need to get there?

Resourcing is all about looking at what you have as the starting point for where you want to go. Too often people think of resources as financial, but that’s only one category. Consider relationships, connections, contacts, time, energy, skills, volunteer strength, opportunities, even used items you don’t need.

During resourcing, coaches help people explore all potential resources to help them be more fruitful as they move forward into what God has called them to do.

The three main tasks of Resource are:

  1. Identify your assets
  2. Expand your connections
  3. Learn from what others have done

Prayer Guide:

Lord, open my eyes to the manna you have provided and allow me the faith to know that it will come tomorrow as well. Please give me eyes to see all the riches you have for me, and to remember that if you have called me to do something, you will provide all the resources necessary to do it. Open my ears to your Holy Spirit and to other saints you have placed in my life.

Working with a Coach-Mentor? Download a complimentary fillable PDF of the following reflection questions, then share and discuss your answers with your coach-mentor .

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Action Steps

Reflect on your own experience and on the reading.

  • What did you find valuable from reading this chapter?
  • How have you helped someone discover resources they needed?
  • What did you do to get them connected with those resources?
  • What can you learn from that experience and apply to your coaching going forward?

Practicum

  1. Interview one or more experienced coaches and ask them what they have done to help clients get resourced. Here are some areas to explore:
    • How have you helped people identify their assets?
    • In what ways have you assisted people in expanding their connections?
    • How have you encouraged them to learn from what others have done?

    Reflecting on these interviews, what insights did you gain?

  2. Create a working list of contacts listing them by specialty. Sometimes you will be able to resource your clients but the most generous contacts will be someone they know. Encourage your clients to create a list of their own.
  3. As you practice your resourcing skills with those you are coaching, reflect on your experience. What worked well? What did you learn?

Your Takeaway Action Plan

Pray and listen to God about how you want to grow in this area and what God may be calling you toward. Spend at least 30 minutes, reserving some time for listening in silence. What are you hearing?

  • What do you need to stop doing?
  • What do you need to start doing?
  • How will these shifts change your effectiveness?
  • What are some options for making those changes?
  • Of those options, which will you choose? When and how will you make those changes?

Additional Resources For Refocus

Review: Learn and Celebrate

Learning and celebration are central to coaching. We see that parallel in several fields where coaching is used in different ways: music, athletics, dance, drama, etc. When a game or performance of some kind is completed, the coach and the player/performer reflect together on the learnings they can glean from the experience. In this way they get better and better. And they never skip the celebration! Whether a theater production went well, poorly, or somewhere in between, there will always be a cast party afterwards.

In reviewing, the coach basically asks the question, “How has it gone so far?” to help people look back over the process, evaluate it, and decide what’s next.

The three main tasks of Review are:

  1. Celebrate progress
  2. Maximize learning
  3. Evaluate and clarify next steps

Prayer Guide:

Lord, give me the joy of seeing your work in me during the days of my life. Give me assurance also that I have had an impact in ways I may never see until the fullness of your Kingdom. Help me celebrate past accomplishments, learn from past mistakes, and discern what you may have next for me in my journey of obedience to you. Give me the faithfulness to keep pursuing your will all the days of my life.

Working with a Coach-Mentor? Download a complimentary fillable PDF of the following reflection questions, then share and discuss your answers with your coach-mentor .

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Action Steps

Reflect on your own experience and on the reading.

  • What did you find valuable from reading this chapter?
  • How have you helped someone celebrate their accomplishment?
  • What have you done to help people learn from their experience?
  • What can you learn from that experience and apply to your coaching going forward?

Practicum

  1. Interview one or more experienced coaches and ask them what they have done to help clients review. Here are some areas to explore:
    • How have you helped people recognize and celebrate progress?
    • In what ways have you maximized people’s learning?
    • How have you assisted people to evaluate and clarify next steps?

    Reflecting on these interviews, what insights did you gain?

  2. Practice helping someone you’re coaching celebrate, then reflect on that experience. What worked well? What did you learn?

Your Takeaway Action Plan

Pray and listen to God about how you want to grow in reviewing with those you are coaching and what God may be calling you toward. Spend at least 30 minutes, reserving some time for listening in silence. What are you hearing?

  • What do you need to stop doing?
  • What do you need to start doing?
  • How will these shifts change your effectiveness?
  • What are some options for making those changes?
  • Of those options, which will you choose? When and how will you make those changes?

Additional Resources For Refocus

Conclusion: What are your next steps

Christian Coaching Essentials is just as titled: the most important things you need to get started in coaching—not everything you’ll ever want to know. The skills you have learned are the basics you need to begin empowering others through coaching. It’s time to solidify what you have learned and plan for coaching excellence.

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Action Steps

Reflect on your own experience and on the reading.

  • What did you find valuable from reading this chapter?
  • How have you helped someone celebrate their accomplishment?
  • What have you done to help people learn from their experience?
  • What can you learn from that experience and apply to your coaching going forward?

Practicum

  1. Interview one or more experienced coaches and ask them what they have done to intentionally grow in their coaching skills.
    • Reflecting on these interviews, what insights did you gain?
  2. Practice helping someone you’re coaching celebrate, then reflect on that experience. What worked well? What did you learn?

What Are Your Next Steps?

You’ve got the basics down, it’s time to grow your vision and work toward coaching excellence. The next step is not the same for everyone. Here are some of our best suggestions:

  • Coach-Mentoring – We are impressed if you have come this far without a coach-mentor—well done! Learn how a quality coach-mentor can help you meet your coaching goals.
  • Christian Coaching Excellence – Go beyond the basics and raise your effectiveness as a coach. This book provides you with steps for growth in each of the 9 Christian coach competencies.
  • 360° Christian Coach Assessment – This powerful growth tool is backed by thorough qualitative research, this assessment clearly and accurately identifies your coaching strengths and areas for improvement. The report is a snapshot of how you operate in nine core competency areas and 55 behavioral expressions. Use in conjunction with Christian Coaching Excellence and watch the effectiveness of your coaching skyrocket!
  • Barnabas Ministry Training – In ministry, there are more people who need you than you have time to coach. You need a team of people to come alongside others, like Barnabas did! We have put together a turn-key kit so you can equip people to coach!
  • Not sure which step is right for you? CLICK HERE for a complimentary conversation with Bob or Gary to help you determine the best next step on your coaching journey.

Your Takeaway Action Plan

Pray about how you want to grow as a coach and what God may be calling you toward. Spend at least 30 minutes, reserving some time for listening in silence. What are you hearing?

  • What do you need to stop doing?
  • What do you need to start doing?
  • How will these shifts change your effectiveness?
  • What are some options for making those changes?
  • Of those options, which will you choose? When and how will you make those changes?