December 01, 2021

Coaching for Spiritual Gifts
For over 40 years now, I’ve taken this informal survey when I’ve taught at various ministry events around the world. “How many of you believe everyone has at least one spiritual gift?” Every hand goes up. “How many of you believe it’s important to help people learn to identify and use their spiritual gifts?” Almost every hand goes up. “How many of you have a system in place to help people do that?” Just a handful of people raise their hands. Maybe 5%.  

Written By Robert E Logan

Christian Coaching Pioneer, Strategic Ministry Catalyst, Resource Developer, Empowering Consultant : Logan Leadership

Everyone in ministry believes in spiritual gifts. Almost everyone thinks they’re important. But only a minute portion have organized a way to help people really begin intentionally working out of their giftedness. We’ve preached on gifts and offered gifts inventories or quizzes. But it isn’t enough. We need the connection that actually gets people doing it.  

A System for Developing Spiritual Gifts

For that, we need two missing items. The first is having a system in place. If you are looking for how to put a strategic intentional system in place in your ministry to help people identify and use their spiritual gifts, you may want to check out these two entries on my Logan Leadership blog about how to do that: 

Coaching for Spiritual Gifts

coach to develop spiritual gifts

The second missing item is having those personal conversations to help guide people through that system. That’s where coaching comes in. How can we take a coaching approach to become more intentional in our ministries about gifts discovery? Even if people are not in a formal coaching relationship, they can still benefit by being asked good questions that help them think about what gifts they have and how they might use those gifts. We can use a kind of coaching-lite approach with people in conversations, in discipling relationships, and in small groups to help them explore the matter.  

Consider some of the following conversations…  

To identify potential gifts

You can help people discern what their spiritual gifts might be by asking questions about what ministry activities they have enjoyed most and which have been most fruitful. In essence, what are they good at? Even areas where people may seem critical can provide clues to their spiritual gifts. For instance, those with the gift of mercy are often quick to point out areas where the church is falling short in providing compassion ministries for people. Because they are gifted, they tend to notice when it’s not being done well.  

To discern passions

Another important area we can use coaching skills to explore is people’s passions. What people groups do they find themselves drawn to? What causes or issues feel close to their hearts? What do they really care about? Answers to questions like these provide an important piece of how people may use their spiritual gifts for Kingdom purposes.  

To try out potential gifts

After these types of discovery conversations, ask people to try out some ways of using the potential gifts they’ve identified. One caveat:  Scriptural commands are for all of us, regardless of giftedness. Example: “I don’t have the gift of mercy, so I’m not going to bother stopping to help someone.” Yet try to encourage people to spend at least 60% of their time in their areas of strength and giftedness, even if there is no official ministry or volunteer role associated with it. 

Be sure to explore opportunities both inside and outside the local church. Rather than starting with open volunteer slots and then trying to reverse engineer people into those slots, start with the gifts and the passions. Then listen with them for what God might be calling them to do. What opportunities have they heard of? What options feel like interesting areas for exploration?    

To confirm spiritual gifts

After serving in several different capacities at an exploratory level, it’s time to assess the experiences. Through coaching, you can help people reflect on their service. What worked well? What didn’t work well? What changes might need to be made?  

Another important way of confirming spiritual gifts is through the Body of Christ. Encourage the person to invite feedback from their close community—ideally a small group of some kind. People in their community can be encouraged to provide feedback or observations based on what they have seen: Where they have seen impact? Where have they seen joy?   

Coaching conversations like these will help people live into their callings more effectively. Their spiritual gifts and passions together inform the specific contribution that God has for them to make toward the Kingdom of God.  

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Cover Photo by Michael Kroul on Unsplash

That was a great coaching moment!

Most coaching assumes a formalized coaching relationship with a beginning, a middle, and an end, with clear goals to be accomplished along the way. However, you can also use your coaching skills in less formal ways– just as a way of relating and interacting. Think of it as a “coaching moment” instead of a “coaching relationship.”

Steps to Help You Make Decisions with God

You’ve got a big decision to make. When you make a decision based on the human intellect alone you might come away with a “good decision”; in contrast, when you consider God’s perspective on a matter you engage the spiritual dimension. This will lead you  down the path of prayerful decision making.

Can you find coaching in the Bible?

If you are trying to help others understand the biblical basis for coaching, here are two key scripture passages to help.

9 Ways Coaching Aligns with Biblical Principles

You may be wondering if coaching is biblical. The Bible never commands us to coach. In fact, the word coach is never used. So why coach? Should we even coach? Here are 9 ways coaching aligns with biblical principles.

The #1 Secret to Raising Self-Led Adults

You want your kids to become self-led adults. People who make good decisions, live into their gifts and talents, and contribute to their communities. The teen years are when the rubber hits the road. 

Purpose-filled Conversations with Your Teens

Conversations with your teens can feel one-sided. There are a lot of grunts and minute head nods, or if you’re lucky–one word answers. But this is a time in their development where they make important decisions that have lasting consequences. So, how do you move past casual chats to more meaningful and purpose-filled conversations with your teens? 

Coaching your kids

Translating your coaching skills to support your parenting will help you raise kids who have a clear understanding of who they are and have a solid framework for making good decisions. 

5 signs that you could be a better coach

You’ve been coaching for a while now. You may have even completed coach certification; but you feel there is something more… Are you coaching at your optimal level or could you be a better coach? How do you really know how well you’re doing? 

5 Steps to Clarify Your Values

Having trouble moving forward in your ministry goals? What about those you serve? If you are struggling to fill seats and find volunteers the issue may not be WHAT you are doing but a disconnect from the WHY.

Learning to trust your coach and your team

Are you at the top of your game? Even if you are, are you ready for what’s next? So many gifted and purposed pastors burn out because they are playing a solo game. Learning how to work with your team raises your effectiveness and reach in ministry.