People come to you with big vision—more than they can handle. Their passion will only take them so far. When they hit a wall, it is not your job to put them on your shoulders and lift them over. It is your job to offer them spiritual guidance, to point them to the one who can do more than they can ask or imagine—the one who has called them to this great task and will provide all that is needed to see it through.
This is why one of the essential behavioral skills for coaches who are Abiding in Christ is providing spiritual guidance for those they are coaching. The application of spiritual resources allows coaches to be spiritually receptive to what God is doing in a coaching relationship. Sometimes this can mean bringing relevant passages of scripture to the conversation. Other times it can mean recommending spiritual practices, books or conversations that might be helpful to your client.
Spiritual guidance forms a tacit recognition that you don’t expect your client to be able to do everything on their own. They shouldn’t expect that of themselves either, but find ways to rely on God.
Seven ways clients will be impacted through your spiritual guidance
- Grace when the client is being too hard on themselves
- Forgiveness when the client is in the wrong
- Wisdom when the client lacks insight into a situation
- Energy when the client lacks strength
- Strength when the client wants to give up
- Patience when the client feels overwhelmed
- Confidence when the client is wobbly
Ways to grow in giving Spiritual Guidance
Here are some suggestions and exercises for growing in the area of spiritual guidance:
Brainstorm possible spiritual resources
It’s best not to have just one or two options but a whole array of possibilities. The list below is a beginning. What additional options can you think of?
- Read scripture passages
- Go on a prayer retreat
- Read a book
- Intentional conversations with someone about spiritual things
- Speak with a spiritual director or mentor
- Develop spiritual practices
Study the passages below. Looking at the life of Barnabas, what ways do you see him relying on spiritual resources as he supported others?
- Acts 4:36
- Acts 9
- Acts 11:19–25
- Acts 13:9–12
- Acts 13:42
- Acts 13:49–52
- Acts 15:36–40
- Acts 16:1–3
Read up on spiritual disciplines
There are great books on the subject that can help you become more aware and fluent in the spiritual disciplines. Here are a couple great ones to get you started:
- The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
- Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster.
Spiritual Guidance is one of 55 behavioral expressions critical to Christian coaching. If you are determined to offer the very best as a coach, we highly recommend Christian Coaching Excellence. In it, you will find detailed explanations of the 9 Christian coaching competencies and each behavioral expression as well as rating norms to help you determine how well you perform in them, proven ways to grow in each, coaching tips, and more.
If you want an accurate picture of your competence as a coach, there is no substitute for the 360° Christian Coach Assessment. This online tool is the only assessment for Christian coaches that is backed by thorough qualitative research. It clearly and accurately identifies your coaching strengths and areas for improvement. Learn more HERE.