The Two Pillars of Coaching
At the core, coaching is about two things: relationship and multiplication. Relationship was central to the way Jesus taught His disciples. He ate with them, walked with them, slept alongside them. For three years he shared his life with his disciples. In the same way, coaching is a commitment to invest deeply in another person’s life, and to journey alongside them as you both pursue Christ. It’s crucial that the person you coach not only hears you talk about living the Christian life, but is able to see you actually doing it. As we go deep with those we coach, we must also keep in mind that to truly change the world, to actually see Jesus’ vision realized, we need to prepare our coachee to invest in the lives of others. This is multiplication. Ultimately, we want to teach others to live wholeheartedly for Jesus so that they can teach others to do the same (2 Tim 2:2).
The Coaching Plan
It’s time to get to the nuts and bolts. This outline is designed to help both new and seasoned coaches successfully equip their coachees to be on mission for a lifetime.
The coaching plan is divided into 7 groups:
- The Core Concepts
- Walking by Faith
- Communicating your Faith
- Multiplying your Faith
- The Bible and Doctrine
The Core Concepts are the foundation of the coaching plan. For those who grew up in church, some of these may feel like review. That’s okay; it’s important to go through them anyway. They ensure that every student involved in coaching has a firm foundation for growth and can teach them well to others.
After going through the Core Concepts, the coaching plan becomes more flexible, allowing for you to pick and choose topics that best apply to your coaching relationship.
The second group, Walking by Faith, covers some of the continuing habits you will need to walk with God for a lifetime. The Relationships group deals with loving others well in God-honoring ways.
The Communicating Your Faith group contains a helpful collection of Cru Tools for initiating spiritual conversations and sharing your faith. In the day-to-day of coaching, we don’t want to forget that we are ambassadors of Good News, that others need the abundant life that God offers. All coaches are expected to train their coachees on how to use these Cru Tools. Intersperse these trainings as you meet and remember to take time to actually use them! How exciting would it be to see someone new begin to take steps toward Jesus during your coaching time?
The Multiplying your Faith group of concepts prepares you to transfer to others what you have learned.
The Bible and Doctrine group introduces you to some of the major doctrines and an overview of the whole Bible. This will help you develop a good base for going deeper for the rest of your life.
The Leadership group starts preparing you for a lifetime of ministry, wherever God plants you.
**Remember that the goal is produce disciples with Christ-like character who can multiply themselves and leave a legacy of students behind to continue what you started. You should help your coachees be ready to coach another student in about a year or two.
Coaching is More Than Content
Sure, we have a ton of resources available for you to use with your coachee. But life change doesn’t happen just from reading an article or watching a video. This is where the importance of relationship comes in: being a Christian is ultimately about doing, not just knowing.
It’s crucial to get a pulse on what’s going on in the life of your coachee. To get to the matters of the heart, we suggest you ask a set of going deeper questions like these at every coaching appointment:
- What was your high for the week? Your low?
- Tell me about your time with God this week. (E.g. prayer, journaling, worship, church, Scripture reading)
- Are you taking care of yourself? (E.g. healthy eating, exercise, sleep, studying, time with friends, time to recharge)
- Are you consciously asking the Holy Spirit to be in control of your language [Eph 4:29], your use of time, what you eat [1 Cor 6:19], and your sexual purity [1 Cor 6:5-20. Gal 5:1,16-25]?
- Is there anything in your life that people could point to and say “hypocrite” that you need to work on?
- Who are you praying for and who are you having spiritual conversations with? Are you spending time with non-Christians?
- Where will your mental and emotional energy be focused next week?
- Any prayer requests?
- Anything I should know that I haven’t asked about? Any questions for me? Anything we need to change about our coaching time?
So What Do I Do?
The structure of most coaching appointments is pretty similar. They should look like this:
- Be human and talk: catch up / build the relationship
- Get real: ask going deeper questions
- Discuss content
But how do you choose content? Well, it all hinges on one question: Has your coachee gone through the Core Concepts?
If no, then the Core Concepts are your content! Well, that’s part of your content. To keep things interesting, you should sit down with your coachee and choose four other topics from the Plan that they would like to go through fairly soon. Then, just alternate between one of the Core Concepts and one of the other topics each time you meet.
If yes, then it’s time to hone in on where they need to grow. Use the “Coaching Semester Planning Sheet” guide to help you and your coachee narrow in on some areas they need to grow. Then choose topics from the Plan that address those. Remember to intersperse at least two times of evangelism into your semester plan, with students you know (or don’t know) and your professors.
Keys to Being a Coach
*Weekly preparation: plan on taking 30 minutes to prepare / think through what your plan is and familiarize yourself with the material you will use in the coaching appointment.
*Have them teach you: especially for the Core Concepts, have your coachee read through and teach the material to you; this will ensure they really understand it.
*Depend on God’s Spirit: ask Him for wisdom as you plan and meet together.
*Be vulnerable: you don’t have to be perfect and can acknowledge your own failures; share from your own experience (it helps create a safe environment for sharing honestly).
*Ask good questions: asking open-ended questions that require an answer other than yes or no will open up conversation and discussion.
*Plan evangelism into your coaching times (at least two times a semester).