I have some great coaches in my life right now. Jimmy Evans, Tom Lane and Robert Morris have all walked closely with me for many years and give me personal insight and constant coaching. I am certain that without them I would have made some huge messes, especially the past two years as the Senior Pastor of New Life Church.
God has given me key coaches at key times in my life. I will never forget Pastor Jack Hayford standing by my side the entire afternoon after the shooting. His coaching and advice was priceless. The next day, Larry Stockstill flew to Colorado from Louisiana and encouraged me for several days. I have been coached and loved by all these men and my life is richer and fuller because of their investment.
No matter what we do in life, we all need coaching and that is why I agreed to participate in the PCC Coaching Network. The church in America has a great opportunity to be salt and light right now, but I am convinced that coaching can help all of us for four reasons.
1. Coaching allows us to learn from the experiences of others. There are a lot of mistakes we can avoid if we pay attention to the mistakes others have made. A really good coach shares his own hiccups so the rest of us can avoid the same ditch.
2. Coaching allows us to stop and evaluate what we are doing. All of us are probably busy, but are we really being effective. Coaches make us hit the pause button and evaluate how we are spending our time. Are we really living in our strengths? Are we using our resources the best way? Have we built the right team to support what God wants to do?
3. Coaching allows us to look at who we are becoming. What we are doing is important, but not as important as our personal transformation and development as Christ followers. Coaches require us to take off our pastor/leader mask and to look honestly at our own hearts. How are we doing as a spouse or as parents? Are we personally in love with Jesus? Are there any private strongholds that could disqualify us?
4. Coaching allows us to live in authentic community. Pastors and leaders are often lonely people without any real friends. It is sad but true. Coaches push leaders out of isolation and into tribe. Coaches require vulnerability and honesty which leads to real friendships.
I know firsthand the power of a good coach and I hope every leader finds someone to walk alongside them. If you are a leader in a church and need coaching, check out http://pcccoachingnetwork.com/ for more information.