Coaching has become a popular subject in recent years. Unfortunately, when something is trendy, I often dislike it out of sheer adolescent rebellion (which I seemingly still haven’t outgrown — I’m literally listening to Reliant K while writing this)! Even still, coaching is more than a fad and has, in fact, become a scholarly discipline with its own publications and accrediting bodies. One such entity is the International Coaching Federation (ICF), which describes itself as “the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession ….”

One of the helpful things the ICF documents is a list of “core competencies” every coach needs to excel in. Their list (revised 2020) includes four significant competencies.

An excellent coach:  

  1. “Demonstrates Ethical Practice/Embodies a Coaching Mindset”
  2. “Co-Creates the Relationship”
  3. “Communicates Effectively”
  4. “Cultivates Learning and Growth”

As a Christian educator, these four competencies provide vocabulary useful for thinking through Christian discipleship. Consider the following passages from the Apostle Paul in light of the four coaching competencies.

An excellent Christian educator:

  1. “Demonstrates Ethical Practice/Embodies a Coaching Mindset” – “We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. … That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.” (2 Cor 1:12)
  2. “Co-Creates the Relationship” – “We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.” (1 Thess 2:8)
  3. “Communicates Effectively” – “Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can’t understand.” (2 Cor 1:13)
  4. “Cultivates Learning and Growth” – “We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.” (Col 1:9)

Using Coaching as a Lens for Christian Education:

It isn’t hard to find scriptural examples that embody each of these competencies, and all are necessary to become a well-rounded Christian teacher. I believe they are helpful for reflecting on the qualities essential for effective Christian education. However, the gold in these hills is found in each competency’s subheadings, which define their umbrella terms. For this reason, my next post will consider one of these sub-competencies called “Evoking Awareness,” a skill most of us could afford to grow in!

Coaching Competencies for Christian Educators

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