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Have you ever heard of the "bright, shiny object (BSO) syndrome"? It's that tendency we have to get distracted by new things, preferring the allure of possibility to the familiarity of our day-to-day routine. Sometimes we even drop one BSO when another comes along. It can be the same with a new skill, such as coaching. Some coaches are so excited to discover this new way of being that we can't wait to transform our whole lives, find new careers and join new communities. What if church leaders took their new coaching skills back home to train others in their faith communities? What if they took a coach approach to ministry, applying coaching principles to all of their work? For example, take the spiritual discipline of listening for God's guidance. Of course this requires one to create the space to hear and to listen to God directly, but we also know that God speaks through people - all people, not just pastors, not just the people in your own congregation, not just the people in your own faith. As another example, one of the trainees at our recent train-the-trainer event suggested that we intentionally adopt a coach approach to faith development; that creating a safe space for faithsharing would help to develop deeper relationships with those new to the Christian faith. And, she continued, what if in our conversations we listened deeply for what God was already at work doing in the other person's life and coached them on that-instead of prescribing the same solution to every person. What about offering coach training to community leaders and business leaders as a way to develop and expand our community outreach? Or working towards the goal that every seminary student will receive Basic Coach Training? How could a coach approach transform pastoral care, conflict, grief counseling or visioning? While it's appealing to want to chase a BSO into new settings, there are ways to bring it back home to empower and inspire the communities you are already part of. Just like the Protestant Reformers set out to empower the people to speak directly to God, instead of having to go through the priest, you can go back and spread the vision of a coach approach to ministry. It's change from the inside out - encouraging congregants to change from within, not rely on "expert" pastors. And the pastors themselves can lead this shift. We're about to see waves of implementation and execution of this coach approach to ministry. One participant at a recent Train-the-Trainer event described it as a "mass movement" - I call it The Next Great Awakening.

J. Val Hastings, MCC is the founder and president of Coaching4Clergy, which empowers today's spiritual leaders through coaching, consulting and coach training. Did you know that 6 out of 10 churches will close over the next 10 years? Visit and for the information, resources and services that will help you ensure a sustainable future for your congregation.

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==== ==== You can download a Pastoral Care Course from the learn Section here. ==== ====

Pastoral Care