The Life Coaching industry is still fairly new and many people are skeptical of the idea altogether. As a certified Christian Life Coach, I understand the apprehension and caution that many feel. The life coaching industry is growing, and with limited regulation and oversight it is easy for well-meaning individuals to call themselves Life Coaches and begin taking clients without training, credentialing, or experience. That being said, there are many trained, qualified and experienced coaches out there that may be perfectly suited for you.
Specialty coaching seems to be the way to get noticed in the crowd of coaching. Therefore, “Christian” Coaching has found its place in the profession as an option for many who want to be coached by someone who shares the same biblical Christian worldview. This raises the question - is coaching biblical or just another fad? Well, though I cannot reference scriptures that use the word “coaching” specifically, there are many scriptures that support the idea of helping, supporting and encouraging each other. For example, Hebrews 10: 24 states “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” For other references also see 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and Galatians 6:2.
So how can you know if a Christian Coach would be good for you? After all, if you’re considering a Christian Coach you likely already have a pastor. As a former co-pastor, I know that most pastors serve as preachers, counselors, coaches, and whatever other role is needed in the lives of their congregants. For the vast majority of church members there is no need to look any further. However, many still find Christian Coaches helpful in obtaining personal goals. Perhaps a quick point of clarity is needed right here since I just mentioned the pastor as a counselor. Though counseling and coaching have similarities, they are very different. I regularly turn away perspective coaching clients who misunderstand coaching for counseling.
Most coaches offer complimentary consultations before taking on each new client. This consultation time is vital for many reasons. First, it allows the coach to briefly assess the prospective client to determine if this relationship is a good fit. Second, the client should be assessing the perspective coach to determine the same. As someone considering a coach here are a few tips for you. 1) Ask questions to see if you and the coach share the same biblical worldview. 2) Evaluate the questions asked by the perspective coach. The coach should be genuinely concerned about your future goals and aspirations. 3) The length of the coaching and pricing should be clearly established and in writing. 4) Lastly, ask for credentials and references. This list is not exhaustive; I just wanted to point you in the right direction.
Ultimately the choice for a Christian Coach is a personal one. Everyone is different and has different needs. If a Christian Coach will help you to reach your future goals and assist you in living life with intentionality and purpose, I say go for it! Be prayerful and diligent in your search and remember, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)