Life Coaching Category

When I consider what it looks like to fulfill the great commission I can get overwhelmed.  Jesus commands us to make disciples, bring them into fellowship in the Church, and provide places for them to grow to maturity.  In my life context, I have been considering how to be part of Jesus’ plan by investing in people who share a love for creativity and art.  This whole Atlanta Arts Network idea is at the root a movement of artistic believers who understand the need to grow in their faith and to live out the vision of Christ.  But getting my mind around how this works in just my own local church is daunting at best.  This is why my focus at first has been on a few leaders both in my church and also in Atlanta.

While this blog isn’t about our methods of building a ministry or the overall philosophy, it is important to remind myself at times that Atlanta Arts Network is a Network, made up of individual churches who are capturing a vision to build arts communities.  For this to happen I am praying for a grass roots movement of individuals who love creative people and love to invest in them.

I am convinced that one of the tools that must be embraced for this to work is Life Coaching.  For a pastor or lay person to begin to see artists join the community of Christ, they must first know how to determine where a person is in their spiritual journey.  They must also know where they need to go next.  I serve in a larger ministry, Worldwide Discipleship Association, that has been building mature disciples for 40 years.  One of the tools we use is called Life Coaching.

For Arts Communities to grow in our churches we will need creatives who have a heart to pour their lives into others.  Life Coaching teaches how to make this happen.  But what do you have to know to be a life coach? I think there are four points that are helpful to remember:  Relationship, Promise, Faith, and Plan.

Life Coaching is Relational.  

WDA* believes that it all starts with Relationships!  Relationships take time.  Time is the critical component for discipleship and Life Coaching.  Jesus called the disciples at first to come and see.  He went into their world. (John 1:38-40)

Life Coaches know God’s promises.

Jesus understood that they needed to know the promises of God. They would have heard his pronouncement that the kingdom of God was in their midst.  (Luke 4:16-18)

A Life Coach has to have faith in God.  

Jesus begins the great commission by stating that He is the one with authority.  It is not faith in myself, but trust in Him.  He, the King, is building people to Christlikeness.  He is the one who also will be with me! (Matthew 28:18-20)

A Life Coach has to have a plan.

Jesus modeled for all of us how to help people grow to maturity.  He spent 3 years taking time in relationship, teaching content, helping them apply truth and holding the disciples accountable, praying for and with them, as well as creating situations where they could put into practice what He was teaching them.

WDA Life Coaching is a great tool for anyone who has a heart to help someone grow but might not know how to go about it.  It takes time to invest in someone else. It will cost us.  In the process, I learn to remember God’s promises, live by faith and follow His plan.

Sure, not everyone feels like they are gifted as a disciple maker.  There are those who might be called to pursue making disciples as their primary calling.  For the artist, Life Coaching is an art too!  For us to be part of God’s work in our churches, we will need creativity in how to make disciples.  It might not be a formal program but it might be one person who God has brought into our lives.  It might be a musician who plays in worship.  It might be someone who shares a similar love for our form of art.  It might also grow to a community of artists who are living in community together, creating, serving, loving and contributing to the flourishing of our world.

What do you think?  How could life coaching be part of the life of the artist?  What ways do you see that you could invest in the lives of others? What benefits to your church could there be if you and other creatives began to share this kind of life together?

 

Buddy Eades is the Coordinator of Atlanta Arts Network which is part of the church ministry of WDA.

The Atlanta Arts Network exists to connect artists and worship artists, to encourage people who create and share art and cultivate a love for the arts as well as to aspire artists in the context of Christian community. 

Learn more about Life Coaching and check out the manual here.

This blog first posted on Atlanta Arts Network

I’ve been thinking about discipleship and creatives lately.  It may not be something you consider, but as a pastor to artists, I sometimes wonder how different people learn and grow in their Christian faith.  I have a family full of creative people who each have their own way of looking at the world. As a husband and father I desire to be able to be a good teacher.  Of course being the only male in a household of women creates its own communication challenges.  But laying that challenge aside for now, I wonder how creatives learn best.  My wife seems to learn by doing.  So sitting in a class, listening to a lecture or reading a book needs to flow out of situations that help her learn.  Even more, she seems to learn as a result of situations that she is currently involved in.  Hypothetical discipleship situations or theory may interest me from an academic point of view, but that doesn’t cause her to learn.

I am part of a discipleship ministry called WDA or Worldwide Discipleship Association. (www.disciplebuilding.org)  WDA has spent almost 40 years developing a method for discipleship.  What I have learned in working both on campus and in the church, is that one size doesn’t fit all.  Methods and structures are tools.

WDA uses something called an R-CAPS grid to help fit key discipleship principles to the place a person is at that moment.

By looking at each person starting with your Relationship (R. in RCAPS) you then teach Content and provide places for Accountability (C. & A. in RCAPS) which fits them.

When I approach discipleship with the relationship in mind I find that my teaching isn’t as formulaic or brittle.  It can be fluid and flexible.  I can think how I need to Pray and the Situations that may help the learning process. (PS. in RCAPS)

To teach biblical truth with my family, like with other creative people, requires that I think creatively using R-CAPS to find points of interest and places to have teaching moments.  I’m finding that discipleship can begin with any of the R-CAPS.  I can teach beginning with prayer, talking about an issue in the news which is a good application or example of  truth, and even beginning with a situation that then leads to a discussion about something I have been wanting them to learn.

I suggest that teaching creatives means you need to have a variety of starting points which, when connected to the other R-CAPS, help people learn.  Once I would have followed a method closer to the way I learn. I focused on a bible passage or truth and then moved to accountability, prayer and even a situation.  I next tried to begin with relationships moving logically along the RCAPS grid.  As I have been learning to teach my family, I am growing to see that I need to forget a sequence and focus on the person.

Take time to watch WDA’s intro video for RCAPS (below) and learn how this discipleship tool can give you direction in your discipleship process. WDA has seen this tool used in churches and ministries around the world to help those who disciple others have a balanced approach to teaching.  Remember that one method does not fit all, but content applied with prayer, used in creative situations based on your relationship with others can help your discipleship produce mature growing Christians.

 

Buddy Eades Serves as the Coordinator of Atlanta Arts Network.  You can read more about this ministry at  AtlantaArtsNetwork 

To create a great piece of art, whether a painting, a song, a poem, or even a blog post, I need time inside my heart, imagination, and spirit. I’m sitting at my favorite coffee house looking over the Chattahoochee with the sun shining and water rushing by.  This is good for my heart and spirit.  Yet, I need to keep a balance between the inner world of a creative artist and the outer world of people and relationships.  If all my time is spent in my head, my art suffers and I ignore my need for Friendship.  A question to be raised is not “do we need community,” but “why building community should be a priority.”

CommunityFriendship: we are made for community.  It wasn’t good that Adam be alone.  From the first moment till now humans were created to share life together.  No matter your temperament, you were made to be with others.  I am better as a result of having people around me to give me encouragement, to challenge me, to love me, and be honest with me.  How else can I grow to be a better artist and a better friend?

Friend are not acquaintances however.  Where Google+ and now Facebook allows us to group people into circles and groups we need to consider who are our real friends and who are our “acquaintances.”  There is a bible verse that says “a friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”  When we consider developing real friendship we need to look for someone who is going to be available.  Most of us don’t have very many of these friends.  However each of us needs to pursue deep friendships.

Friendship is risky.  For many of us, whether we see them or not, there are inner hurts that cause us to be careful when entering into friendships.  Some have a wounded heart that has walled itself inside in order to avoid any more pain.  Building community with others involves risk.  I have to be willing to stick my head out of my shell.  I might even have to walk toward another person.  Where do you find the strength to risk making friendships when you have been hurt by others?  Some may look at the potential reward, some consider fear of being alone as a motivation and all of us would rather have someone reach out to us first.

May I suggest a better way for developing community?

There is one who is closer than a brother who has loved us at all times.  There is a Friend who was a friend when people hated him.  For me to begin to risk being a friend to others and for others to be able to develop healthy relationships, we need to have a relationship with Jesus.  This begins by understanding the Gospel.  We are more sinful than we ever imaged and more loved than we even dared dream.  Only when I remember that I first need to be in right relationship with Jesus am I able to build safe emotionally healthy relationships with others.

If you don’t know about how to have a relationship with Jesus, May I suggest you read,

What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert

Who Is God? WDA Bible Study for Phase 1 – Establishing Faith

Why Your Church Doesn’t Need an Arts Ministry  –

(this article first published at atlantaartsnetwork.com)

 

Some Churches start out to have an Arts Ministry hoping that there will be a influx of new creative people; maybe they hope to keep on the cutting edge of church planting. With goals that center around building a program or ministry they forget that Jesus’ kingdom was about bringing restoration to a broken world. Your church doesn’t need an Arts Ministry, your church needs to fulfill the call of Christ to make followers of Jesus who learn how to live like Jesus lived!

Artists, like all people benefit from being part of a healthy church that keeps the central priorities of Christ as the focal part of life and ministry.

The first priority that Jesus calls us to is found in Matthew 28:19: Go and make disciples.
The second priority is to teach them all that Christ commanded.

Sitting in-between these two commands is the context. Jesus tells us to bring new followers into community, symbolized by the command to baptize, where we become one with Christ and part of His body the church.

I think of the best way to minister to artists or creatives is by inviting them into relationship with others. Once artists are part of the church, they, among other followers of Christ, can grow to maturity. As people grow as young believers toward maturity, they have the opportunity to learn how their particular life and calling is guided by Jesus. They will be encouraged and challenged to do their work to the glory of God and find other artists and creative people that share their passion and love for the arts. They will also develop relationships with others who may become a “friend” of the arts who do not share a similar calling but love and support their work.

This community becomes a mosaic where people grow together to fulfill the purposes of God. Jesus will use his people to share the gospel and help see people become disciples who grow to maturity. Artists and others in the same body support one another as they fulfill the great commission. Each learning where they fit together in Christ’s kingdom.

So how does a church help people grow to maturity? You might want to read, What Jesus Did/ What We Can Do, by Worldwide Discipleship Association and look at how Jesus helped his disciples grow. WDA has more resources that look more deeply into the process of Christian growth. We also have staff who provide consulting for your leadership team who may want to design and build a strategy for discipleship for your church.

Author: Buddy Eades

Buddy is the Coordinator of the Atlanta Arts Network, WDA’s new ministry to Artists based in Atlanta. The Atlanta Arts Network: Connecting, Creating and Cultivating through building a Network of Artist and Worship Artist communities throughout Atlanta.  For more info about AAN visit atlantaartsnetwork.com