fbpx
whistle

 

Life Coaching, an Introduction

“When I return to my hometown I often meet someone who says, “I’ll never forget your dad.  He taught me to play baseball.”  My father coached in the recreation league for nearly twenty years.  Several of his players played professionally, including two of my brothers.  (Watching one of them pitch a scoreless inning in the World Series is still one of the highlights of my life.)  Ironically, “Pap” was never a star himself.  Most of his short career was spent in the minor leagues during the Depression, struggling to find a place in the starting rotation.  But he loved the game.  He died several years ago but his legacy lives on, immortalized by a small plaque at one of the city parks and through the lives of countless boys who played on one of his teams.”

“He coached at a time when some fathers were unavailable, so he became a surrogate dad to my friends, instilling skills on the field and discipline in the dugout.  But there was something else.  After the games the team would sometimes show up at our house for a meal.  He would move from player to player replaying the game as he rubbed heads and offered words of encouragement.  My father never achieved what many would call success, working hard all his life with few tangible results.  But when I bump into one of his former players, I’m amazed at the impact of his life.”

“Nearly everyone I know has had a similar experience.  For some it was a teacher who influenced their lives, others followed the lead of a drama coach, for some a music instructor or close relative helped to shape their formative years.  Many young people had a coach similar to my dad, someone who taught them more than game strategies and mechanics.  These people who influence and strategically shape the lives of others can be called Life Coaches.  The most successful instill more than training and discipline, they impart their very lives to others.  Of course, the best Life Coach of all is a caring parent.  Moses admonished the parents of Israel to teach the laws of God to their children as they went about the routines of life.  It was in the course of ordinary activities that lives were changed.”

The WDA Life Coaching Manual:

“It’s uncertain exactly how the term “Life Coach” became part of the popular vernacular, but the concept describes a person who is able to provide guidance, insight, and experience to others who are striving to succeed at various endeavors.  Used in the business world it refers to someone able to help others become profitable in commercial ventures.  In athletics, it’s a person who prescribes workout routines to maximize physical strength and prowess.  Used in a more general sense, it means anyone skilled at helping others remain focused and goal-driven.  Sometimes a Life Coach can be someone the ‘disciple’ has never actually met face-to-face.  In these cases, the insights are gleaned from books and tapes or by attending conferences.”

“But [the WDA Life Coaching Manual] is about a different kind of Life Coach.  It’s about Christian leaders who are willing to invest their knowledge and experience and even their very lives so that others might deepen their spirituality and relationship with God.  A spiritual Life Coach is a person who, in the midst of a caring relationship, imparts truth that changes the life (conduct/character) of another, gradually helping the disciple become more like Jesus Christ.  In WDA, we often use the phrase, ‘meeting people where they are and helping them take the next step®’ to describe the life-coaching process.  Those who are helped may not fully realize it until later, but they’re forever impacted by the life and example of these leaders.  It was Jesus who said ‘but everyone [disciple], after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.'(NAS)  Used in this way, there’s another term that can be substituted for ‘Life Coaching,’ ‘disciple building.'”

How have people invested in your life?  Take some time to write a comment and share the ways God has used people to impact you.

Consider picking up a copy of Life Coaching! Coming Soon at the WDA Store!

Coming up Next: Spiritual Life Coaching

*editors note: The quoted passages are from WDA’s upcoming Life Coaching Manual by Bob Dukes with Jack Larson and Margaret Garner.

Growing up, we boys always carried stuff in our pockets.  Often it was an entire collection of items.  At any time, I might have a stick of gum, a folding knife, an arrowhead I found by the river, a couple of marbles, my lucky rabbit’s foot, a compass, something alive (or at least it was alive when I put it there) and a few coins.  I carried those things because I needed them, and my pockets were the most convenient place to store them.

As an adult, I still have things I need to access quickly and easily.  But the list has changed.  I don’t carry many items in my pockets these days, my smart phone is now my best storage unit.  But the thought of having something handy when you need it, is the concept behind WDA’s “Pocket Principles”.

The “Pocket Principles” collection contains hundreds of short essays that are geared to progressive stages of spiritual development and aimed at specific growth points in the Christian life.  Each essay targets a concept needed to help a Christian “take the next step” on the Christian journey.  And unlike the things in the pockets of my boyhood trousers, these items remain timeless.

Pocket Principles® are currently offered along with Guided Discussions. The content of the Pocket Principles® will reinforce truth learned in the group discussion. Each workbook is formatted for use in a small group, where pocket principles may read prior to each discussion.  Also, if a group member misses a meeting, he can read the corresponding Pocket PrincipleTM to review the information missed.

For more information visit the WDA Store.