Mining for Gold is a book on developing Christian leaders through coaching written by Tom Camacho. Tom Camacho started his leadership experience first in the military as an officer and a pilot, then moved on to human resources and leadership development role in the GE corporate world. Then into answering the calling to the ministry as a ministry leadership coach. This book is written in two parts: Part 1 – God’s mining process: discovering gold and Part 2 – God’s refining process: six principles that lead to thriving. In an age where “thriving kingdom leaders are like pure gold…very valuable, and they are quite scarce,” Tom writes to inspire and equip kingdom leaders to do the God-called ministry of developing leaders around us. The book is full of his personal stories and theories on leadership development, and it can be summarized using his four key concepts and six principles of Mining for Gold/Coaching Leadership:
- Four Key Concepts of Mining for Gold/Coaching Leadership
- Gold is everywhere
- Open your eyes to see it
- Learn the skills to draw it out
- Develop others continuously
- Six principles of Mining for Gold/Coaching Leadership
- The Holy Spirit does the work of refining
- Our true identity is the foundation of a thriving
- We thrive when we cooperate with our God-given design
- Each of us has a sweet spot- a place where we naturally bear the most fruit
- The cross is God’s great refining tool
- All true thriving is relational
As I grew in my experience in ministry, I began to realize more and more that ministry involves caring, mentoring, discipling, and developing people around us so that they can go out and build God’s kingdom around them, their families, friends, and in their workplaces. As Tom mentioned, “power of effective coaching…submitted to the Holy Spirit…incorporating coaching principles into our daily practice of leadership would be powerful and transformative.” As I come to the end of a quiet chaotic journey of researching how to practically help youth ministries in the Korean American immigrant church, the greatest need is to create a dynamic network/platform where kingdom leaders to engage in coaching, mentorship, spiritual formation, and leadership growth. Wherever there are true leaders, there will be discipleship of followers and a multiplication of leaders.
The current younger generation growing up in the digital Babylon culture is exposed to abundance in life from technology, education, wealth, and the flood of information. And spiritually, these youths grew up in the church, attending years of VBS programs, AWANA, summer missions, and Sunday worship services. However, many youths struggle with their identity in Christ and their Christian faith as they grow older because transforming discipleship is missing when they are going through their critical identity formative years. I find this same influences from our current digital Babylon culture also heavily influencing the upcoming young generation of ministers. As they graduate college and seminaries and are called into ministry, they have an abundance of how-tos and inspiration of messages through the vast universe of the internet. But it is heartbreaking to hear about many young adults and young ministers feeling isolated and alone in their work.
Dr. Kara Powell, executive director of Fuller Youth Institute, wrote the book Sticky Faith and which discusses the importance of identity formation in teens. The process of forming an identity takes years during the period of “early adolescents (between ten and fourteen years old) and late adolescents (fourteen to twenty years old).” Many church leaders are either absent or ineffective in helping emerging youths grow in their identity during these most crucial and essential years of identity formation. In the same way, many young ministers are battling with tough life and ministry issues without proper guidance and mentorship from spiritual guides. As the older thriving ministers stand faithful and available in this leadership journey of coaching and developing the NextGen of ministers around us, God will carry on and fulfill His purpose of bringing forth His leaders for the Kingdom~
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
They will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
They will stay fresh and green,
Proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
He is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
 Camacho, Tom. 2019. Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders through Coaching. First published. Nottingham: IVP, 1.
 Ibid, 5-6.
 Ibid, 29.
 Dr Kara E. Powell and Dr Chap Clark, Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids. Unabridged edition, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016), 51.