Beautiful, Pure, Soft, and Rare!
“It is beautiful. It is pure. It is soft. It is rare.” Honestly this book grabbed me with these twelve descriptive words, and I kept reading until I reached the end. I had no intention of reading every word, but this book was well-timed and really spoke to some struggles that I have been currently having. Camacho further states, “Godly Kingdom Leaders are the same. They are precious, mouldable treasures called to serve as attractive representatives of the King of kings. Their hearts are soft and their love for God and others is tangible. God sees their great value, and we should too. They are precious because they reflect God himself and influence others in ways that build his kingdom.” And then it hit me, I understood why those twelve words struck such a cord with me. It is the lens from which I view people. It has always been easy for me to find beauty in people. Growing up it was looked at as a naïve quality, something to either change or guard against. I often struggled with what to do with this. As an adult I looked to the church as a safe and sacred place to embrace others, I felt that if there was a genuine space to view and appreciate the beauty of God’s creation, it would be in the church. If I am being honest, I have found hurt and disappointment in the church; I believe that most of us have. But I have also found a community of God’s extravagant love, a place of healing, exploration, and safety. It has been a place where I have found gold.
Mining For Gold outlines some valuable tenets of leadership development and the value of coaching to help us better understand our identity in Christ. Camacho states, “Coaching Leadership is about helping people make the contributions that God created them to make”. I honestly get chills reading that statement. What an amazing gift that we have, the ability to assist others to be, to become exactly who God made them to be. That comes fairly easy for me in my work. I embraced the Appreciate Inquiry Approach to looking at communities, working with families and individuals over 10 years ago. It was a shift from looking at what’s not working, what’s missing, what needs to be fixed to naming and appreciating what is working, what are the assets, what can be built upon. It is hard to build on broken but building on substance is a step in the right direction. It is a process of asking the right questions, highlighting the strengths, identifying the resources, and helping to create a roadmap for community as well as individual success. I have used that approach over the last decade in non-profit organizations and faith-based organizations as a method of identifying what the true assets are and how they can be utilized to create positive outcomes. I guess you can say, I help them mine for gold.
My challenge is allowing someone to do that for me. Allowing someone to look at my gifts, those clearly on display and those that I have learned to guard is not easy. Inviting a stranger to utilize coaching skills to uncover and my God-given, individual fruit and talents is still terrifying thought. It can be easy to believe a false narrative about yourself. The Imposter Syndrome is real. Second guessing your own gifts, your abilities and even the dreams that you have for yourself can become a real stumbling block. We (I) don’t always see ourselves (myself) as having untouched potential. Honestly, the older you get, it becomes harder to believe that there is still more to discover about yourself. Yet, if I allow myself to go there, I also feel a youthful excitement attempting to emerge. There is a longing for exploring what has been dormant, untapped. I am taking a step of faith and allow the “mining for gold’ to happen in my own life. Will coaching uncover what is beautiful, pure, soft, and rare in me? Stay Tunes, Loved Ones! I searched for a scripture that I could cling to on this journey and I landed on Romans 12:6-8 , “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to each of us let us use them: If prophesy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who extorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Tom Camacho, Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders through Coaching London: IVP, 2019, 2.
Tom Camacho, Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders through Coaching London: IVP, 2019, 2-3.
Tom Camacho, Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders through Coaching London: IVP, 2019, 86.
“Romans 12:6-8,” in The Holy Bible ESV: English Standard Version: Containing the Old and New Testaments Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2007, 2179.
8 responses to “Beautiful, Pure, Soft, and Rare!”
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Beautiful, pure, soft, and rare. Wonderful words that surely describe you, Jonita! It is no surprise that this is the lens with which you view people. Gold is also reflective! I googled it. 🙂 “It is a highly reflective substance, reflecting wavelengths in and out of the visible spectrum.” It sounds to me that you are a good miner and a good reflector. You wrote, “There is a longing for exploring what has been dormant, untapped. I am taking a step of faith and allow the “mining for gold’ to happen in my own life.” What is the next step in mining your own gold?
Jenny…you are a kind and beautiful soul. I am so thankful that we are connected and grateful that I have the opportunity to share space with you. I believe that the next step in mining for my own gold is allowing myself the evolve without pre-set limits. It’s a tall order!
Jonita, I too have had a difficult time with “allowing a stranger to utilize coaching skills to uncover and my God-given, individual fruit and talents.” I worked with a coach for a few years when I was planting a new worshiping community. At first I didn’t really understand her role. I thought she was more therapist. It took me a long time to figure out she was not a therapist but was coaching me. I struggled with imposter syndrome and second guessing myself all the time! What I finally realized through that time was that I did not want to plant a new worshipping community! I am not an entrepreneur! No thank you! My coach never seemed to figure that out and I’m not sure why. When I finally told her I was moving on to another pastoral role it seemed she was kind of disappointed in me (maybe that was just my perception). However, I continue to feel so much more grounded in who I am and what I am doing than I ever felt as a new worshiping community planter!
Kally, I think you are spot on. I am in a season of change and it’s different than anything that I’ve experienced, and I am moving away from work and experiences that don’t bring me joy. This really resonates with me, “However, I continue to feel so much more grounded in who I am and what I am doing than I ever felt as a new worshiping community planter!” There is definitely a peace that surrounds working and living in a way that honors what God has for you, she has a way of letting us know when we are moving outside of her will for us.
“It has always been easy for me to find beauty in people. Growing up it was looked at as a naïve quality, something to either change or guard against. I often struggled with what to do with this.”
This has been a struggle with me as well. Especially when attempting to discern what’s behind negative behavior. We can do all kinds of things when we are lonely, angry, hungry, tired, or afraid enough. Trying to understand where people are coming from can feel idealistic or out of touch with reality. However, I think this is where the church can absolutely shine. We see the same things as everyone else, but hopefully with much different lenses. Thanks for sharing this and for the reminder.
I am not surprised that we share the desire to understand people and their motivations. I still believe that even in the most broken and cruel there is still something good, redeemable. One of my favorite sayings is, ” You will never look in the face of someone that God doesn’t love’! I believe that it is truly the only way to influence the hearts of people is to look for the good and lead with love.
“Honestly, the older you get, it becomes harder to believe that there is still more to discover about yourself. Yet, if I allow myself to go there, I also feel a youthful excitement attempting to emerge. There is a longing for exploring what has been dormant, untapped.”
YES!!! I so resonate with the thought of a new excitement of new possibilities. Your post reminds me of a model that we often use in coaching called the Bridges Model. Envisioning this model has been extremely helpful for me. William Bridges likens transition to a bridge with three parts (his name is the model he developed).
1. The ending zone – This is the ground before you cross the bridge where you ask “What needs to be let go of?” “What just doesn’t seem to fit anymore?” “What will I lose if I move forward with this transition?”
2. The neutral zone – This is on the bridge itself where you ask “What does this all mean?” “Who am I?” “What lies within me?” “Where do I want to go?”
3. The new beginning – This is the other side where we are ready to embrace change and live into a new season.
Too many people go over the bridge too quickly without taking the time in the neutral zone to process old beliefs, personal values, strengths, inner longings, etc. This all demands full attentiveness so transformation can occur. By the way, this is where a coach can be such a helpful thought partner…
Susan Mitchell Bridges Bridges, William and, Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, 4th edition. Boston, MA: Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2016.
I love this: Too many people go over the bridge too quickly without taking the time in the neutral zone to process old beliefs, personal values, strengths, inner longings, etc. This all demands full attentiveness so transformation can occur.” I am trying not to cross the bridge too quickly…seeking the transformation that this season can bring. It’s not comfortable or easy but I am all in.