Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Coaching Will Help

Written by: on January 19, 2023

In Tom Camacho’s 2019 book, Mining For Gold, the author provides a practical guide for developing leaders within the context of Christian ministry. The author explains the need for his book on page four, “This book is written to help in this vital process of identifying, molding, and shaping thriving kingdom leaders.” Hence the metaphor: seeking out others to coach and develop is like searching for gold. Potential leaders are all around us but the current leaders—coaches—must draw them out and refine kingdom qualities in them.

The book falls within the Spirituality/Christian Leadership/Coaching categories. Camacho’s premise is that all of us are surrounded by potentially great leaders, we just need to see them as God sees them, put the time and energy in to develop them, and then set them free so they can achieve what God has called them to do. The book is divided neatly into two categories: (1) Discovering the potential leaders around us and (2) Participate with God’s Spirit in the refining process of these leaders. I have never been coached but by the end of this book, I became convinced it is exactly what I need.

In his first chapter, I resonated with Camacho’s frustration in his own life when he shared his feelings of being stuck, alone, and frustrated. He was questioning his own calling and what exactly is God trying to accomplish through him. In chapter two Camacho describes how coaching helped him get unstuck and see with greater clarity who he is, what strengths he has, and God’s call on his life. You can sense the freedom and relief Camacho has by his prose in chapters two and three. There is the sense that he had a break through in his faith that became transformational and set the direction for the rest of his life. He knows where he belongs in the Kingdom of God and he is eager to give what he has to offer. The joy in unmistakable. It is due to his willingness to face his mistakes, say “I’m sorry” to the people he needed to say it to, then turn to God for growth and maturity. This turning to God included listening to others who were willing to coach him. The fellow believers who came alongside him helped him notice patterns in wrong thinking and behaviors that he himself could not see. This is one of the benefits of coaching and counseling; sometimes we are blind to our own thoughts and behaviors. Sometimes it takes a view from the outside to shed light on the individual’s state of spirituality. Camacho was willing to go through this and he came out on the other side thankful and ready to serve others.

The second half of the book switches focus from self to the other. Because individuals can be set free by coaching, these individuals can enter into God’s rest in the here and now. We can share what we have with others, and do so without keeping track of how much we are giving of ourselves. We can give with abandonment. We can help others by coaching them into becoming all that God wants them to become. We pay it forward. Camacho says on page 27, “Mining for God begins when we start to see gold in the people around us.”

There is always a reliance upon the Holy Spirit, however. In fact, there begins in us a recognition that all the work being done is by the Holy Spirit taking the lead—we are only following and cooperating with the work being done. Through the Spirit, coaching is one part counseling, one part mentoring, and one part ministry. God is continually refining us, but he uses others to do it. So, we have to be open to allowing God’s people to do God’s work in us. It requires trust but the outcome is growth and true community. Says Camacho, “Coaching Leadership helps us find clarity. Clarity leads to momentum and a true experience of thriving” (p. 48).

There are several similarities in Camacho’s book and a book we read last spring, Personality by Daniel Nettle’s. In Nettle’s book, the author examines human personalities to better understand each other and ourselves. Coaching, especially in the Christian context, has a similar goal by helping someone better understand themselves and how their strengths can be used for God’s Kingdom. It takes an outsider looking in with a fresh pair of eyes to see misconceptions and biases. However, Nettle see’s human personality through the lens of five categories of human personalities, while Camacho’s book does not restrict his analysis to that structure. Both are insightful to help individuals gain insight into their strengths, weaknesses, hang-ups, and hurts. Gaining clarity into these dynamics is necessary for Christians to continue to grow—especially in the second half of life.

Another book with parallels to Camacho is Henri Nouwen’s book, Discernment. Nouwen states, “The premise of this book is that God is always speaking to us—individually and as the people of God—at different times and in many ways” (p. vii). Camacho and Nouwen would agree with each other, for they share many similar themes. Nouwen goes on to say that oftentimes God speaks to us through the guidance of other people and Camacho says the same. This guidance from others can come in the form of coaching or counseling and if one is willing to undergo the process, it can produce great results. All true spiritual growth is relational because it is how God designed us.

Coaching continues to grow in popularity and even though one must choose their coach wisely, it can be extremely beneficial, and in some cases, required. After reading this book I would consider myself an individual who would benefit from being coached. Just as it helped Camacho got “unstuck” and rid him of bad thinking and bad habits, I believe it would do the same for me.

About the Author


Troy Rappold

B.A. Communication - University of Colorado M.Div. Theology - Cincinnati Christian University Currently enrolled in D. Min. program at George Fox University

8 responses to “Coaching Will Help”

  1. mm Denise Johnson says:

    Hey Troy! Good to read another fine summary of our weekly book reading. I am curious as to how you might see implementing aspects of coaching in your ministry moving forward.

  2. mm Andy Hale says:

    Coaching, in many regards, is drilling down to the root of a problem, solution, mindset, and emotions associated with the challenge/goal we are facing. How do you do this in your everyday life?

    About coaching experience, let’s talk after graduation. I always provide friends with a few free coaching phone calls. I’ve got to use this coaching certification for something.

  3. mm Roy Gruber says:

    Troy, such a comprehensive summary of this week’s book. I appreciate the connections you made to previous readings, as I had a hard time with that this time. I’m intrigued by one phrase you wrote: “coaching is one part counseling, one part mentoring, and one part ministry.” Can you say a little more about each of these three as coaching? The crossover between coaching and mentoring is something I want to understand more.

  4. mm Eric Basye says:

    I love the connection with Nouwen. Nice.

    Coaching is HUGE. Within it I see the heart of gospel-empowerment. Equipping others to “discern” by the Spirit the Lord’s path for them. Good stuff.

    Do you see yourself as a Coach? If not, what can you glean and apply within your context, while still maintaining a focus on your strengths?

  5. mm Nicole Richardson says:

    Troy as others have said, another great summary.
    Could you say more about this, ” All true spiritual growth is relational because it is how God designed us.”? Does spiritual growth happen to us or do we have to do some “rowing”? Is the power in the relationship equal?

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