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

Leadership Clarity

Written by: on January 20, 2023

Mining for Gold by Tom Camacho is an inspirational and empowering book that encourages readers to take risks and find success in their lives. The book dives deep into the concept of gold mining and makes the correlation of how we can use our own life experiences to uncover hidden gems within ourselves and others. Through stories, anecdotes, and examples from his own life and other successful people around him, Camacho demonstrates how true faith and movement can lead to personal growth and a more fulfilling life. Mining for Gold is a must-read book for Christian leaders who are looking to grow and develop in their work and walk of life. It explores how coaching can be used as a powerful tool with the help of the Holy Spirit to gain clarity on our identity in Christ, our wiring from God, and how we can bear fruit more naturally.

This book unlocked excitement in me toward coaching for the first time. I have never been opposed to coaching but I have also never felt any desire to be one long-term. I have never hired a coach for my personal growth so my overall experience with it is limited. I was a personal trainer for many years and it is a type of coaching but too often trainers toss around the title of life coach and I think they miss the big picture. I have also coached my kid’s basketball teams and I have been happy to step up and coach when there is a need but it is not something I really enjoy doing. I am not exactly sure why. Perhaps it is time commitment, ADHD, or even selfishness. Regardless of the circumstances, Camacho has helped me understand the importance of coaching within an organization and through the Spirit, and I am inspired by its power.

Accountability is important for me because I like many, do not want to let someone down that I am committed to. I also really enjoy learning and self-improvement. The books we read in this program often help me assess my own life and provide a type of life coaching for me. The books are limited though. They do not follow up, they do not dig into my personal struggles and they will not call me out when I miss a deadline or underperform. Camacho reiterates this struggle regarding self-help books, “They begin with self, with us. They explain ways we need to think differently or act differently to find sure success and fulfillment.”[1] I have always felt like there was a missing ingredient with many self-improvement processes and Camacho identifies God as the missing component. He states, “We will never experience real and lasting thriving when we begin with ourselves. To thrive we must begin with God.”[2]

It is becoming increasingly more obvious that a life coach would be extremely beneficial for me and I am looking forward to learning more about it and experiencing it first-hand this semester. If I want to be a spiritual leader, I need more experience in life coaching that includes spiritual discipleship. I have always made time for people, listened, prayed for a struggle, etc. But again, it is like personal training… I show them a few exercises or scriptures, pray, and move on. That is not coaching or discipling. It’s a nice band-aid. Greg told me a story of a mentor of his that actually hung up on him right before telling him to “call back once he started really discipling someone.” That story has stuck with me and changed my life, and I know it changed his too.

We all need accountability and clarity and an opportunity to shine the way God designed us to. That is the message I heard loud and clear in this book. Instead of telling people what to do, invite the Spirit in and let Him take the lead. Make room for the unexpected. Give your employees and flock room to grow and do not hold them back. Create space for inspiration and freedom to think out of the box, giving God the glory the entire way.

Mining For Gold provides an insightful look into how Christian leaders can use self-awareness to become more effective in their roles. In his book, Camacho outlines strategies such as identifying personal values and passions that Christian leaders can make use of for a lifetime. Some examples include:

  • Understanding one’s character traits
  • Learning from past experiences
  • Recognizing patterns of behavior or thinking styles that may not be serving them effectively
  • Examining beliefs about oneself (both positive and negative)
  • Engaging with others who have different perspectives on life or faith issues than one holds personally, etc.

All these can help equip Christian leaders with the tools they need to lead confidently while also being open-minded enough to listen deeply when working through difficult conversations/situations within their communities/congregations. Camacho emphasizes throughout his book how important it is for Christian Leaders to take time out each day. Even if only five minutes to reflect on themselves honestly without judgment or criticism, but rather compassionately accept what comes up during this reflection period no matter what emotions arise. Whether joyousness or sadness so they can gain clarity around any thoughts & feelings arising before acting based on those reflections.

Tom Camacho’s book, Mining for Gold, is an important resource for Christian leaders who are looking to better understand the principles of effective leadership. Through his insightful writing and engaging stories, Camacho provides a comprehensive overview of how to lead with integrity and purpose while also inspiring others. His unique insights into both the practical aspects of leading and the spiritual elements make this book a must-read for anyone in ministry or those aspiring to become one. By combining both theory and practice, Tom has created an invaluable guide that will help readers develop their style of leadership that can be used within any organization or church setting.

[1] Camacho, Tom. Mining for Gold. Inter-Varsity Press, 20 June 2019. 42.

[2] Ibid 42

About the Author

Michael O'Neill

Director of Operations / Executive Pastor at Kinergy, Inc. Federal 501c3 Non-Profit Organization. An experienced entrepreneur, leader, father, wellness professional, and owner of a multi-location medical practice with my wife, Nicole O'Neill, MD.

11 responses to “Leadership Clarity”

  1. Kristy Newport says:

    I enjoyed your post!
    I must ask: As a health/wellness/strength coach-is there a self help book out there that you would NOT recommend? 🙂

    It is interesting how one or two messages come to the surface in reading our books each week. I am curious how the Spirit has been doing this in your leadership recently: You state:
    “the message I heard loud and clear in this book. Instead of telling people what to do, invite the Spirit in and let Him take the lead.”

    I am praying that Kinergy is having a BOON month! January sign ups!

    • Michael O'Neill says:

      Thanks, Kristy. I really think coaching is important and have already learned a lot from you in your words, your questions, and your ability to connect with people and make them better. I’m excited to let go of the reigns and let the Spirit move in me and also help me mine for Gold in others.

      I do not have any books I would say stay away from necessarily. I would just focus on books that are vain. Too much of this world wants us to worship ourselves. If exercise is not about cleaning God’s house, or maximizing your potential, or exposing other benefits and it’s just about looking good naked, we’ve missed the point.

  2. Tonette Kellett says:


    I love reading your posts – I can often relate well to your writing. I too have never experience life coaching, so this week’s reading was new for me. I love what you wrote about thriving… it all needs to start with God. Thank you Michael!

    • Michael O'Neill says:

      Thank you, Tonette. I am new to a lot of the coaching and being coached but I’m excited to learn and experience it. I’m headed to my first coaching session this morning in a few minutes. I’m not sure what to expect but I’m about to find out. Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Michael – I can’t wait for you to experience coaching this semester! As you shared in your post, your fitness and sports coaching has likely prepared you well for the coaching relationship you’ll experience 1:1. Having God at the center of the coaching is so important and I know that you’ll discover much about yourself and where God is calling you!

    • Michael O'Neill says:

      Thank you, Laura. The coaching was a great experience for me. I believe coaching is going to be added to the ministry I direct and really lead people to Jesus. Thanks again for the encouragement.

  4. Michael,
    As I listened to Camacho share in Mondays class, he reminded me of you. I believe you are going to be an inspiration to many.

    • Michael O'Neill says:

      Wow, that is a serious compliment. I’m not sure it is accurate though! I would like to be that patient and I would love to inspire people the way he does but I am still being held back for some reason. I’m missing a crucial puzzle piece and I can’t figure out what it is. Perhaps its the credentials of this program or finishing the portfolio and prototype. I’m honestly not sure but I believe the timing is in His hands. Thanks, Greg!

  5. Alana Hayes says:

    I see a great deal of Camacho in you friend!!!!!!

    “We will never experience real and lasting thriving when we begin with ourselves. To thrive we must begin with God.”[2]

    When I pair this information with what you said in the interview a few weeks ago… I keep coming back to if we will just dig in to the character of Christ – all of the rest will naturally follow….

    Since you have now had your coaching session… What was one of your biggest takeaways?

    • Michael O'Neill says:

      Thank you! That’s a serious compliment and I receive that blessing. I am extremely new to spiritual coaching but there is something about it that really turns me on. I look forward to more of it. I am also glad that the statement about Jesus and leadership made such an impact on you. I mentioned it to my wife too and she had a similar epiphany. She said, “you could write an entire book on that topic alone.” Maybe I will one day. Thanks again, Alana.

  6. Alana Hayes says:

    Write the book. It’s such a great perspective.

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