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

Questions for Tom Camacho

Written by: on June 20, 2019

I am looking forward to Zooming with Pastor Tom Camacho on Monday, our final LGP8 Zoom chat together.  I cannot think of a better topic to end our blogging on for a DMin program than “coaching”. This practical, helpful, and challenging topic is perfect for a practitioner like me.  Before we get started, I have a few questions that came to my mind while reading “around” and “x-raying” the book:

  1. Is coaching the same as mentoring?
  2. As a Superintendent, can I mandate every pastor have a coach?
  3. What do I do with Pastors who do not see the need and are resistant to coaching?

I was quite sure Mike liked the spiritual warfare warning surrounding coaching, quoting John 10:10 where the thief (the devil) comes to “steal, kill and destroy”. [1] I was glad for the reminder Satan does not want thriving Kingdom leaders to be developed. I have found this to be particularly true in our Conference!

Currently in my Conference, new Pastors are assigned both a “Coach” and a “Mentor”. There must be a difference between the two, because it seems like coaches work a lot on the professional aspects of the profession (visitation, sermon prep, how to make a budget, time management…) while mentors support the personal side of being a church leader (marriage, parenting, soul care, balance…). Pastor Camacho, are we doing this right?

I have witnessed two main problems in arranging the coaching relationship. First, sometimes a new Pastor does not want to be coached. Maybe they are under too many time pressures, maybe they are un-coachable, maybe they don’t see the value. Whatever the reason, It simply has NEVER worked if the new Pastor is defensive or anti-coaching. I am no longer going to beat my head against a wall if a Pastor is hard and resistant. Unfortunately, I fully understand that the Pastor is going to suffer later because of the resistance.

Secondly, I have witnessed a wrong fit with the coach and Pastor. For some reason, they don’t jive together. When this happens, I see the Pastor withdraw, give half-hearted effort to the process, and growth is slow if at all. Is it okay to allow the Pastor to agree to who is his coach? Maybe I will put a time when both the coach and Pastor can either re-up or part ways to go different directions.

I was very much impressed with the Camacho reminding us to see the Spirit at work with forming David’s leadership [2], being coached by Samuel. Me thinks the Spirit is the key. When I have tried to put these things together without the Spirit, they have gone south in a hurry. There is something supernatural about a good coaching relationship!

Now I have coached sports teams for the past 30+ years, but the coaching described in Mining for Gold does not appear to be exactly the same. These two pics show the difference for me:



The first pic is your stereotypical sports coach. Notice the whistle, telling the team what to do, barking out instructions. The second pic is what I think Pastor Camacho is showing us to do.

What is the difference? The way I read the book, it starts out with the coach asking great questions. [3] Not sure if many sports coaches do that! We usually take the position of authority and expertise and the players better follow through with what we tell them to do. Camacho’s coaching lets the players discover the answers for themselves.

I have previously read Bob Logan’s Coaching 101, but I have to be honest, I forgot most of what I read. His quote in our book summed up my previous paragraph by saying,

“Coaching is the process of coming alongside a person or team to help them discover God’s agenda for their life and ministry and then cooperating with the Holy Spirit to see that agenda become a reality.” [4]

Perhaps the greatest word in this book for me was CLARITY.  Great coaches help us find clarity! I often pray with my Pastors, “Please God, show Pastor XYZ where to place the next step.”  I like where Camacho said, “Clarity leads to momentum.” [5]

Dr. Tim Roehl, the coaching expert in my tribe in The Evangelical Church, wrote a book titled,

Fit and Flourish: Discover How God Created You to Make a Difference.

It seems Camacho and Tim Roehl have been drinking from the same well. Camacho says, “We find momentum when we cooperate with our GOD GIVEN DESIGN. EACH OF US HAS A SWEET SPOT. This is the place we most naturally bear fruit.” [6] (Caps added by me).  This is what I am hoping my Pastors will discover, their sweet spot, the place God designed them to flourish in.

When a Pastor, with the help of a coach, finds the place where he can thrive, God is glorified. I also think the Pastor is renewed and refreshed, almost invigorated. Unfortunately, not all Pastor’s get to this place.

Lord, please help us discover for our Pastors exactly what this book is trying to help us discover…


[1] Camacho, Tom. Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders Through Coaching. PRE-RELEASE PDF. London: IVP UK, 2019. 9.

[2] Ibid. 12.

[3] Ibid. 19.

[4] Ibid. 27.

[5] Ibid. 42.

(all clip art from free google images)


About the Author

Jay Forseth

Superintendent of the Western Conference of the Evangelical Church. Blessed with 28 years as the husband of my amazing wife who I can't make it without. Now three of four in our family are attending University, but both my children are way smarter than me.

10 responses to “Questions for Tom Camacho”

  1. Mark Petersen says:


    Thank you for this post and congratulations on completing this segment of our journey. 🙂

    I loved your comment that great coaches help us find clarity. I agree completely. I had a personal example (see my post) in which my coach helped me declutter my mind of various competing allegiances and discover what I was born to do. I think all your pastors can be invited into coaching relationships and I hope they will find clarity as they pursue this.

  2. Dave Watermulder says:

    Thanks for this post. It is interesting that you talked about the questions that you have for Coach Camacho. While you have these questions, it also seems like you are really actively at work in this area with pastors under your care. I’d say that you probably have some good answers to share as well. But– you are a humble guy– so I appreciate your approach to glean what you can and to learn some new things from the coach.

  3. Great last post Jay…we are finally done with all the course work and ready to move on to finish our dissertations. Halleluja!!! What an amazing pastor of pastors you are, always looking for ways to help them and help yourself be better. Very inspiring and I wish more pastors were open to the incredible help and support you offer. Keep up the great work and can’t wait to hang out in London.

  4. Shawn Hart says:

    Jay…I had a feeling you’d be chiming in good on a coaching book. I actually thought of you and Mike both a lot with this book and the way you both address your ministry. I know your basketball tourney was not as filled as you would have liked, but I imagine that your desire was full and motivated to accomplish the same tasks mentioned in this reading.

  5. Mike says:

    Will you be wearing a coaching jersey tomorrow? I hope so!
    Last Post! Congratulations my good friend and brother! Are you ready to tackle the dissertation challenge ahead?
    Thanks for the spiritual warfare plug, and Yes, I loved the way Tom Camacho called out Satan and named him and his demonic angels for who and what they are and what they do in trying to destroy the body of Christ.
    Thanks be to God that the battle has already been fought, the adversary defeated, and Christ named the eternal victor over sin and death. Satan, eschatologically speaking, is on a short lease with a limited time left to harass, divide, disrupt, destroy, and kill Christians.
    Jay, I have seen the same reactions you have seen when introducing “change” like a coach giving advice to a pastor. Pastors are very territorial and defensive by nature. They were shepherds first, taking care of their flocks from sheep. Any outsiders, including the ones, and especially the ones, the Evangelical Superintendent sends their way is met with suspicions, distrust, and as you say usually does not go the way you envisioned.
    I have some ideas we can discuss offline. You may not like them because it creates more work for you and you must put some skin in the game to be counted as a participant.
    Stand firm,

  6. Greg says:

    I too see that value of coaching…but also recognize the importance to push and encourage young pastors to accept guidance. I was one that was offered by a local pastors to be mentored and I didn’t follow up on that. I do wish that I had taken the time to build that relationship especially because this pastor had taken the time to reach across denominational lines to make that offer. As a young shy pastor, I wasn’t willing to make the extra effort. Thanks Jay for leading by example.

  7. Chris Pritchett says:

    Jay I loved the way you described the two images of coaching!! I am so with you on the second one. Really cool to hear of your soccer career and history, and also your years of coaching sports. I am not surprised at all. Seems like a perfect fit for you and what you do in your job all the time as well. Great work brother!

  8. Dan Kreiss says:


    Getting to these late today but didn’t want to miss yours. After Camacho’s Zoom meeting it became clear to me that this is not the coaching that you and I are used to in sports. I liked his suggestion that coaching according to Mining for Gold has its eyes on the future.

    I am not sure if you sense it but I think in many ways you are in a sweet spot in your role as superintendent. It affords you the opportunity to coach and encourage, both skills you have developed through your involvement in sports.

    It has been great getting to know you through this program. Looking forward to seeing you in England. Until then happy writing.

  9. Jean Ollis says:

    Hi Jay,
    You ask a loaded question – is there ever evidence that we are doing something “right”? One thing I gained from this DMin program is that in the end, leadership is a social construct. Different people need different leadership styles and leaders can impact peers (notice I won’t use followers) in many different ways. I know YOU are doing it right. Your obedient spirit and humility are contagious and those you lead are impacted by you. I am so grateful for your friendship and learning from you…I am definitely better for knowing you 🙂

  10. Tom Camacho says:

    I really heard the depth of your questions concerning developing leaders in your context. We experienced very similar dynamics in our tribe of churches. There are ways around these roadblocks and I’d love to talk more to help you solve these issues, if you’re willing. Feel free to email me at miningforgoldivp@gmail.com.
    The leaders are there and when they trust enough to open up to a Barnabas-like, coaching leader, incredible things can happen. Would love to dig deeper and help you in any way I can. God bless.

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