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

There’s Gold In Them Thar Hills

Written by: on June 20, 2019

I absolutely love reading Tom Camacho, Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders Through Coaching. I spoke to me on many different levels, and while it was not the most prolific academic work we have read thus far, it is powerful, practical and I would even add prophetic for where leadership is going.


Camacho self discloses early on that the book purpose is “written to help in this vital process of identifying, molding and shaping thriving kingdom leaders[1] This is done through the lens of coaching and mining, specifically mining gold. Tom says this is a Spirit-led process that incorporates the best of coaching practices to develop others. For him, the process is broken down through the analogy of GOLD- Gold is everywhere, Open your eyes to see it, Learn the skills to draw it out, Develop others continuously. These four core aspects are worked out through the six principles for mining for gold or Coach Leadership. He states the six principles as,


    1. The Holy Spirit does the Work of Refining. He is in charge, not us. Our role is to learn to work in dynamic cooperation with Him.
    2. Our True Identity is the Foundation of Thriving. We are beloved sons and daughters of a perfect Father and King. Any other foundation is false and will fail us.
    3. We Thrive When We Cooperate with Our God-Given Design. Something powerful happens when we align our time and efforts with how God wired us.
    4. Each of us Has a Sweet Spot—A Place Where We Naturally Bear the Most Fruit. Finding this place is like being set free from a cage. We have permission to be ourselves and thrive.
    5. The Cross is God’s Great Refining Tool—There is no escaping this painful reality. The great heat of the cross is God’s primary tool in purifying thriving leaders.


While I could point out many things that this book helps to clarify for me as I continue to research Paracletic Spirit-embodied Leadership, chapter seven The Holy Spirit Does the Work of Refining, add the most benefit. One of the many issues I see with current models of church leadership, at least in Western American Christianity, is that many focus on leadership as “CEO” over people and not “Shepherd” of people. David Fitch states that “the idea of ‘leadership’ has captivated evangelicals in the last twenty years” and “. . . has led to the meteoric rise of CEO style ‘pastor-leadership’ among evangelicals.”[2] In a critique of CEO leadership style in the church, Ray Anderson encourages us to understand that Christ did not leave us with a technique but the promise of the Father, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  Anderson, therefore, states, theology and practical theology, particularly, “. . . must reflect on the contemporary work of the Holy Spirit as the praxis of the risen Christ.”[3] Circling back around to Camacho in laying out his six principles for thriving leaders, the first principle centers us in the Holy Spirit. He states,

“The Holy Spirit Does the Work of Refining. He brings forth the gold. He helps people thrive. The Spirit does the heavy lifting. We simply learn to cooperate with Him.” As another advocate, the Holy Spirit comes alongside us and develops us. The role of leaders is beginning to become clear to me, that it is less about being out front and more about being alongside. See there is work involved in mining for the gold, but the God who put it there knows how much dirt we need to go through we simply follow the direction he says, we should not try and create a brand new path.


[1].” Tom Camacho, Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders Through Coaching, PDF version, 5.

[2] David Fitch, “When Evangelical Pastors End Up in Moral Failure.” (Unpublished manuscript, 2004), 2.

[3] Ray S. Anderson, The Shape of Practical Theology: Empowering Ministry with Theological Praxis (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 46.

About the Author

Mario Hood

Most importantly, I am married to the love of my life, Misty Hood, and I'm kept on my toes all day every day, by my son Dalen and daughter Cola Hood. I also serve as the Next Generation Pastor at Church On The Living Edge in Orlando, Florida, under the leadership of Senior Pastor, Dr. Mark Chironna as well as being a Youth and Family Life coach.

7 responses to “There’s Gold In Them Thar Hills”

  1. Digby Wilkinson says:

    Hey there Mario. A sharp reflection and review, as always. I’m not a fan of the Gold image. Ironically, apart from Revelation, the NT authors rue it as being somewhat idolatrous and distracting from kingdom ministry. Reading your reflection on the work of the Spirit I was drawn to Acts 3:6 “Silver or gold I do not have,…”. Indeed much of the CEO model and the prosperity doctrine of the last 50 years has been on wealth and expansion as a symbol of blessing when it’s the work of the Spirit. So I’m left wondering what metaphor works better to define the refining of Christian leaders? Thoughts?

    • Mario Hood says:

      I was just having this conversation yesterday, albeit on the golf course, and another friend of mine about the horrible metaphors we have in the church today. He told me about a book, which I didn’t write down but you just reminded me to ask him for it. I didn’t mine the gold metaphor as a natural phenomenon but can understand the stigma that comes with it today. You ask a great question my friend and have me wondering as well.

  2. Rev Jacob Bolton says:

    Regarding Camacho’s Spirit imagery . . . i also thought of Phyllis Tickle, who says the first thousand years of the church were focused on God, the second on Christ, and this third thousand years will be focused on the Spirit. If this is true, think how much refining of the church the Spirit has yet to do!

  3. Mario, I agree with you that the CEO leader as opposed to the shepherd leader is becoming the more prevalent form of leadership. Camacho rightfully reminds us that it’s The Holy Spirit who helps us recognize the gold is us as leaders and refines us to be the kind of leaders that are godly and will glorify God. I really long to see what your research will bring forth.

  4. Harry Fritzenschaft says:

    Great thoughtful post. Since your research is focused on Spirit led leadership development, what images or constructs are you finding that are most helpful to you? What imagery are you finding that will help those your are teaching are leading? Thanks and see you soon!

  5. Mary Mims says:

    Mario, I did think of you when I read this book. I wonder what aspects of this relate most to your research? I think there are many directions you can take.

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