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

Using Coaching Skills to Mine for Gold

Written by: on June 14, 2019

Camacho’s Mining For Gold is a rare book for me in that I know and have worked with the author. This connection influences the insights I have gained from the book. First, I know and have worked with Tom Camacho in his former role of Coaching Coordinator for Multiply Vineyard, the resource arm for Vineyard church planting in the USA. I was trained as a missional coach and have coached church planters, pastors, and coaches since 2012. While at our Hong Kong advance, Tom emailed and asked me to assist him in enhancing our coaching network. That email affirmed my research choice of developing coaching networks for church planting organizations as the focus of my doctoral work.

Recently, in no small part as a result of the release of this book, Tom elected to step down from his position with Multiply Vineyard. He felt he needed to give his energies and focus to the activities surrounding the release of Mining for Gold (as well as the fact that he is a busy senior pastor, husband, and dad!). I succeeded Tom and am now serving in his former position and am now finding out why he was always so incredibly busy and yet excited at the same time!

So for the reasons mentioned, I looked forward to the release of this book. This book is written in a popular voice and is easy to read and approach. I think that speaks to Camacho’s intent to write a book about coaching that reduces the mystique of coaching while emphasizing the transformative benefits of coaching. Camacho’s focus is on developing leaders who thrive from “the sweet spot” of how they were wired or designed by God. The gold is what God has uniquely gifted them for, and the mining process is a metaphor for the coaching process.[1]

Camacho’s is focusing on ministry leaders developing coaching skills to raise other leaders, not necessarily becoming coaches themselves. His four key concepts are; gold is everywhere, open your eyes to see it, learn the skills to draw it out, and develop others continuously. Gold is the potential within every believer. Camacho leans into the greater need of developing leaders rather than developing followers to perform the leaders envisioned tasks. Therefore, adaptive leaders should always be looking to develop others into what they are best suited for rather than simply filling a gap. Adaptive leaders best learn the skills of seeing and drawing out by becoming recipients and students of coaching themselves. Much like discipleship, this is intended to become an ongoing self-reproducing, iterative process.[2]

As can be seen from his writing, much of the book is drawn from Camacho’s own experiences and self-discovery. He utilizes an appropriate amount of vulnerability in sharing stories and experiences from his own life. Camacho is uniquely experienced to write this book as it comes from the struggles of his church planting and pastoring experiences. I find Camacho’s focus on utilizing coaching skills to develop leaders within the local church as a reflection of his epiphany.[3]

This source will be included in my research as it exhibits an innovative front-line use of coaching skills by leaders impassioned to develop leaders around themselves. This innovative approach to developing leaders speaks to the entrepreneurial spirit of church planters and why I find them so stimulating to coach. I bless Camacho and where his released book takes him. In the meantime, I need to get back to the work of enhancing the coaching network to support these coaching efforts. Perhaps following my completed research and dissertation, I should consider writing a book about the coaching supervisors needed to sustain such an organizational coaching “mining operation?”

[1] Camacho, Tom, Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders through Coaching (London, UK: InterVarsity Press, 2019) pages unavailable from a review copy.

[2] Camacho, Mining for Gold, pages unavailable from a review copy.

[3] Camacho, Mining for Gold, pages unavailable from a review copy.

About the Author

Harry Fritzenschaft

Harry is the Coordinator of Coaching for Multiply Vineyard (the church planting resource arm for Vineyard USA) and part-time pastor of business administration for the Vineyard Church of Houston. He is a certified coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and is pursuing a DMin in Leadership and Global Perspective with a focus on internal coaching networks. Harry has been married to Gloria for almost forty-two years and has two grown children; Michelle, who is married to Brandon and has two sons (Caleb and Judah), and Mark, who is engaged to Cannus. He loves making new friends (living and dead) from different perspectives, watching college football with Mark, and helping global ministry leaders (especially church planters and pastors) accomplish their goals in fulfilling their call. He especially loves learning about and nurturing internal coaching networks.

7 responses to “Using Coaching Skills to Mine for Gold”

  1. Tammy Dunahoo says:

    Thanks, Harry. I think you should write that book as coaching is a growing interest but I have yet to find resources about how to truly strengthen a coaching network within a movement that is sustainable. It would be valuable to many of us who see this as a vital key to the future.

    • Harry Fritzenschaft says:

      I hear you and receive that admonishment! I am shockingly thinking of this as I see a great need for such a resource. When I have this done, I will be happy to give it away!

  2. Sean Dean says:

    Thank you for such great background on Tom. I appreciate the way you are focused on coaching as a way of growing leaders.

    • Harry Fritzenschaft says:

      Tom is a great guy. What is interesting, I expect to have the same experience with you and everyone else in our cohort. Then I will say, “Hey, I went to Portland Seminary with Sean!”

  3. Jenn Burnett says:

    Thanks for your post Harry! I appreciate how you highlight that Camacho developed his practices out of his own experiences. One of the roles of a Spiritual Director (as I understand) is to help people walk their journey of faith, often processing their own experiences. How do these two roles differ? Complement each other? Overlap? How much of coaching is about giving leaders skills to process their own experiences? Bless you as you raise up leaders my friend!

    • Harry Fritzenschaft says:

      You always ask great questions! To be fair, I have learned to describe what I know rather than what I think I know. That is, I am sure there are overlaps in all the “helping” practices. Coaching is premised on someone motivated to move forward in an area or a goal they are stuck. This means they can’t get there by their self. The coach partners with them to help them process their thoughts, gain clarity, see progress, and perhaps experience transformation. Receiving coaching is the best way to learn and hopefully apply coaching skills. Hope this helps, dear friend, and see you in London!

  4. Mary Mims says:

    Harry, this is so exciting to understand the depth of your knowledge on this subject. I think I want to get a coach just to help me figure out my direction. Glad to know we are in such good company!

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