I have always said the people we work with and minister to are our greatest assets. It turns out Tom Camacho, author of Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders Through Coaching, feels the same way. He says, “The greatest treasure is found in people, not shiny yellow rocks. The people around us are treasures of unimaginable worth. In God’s eyes they are treasures of pure gold.” With his creative analogy of mining for gold, he takes us through clearly outlined steps of Coaching Leadership that show how we as leaders are called “to mine for the gold in others, cooperate with God as He refines that gold, and then help them invest that gold in the kingdom.” He outlines a three-step process of finding potential leaders, helping to refine them, and encouraging them to do the same with other potential leaders. I also love how he reminds us that “God is the great Refiner, who patiently transforms leaders until their heart and character beautifully reflect His own. He is a miner and a refiner of leaders.”
The following statement Camacho made caused me to get a little agitated and it also validated my research topic once again: “The mission of the kingdom around the world is in continuous need of a fresh supply of godly leaders. What would be possible if your church or ministry had an instant supply of twice the amount of thriving leaders you have today? How could you impact your community if you had a continuous new crop of thriving leaders to serve and bring forward your dream and vision? The possibilities are endless. The world needs more godly thriving leaders.” I couldn’t agree more, but ironically we would already have twice as many leaders if we would just tap into the immense resource of female leaders. Yes, we need to coach and mine for more leaders, but when many churches and organizations limit their leadership to half the population, namely the male half, we end up with an extreme leadership shortage. More women graduate from college and have joined the workforce than men, yet still women are only “25 percent of executive- and senior-level officials and managers, hold only 20 percent of board seats, and are only 6 percent of CEOs.” Also, when female pastors only make up 9 percent of the total in the U.S., we are going to have a leadership shortage. This is why the solution to my research problem is men in key leadership positions sponsoring/mentoring/coaching/mining for gold with potential women leaders around them.
The author also created a clever little acrostic spelling out the word GOLD to highlight his four key concepts of Mining for Gold/Coaching Leadership:
- Gold is Everywhere
- Open Your Eyes to See It
- Learn the Skills to Draw it Out
- Develop Others Continuously
I do agree that gold (leaders) is/are everywhere and that many of them are missed and need to be drawn out and refined to be the leaders they are called to be. I also think leaders are not working to reproduce themselves is others in order for the leadership train to keep on moving down the road. One of the reasons for this is what Camacho highlights in saying, “We have a real enemy, the devil, who wants to steal that gold and will fight the process at every turn. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) I actually quote this verse quite often in my counseling practice by asking people if they have heard of the verse that talks about the fact that God came so they could have an abundant life. Most people say yes and agree that they want this “life to the fullest” that God promises. Then I ask them what the first half of that same verse says…no one ever seems to know what the first half of John 10:10 says. When I tell them it says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy”, they are often shocked and surprised. Then I explain that God put that in there to warn us of the one who wants to steal, kill and destroy this abundant life He wants to give us. It is a warning and reminder that we are in the midst of a battle for our soul and our future. I also believe the gender wars we are in the midst of today are a direct attack from the enemy who wants to steal, kill and destroy the beautiful potential we have for gender-balanced leadership across all sectors.
I agree with the author’s statement, especially when it comes to developing women leaders in order to increase gender-balanced leadership: “In order to see the gold God has placed in a person, we need to see them with the eyes of the Spirit. To draw out someone’s true potential, we need to cooperate with the Spirit of God.” Seeing with God’s eyes would be an incredible gift, and the closest we will come to that is asking Him to give us His eyes to see those around us the way He does. Hopefully this will help the world see the Gold among the Roses (meaning the leaders among the women). We also need to be careful to monitor ours and others’ view of God. Camacho says, “When we carry a false view of God, our behavior reflects that false view. If we think He is angry and judging us every moment, our hearts respond accordingly. We run from Him and hide. The image of God you carry inside your mind and heart is one of the most critical parts of who you are. If you have a wrong view of Him, you cannot really know who you are.” I have seen this to be true in my office time and time again, and it has always been sad to me when people have a very punitive view of God and therefore see themselves the same way. Overall, I feel like the book was a very simple reminder of the need to develop the leaders among us…especially the female ones :-).
 “Women in S&P 500 Companies,” Catalyst: Workplaces that Work for Women, last modified February 2, 2018, http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/women-sp-500-companies.