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:
- Is coaching the same as mentoring?
- As a Superintendent, can I mandate every pastor have a coach?
- 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”.  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 , 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.  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.” 
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.” 
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.”  (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…
 Camacho, Tom. Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders Through Coaching. PRE-RELEASE PDF. London: IVP UK, 2019. 9.
 Ibid. 12.
 Ibid. 19.
 Ibid. 27.
 Ibid. 42.
(all clip art from free google images)