DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Real Coaching

Written by: on June 21, 2019

Rui Hachimura


The NBA draft is a crap shoot, one commentator said. NBA managers, owners, and coaches all made their selections of the new crop of rookies who left college, or in some extreme cases, high school, to take their chance on a road to riches and fame as a professional basketball player. Although there are stats and scouting reports on each draftee, no one knows how these players will adjust to the rigors of playing basketball at the professional level.

As each player was selected, commentators discussed the merits of the selection. Clips were shown of the players best plays, and the strengths and weaknesses were discussed. Some players are selected specifically as a player to trade, as a bargaining chip for future use. As the draft progressed, other players were not selected in the order expected, and they were left to wonder about their fate. The higher one is drafted, the more money the player will receive on his contract. Surprisingly, the gambles do not always pay off.  Some players drafted high do not measure up to NBA play. Others are saddled with previous injuries that are much more serious than previously thought. Then there are those who cannot get out of their own way and are hindered by their troubled past. In many ways, it is up to the coaches who acquire these young players to bring out the best in them and mold them into the players they are expected to be. This is a lot of pressure on the coach to develop the talent in these young players.

Tom Camacho in Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders through Coaching, talks about coaching from a spiritual perspective. In Camacho’s view, he uses “Mining for Gold” as another way to describe coaching leadership (Camacho 2019, 5-6). This method of coaching uses the word “Gold” as an acrostic stating, the G represents Gold is everywhere, emphasizing the potential for leadership in each of us; the O represents the need to Open our eyes and see it, the potential that is often right before us. The L represents the need to Learn the skills to draw out the potential in others, and the D stands for Developing others continuously, understanding that part of leadership is the ability to develop others (Camacho 2019, 6). Camacho taps into the power of the Holy Spirit to guide the coach into revealing and understanding how God is doing the refining work in the individual being coached (Camacho 2019, 6).

Leaders are defined by Nye in Power and Leadership in Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice as those who help a group create and achieve shared goals (Nye 2010, 306). Nye further speaks of “soft power” as a way one can get the outcomes one wants by setting the agenda and attracting others without threat or payment (Nye 2010, 307). This “soft power” is not the power of influence and persuasion but is attractive power (Nye 2010, 309). Camacho seems to be using a type of soft power by leaning on the power of the Holy Spirit to help with the coaching process. This is attractive power because it cooperates with the Holy Spirit through prayer in helping to hear what the Spirit is saying to those being coached (Camacho 2019, 51-52). The fact that this process acknowledges that God is always working for our good makes this type of leadership both dynamic and attractive. As a coach, relying upon the Holy Spirit for the power of transformation takes all of the pressure off of the coach and allows the coach to depend on all of the power of God to make changes. This is real coaching that has the ability to unlock the hidden potential in us all.


Camacho, Tom. Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders Through Coaching. London: Inter-Varsity Press, 2019.

Nye, Joseph S. Jr. “Power and Leadership.” In Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice: A Harvard Business School Centennial Colloquium, by Nitin Nohria, & Rakesh Khurana, 305-332. Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2010.

About the Author


Mary Mims

I am a licensed and ordained Baptist minister and have worked with the children and youth for the last seven years. I have resided in the Washington, DC area for the last 30 years, but I am originally from Michigan. I am also bi-vocational and work at the US Patent and Trademark Office in the Scientific Library.

10 responses to “Real Coaching”

  1. Mario Hood says:

    Great post. How does this help with your research? of does it?

  2. Thank you Mary, Your illustration on the scouting and development of talent within the NBA fraternity serves to bring home the key role of coaching in bringing out the best in an individual. There has to be intentional effort to spot the potential leaders and help them to see the gold in themselves. The refining of the gold in leaders is the work of God by His Holy Spirit. Do you see this coaching model as possible strategy in the ministry to children?

    • mm Mary Mims says:

      Wallace, I think this could be helpful in coaching youth in the church, helping them see their gifts. I guess you would have to be somewhat careful of what you say to people’s children. Some people get upset by that.

  3. mm Jenn Burnett says:

    Oh I love that you just brought the NBA draft into this! That has been the buzz in my house the last few days! Of course, we have now confirmed Canada is actually a basketball powerhouse too 🙂 GO RAPTORS! Our recent (surprising) success raises an important question around coaching leadership, and that is the role of the coach to ensure the team is properly balanced. The Raptors won because there were a number of players capable of putting points on the board and drawing out the best in each other. How much is it the responsibility of the coach to place leaders alongside teammates who will contribute to the ‘soft’ work of development? Is part of soft leadership placing people into contexts where they learn rather than just teaching them? Thanks for your post Mary!

    • mm Mary Mims says:

      Jenn, those are Americans playing on a Canadian team LOL! But anyway Jenn, I did notice that lots of Canadian kids were drafted, so you guys are making advances in this Canadian invented sport. But I was relating “soft power” to the ability to lead based on relationship as opposed to absolute authority. I do think that a winning team is developed when everyone understands their role. That’s what a good coach can do.

  4. mm Tammy Dunahoo says:

    Like others, I appreciate your connection to professional sports. It’s always interesting to me what happens to a team, no matter the stars on the court or field, when there is good coaching and when there is not. Coaches bring the best out in their players individually and collectively. It seems organizations are recognizing that’s true everywhere, not just in sports. Churches can use this tool powerfully for transformation.

  5. mm Harry Fritzenschaft says:

    I appreciate your post although I know hardly anything about the NBA or its draft. I am a huge college football fan and perhaps many of your thoughts could apply to high school recruits. Unfortunately, at both the college and professional levels, coaching typically focuses on team performance rather than individual transformation. Your summary statement is very well said, “As a coach, relying upon the Holy Spirit for the power of transformation takes all of the pressure off of the coach and allows the coach to depend on all of the power of God to make changes. This is real coaching that has the ability to unlock the hidden potential in us all.” I agree with your response to Mario, coaching skills are very helpful with youth (and especially with adult children!) Glo has already let me know she will only be coached when she asks for it! Many blessings on you and see you in London (your shopping buddy can’t wait!)

    • mm Mary Mims says:

      Thanks, Harry, I can’t wait to see you guys in London as well! I think with the really good coaches in the NBA they are able to take these young players and develop them. However, now that so much money is involved, the coaches cannot afford to do much development, since there is another kid waiting in the wings. Unfortunately, the church needs to do better with developing leaders. I hope the coaching catches on with more church leaders.

  6. mm Shermika Harvey says:

    Mary, I used to be a huge NBA fan that anxiously awaiting the draft after the Finals to see the new talents coming to the forefront. Over the years, this has changed but I’m still a fan. With that said I love you post! The statement that brought it all home for the win was, “As a coach, relying upon the Holy Spirit for the power of transformation takes all of the pressure off of the coach and allows the coach to depend on all of the power of God to make changes.”

  7. Steve Wingate says:

    I wonder what the research said for different cultures re soft power. Is soft relative? Or is it objective like you wrote: agenda and some sort of attraction offering?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *