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Barriers to spiritual coaching

From one of our overseas staff members: “It’s has been very hard not having discipleship here. There is no one I’ve met that I would trust as an older wiser man of God to walk along side and learn from.” Why do so few people get the spiritual coaching their heart yearns for? The number of c…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

From one of our overseas staff members:
“It’s has been very hard not having discipleship here. There is no one I’ve met that I would trust as an older wiser man of God to walk along side and learn from.”

Why do so few people get the spiritual coaching their heart yearns for? The number of coaches out there and the general lack of training are a real problem, but even the best coach is wasting her time without trust and a strong desire to grow on the part of person she’s coaching

Anne Sullivan’s first struggle in teaching Helen Keller was to communicate, but the struggle to earn Keller’s trust was in some respects more difficult.

Perhaps the biggest time waster in the process of spiritual coaching is the lack of trust between the coach and her acolyte. The coach has experience, perspective and wisdom that the acolyte needs. But a lack of trust keeps the acolyte from hearing or following through on the coach’s good advice. This lack of trust introduces friction to the coaching process that in turn produces drag on the change process.

People go whole years trying to make up their minds whether to trust or not, all the while going through needless pain. Much better to make up your mind to grow, no matter the pain of the change process. One of the best guys like this in my life is Clint Bokelman. For ten years he has soaked up any dribble of wisdom I’ve got for him. He makes life fun for me with all his questions and his lack of defensiveness. He absorbs any good stuff I’ve got in a frictionless way and is making me proud as in some areas, he passes me by.

Comments (2)

  • THAT’S why Clint is so great!! He was an incredible encouragement to me within a few minutes of meeting him! Now it all makes sense…smile.

  • Great post!

    Local church ecclesiology often breeds mistrust. We are conditioned to let the professionals go to God for us. Since they represent God we trust them by default. But now we’ve cut ourselves off from 95% of the body. We miss out on a “promise land” of interdependance when we choose not to trust.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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