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We all need a spiritual coach

“Preach the Word…correct, rebuke, and encourage.” II Timothy 4:2. As Paul gets on in years, he passes his best coaching stuff on to the one guy he coached the most – Timothy. He’s saying, “Here’s how to coach: preach, correct, rebuke, and encourage.”  Our own experience tells us t…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

“Preach the Word…correct, rebuke, and encourage.” II Timothy 4:2.

As Paul gets on in years, he passes his best coaching stuff on to the one guy he coached the most – Timothy. He’s saying, “Here’s how to coach: preach, correct, rebuke, and encourage.”  Our own experience tells us that preaching is done in public, while correcting, rebuking, and encouraging are coaching activities, best done in private.

“Just one problem,” you say; “where are the coaches?”

The preaching we’ve got. We go to church on Sunday. We come away with preaching or teaching. That is, we receive information. And sometimes – glory – we receive a touch from God. That is, we receive an experience. And sometimes we respond to that touch by making decisions to change. All of this is great and, according to Paul, part of the growth process.

But that Sunday experience by itself is not enough to cause us to grow – we need to be shown
how to grow; we need correcting, rebuking, and encouraging. It
doesn’t matter how dramatic our experience in that church service may have been. With tears streaming down your face you may have decided, “I’m going to live for God!” But you are still faced with the fundamental question: “How do I walk this out?”  You’re like the donkey in this picture – hitched up to a cart, but struggling to get your feet on the ground to get going somewhere.

To answer the “how?” question, you need a coach or discipler. Someone to tell you, “OK, here’s the first thing to do.” We all need help with the practical business of walking out our faith – we need coaching, someone to say, “What you just did was excellent! Keep doing it!” Or if we royally messed up, to privately ask us the question, “Was that really what you intended to do? Maybe there was another way.”

The church is full of preachers and teachers but precious few coaches.

Comments (2)

  • This was a great Article here, I absolutly agree with your points made and I even enjoy the silly picture you have added to make this post that much better. Thanks for sharing this with us and I wish you Happy Holidays!

  • I agree. I’ve been thinking a bit about this over the past couple of days. I have someone who has pastoral care over me, I am part of a small bible study group, but am I being discipled? I want someone to challenge me and help guide me.
    Really enjoying your blog. Thanks for helping my thinking along.

Comments are closed.

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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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