For years in ministry I felt the anxious burden of trying to change people.
On one level trying to change people gave me an unconscious high, like an adrenal hit, as people came to me, a Pastor, looking for advice on the complicated realities of their lives and ministry.
On the other hand, I felt like I had to have all the answers to people’s problems and complexities of their lives, and the weight of that pressure slowly stacked like a ton of bricks upon my back. I also noticed the more I gave my expert advice about what people should do, the more frustrated I would become as those same people never seemed to stick with the advice that I gave to them.
Ministry in the 21st century Canada is complex. Fewer and fewer people are looking to church leaders as reliable authorities of moral wisdom. Many people are increasingly skeptical of outside religious authorities who dispense answers and fixes to people’s problems; still other people stunt their own growth by looking for those same easy answers and quick fixes, rather than doing the harder work of facing their struggles head-on with courage and encouragement.
As ministers we are either distrusted and/or unknowingly stunt people’s growth by providing too many ‘answers’ without giving them the space to face their challenges and (with the Spirit) discover the direction they need to go.
How do we help people face and solve their own challenges so that they actually grow and change as they wrestle through their problems?
Why do we too quickly rescue people from that struggle by providing easy answers?
In response to these, and other questions, Transformational Coaching teaches how to develop and encourage people in a totally different way.
We believe Transformational Coaching can be a tool used by the Spirit of God to create a space in which people courageously face those challenges that are holding them back from being their best selves.
There’s another reason why we believe Transformational Coaching is helpful in post-christian Canada: Transformational Coaching provides new skills needed for the missionary crisis in Canada.
Canadian Christian leaders are staring into a rapidly secularizing culture. The fastest growing religious demographic in Canada are those who identify as having no religious affiliation or church connections. In the next thirty years we have to figure out how to engage a whole culture with the gospel in new and fresh ways. Churches are shrinking and ministry leaders are desperate to find solutions to fix the leaks.
We are up against a new challenge as there is little research in Canada to help us figure out what is working in helping secular people come to faith in Jesus. We believe Transformational Coaching can be helpful in this liminal space.
Gone are the days when we can go read a book that tells us the easy steps to reaching non-Christians. Instead, we have to live awakened to the Spirit’s work around us and listen deeply to the longing of our culture.
We need new skill sets for the mission. We have an opportunity to find creative new ways to find new answers – not from church growth books from the States, but from the inner voice within us and the genius of God at work around and in us as the Canadian church.
We believe Transformational Coaching can help form people in new ways for the good work ahead.
Transformational Coaching helps us to do both: we listen to the Spirit and to the people in front of us to hear the restless longings that only Christ can satiate.Transformational Coaching helps us to do both: we listen to the Spirit and to the people in front of us to hear the restless longings that only Christ can satiate. Click To Tweet
Coaches: Jon Hand, Traci-Lynn Burt, & Greg Langman