Following the spiritual energising that is often experienced, sometimes unexpectedly, on the journey of training in Christian faith-based coaching, comes the challenge of maintaining this sense of ‘aliveness’ and closeness to God. While continuing connection with peers and engagement with ongoing professional development helps maintain this awareness, there comes a point where our individual journey with God comes centre stage, as it’s from this wellspring from which our practice as a Christ centred Coach must arise. Here is where a complexity can emerge. How as Christian faith-based coaches, do we cultivate our own living relationship with God as distinct to the spiritual basis of that calling?
We may be following a Rules of practice, such as the KingsCompass Rule, to cultivate the spiritual rootedness of our work. However, this ‘work’ is an altogether different thing to the work God wants to do in us, through unique living relationship and loving intimacy with Him.
Jesus, from an early age, instinctively knew this difference. We’re told how alongside his outward learning journey of ‘listening and asking the teachers of the law questions’ (Luke 2:49), he also attended to his inner life, ‘growing in wisdom…’ (Luke 2:52). This pattern became an embedded aspect of his adult life, in which it was noted he frequently ‘withdrew to a quiet place, as was his custom.’(Luke 5:16).
In my own experience, the enthusiasm of seeking to serve God in all areas of life brings an outward focus that can, with the best of intent, complicate our prayer time and lead us away from deeper, purely personal encounter in ‘the secret place’ of daily engagement with Father God; a ‘secret place’ that Jesus knew so well (Psalm 91:1). No more so can this be the case than in that of the individual who develops a Christian faith based coaching practice.
Here are 3 key steps that may be of help in untangling, refocusing and reaping more for those you serve through your coaching practice:
- Separate out the focus of your prayer time and develop a pattern to attend to each. Set time aside each day to bring yourself to God and the simple desire to spend time with Him as ‘an end in itself’, with a different time to pray for, and into, your coaching practice. This might take the form of contemplative prayer or mediation on God’s word using a guided prayer such as ‘Pray As You Go’ and intercessory prayer for your family and friends during a morning personal quiet time, with prayer for your coaching practice, coachees and colleagues later in the day. Far from adding to time starved lives, many who make this shift report a liberating and amplifying effect.
- Establish place and practices for each. For example, I have a quiet ‘chair’ with Bible, candle and journal where I go each morning for personal prayer time and another dedicated area in my office where I pray for my coaching practice and professional aspect of my life. Others have described how they walk and pray, with different routes for different areas of life. Whatever the pattern, the simple development of a nuanced distinctiveness such as lighting a different type of candle, can cultivate an ease and quality of prayer, into the fabric of our lives.
- Notice and push aside whatever gets in the way of honouring your scheduled prayer time with God. Busyness and distractions can make the gift of God’s permanent availability to us, such a flexible resource, it slips away or worse, seem onerous. What a bizarre thought! Let’s be thankful for this powerhouse of life and seek to organise our intentional prayer time, prudently; prudence being the ‘fountain of life’ (Proverbs 16:22).
Carole Rutherford Milligan is Founder of KingsCompass, the Christian Coach Academy, www.kingscompasscoach.com.