Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wanted: Christian Life Coaches

In 2003, when I still lived in Chicago, I saw a TV reality show (when such shows were quite popular on the networks because the production costs were relatively low) called "Starting Over". (See

What impressed me about the series was that the role played by the life coaches on the series seemed to be somewhat different from the role played by a typical counsellor, psychiatrist, or mentor.

Essentially, the life coach's role seemed to be to help women to achieve their dreams. (The concept would be just as applicable to the needs of men.)

Of course, encouragement is part of what coaches do, as is honest feedback, but it seems to me that the life coaches on the show went beyond mere talk. I particularly remember one woman who desired to make it in the music business. The life coach assigned to help that woman did not just sit and talk about the woman's career goals. She actually used personal resources to make career connections which would help that woman. They did something similar with another woman who dreamed of becoming a stand-up comedian.

Of course, it may well be that that kind of help was unusual in terms of what a life coach does. It may also be that the fact that the woman had access to the resources of a major television series made it easier for her to perform that function than it would be for the average life coach. Even so, I found myself thinking that I could really use help of that nature, because I'd long held some rather ambitious personal goals, but I'd felt stymied by my limited resources.

It seems to me that a properly functioning Christian church is in a good position, especially if it's networked with numerous other churches, to perform a similar function.

I have heard some pastors talk from the pulpit or their websites about how "equipping the saints" is an important function of theirs, but my observation is that this is often meaningless rhetoric, especially when it comes to eradicating impediments which prevent believers from being all that they can be. I believe that more creativity needs to be used when seeking ways that church leaders can play this very important role in the lives of their fellow believers. Maybe that seems like it's too much to expect or hope for, but that is my fervent desire nevertheless.

By the way, the title of the aforementioned TV series seemed to capture what many people desire, and what they hope to be able to do after they come to Jesus Christ, thanks to the fact that God is the god of second chances.

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