Coaching: The Ultimate Discipling

Part 2 in a Two-Part Series

In Part 1, we looked at “Discipling is More than just Sharing the Good News,” capturing the discipling process that Peter and Jesus used. In Part 2, let’s explore the practical application of becoming a “Comprehensive Coach.” “Comprehensive” invites us to reach both Christians and non-Christians, and becoming a “coach” reminds us to use language that can be understood and embraced by a wide range of people.

Steps to Becoming a Comprehensive Coach
We start by reaching out to connect with a person based on reputation and relationship. Next, we begin diving in to understand the person’s situation, based on issues and insecurities. We proceed by anchoring down, or cementing, the coaching relationship based on clarity and consistency. The final step is building up a person to develop character and capabilities based on education and encouragement.

Although I’ve laid out steps in a straightforward manner, spiritual coaching is a bit unpredictable. We may be moving through a step, and need to retreat. We may get distracted or spiritually sidetracked. Regardless, when we get involved with discipling, the steps may not be readily stacked or easy to negotiate.

Step 1: Reaching Out
In scripture, we see how Jesus reaches out to Peter. Andrew, Peter’s brother, brings Peter to Jesus because of Jesus’ remarkable reputation as a rabbi. Consider John 1:40-42: “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah.’ And [Andrew] brought [Simon] to Jesus. Jesus looked at [Simon] and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas.’”.

Step 2: Diving In
Jesus gets involved as Peter confronts challenges. A key issue for Peter occurs when his mother-in law suddenly becomes ill, and Jesus steps in. Consider Luke 4:38-39: “Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her.”

Step 3: Anchoring Down
Jesus anchors down the spiritual coaching relationship through teaching opportunities that produce clarity and consistency. A great example of this is when Jesus helps Peter confirm clearly that He is the Messiah. In addition to clarity, Jesus provides complete consistency in His coaching with Peter. Over and over again in scripture, Jesus helps Peter internalize his “rock solid” role in the emerging Christian church.

Step 4: Building Up
Jesus’ rounds out Peter’s spiritual coaching by building up his capabilities and character through education and encouragement. Perhaps one of Jesus’ most powerful and poignant teaching moments is when He demonstrates servant leadership by washing the disciples’ feet, beginning with Peter.

The Ultimate Discipling: to “Make Disciples of All Nations”
Jesus built up Peter as a disciple, and called him to become a discipler. Jesus commanded him to leave the vocation of fisherman, and undertake the vocation of a shepherd, a spiritual leader. As Peter followed Jesus’ command, he entered the next level of his comprehensive coaching curriculum on a massive scale. Peter reached out to the world as an apostle with the confidence, commitment and consistency he never achieved earlier, as a disciple.

Like Peter, we need to follow God’s call to “make disciples of all nations.” We need to be discipled, and to disciple. We also need to be coached, and to coach others.

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