It’s a fact that pastors aren’t half as well trained in caring for sheep as they are in giving teachings. This is a problem.
Why do our pastors receive so little training in the spiritual coaching process? Isn’t it their job as shepherds to keep the sheep on the right path?
While our pastors are so busy instructing from the pulpit, many sheep are going astray. Those who don’t follow the herd simply go by the wayside.
In order to avoid wayside-like behavior, the whole herd runs headlong into the trap of Phariseeism. There we sit, flooded with teaching, barely ever evangelizing.
DON’T FALL FOR THE STRESS TRAP
It’s easy to give up when weariness takes over, but God has a better plan. You don’t have to give in to the enemy’s tactics.
There may be a reason that we’re not evangelizing. Why would we bring people from the wayside straight into the opposite ditch of the herd mentality? Will they be shepherded there?
Today, I want to show you how to work with the Holy Spirit to help a sheep.
I’m going to give you two tools that you can use to really help people spiritually. You can get them both in our freebie library. (You’ll find out how in the tip at the end of this post.)
Even if your gifts aren’t in pastoring, you’re still coaching people. You coach your children, your friends and whomever else you care about. (If you don’t coach people yet, now is a fabulous time to begin self-coaching. Once you learn how to use the tools that I’m going to talk to you about today, then you’ll be able to help others.)
God uses people to shepherd other people. It’s the foundation of his sociology.
What follows are the ten steps of spiritual coaching. You will see them in the diagram below. The five GRACE steps are coaching strategies and the five PRISM steps are battle planning strategies.
These ten steps are original, based on the personal experience of myself and my husband. (If you ever see anyone else teaching these steps, you’ll know where they got them- right here, chuckle.)
Let’s start with the diagram, and then I’ll show you each piece in detail. I’m going to draw it out by hand, so just imagine that we’re sitting in a cafe and I’m sketching on a napkin. Are you with me? Here’s the sketch that I’ll be referring to:
Above, you will see five fingers with the initials G.R.A.C.E. These same initials are written in purple underneath that hand, along with scriptural phrases. The circles above these scriptures contain the spiritual symptoms that we will address now. (The scriptures will come later.)
Here are the first 5 steps of walking in the Spirit:
The 5 Spiritual Coaching Strategies
- G: How to beat temptation.
- R: How to handle emotional stress.
- A: How to figure out what’s wrong.
- C: How to stop hurting people and forgive.
- E: How to know when I need help from others.
And here are the last 5 steps of talking with the Holy Spirit through Scripture (seen in the initials P.R.I.S.M.):
The 5 Battle Planning Strategies
- P: How to pause my life and worship God.
- R: How to know what God wants to give me and ask him for it.
- I: How to visualize where God is bringing me.
- S: How to partner with him to get there.
- M: How to plan my battles so that I’ll be sure to end up there.
In the rest of this post, I’ll explain the GRACE steps in the first box above. Then, you’ll have to read the next post to understand the second box.
Let me break this down for you so that you know what we’re looking at with G.R.A.C.E. Let’s think about this from the perspective of someone who needs coaching.
Step 1: How to beat temptation. The beautiful simplicity of this step is that even if you don’t have any scripture memorized, you can still go to God as soon as you realize that you’re being tempted. Talking to a coach will help you to admit that the things that you’re being tempted to do are not benefitting you. A good coach will help you to open up about the things in your life that are preventing you from fully walking in the Spirit.
Then, you need to gain the confidence that God is a perfect Father just waiting for you to come to him when you’re tempted. From there, it’s a matter of practicing the technique of stopping when you’re tempted and surrendering to the Holy Spirit, who is with you in that moment. Again, it helps to have a coach asking you daily or weekly about how it’s going. This makes victory quicker and easier. (See the blue tip box at the end of this post to get the “G” strategy with scriptures and a color diagram.)
Step 2: How to handle emotional stress. Most of the time, you’re not just tempted in a vacuum. You give in because you’re stressed out by your circumstances. God wants to speak the truth to you in order to calm your emotions in moments of stress. Being able to release the stress allows you to then go to God with your temptation as we talked about in Step 1.
A good coach will give you scriptures and other literature that God has already used to expose the devil’s lies in their mind. You can highlight the parts that God uses to speak to you and let him retrain your thinking with these new thoughts. Remembering the truth releases the stress so that you can beat temptation. (See the “R” strategy in our freebie library, “The Intimacy Strategy,” for full detail.)
Step 3: How to figure out what’s wrong. Retraining your thinking can be tricky. Sometimes, you may get confused about which perspectives are true and which ones are false. You need a coach to listen to all of the ideas floating around in your head and help you fit them all together Biblically.
Once you have figured out what’s wrong, the solutions can be complex. It helps to have a coach who has seen what works in other people’s lives, and can help tweak these solutions to fit you. That way, you can focus on following your scriptural plan while your coach is looking at the bigger picture. They can help you to hone in on your personal issues so that you’re not trying to solve problems that other people are responsible for. (See “A: The Purpose Strategy” in our library for full detail.)
Step 4: How to stop hurting people and forgive. Although we may not like to think about it, our failures hurt people. Since we’re not the one feeling the hurt, we often don’t feel motivated to change. Instead, we may be more focused on how the other person is hurting us. A coach can help you to see this objectively so that you desire to start the change.
The spiritual coach can sense your bondages of unforgiveness, bitterness and self-pity. They will guide you to healing by helping you to let go of past hurts and forgive. They can also give you sense of where to draw your lines so that you don’t keep getting hurt. (See “C: The Identity Strategy” in our library for full detail.)
Step 5: How to know when I need help from others. Sometimes you or your loved ones may need more guidance than your coach can provide. This is where the pastor and medical community come in. There may be occasions when you will set boundaries and others will not cooperate. You may even need the police or the court system to intervene.
A coach who has life experience beyond yours should notice these red flags and recommend a certain course of action. It is vital that you pray at length about this recommendation and evaluate your coach’s scriptural approach. Decisions involving marriage, children, careers and finances should not be taken lightly. It is often helpful to meet and pray with a few wise people just to make sure that everyone is hearing the same Biblical word from the Lord. In the end, you are the one that will pay dearly for the decisions that you make, not your counselors.
(Download “E: The Mastery Strategy” to help you know what to do when you are being targeted by evil forces. Get download instructions in the blue box below.)
(Disclaimer: We are not mental health professionals. Seek appropriate care.)
So, those are your first five steps of coaching. Cool, eh? Each one has a PDF diagram with a written strategy for the person you are coaching. You can download and print these from our freebie library. (Instructions to follow.)
As a coach, you will need to start with the first step above and proceed from there. Your friend will feel like they’re making progress with their issues if you can present them with one of the five G.R.A.C.E. handouts that matches the step that they’re on. That way, they have a simple strategy to practice every day.
If they have access to our website, you can show them how to get these handouts by subscribing to our emails. This will get them in touch with us as well, so they can eventually learn to coach others.
(PLEASE NOTE: Before you begin coaching someone, help them to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Here’s how to do that: click this link.)
If you really want to help people who are struggling, I’d encourage you to try out our first strategy. The “G” strategy very basic. It’s called “The Security Strategy.” It can make a huge difference in your walk in the Spirit.
Another tip: If you like the strategy and want to take the full course, head over here. The course will train you in each of these 10 strategies so that you can coach like a pro. Best of all, it’s free!
Remember, the best way to dive into spiritual coaching is to move your friend through these steps: beat temptation, handle stress, figure out what’s wrong, stop the hurt and forgive, and know when to ask for help.
Lord, be in me the Hope of Glory for someone who is struggling, as I tell them what you are doing in my life.-Sophiculture
Ready? Let’s move on to the next post and learn about P.R.I.S.M. Click Here.Sara Ruth Tucker helps women to to come out of the religious obligation-based mindset into a fresh, delightful relationship with God. Click here to find out more about her coaching services.