Counseling: In counseling, the therapist works with the client on places of mental or emotional stuckness, often working through past hurts and relational difficulties, with the goal of reaching emotional or mental freedom and higher relational functioning.
Consulting: In consulting, the consultant acts as material expert, does the majority of the talking, presenting, and the telling. The posture of the client is one of receptivity and much more passivity.
Mentoring: Mentoring is a longer term relationship that leverages the knowledge, experience, and wisdom of the mentor for the growth and empowerment of the mentee. The relationship is mutual, and the dynamic of interaction is 50/50.
Spiritual Direction: Spiritual Direction is an ancient form of soul care where the conversation is focused on the presence of God, the individual's relationship with God, and how the promises of God and work of the Holy Spirit are shaping who this person is becoming and their direction in life. A spiritual director will often offer suggestions of spiritual disciplines and exercises along the journey.
Coaching: Coaching is a relational alliance that leverages the art of deep listening, powerful questions and intentional exploration to produce awareness, change, and transformation for the client. In coaching, the client has agency, is the one naming the goals, designs action plans to meet those goals, and does 80% of the talking. Faith-based coaching (from a Christian lens) looks at each individual as beloved of God, believes that person has been specifically gifted by God, and helps the person discover how they are being invited by God to use these gifts in God's work of loving and healing the world.
Coaching can be used for a myriad of opportunities, including but not limited to:
Personal leadership growth
Growing as a head of staff
Leading as an associate pastor, council president, or stewardship chair
Skillful handling of staff or congregational conflict
Worship, Mission, or Stewardship development
Building ministry teams
The cost can be free, or costs can run from the price of a cup of coffee or lunch up to $150 per session. The difference in the cost is related to the amount of experience of the coach. If you are a pastor or congregational leader and your congregation is going to benefit from the coaching relationship, we highly recommend that the church bear whatever cost there is associated with the relationship. If you need help to offset some of the cost of coaching, please contact Jill.Beverlin@elca.org to inquire.
A brief whiteboard explainer to introduce coaching.
Nathan Swenson-Reinhold shares from his own experience about why coaching matters and what it can do.
Recorded at a coach training in the spring of 2021, this video gives a brief sample of what a coaching session looks like.