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Christ-Centered Coaching: Seven Benefits for Ministry Leaders

Apr 4th, 2009 | By | Category: Book Reviews

Christ-Centered Coaching by Jane Creswell

Christ-Centered Coaching by Jane Creswell

by Jane Creswell
Reviewed by Tony Stoltzfus

Christ-Centered Coaching, from a leading figure in the Christian coaching movement, is an excellent overview of the coaching process and how it can benefit ministries and ministry leaders. Subtitled Seven Benefits for Ministry Leaders, the core of the book is seven chapters, each covering one of these key coaching benefits:

  • Leveraging your strengths
  • Providing clarity and focus
  • Instilling confidence
  • Catapulting learning
  • Fostering intentional progress
  • Rubbing off on others
  • Encouraging God-sized goals

The focus on benefits makes this an excellent book for selling coaching in your ministry. This is a great book to give to a pastor or ministry leader who is brand new to coaching: it is very solid on the coaching model, written in a clear style with lots of sample dialogues, and uses examples that would appeal to a ministry leader. (And because it stays focused on the goal of presenting the benefits of coaching, it isn’t so long the a ministry leader wouldn’t read it!)
For coaches, there are plenty of insights from a top coach to glean from the pages. Each chapter ends with a summary of key points for coaches and clients: I found myself reading those closely. The coaching dialogues are excellent: they are fleshed out enough so you can get a real feel for Jane’s coaching style and learn a few things by reading them. I especially appreciated her chapter on strengths: the concept of identifying core strengths and building skills on strengths is a powerful one. That was a chapter that put words to a lot of things I’ve done unconsciously, and helped me become more effective at working with my clients’ strengths.
Be aware that this is not a how-to book: the focus is not on tools and models, but on the benefits of ministry coaching. If you are looking for a how-to-coach book, Leadership Coaching or Coaching for Performance are better choices. However, Jane does note the assessment tools and books she uses in various parts of the coaching process, which I find very helpful.
If you are interested in coaching as an evangelism tool in the workplace, you’ve found a soul-mate in this author! Jane expresses her personal calling is as “a missionary to the corporate world”, and there are plenty of examples in the book of evangelism encounters in the coaching process. I love how she is able to lead people toward Christ without telling.

An excellent book and well worth reading for all Christian coaches, I especially recommend this book as a gift for those you want to educate about coaching and its benefits.

Reviewed by:
Tony Stoltzfus, Professional Coach & Coach Trainer

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