Personal Coaching-Why (part 1 of 2)

As I talk with seasoned pastors and leaders, almost all of them tell me it is increasingly harder to be a pastor due to the variety of demands. They need to know more, do more, and be more in the church while being an excellent spouse, parent, and civic leader. Pastors need someone to help them and a coach or mentor can help. A coach need not be a paid counselor; a coach can be something as simple as a good friend – but the critical issue is complete honesty.

  1. Set priorities
    1. All too often a pastor will place professional ahead of personal time and the family suffers. A coach can help the pastor determine which meetings he or she needs to attend and which family issues need attention.
  2. Be a release valve
    1. Pastors are really good at hiding. They have to be so that they don’t betray confidences. But at some point they must open up to someone or else they might explore emotionally. A coach can provide a gentle and confidential opportunity for a pastor to share things he or she can’t share with anyone else and then gain some perspective from another person’s view.
  3. Be accountable
    1. Who looks the pastor in her or his eye and asks for the truth? Other than a spouse, not many (if anyone). A coach can keep a pastor emotionally honest by asking and even demanding truth-filled answers, not shallow replies that pastors can sometimes get away with.
  4. Establish goals
    1. Someone needs to help a pastor determine his or her professional and personal goals. Staff and even a church personnel committee rarely understand the complexities of a pastor’s role. A mentor can challenge a pastor’s self-establish low-hanging goals and establish higher goals. The coach must then follow-up throughout the year on these goals.
  5. Be an understanding ear
    1. Sometimes a coach just needs to listen. Sometimes a pastor just needs to talk about what is going on in his personal and professional life. Sometimes a coach doesn’t need to coach but just hear. Sometimes pastors need someone who has been there and is isn’t critical of what is happening. Sometimes a coach just needs to be a pastor.


A coach provides detached distance, non-emotional advice which is needed so much today for pastors and frankly for everyone in leader roles. If you don’t have a coach, get one and listen.


Lead On!