Christian Coaching – A Complete Guide With New Perspective

Equipping The Believer For More Productive Faith, Calling & Ministry Walk

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We currently live in an age where information abounds and if the Believer is to be effective and efficient in his/her Christian life, benefit and influence people and society, it must be based on sound knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Not only regarding the issues/matters of Faith, but also regarding relevant information/topics which makes for the Believer’s holistic development and influence in society. The need for training and equipping is established in the Bible (both old and new testaments (See Here))1, and indeed both formal and informal training is well established in many Christian churches and groups. In recent times they have been “new ways/approaches” of equipping, one of which is Coaching, and it forms the focus of this paper. This article seeks to explain what is Christian Coaching, giving an operational definition, then we discuss highlight the details of Coaching and other equipping approaches (Mentoring, Counselling, Training, etc.). After, we look into when do we use a Coach, benefits of Coaching and some guidelines in selecting a Christian Coach.

What is Christian Coaching


It should be trite knowledge, but we deem it still important to state that, ‘Coaching’ as used here is different from the well-known Coach or Coaching in the sports arena. And in some literature, to make this distinction clear, the term ‘Life Coaching’ or ‘Personal Coaching’ are used to better to make this distinction clear. But these terms may also refer to a specific kind of Coaching, so the context should always be a guide to properly understand the meaning. The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential” 2. Stephan Wiedner, explains it as “a one-on-one, collaborative process in which a trained professional (the coach) helps you (the client), achieve your personal life goals. These goals may include just about anything: more self-confidence, weight loss, career change, better relationships, and many more3.

She also stated that “Life coaching is, in general terms the process of coming along side someone and helping them identify where they are, where they want to be and how to get there3.

The basis for Coaching can vary, more so as the core principles which are used in Coaching are adaptable and applicable to many spaces, sectors and situations. Thus, there has developed so many areas of Coaching: Leadership Coaching, Executive Coaching, Family Coaching, Bereavement Coaching, etc., and now we also have Christian Coaching.

Regarding Christian Coaching Stephan Wiedner states “Christian coaching takes that concept (Coaching) and moves it into the light of Scripture and frames it in a Christian worldview. Based on the concept that God has a plan for your life and is eager to enable you to live it, Christian coaching facilitates your discovery of that plan and encourages you as you flesh it out.3

Gary Collins, a well-known Christian counsellor and coach, defines Christian coach as “the art and practice of enabling individuals and groups to move from where they are to where God wants them to be”4.

But since Coaching can be on different basis/context, the definition of Christian Coaching, which ties it only to God’s plan (or purpose) for a person, is a better suited for the term “Christian Life Purpose Coaching” or “Christian Purpose Coaching”.

The definitions above when applied/used as the definition for “Christian Coaching”, limits the broader perspective from which Christian Coaching should be viewed from. Christian Coaching (by extension, the larger sphere of equipping and personal development) ought to be a body of thought which now engenders Biblically sound and agreeable theories and concepts, upon which we now run various streams of equipping and personal development in its various types/kinds: Christian Coaching (Christian Purpose Coaching, Christian Leadership Coaching); Christian Mentoring (Christian Youth Mentoring, Christian Reverse Mentoring,…), etc. And in this light, the work of several authors5 in this field provide good entry/starting points and foundations.

From the perspective of Christian Coaching as a unique branch/class of Coaching, we posit the following working definition:

“Christian Coaching is the use of Biblical/Christian principles and other biblically-agreeing knowledge and practices by a Christian coach, partnering with clients in a Godly, thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them (clients) to maximize their potential, and includes clients being able to identify their current situation and/or needs, their desired improved end-goal(s) and making plans to reach that (those) goal(s), with the Christian coach proving the needed Biblical and professional help”.

Coaching and Other Equipping Approaches


Other types of equipping similar to Coaching are Counselling, Mentoring, Consulting, Training and Therapy.  Below is a table and an image depicting the differences and details between them.

Picture 1: Equipping methods/approaches and their strengths7

From the table and picture 1, it is evident that every equipping approach has its particular strengths. The particular pros of Coaching, and perhaps why it has become very popular, is the self-empowerment it brings to clients. For many of the other equipping approaches, the provider (trainer, counselor, mentor, etc) has substantial responsibility for the success or otherwise of the service; this made clients seemingly not sufficiently empowered at the end of the process. Coaching reverses the situation, and has led or leads to better results and successes. But perhaps, another or a stronger reason for the success of Coaching is the higher levels of clients participation in the process.

In many equipping approaches, clients are but passive or responsive participants, but in Coaching, clients reach the highest reach the highest level of participation (active participation) (see picture 2). And literature from academia has shown that such levels of participation have far reaching positive impact on the clients/participants beyond the program/project/process under consideration.

But since every equipping is intended to empower and bring about life-long transformations where possible, every equipping approach/method must therefore strive to increase the participatory levels of clients.

Picture 2: Ladder of Participation8

When & Benefits of (Christian) Coaching


Having recognized that every equipping has its pros and cons, when do we need or use a Coach and what benefits can a client expect? (See References 9,10,11).

When to use a (Christian) Coach.

Generally, Coaching can be used in any of the following contexts.

  1. Improve behavior in a short period of time.
  2. When life-long or sustainable transformation is needed. 
  3. Coach when a person has needed skills (job, leadership, etc.) and yet lacks motivation.  
  4. When individuals who are not meeting expectations or goals.
  5. During an important life-transition or professional-transition phase.
  6. Coach when external circumstances are impacting their ability to complete a task. 
  7. Coach when the person has the basic skills, and you want to support them to develop their skills further. 
  8. In addition to all the above,
  9. Christian Coaching offers an advantaged of a providing an orthodoxy that altruistic, and one that champions excellent and expedient life values.

Christian Coaching can also be used in the above situations, albeit based on Christian values, principles and perspectives. Additionally Christian Coaching can be used on the premise of any of the following:

  1. Addressing spiritual challenges and battles
  2. Seeking to build/enhance Christian leadership skills.
  3. Seeking and/affirming one’s purpose and calling in life.
  4. Seeking to align personal values and principles with Biblical ones.
  5. Seeking to deepen one’s relationship with God (spiritual maturity).
  6. Seeking help, encouragement or motivation during challenging times in Christian walk.
Benefits of (Christian) Coaching
  1. Clients feels more engaged, valued and supported.
  2. Clients feel more prepared for a change in role or organizational change.
  3. Positive changes in attitudes and motivation and increased personal confidence.
  4. Increases employee and staff engagement and results in more job and life satisfaction. 
  5. Finding sustainable solutions to personal and work-related issues such as conflict resolution.
  6. Coaching in the workplace makes employees more accountable for their actions and commitments. 
  7. Empowers individuals and encourages them to take responsibility, supporting them to be more self-reliant. 
  8. Improves individual performance and contribution as they act towards achieving Key Performance Indicators. 
  9. Supports individuals to work more efficiently and productively with their colleagues, manager, and stakeholders. 

Additionally Christian Coaching is noted for bringing the following unique advantages:

  1. It provides a platform where faith and personal growth/development can be integrated.
  2. The use of sound Biblical principles imbibes sound moral and ethical foundation and values.
  3. Christian coaching can be a way of connecting individuals to the larger faith community providing clients with a netweok of likemeinded individuals providing a safe space and continuous motivation
  4. Christian coaching is able to raise and deepen the spiritual awareness of both parties; the use of Biblical principles means continuous study of the Word of God and Prayer, both of which leads to heightened spiritual understanding and awareness

Choosing a (Christian) Coach – Some Key Considerations


Knowing the context to use a coach and the potential benefits, how do we go about selecting a (Christian) Coach? Below are some practical issues to consider when deciding on a finding and selecting a good Christian Coach; not arranged in any particular order, but efforts must be made to use all in the screening process (see References 9, 10, 11).

  1. Coach must be born again Christian with a verifiable Christian conduct; can be verified through Ministry Fathers, Spiritual Fathers, Mentors, Local Pastor, etc.
  2. Coach must him/herself have accountability supervisors and/or oversight authority – Coach must be willing to point to that person(s)/organization.
  3. Proof of formal training – verifiable by some proof (certificate, transcript, etc.).
    • Training from a Christian institution is most desirable.
    • Membership of a Coaching association/network is good but not a MUST.
  4. Some form of proof of practicing
    • New coaches must demonstrate having undertaken some practice/internship, be it during or after their training.
    • Experienced coaches must show proof of work with past clients.
  5. Always have a trial/initial consultation or discovery session – this is standard in any good Coaching practice and it’s must be FREE. Use the trial consultation to:
    • Check the Coach’s bio, at least:
      1. ask about his/her personal Christian life, and
      2. his/her Coaching journey (helps you to know a bit more about the Coach, his/her qualifications, etc.).
    • Gauge how comfortable/relatable you are with the Coach
    • Ask about the Coaching process: duration per session, how many sessions in all, accountability systems, mode of delivery (online or in-person; if in-person where, etc.), coaching models to be used (at least a brief overview is good even of you don’t understand everything).
    • Discuss the cost and payment structure
    • Discuss ethical codes/standards
  6. General Coaches can help in all subjects/topics, however choose a niche Coach if you want some technical/professional insight or perhaps you want a better communication with the Coach.
  7. Having some good ideas about your goals for Coaching is helpful (the Coaching process will help you further clarify).

Summary and Conclusion

Since its ‘inception”, Coaching has become a staple approach/method in equipping for personal and professional development. And rightly so as it allows for greater and higher levels of participation by clients, leading to better or higher levels of empowerment, engendering lasting and sustainable transformation and development. Typically, such are the best situations to use a Coach/Coaching; when there is a need for sustainable long-term transformation championed by the individual him/herself.

The Christian orthodoxy, with its wholesome ethical values and principles, it provides a sound basis for Coaching elucidation and practice, more so as many of the principles in Coaching are by themselves Christian/Biblically -vested, -oriented or -relatable. This makes Christian Coaching, a good branch/class of Coaching, one can opt for and it can be used to address both general and Christian related Coaching needs, delivering a cross-section of results. In this respect, the Christian Coach must therefore have a solid (whole and well-balanced) Christian and professional background with accountability/oversight authority over him.


  1. Addo L. K. (2023). Priest, Purpose & Kingdom; Understanding and Pursuing Priesthood, Actualizing Purpose and Calling, Exerting Kingdom Influence
  2. International Coaching Federation
  3. Stephan Wiedner
  4. Gary R. Collins (2002)
    • Christian Coaching, Helping others turn potential into reality (2 ed.). 
  5. Assorted Authors
    • Creswell, Jane; Christ -centered Coaching: 7 Benefits for Ministry Leaders (TCP Leadership Series)
    • Gary R. P & Webb E. K; The Coach Model for Christian Leaders: Powerful Leadership Skills for Solving Problems, Reaching Goals, and Developing Others
    • Stoltzfus. T; Leadership Coaching: The Disciplines, Skills and Heart of a Christian Coach 
  6. Simon Yapp; What’s the Difference Between Coaching, Mentoring, Training, and Counselling?
  7. Anthony Hilder; What Christian Life Coaching Is – And 5 Things It Isn’t
  8. Ladder of Participation
  9. Know The Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring
  10. SSSC; What is coaching and how can it be used?
  11. Mindy Toran; How to Choose a Life Coach in the Main Line

  • AUTHOR: Compiled by Laud Addo for Ezramiah Mission (
  • DISCLAIMER: Views expressed here does not necessarily reflect the views of Ezramiah Mission.
  • CITATION: Addo, L. K. (2023). Christian Coaching – A Complete Guide, New Perspective

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