Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of coaches from the charismatic stream wrestle with the question of how to integrate coaching and the prophetic. They value both, but they don’t always mix very well. Prophecy is hearing God and telling someone what he said, but the coaching approach frowns on telling. So what’s a coach to do? Today I want to show you a simple yet quite powerful way to get the best of both: Encounter Coaching!
When You Want the Supernatural…
What we’re looking for in our coaching is something that goes beyond practical goals and behavioral change. We want the supernatural. We want Jesus to show up with power when we coach. To do that without telling, we need to facilitate experiential encounters between the coachee and Jesus. The way to do it is simple: instead of asking your coachees question that they are supposed to answer themselves, give them questions to ask Jesus, and let Jesus answer. That’s Encounter Coaching.
For instance, I worked with a client recently who believed that the way to deal with pain was to hide. She knew she’d done it all her life, yet nothing she tried could change that impulse to turn inward and tell no one. So I had her begin asking Jesus questions like these:
- “Jesus, where did I first learn to hide?”
- “What does my heart believe hiding will protect me from?”
- “Jesus, when I was hiding in my room, how did you see me?”
These are questions we could easily have asked the coachee instead of Jesus. But when she asks Jesus, it produces a supernatural encounter. For the first question or two, His answers only penetrated to her head. But as she kept experiencing him speaking to her, her heart began to soften—and as she let him in to her heart in a way she never had before, she got a big breakthrough.
Encounter Coaching Questions
Jesus will answer all kinds of questions—in ways you’d never expect! He is funny, gentle, out of the box—he’ll mess with you sometimes. Here are a few of my favorite questions:
- When a client is praying and not getting an answer: “Jesus, are you going to answer that question right now?”
- When the person is afraid of making a mistake: “Jesus, on a scale of one to a hundred, how concerned are you that I will screw this up?”
- When the person is holding on to something: “Jesus, if I let this go, what will you be able to do for me that you can’t do now?”
- When we are getting too serious: “Jesus, what about me makes you laugh right now?”
I’ve always said coaching is a faith discipline. If you want to pray for healing, you have to believe you can lay your hands on a person and God will move. If you want to be a coach, you have to believe you can take your hands off a person and God will move. What this style of coaching requires of you is just this: that you believe that your coachee can hear God, every time. That’s totally in line with coaching values—and it’s supernatural! You create a faith atmosphere by believing in your coachee’s ability to hear, Jesus shows up, and they hear so clearly and quickly they are often shocked. I customarily give my clients only 30-60 seconds to listen—because once they get in the flow, the answers come right away.
A Uniquely Christian Methodology
Most Christian coaching uses a set of tools (like goal setting, action steps, etc.) that originated in the secular world. In other words, we employ a mostly-secular methodology but with a Christian value system. There’s nothing at all wrong with that. But what excites me about Encounter Coaching is that it marries those Christian values with a uniquely Christian methodology. In other words, you can’t coach with this tool without knowing Jesus! And that gives us something as Christian coaches that no one else can offer. Cool!
You can get advanced training and certification in Encounter Coaching through Leadership MetaFormation. Get acquainted with the Questions for Jesus approach with the book, Questions for Jesus, the free Questions for Jesus Mobile App, or through our exciting new on-line course at Danny Silk’s Life Academy site.