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Transformation: A Two Way Street

by Joe Pursch on June 24th, 2010

Today I bumped into a former pastor  at a ministry lunch whom I had the the chance to briefly coach a year ago. Through our reunion, God gave me the blessing of discovering how the phenomenon of transformation that occurs through coaching can run both ways, not only altering the life of the one we coach, but returning an abundant blessing to the coach as well. I only had two brief coaching sessions with this leader, centered around guiding him through one of the ministry’s more difficult shoals to navigate: should I stay or leave? Most pastors face this more than a few times in a  career, and it is perhaps most difficult when you are happy and used where you are, but a divine opportunity elsewhere beckons you. In this case, the decision related to leaving a para-church ministry position where this leader had experienced a “from the ground up” run of success, and his team was hitting on all cylinders. His issue, however, was that God had stirred his heart to return to the classic pastorate; there was new preaching that had been delivered to his soul after his time away, and he was living under something familiar in the preaching life: a burden.

So we went back to the “core of the calling” in my friend’s ministry history, and revisited the ways God had designed him for maximum impact. We clarified the question before him by asking a different question: “Since all things appear equal, where would God direct you wisely to use you well?” My friend’s answer was to move to the new opportunity, at considerable financial risk to himself and to the disappointment of his existing ministry leaders. That’s where we left things.

When I saw him today, he excitedly gave me the second chapter in the story. God had brought unexpected growth to the ministry he assumed ( it actually had doubled in size) and he happily introduced me to the new staff member he had just hired to handle the incoming blessing. Together, we rejoiced for a moment over how God had honored the move of faith and the counsel of brothers.

My heart grew full of the joy of knowing that as we coach leaders, we often prepare a blessing for our own hearts. In fact, I’m convinced there is a blessing hidden in every healthy decision we coach leaders to make. God was just kind enough to reveal the blessing in this one to me today, in a moment of “two-way transformation”.

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