I’m updating The Complete Guide to Christian Coach Training.  I include a supplemental section in my book that features various resources, some from other authors who have given me permission to republish.  One of those resources is an article written by Judy Santos who was the founding director of the Christian Coaches Network.  Although it was written several years ago, it remains wise advice today. 

As coaching for Christians becomes better known, a fertile ground is provided for opportunists.

Sometimes, opportunities arise to be involved in coaching companies, training situations, speaking engagements, media opportunities, etc. Some are great – others are not. Here are some guidelines and things to watch for that may be helpful in making decisions that you will not later regret.

  1. Pray for discernment and wisdom as you read. When you hit a red flag, don’t waste time reading further.
  1. Just because it sounds Christian, doesn’t mean it is. Dig. Anyone can use Christian terms and coaching catchwords in the same sentence.  Check for substance.
  1. Always check the identity of the person heading up the organization. If you can’t find the information, or have a lot of trouble locating the owner or CEO, consider that a red flag. Who are other stakeholders?
  1. Look for contradictions, marketing hype, promises of fame and fortune and unsubstantiated statements. Remember the old saying: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
  1. Consider the qualifications and credentials of the person making the offer. If it’s a coaching situation, are there recognized organizations behind this person either in coach training, ICF, accredited university or through a group with credentialed leadership that has an excellent reputation? Does this person have a clear understanding of the legalities, ethics and differences between coaching, consulting and counseling? If you are going to put your reputation on the line, you want to be very certain it is not tarnished by association.
  1. Be assertive in asking for references and ways to verify what you are being told.
  1. If you are checking a website, follow all the links.
  1. Look for empty promises being offered to you and also to the public. Credibility begins with legitimacy.
  1. Look through the sales pitch carefully. If they are asking you for money or a substantial amount of time, check carefully to determine competitive value and if there is a wiggle clause. Is what they are offering solid, viable and credible?
  1. Guarantees, certification and accreditation are only as    credible as the person or organization granting them.
  1. Determine your ROI (return on investment). What is the cost, what is the potential payoff? How much of your time is involved? How much financial risk is involved? If it is a media opportunity, what are the demographics? Does the          media reach the market that contain your potential ideal clients?
  1. Pay attention to how much or little of God’s peace you sense around the opportunity. If you still aren’t sure, ask someone you trust.

Used by permission ©2004-2012 Christian Coaches Network