For the first time there is a collaborative definition of Christian coaching, with contributions from a cross section of leaders in the field.

Let me start by clarifying what I mean by “coaching.” I’m talking about industry-defined coaching or that which is aligned with the definitions and core competencies established by the International Coach Federation (ICF). The ICF is the oldest and largest global association of professional coaches and it has pioneered definitions and standards for the field. Here is the ICF definition of coaching:

“Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

It should go without saying that there are Christians who are professional coaches who may or may not call themselves “Christian coaches.” Not all doctors or plumbers who are Christians call themselves “Christian doctors” or “Christian plumbers.” Just like Christians in other professions, Christian coaches integrate their faith with their profession in a variety of ways.  However, rather than referring to the coaches themselves, “Christian coaching” refers to a distinct practice of coaching.

How is this practice of Christian coaching defined?

Many aspiring, new and established Christian coaches know Gary Collins’ definition from his book, Christian Coaching: Helping Others Turn Potential Into Reality:

“Christian coaching is the art and practice of enabling individuals and groups to move from where they are to where God wants them to be.”

Recently, an initiative sponsored by the Christian Coaches Network (CCN) resulted in documentation of definitions, distinctions and competencies of Christian Coaching. Not only did Gary Collins contribute to this project, but other leaders in the field participated. This initiative exemplifies one of the reasons I have high appreciation for CCN; the community at CCN includes a diverse group of Christian coaches. For example, the team that worked on this project represented several different training schools. I count a minimum of six different Christian coach training schools represented among those on the team.

Find the results of this Christian Coaches Network initiative – definitions, distinctions and standards of Christian coaching – here in detail at the CCN website. Any project like this will result in opportunities for debate on finer points and specific language, but the work done by this team and the results of this CCN sponsored effort are to be commended.

Also, don’t miss the major event the Christian Coaches Network is hosting! The Impact Global eSummit will be held September 29 to October 3 via phone and internet conveniently located wherever you are! It includes (last time I counted) 27 speakers and 38 presentations and panels. For Early Bird pricing – save $100 – go now and register before  August 29th.  Check it out at this link.