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Heart Coach Institute

Robin Johnson, ACC • April 23, 2024 • 7 Minute Read

Coaching as Christ Would

One of my goals for the blog is to share with you good books and resources that might support your desire to be a better coach. As I was thinking of the next book I would like to recommend, I had to smile when I thought of the next book I suggest you study: the Bible. 

When I read the stories of Jesus, I am so awe-inspired at the level of compassion, trust, safety, connection, support, encouragement and love he gave to people day in and day out. I want to be like Him. Not just on Sundays or when I go to church, but every day of my life, in every interaction I have with people.

In my mind, Jesus is the ultimate example of what a life coach could be. The wisdom and example of Jesus Christ stands out as timeless guidance for you and me. Beyond religious doctrines, Jesus’ teachings offer insights into personal growth, fulfillment, and empowerment. Jesus exemplified so many things a life coach strives to be through his words, actions, and interactions with people. 

Here are a dozen examples from the KJV Bible that inspire me as a Life Coach.

1. Speaking in Analogies that People Understand:

Jesus had a remarkable ability to communicate complex spiritual truths in simple, relatable language. He adapted his words, teachings, and parables to be relatable to the lives of the people He spoke with.

In the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3-9), he used agricultural imagery familiar to his audience to convey deeper insights about the human heart and its receptivity to the word of God. He spoke of fish to the fisherman. He taught about sheep to the shepherds. By using everyday examples, Jesus made profound concepts accessible to all.

2. Guiding Through Questions:

Jesus often posed thought-provoking questions that encouraged self-reflection and personal discovery. When asked about paying taxes, he responded with the famous question, “And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?” They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21), prompting listeners to consider their obligations to both earthly authorities and divine principles.

After healing the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath in Mark 3:1-6, Jesus encounters resistance from the Pharisees. Instead of dismissing their concerns, Jesus invites them to reflect on the situation by asking, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life or to kill?” (Mark 3:4). This invitation allows for dialogue and partnership in addressing their objections.

3. Encouraging People to Find Their Own Answers:

In the story of the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22), Jesus didn’t prescribe a solution. Instead, he challenged the young man when he asked what he should do to inherit eternal life? Christ invited Him to confront his own heart by suggesting that he sell his possessions and follow Him. This encounter illustrates Jesus’ respect for individual autonomy and his belief in the power of personal choice.

4. Supporting Goals and Dreams:

Jesus didn’t just preach; he actively helped people pursue their aspirations. In John 5:1-9, he encountered a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years. Rather than simply offering sympathy, Jesus asked a pivotal question: “Wilt thou be made whole?” (John 5:6). By addressing the man’s underlying desire for healing, Jesus empowered him to take action and experience a miraculous transformation.

5. Empowering People to Reach Beyond Limitations:

Perhaps one of the most iconic examples of Jesus’ transformative coaching is found in the story of Peter walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33). When Peter expressed a desire to walk on water, Jesus encouraged him to do it. When doubt overcame Him, Jesus didn’t scold him; instead, he extended a hand and provided encouragement and safety. Even though it may have only been a few steps, through this encounter, Peter learned that with faith, even the impossible becomes possible.

6. Personalized questions and observations:

In Matthew 16:13-16, Jesus asks his disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” and then follows up with a more personalized question to Peter, “But whom say ye that I am?” This shows Jesus tailoring his inquiries based on what he knows about his disciples and their understanding.

When Jesus encounters the blind beggar Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52, he asks him, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” (Mark 10:51). By asking this question, Jesus explores Bartimaeus’ specific request and listens to his words to understand his needs.

7. Shows support for emotion:

In John 11:33-35, when Jesus sees Mary weeping over the death of her brother Lazarus, he is deeply moved and weeps himself. This demonstrates Jesus’ awareness of and empathy for Mary’s emotions. It is beautiful to realize that Jesus was fully aware he would raise Lazarus from the dead, and yet He took time to let them express their grief and emotion as well as joining with them.

8. Notices and responds to non-verbal gestures:

In Mark 5:30-34, Jesus feels power go out from him when a woman touches his garment in faith to be healed. He turns around and asks, “Who touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:30), indicating his awareness of the woman’s silent action and the energy shift.

9. Explore how people perceive themselves and their world:

In Luke 24:17-19, Jesus joins two disciples on the road to Emmaus and asks them, “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?” (Luke 24:17). Here, Jesus seeks to understand their perspective and perception of the events that had transpired.

After the disciples discuss who among them is the greatest, Jesus reflects their conversation by asking, “What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?” (Mark 9:33-34), thereby ensuring clarity and understanding before addressing their concerns.

10. Is non-judgmental and supportive:

When Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:7-26, he demonstrates empathy and support by engaging her in conversation despite cultural barriers. He acknowledges her past and current circumstances without judgment and offers her living water, symbolizing spiritual renewal and support.

11. Acknowledges and respects a person’s unique talents and gifts:

In Matthew 8:5-13, Jesus encounters a Roman centurion who asks for his servant to be healed. Jesus acknowledges the centurion’s faith by saying, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel” (Matthew 8:10), recognizing and affirming the centurion’s unique insight and belief in Jesus’ authority.

12. Shows empathy, or concern for the client:

In Matthew 9:36, it is written, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” This demonstrates Jesus’ deep empathy and concern for the people who were like sheep without a shepherd, showing his support for their well-being.

Throughout my life, I have been inspired by the life, love and sacrifice that Jesus demonstrated. I will forever be grateful for His atonement for you and me. His grace is sufficient for all! Through death He gave us life! Through life, He gave us the perfect example to follow.

His teachings and manner of teaching offers timeless principles of personal development and empowerment. He offers us a powerful example of humble, righteous leadership. Whether through his parables, questions, or miraculous interventions, Jesus consistently guided individuals towards self-discovery, growth, and fulfillment.

As we reflect on the life and teachings of Jesus, may we glean wisdom from his approach and strive to emulate his compassionate, empowering style as we coach, guiding others towards their highest potential.