By Scott Keith –
I know that I am more and more behind the curve every day and that this phenomenon has been going on for some time now. Recently, I have been hearing about an ever-increasing number of pastors hiring life-coaches or even hiring life-coaching companies to help them become better men, or better leaders. Wow! Seriously? I remember the day when pastors were, at least kind of, our life-coaches. Pastors, at one time, would counsel parishioners through the most difficult portions of their lives. Pastors might assist parishioners through such problems as: distress over financial matters, marriages, divorces, deaths, conflicts with others, and other major changes in our personal lives. When done well, this would have always been from a solid common sense and even Biblical perspective, and always with the words of forgiveness in Christ on their lips. But I degrees…
So what does a life-coach provide that these men are lacking? While doing some research on the interweb, I’ve discovered what I think the four essential services of a life-coach are.
First, they provide accountability. That is they prompt clients to get more done than they would if left to their own devices. A life-coach is like a personal trainer for your life. Second, they provide an outside perspective. Sometimes we are too close to our own problems to see the big picture, a life-coach can assist their clients to gain that perspective. Third, a life-coach can provide expertise. They know how to organize and get past the clutter that can clog up our everyday lives. Lastly, it seems, that a life-coach specializes in being honest. These are the people that can get to know us so that they can tell us how it is, where we are screwing up, where we are doing well, and what things about our lives we need to change.
The concept of a life-coach is very interesting to me because it seems that I have just given the definition of a friend. In the age of Facebook, and other social media phenomenon, the concept of a friend has been reduced to someone 3,000 miles away who takes the time to “Like” my post about the new pants a got a great deal on at Ross. Friends are not the people that are closest to us and know us. Rather friends are people that we will only tell us as much as we are willing to proclaim to the whole world on our “Wall.” In the absence of real friends, I can see why so many people are running to life-coaches.
I don’t have a lot of friends, but I believe in friendship. Friends are not the people that we “Friend” on Facebook. Friends are the people that know us, are honest with us, hold us accountable, give us perspective, and lastly are always there for us. I think more pastors need one or two good friends, not a BS life-coach. I think we all need one or two good friends. Without them, life is less than it can be and certainly less than God intended it to be.
So in conclusion, fire your damn life-coach and go get a beer with a good friend. If you are too frightened to do that, hire me, I’ll be your life-coach. Trust me I’ll have no trouble telling you that your full of crap, that you need to man up, and to just “stop it” when you are doing something stupid. The good news for you is, I’m used to giving things away for free… Just like when I write this blog.