Hiccups, voices and Uber drivers: The value of coaching

June 23, 2020

How are you handling the hiccups in your life? Not actual hiccups, but the short-term disruptions to your long-term plans.

The current pandemic is a major hiccup we all face, but compared to a lifetime, it is just short-term even though it seems it will last forever.

How can we cut through the fog of our current circumstances to arrive at the future God has planned for us? A coach can help us find the answer.

A coach functions like an Uber driver — someone who facilitates our movement from where we are to where we want to go. A good example can be found in the movie, “How to Train Your Dragon.” The hero in the story is appropriately named Hiccup. His whole life was a giant hiccup. He failed at the only thing that mattered to his Viking tribe: he would not kill a dragon. So, defeated, depressed, dejected and deserted, he could not see his way clearly into a meaningful future until a coach stepped in to lift the fog.

His “heartthrob” Astrid stood with him to help him see more clearly. Through a series of masterful questions, Astrid guided Hiccup to face his circumstances realistically, to celebrate his prior successes, to catch a glimpse of a brighter future and to capture his next step on the journey. During that brief conversation, Hiccup discovered for himself how he could move beyond his hiccups to pursue his unique purpose in life. That’s the role of a coach.

The Church Planting NC (CPNC) tribe is building a culture of coaching to benefit planters and their families. The life of a church planter and his family is filled with highs, lows and lots of hiccups, often coming as a multitude of voices speaking into their lives and ministries.

Planters hear the voices of their sending church and their core team. Financial contributors as well as community leaders speak into their situation. Family members, friends and mentors have a say, as well. And, of course, planters hear the “voices” of their own fears, inadequacies and failures. All these “telling voices” can cloud the planter’s vision like a deep fog settling over the seashore.

That’s where a coach steps in to become a “listening voice” in a sea of “telling voices.” Coaches take a “dive” with planters to guide them toward clarity and to help them discover what is most important in their life at that moment. This “dive” provides a structure for the coach to ask a series of questions for the planter to answer as he listens for the only voice that really matters — God’s voice.

During this clarifying conversation, coaches guide planters to see their circumstances from God’s perspective, to celebrate what God is already doing, to discern what God is inviting them to do next, and then to identify specific action steps they are willing to take that will move them forward. In this way, a coach empowers a planter to get past the hiccups as they pursue their unique, God-given purpose in life and in church planting.

The CPNC team believes that no planter should plant alone. The team is committed to delivering great coaching to every church planter. Great coaching will yield healthier planters who will start, lead and multiply healthier churches, which will enable all North Carolina Baptists to get where God wants us to be together — to get past the hiccups, becoming the strongest force in history to impact lostness through disciple-making.


by Mark Harrison 
/  Church Planting NC Contractor  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

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