Coaching: A Transformational Tool

Coaching: A Transformational Tool

“We all have within us a deep wisdom, but sometimes we don’t know we have it.”
~ Shakti Gawain
Some of the most rewarding experiences since adopting our three children have been the moments of sheer joy that come when witnessing our children accomplish something on their own. It could be as simple as learning to tie their shoes or something more complex such as middle school math.
With each occasion there comes a moment of decision on behalf of the parent. Do I tie my child’s shoes for them? Or, knowing they have been shown how to tie them before… do I help to empower them to use what they already know to accomplish it themselves? 
Perhaps you already know the answer to this question. Many times we do. Many times we can draw on the wisdom we already posses in order to navigate a task or a challenge that is presented to us.
So we encourage the child to do it themselves. And we celebrate their accomplishments with them. I absolutely love these celebrations as a parent. And in many ways, this is also the experience I enjoy now as a trained Professional Coach.
Now, you may be wondering; “What is a Professional Coach?”
Several years ago I was introduced to the field of Professional Coaching as part of a clergy leadership program. As a pastor serving alongside a church during a time when the landscape seems to be constantly shifting, I found coaching to be a most beneficial resource for my work and ministry.
Exploring various aspects of ministry with my coach, I was able to gain a broader perspective of what was at play. I was able to bring to the surface the wisdom that I already possessed as a tool to navigate various ministry challenges. And when I would find myself “stuck” on a particular issue, it was coaching that assisted in bringing me through and setting me on a healthier course toward success.
The experience I have had has been so incredibly rewarding that I have now undergone the training to become a coach myself thanks in large part to the Together We Thrive grant-funded training initiative. And now, I am able to incorporate the coaching techniques into my ministry as well as use them as a tool to help others.
In a time such as this, as our churches are seeking to meet the needs of our communities in the midst of significantly challenging times, coaching is proving to be an excellent resource for many pastors, ministry staff, church leaders and congregations. Still in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, coaching provides the much-needed exploration into the gifts, skills and experience present in our churches that will only benefit the journey forward.
With many churches concerned for what the future holds in regard to declining membership or aging properties, coaching can again assist in the visioning and decision-making processes necessary to move forward. And as our congregations are considering new ways to be church in the world today, coaching can serve as an invitation to explore and wonder together, as well as to determine next steps toward achieving their goals.
Coaching is extremely multi-faceted and proves to be overwhelmingly beneficial to us as individuals, teams and churches.
Val Hastings, founder of Coaching4Clergy and the visionary behind the clergy coaching program offered through Together We Thrive speaks of coaching in this way:
As a coach, I help people get the results they want by bringing out the best in them. I’ll also explain that coaching isn’t about fixing people or solving problems, rather coaching is a developmental or discovery based process. Similar to athletic coaches, we further develop the skill and talent already inherent in the people we coach.
To that I would add that coaching is one way to bring to the surface the wisdom we already possess, though we may have forgotten it's there. As a coach, I am here to assist you in being the best “you” you can be.
I am thrilled to be partnering with the Southern New England Conference’s Center for Transformational Leadership in offering coaching as a resource for those throughout our Conference. It is my hope that together, using coaching as a resource, we can work to serve the local church and the Conference through the revealing of wisdom already possessed. And in turn, celebrate together the great accomplishments we will achieve.
Blessings and Peace,
Rev. Timoth Sylvia


Timoth Sylvia

The Rev. Timoth Sylvia is the Senior Minister at Newman Congregational Church UCC in Rumford, RI.

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