Allowing our graduates to walk out their freedom in Christ while at Teen Challenge is necessary to prepare them to live successful Christian lives after TC. When a student first enters the program we tell them what to do because they are a new babe in Christ. As they become spiritually mature, we give them more responsibility to make decisions with the help of the Holy Spirit. This is key to helping our graduates transition back to society as productive citizens and where coaching is especially helpful in the discipleship process.
Being led by the Holy Spirit to ask the right questions at the right time of the right person
will help them develop the critical thinking skills necessary to adjust to life after TC. This will require several coaching conversations. A coaching conversation has three key ingredients which will move the person forward:
- Explores – connect with the students where they are at. Talk about the things they want to talk about. This is the student’s time to explore what’s inside of them and to have a simple conversation that will help them dream about the possibilities for their future.
- Excites – Get excited about the things they are excited about. Excitement or joy is contagious and fires up the brain to create. If you are excited about their future, they are excited too and they will believe it’s possible to create. A joyful heart is good medicine.
- Exhorts – Be an Encourager – a Barnabas. Along the way, the student will meet upon obstacles which may prevent them from becoming who God created them to be. Your role is to encourage them to live from a stance of victory and not defeat. Encourage them to turn the trials into opportunities.
I have found that the best coaching conversations are in the moment – as you go about daily life on campus. You can draw out so much more when you are in a relaxed environment. Listen and watch for the moment to coach and ask these powerful questions:
What is here that you want to explore?
How does this fit with your plans and values?
What are you willing to do to accomplish this?
What support will you need along the way?
What is your desired outcome?
Article Submitted by: Andree Aiken, ELP Leader/Coach, TC Southeast