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
Two people having a conversation
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?
One of the fun aspects of my role is the opportunity to pour into the staff and students at our centers. This past month I had the opportunity to participate and share with the ELP Level III participants. It was an exciting, engaging, fun week with some of our Program Managers and Directors as we learned about Organizational Health and Spiritual Development. As we discussed Situational Leadership, I did a coaching piece on S2-Coaching for the individual who is a Disillusioned Learner. With the disillusioned learner, you give specific instructions and closely walk with them for performance. The role of the coach at this Level is to move the person from a D2 to a D3 (Capable but Cautious Performer). As the leader, you look for the area(s) where the person is stuck, assess the reasons why, enroll them in a coaching process (get buy-in for coaching to begin) and start the conversations. You can check out the teaching notes here.
Randy Schmidt, Andree Aiken, Jim Moore
My visit to Minnesota Teen Challenge to observe their After Care and Recovery Coaching Programs was an amazing trip. Thanks to all the Minnesota TC leaders for hosting me especially thanks to Jim Moore, Senior Coach and Training Specialist for going above and beyond in making the connections and sharing ideas. I believe Coaching and After Care are two areas that God has his finger on for Teen Challenge. God’s heart is to have a vehicle by which we successfully transition graduates back into society. I’m working to develop such a program for the Southeast region. We are dedicated to mentor and nurture meaningful relationships [with our students and graduates] inspiring hope for their future (Star Man Blue Book).
This week I also had the opportunity to do morning devotions with the ladies at the Pensacola Women’s Home. These ladies were engaged in the idea that the Potter wants to put them back together again, but it takes an act of their will – a life totally surrendered to Christ. The ladies are hungry for more of God and the journey that God has them on. I prayed for one young lady who was only 2 days in the program and was struggling to leave. As I was praying for her the Lord gave me a vision – she was about 4 years old and He was pushing her on a swing. I prayed this over her and after the prayer she told me that vision was so significant because her happiest moments as a child were when she was being pushed on a swing. We talked about some of the benefits of staying at TC. Coaching happens in the moment – in this moment and that moment as God leads you to speak to someone. I like what Heidi Baker says “Stop for the one” – first the One who is the one (Jesus) and then the one person who needs to see Jesus through your eyes. Rachel decided to stay at TC and left our discussion with a smile on her face.