If you’re like most people you like to be connected to others. Family, friends, church family. To shake hands, share a hug and even a slap on the back. This quarantine business not only has disrupted that, but every routine, habit and it seems how I do things has been obliterated. Then on top of that is the senseless injustice in our country and in our world. The sights and sounds from our screens and our own neighborhoods shout at us to pay attention and do something. Both contexts test us beyond our abilities.
“But what? What do I do now? Where do I go now? I feel lost. I want to make a difference yet I’m not sure how.”
These are legitimate and true questions. We often feel powerless, frozen, helpless and unable to choose where to go and what to do. We feel like our hands are tied. It can be perplexing and overwhelming to seek and navigate where we go.
The good news is you don’t have to wander alone. We in the church are a stubborn lot who don’t want to appear to need help. Perhaps it is because we don’t think there is any real help out there. Perhaps we don’t want to appear weak or needy. Perhaps we are in denial that there is a problem at all. But at the end of the day, life is overwhelming and God did not mean for us to be alone.
At the moment I am typing this I am on tech support with a computer company. I am fairly smart with these things but it is faster and less stressful with someone in your corner. Even if it is through a “chat” tech support feature like I am on it helps to lower anxiety and worry. The same is true for this time. One doesn’t have to go through it alone, even if you are isolated in your home.
So who you gonna call? A fellow pastor, church worker or friend? The district president or circuit visitor? A counselor or leadership coach? Yes! Why not? At the least, two heads are better than one. The communion of saints is a blessing if we but reach out. Yes they can reach out to us, and we do well when we reach out to others for their sake. Yet it is also wise and healthy to reach out to others for our own sake. We need not suffer in silence.
Will they have the answers? Maybe, maybe not. Will it be “good, right and salutary” just to talk? Of course. Will I want to hear what their advice is? Maybe. Maybe it will be nothing new. Will they help me think it through for myself? Maybe. Yet if they are a trained coach, the answer is most definitely YES. Coaching is different. It is not merely one on one consulting, telling you advice. Coaching is not mentoring where the coach puts their arm around you and says, “well, my boy, this is what I did way back when…” No. Coaching is being a thinking partner. It is helping you to connect the dots in your own mind so that you can move forward with intentionality. They let you own it, think it and choose how to move forward. On top of that, coaching is support, encouragement and lowers anxiety and worry. I often hear, “why didn’t I think of that before?” Because it is normal to get think in ways we have thought before. Coaching helps to explore what else might be in our brains. Many coaches offer sample sessions if you have never experienced it before.
So what do I do now? Seek out another. Unprecedented times require more than just knowledge and content and information (although there is a place for that). Times like this require the gift of another person. Seek to be that other person and seek that other person for yourself. You and they are both gifts.
Scott specializes in leadership coaching, consulting, coach and leadership training. He is called by Lutheran Counseling Services and partners with the FL-GA District of the Lutheran Church and others as an independent contractor. Listen to The Coaching Leader podcast and contact Scott to continue the conversation or experience a free sample coaching session. email@example.com or scottgress.com.
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