Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Coaching To Ignite Dreams and Passions
A few years ago I was working with refugee populations as a support person to help them learn the English language, find employment, navigate our system of banking, schools, insurance, and all the things we take for granted in our everyday lives. For those who are new to our country, these things are overwhelming and they need some help in figuring them out.
One of the families I worked and developed a close relationship with was from Uzbekistan, where they had lived under Soviet rule and communism for all of their lives. As Christians, they had encountered persecution and therefore they were granted refugee status to immigrate to the United States. I had been working with them for a few months and our English conversations had advanced to the level where we could begin to discuss their future aspirations and job possibilities. You know the type of conversation because we have it with children all the time.
It goes something like this; "so, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Implicit in the question is the assumption that each person has a uniqueness about them and a special destiny, purpose, and passion that will be propelled by their own intrinsic motivation - as I wrote about in the previous blog post.
We get familiar and common responses from children when asked this question like, "a doctor", "a fireman", "a basketball player in the NBA", "a horse trainer" (okay, that's not usual, but that one was mine...).
So, here I am one evening with the Uzbek family all sitting around their dining room table, where I asked the question, "okay, now that you've acquired some English and can move forward, what do you want to do? Go to college? Work as a ........?"(as I listed off a few possibilities.) I expected to hear a few good possibilities that indicated their interests, passions and goals for the future.
The response I got back from the six of them was only a blank stare. A complete poker face.
Well, I did what anyone would do thinking they didn't understand my question, so I repeated myself a few times, rearranging the question thinking that would illicit a response. Very quickly it became apparent to me that they didn't have a clue how to answer my question. In that moment I had an epiphany and realized they didn't answer because they had lived in a communist system that assigned them jobs with no interest whatsoever in what they wanted.
Why have dreams and passions if they could never be sought out and realized? In "the system" you did what they told you that you could, or couldn't do. The decision was made for them. Their uniqueness was of no consequence. They were there to serve the system.
In that moment of my realization, the Lord spoke to me and said, "they are like my people (the Body of Christ). They also don't know the dreams and passions within them anymore either, because they too have been in a system that didn't encourage having them, and they too have been told what they can and can't do."
This needs to change my friends. For us in the Body of Christ, we each need to be living and moving in our unique design that God has purposed in us. Everything in creation is about a unique and integrated contribution that ultimately points to the Creator, the Author, the Perfector. It is His Way.
In encouraging people over the years in the simple, organic and missional life and expression in Christ, this is a key element to be coached. As a parent, I have seen the unique make-up of each of my children, and it is one of the roles of a parent to encourage and strengthen the gifts, talents, abilities and passions of our children so they can walk in their unique and special design. This glorifies Christ. This also relates to the scripture verse in Ephesians 4 :16, "from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."
And in 1 Corinthians 12, we see Paul make a number of points regarding the need and validity of "each part" of the Body having significant contributions to the whole Body. Even those parts we would deem "unseemly".
We need each person living in their strategic place, moving in their unique purpose in Christ for us to be a healthy and functioning Body.
This is not a time to sit on the sidelines. Get out there and play your part in the purposes of Christ for you to be His Witness, His Ambassador, and His Bride. If you don't know what that is, check into receiving some coaching from someone who will help you unlock what God has put inside you.
Coaching is a way to encourage the dreams and passions that have lain dormant or under the pile of years of abandonment and neglect. Coaching helps to ignite each person to take his part in the Body of Christ.
Ready, set, ignition!