By Steve Ogne & Tim Roehl; Nashville, TN: B&H (2008); Reviewed by GREG SCHALLER
In TransforMissional Coaching, Ogne and Roehl share practical insights into holistic coaching. They establish a biblical basis for coaching that is anchored in examples such as Jethro coaching Moses, Barnabas coming alongside Paul, Paul’s call to equip the body for acts of service, and many Proverbs that summon hearers to act wisely.
Why coaching? According to the authors, coaching offers breakthroughs in a Christ follower’s transformation and growth. The old paradigm for initiating change is telling others they need to change and/or providing information that will lead to change. In contrast, the coaching paradigm for transformational change provides a relationship in which the Christ follower recounts his reality and experiences discovery of needed change followed by strategic action steps and accountability. Examples of needed transformation include getting unstuck in transitions, clarifying God’s calling, addressing personal character issues, and becoming more self-aware.
This book underscores the significance of listening and asking key questions for effective coaching. Ogne and Roehl advocate probing by asking questions and actively listening to the one being coached. This is counterintuitive and challenges the natural instinct to dictate solutions, an act which interrupts the possibility for self-discovery that leads to transformation. But key questions and listening allow for effective clarification, self-discovery, and a self-motivated action plan to occur in a coaching relationship. The authors include a whole series of helpful questions.
Ogne and Roehl’s significant contribution to coaching, however, is linking coaching to young leaders in the post- modern setting. They suggest that the young postmodern mindset is looking for relationships, proximity, and affinity. Authenticity, story, and experiences matter to a millennial living in a media-saturated society. The genius of coaching is that it is not a program; rather, it is a coming alongside another person to facilitate the release of God- given potential. This personal coaching offers a key to personal leadership transformation that institutional programs cannot replicate. The authors successfully argue that coaching fits exceptionally well with the young postmodern worldview.
TransforMissional Coaching would likely most benefit people above the age of 40 in understanding how to relate and link to the millennial generation. Leaders serving in urban and/or highly educated settings with concentrations of millennials would specifically resonate with Ogne and Roehl’s ideas. The book’s bibliography includes a number of coaching classics as well as 11 coaching websites. TransforMissional Coaching forms an excellent primer on coaching and deserves my highest recommendation.
Greg Schaller, D.Min., is pastor of the Kent Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kent, Washington, and leads Schaller and Associates, a leadership consulting and coaching service.