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Thursday, November 6, 2014

LIFE-COACHING

Recently I've been receiving quite a few personal requests for the employment of my services as a Life-Coach, along with inquiries about my fees, and I want to give you an update on where I currently am with all of that...

Of course I have decades of experience in Pastoral Counseling, but even before I was a full-time Pastor, I had already logged in many, many hours of giving personal, one-on-one direction and guidance to individuals...by the time I took the required Pastoral Counseling courses in college, I had already been engaged in the practice for some years, having begun my ministry just before my 14th birthday...


Pastoral Counseling is based in a Scriptural paradigm, and is authorized by Biblical principles...it also relies somewhat on the use of Spiritual Gifts, particularly the Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge...at least that's how I have always approached it...


And because throughout the entirety of my career I have been much more of a Teacher than a Preacher, my public speaking has typically contained a major element of prophetic counseling from the beginning...for many years now people have regularly said to me, "When I listen to you teach, I feel like it's just you and me alone together in a counseling session, and you answer all my questions as if we're talking one-on-one!"...


I love that, and have always taken a great deal of pride in knowing that my gift can reach people on such a personal level...in fact, the prevailing and persistent inside joke over the years has been the constant accusation that I have my audience's houses and cars "bugged"...I hear it all the time...they say, "Were you in our bathroom this morning? Were you in the car with us on the way to church? It's like you heard our conversation, and talked about the very thing we talked about this morning!"


It was prophesied over me many, many years ago that I would "sit where the people sit", and that they would say of me, "Surely, the man has been in my bed-chamber, for no one knows that I've said this or done that, but he has heard it and told it, and has unlocked the door to my soul!"


That prophecy was given to me 30 years ago, and since that time, hardly a week has passed without someone saying nearly those very words to me!


METRON Community isn't a church, per se, at least not in the conventional sense...we do meet the criteria, according to the 501c3 regulations for churches (non-profits), and I still perform Pastoral duties for the people of METRON and some times beyond...I did a funeral a few weeks ago, and I'm doing a wedding next weekend, and I do some hospital visitation...and even though Social Media has changed the complexion of it somewhat by making me much more accessible, I still do a good bit of Pastoral Counseling these days, in addition to teaching on Sundays...


Back in the day, a person would call the church office and set up an appointment, and then come in and sit with me and talk and receive counsel about their problems or situations...I did that for several hours a week for many years...but these days they mostly inbox me on Facebook with their questions and/or concerns, and if they still want to talk in person, I'm much more inclined to just meet them at the nearest Starbuck's and discuss things over coffee...it's a very different time now...


In my bio I already refer to myself as a Life-Coach, but Life Coaching is a profession that is profoundly different from Pastoral Counseling, consulting, mentoring, advice, therapy, or any other kind of counseling. 


The coaching process addresses specific personal projects, business successes, general conditions and transitions in the client's personal life, relationships or profession by examining what is going on right now, discovering what an individual's obstacles or challenges might be, and choosing a course of action to make their life become what they want it to be.


Even though I feel that my years of experience in ministry and in my personal life adequately equip me for successful and effective Life-Coaching, I can't in good conscience be legitimately employed as such until I receive official credentials and am registered with the ICF (International Coach Federation), and I am currently working toward that end...


My personal journey includes a wide variety of life-experiences, including many highs and lows...I had quite a unique childhood...born breach (traumatic birth)...only child...communication challenges...never diagnosed, but possibly dyslexic...left-handed...wrestling with same-sex attraction from a very early age...early "call" into the ministry...multiple engagements to be married...multiple break-ups...marriage...parenthood...divorce...re-marriage...ex-communication from denomination for being re-married...blended family...ex-spouse drama...son in drug rehab...entrepreneurial experience...professional success (started a megachurch and pastored it for 30 years)...administrating a large staff...being a public figure...grand-parenting...coming out very publicly as a gay man...surviving intense media firestorm...massive rejection after coming out...having money...losing money...re-possesion of church property...bankruptcy...re-building my life...re-inventing myself...restoration...ultimately finding happiness and well-being though it all...in a word, I can relate to a lot of situations in which people find themselves because I've been there and done that, and have come out successfully on the other side...


But, as I said, I am still working toward becoming a bona-fide, legit, credentialed Life-Coach, and even though many of my contemporaries have insisted that I don't need any further training than what I already have received from the ministry and from life, it's important to me that I do it the right way...


So as soon as I complete the training, I'll be happy to see those of you who have asked for me to coach you...Pastoral Counseling is usually dealing with a specific problem or matter and may just be a one-time thing, whereas Life-Coaching is continual and much more involved...a Life-Coach does for your goals and intentions what a Personal Trainer does for your body...and I won't have any problem being paid for my professional services, because my time is valuable, and I really think that I'm worth it...


That's not ego speaking...I sincerely believe that I have something to offer in the area of real Life-Coaching, and can and will help a lot of people to live their best lives...


Stay tuned for further details...



18 comments:

  1. Jennifer Render said...

    Thank you for this post. It confirmed that I'm on the right path, as I too am in the process of certifying. :-)

    I'll be honored to share this field with you, as your words have added value to my life for years now.

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  2. George Sandler said...

    I would love to have you as my life coach. However, I would also need you to have a whistle and assign me laps or something when I make mistakes. And a cap with a matching warmup suit.

    But seriously, I think you would be great, Bish!

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  3. JoAnn Miller Bridges said...

    Thank you so much!!! You have touched me in your writings for years and I met you once in Long Beach at the TAB !!!!! :-)

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    1. Thanks, JoAnn! I appreciate it...and Long Beach rocks!

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  4. Robin Hixson said...

    You are absolutely qualified to be a life coach! We all know that God does not call the qualified but he qualifies the called. I think you have certainly passed the qualifying process. Lol...

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  5. Ron Pennywell said...

    I'm staying tuned for sure! #Awesome

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  6. Linda M Curtis said...

    We could hang a shingle, over the internet door, n rock this Life- Coach thing. I've got mine..... whoop

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  7. Joe Graham said...

    Bishop, I wish I lived closer to you! You have a rare, and precious gift indeed. :-)

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  8. Bob Peacock said...

    Amen, Joe. Wish I lived next door to Jim.

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  9. Cheryl Tiedemann said....

    Very fortunate people to have you as a life coach. You still amaze me at all you have been through and most important come out of on top. Your voice is still heard at times when needed the most from listening to you all those years. Heard in my head and heart in a positive, caring and loving way of course. Thank you for never, ever giving up or I wouldn't be able to express these loving things in you that I have witnessed. Being an empathic person, it was very rough at times but always a happy ending. :-)

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  10. Cheryl Tiedemann said...

    Can hear in my head and <3 now that if it's not a happy ending.......then it's not over. :-)

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  11. hristina Deon Hal said...

    Yay! So incredible! Your willingness to speak the truth saved my life in so many ways!! I've shared that with you many times. Your light is so bright! Gospels In The Now & Your Devotional still give me guidance. Anyone will be blessed to have you as a personal Life Coach!

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  12. Paulette Washington said...

    Your audacity to evolve in the most healthiest manner possible is impeccable. Your ability to move forward and reinvent or your willingness to revamp your approach to life is remarkable. It is a skill I have adapted into my life by your example. Thank you! Anyone would be fortunate to acquire your services. I understand your reasons for certification but transparency is rarely taught on the mastery level you tend to communicate on.This is why others will pay for your services because you allow people to walk of their free will back through the chapters of your life and when they see their experience in your life? They are able to gain the courage to face their life and choose their own path by your encouragement to be authentic and own their life. "It's All Good!" Love you much!

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    Replies
    1. Wow, thanks, sweetheart...that means a lot...love you so much!

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