This post was originally posted on ChristianStewardshipCoaching.com February 4, 2015.
No really, Why Stewardship?
Why did I declare myself recently as a stewardship coach.
It was tough enough explaining to people I was a financial coach not a financial adviser. Yes there is a difference. An adviser tells you about investment types and is usually licensed (though honestly many are not teachers they are salespeople).
A Coach is the teacher. Someone who listens to your situation and helps you reflect on how you got there not to counsel you on how it's all your mother's fault and you had a terrible childhood but to help you then reflect on how to get to a new place where you've never been before. (truth be told the best counselors do this as well, but they generally deal with something other than your financial life).
No explaining what a financial coach was and does is challenging, but now I've gone and changed my name.
I've declared myself a stewardship coach.
I'll give you a hint. As far as I can tell there were very few people calling themselves stewardship coaches. But I decided to complicate things and call myself one. But even more most of the people who call themselves stewardship coaches are focused only on working with churches on giving campaigns and capital campaigns.
So why did I do this? What does it mean that we are now stewardship coaches?
I declared myself a stewardship coach because I found that my calling, the questions I was being asked, the work I was doing, was both bigger and smaller than financial coaching.
Stewardship is about living you life God's way. Finding ways to truly live you life managing your time, talent, and treasures to help bring the Kingdom of God a little closer here on Earth. I've spoken on this topic in my churches since 2012 and I've discovered that stewardship is about way more than money despite that being the normal focus in church.
We've found ourselves just helping people learn how to prioritize and budget their time and focus on what's most important. We've given workshops on time management and coached people on how to manage their daily time budget.
But we've also helped people figure out a new career and navigate a career transition. We've helped people figure out their calling and the way they could live that out in the place where they were. In stewarding talent I've been trained and served in a leadership position for much of my career. I've given training, coaching, and workshops on leadership development and growth and done executive coaching on how to grow as a leader. Growing as a leader myself as well as teaching others is one reason why I've been recently trained as a John Maxwell Coach as well, that's part of becoming a better Steward of my leadership and growing other leaders.
Of course, we've had coaching clients who did need help with their finances. My wife and I together have coached clients that were in crisis about to lose their house and declare bankruptcy and we've helped them come up with a plan to avoid this. We've also helped clients with things as basic as how to make a budget that works. We've helped people pay off and avoid debt and credit cards and we've helped people negotiate with debt collectors when they were behind.
In other words we've been called upon to coach people in how to Steward their Time, Talent, and Treasures...
In this way I've found that what we were doing was more than financial coaching.
At the same time Stewardship Coaching is smaller than being a financial coach.
We focus all of our coaching through the lens of Christian Stewardship. Does that mean all of our clients are active, practicing Christians? No. As someone myself who spent 22 years running from the Church and God I would never demand that everyone be going to Church to sit down with us to get help. We've had clients that are Christian and clients that are not.
But it does mean that our worldview and approach involves looking at things through this type of lens. That means that the client has to be open to this idea or else we simply won't connect. That connection is important to successful coaching.
Now I'll be honest, my inner voice screams that declaring that we do Stewardship Coaching is arrogant. I'm certainly not a trained theologian and haven't got a history of running huge church capital campaigns. Despite serving as a leader, speaker, and coach for years I still feel under-qualified for this role.
But that's not why I've changed the name. No instead we want to continue to speak to groups, give workshops and group coaching, and work one on one with individuals and couples. But all of that is filtered through the view of Stewardship. My history and walk have led me back to a place where this is integral to everything I do. I'd be more than happy to come to a church or organisation or meet with an individual to teach on stewardship or to coach on stewardship if that's something that you need.