Jesus’ Coaching Skills

Biblical examples of how faithful coaching works

coach helping injured youth soccer player on field

Sports teams need coaches to get everyone on the same page. Likewise, sometimes individuals need coaching to get their goals and practices aligned—think life coaches, personal trainers, or spiritual directors. Coaching is an important facet of Faith+Lead’s commitment to equip leaders as they live into God’s calling in their lives. Maybe you’ve never considered “Coach” as one of Jesus’ titles before, but he practiced, taught, and lived out many of the coaching skills that Faith+Lead’s training and resources depend on. 

Reflect back

Consider Jesus’ encounter with a woman by a well in Samaria (John 4:7-29)

How do you recognize his faithful coaching skills in the way Jesus interacts with her?

The Coach:

  • Listens not only for surface stories, but deeper meaning
  • Reflects back the other’s own wisdom
  • Leads her to deeper self-knowledge and awareness of God’s movement in her life


As Jesus advises apostles before sending them out two-by-two, his coaching skills include helping them to set firm boundaries to make their ministry possible (Matthew 10:13-15)! How have you had to set boundaries such as these to lead in healthy ways?  

The Coach:

  • Describes finding “people of peace” who recognize your ministry and willingly host you
  • Acknowledges that there are people whose toxicity must be shaken off. This honesty is key in Christian vocations. 

Hold sacred space

In order to lead in any setting—families, churches, businesses—we need time away to reflect and ask God’s questions. How does Jesus coach his disciples to balance time apart and time with others? 

The Coach: 

  • Leads them away for time apart (Matthew 14:13) but responds with compassion
  • Intervenes when their desire for solitude is just out of irritation (Matthew 19:13-15)   
  • Requests that they go with him to a place of solitude, the Garden of Gethsemane, when he needed to pray before his greatest trials. He doesn’t need them to do anything, but to keep vigil, and is upset when they cannot do even that (Matthew 26:36-46)

Jesus’ coaching skills are definitely something we can benefit from as we develop as faith leaders!

  • Lee Ann Pomrenke

    Lee Ann M. Pomrenke is an ELCA pastor and digital content editor for The Faith+Leader. Rev. Pomrenke is the author of Embodied: Clergy Women and the Solidarity of a Mothering God (Church Publishing, Inc, 2020). She also blogs at

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