A new phrase has arisen in Christian Ministry which is causing confusion. The term “Life Coach” sounds good, but has no biblical basis. There are Five-Fold offices; teachers, perhaps even mentorship. However I am hard pressed to find reference to a ‘life coach’. I want to offer my thoughts in describing this newly coined niche among ministers.
If I were to offer a description of Life Coach, it might read, “One who was once called to ministry but was compromised between God and man. A professional rebranding designed to save face after God’s termination of ministry service.”
Parallax vs Paraclete. We already have one called to be a Life Coach. The person of the Holy Spirit is the believer’s life coach. He is available to intercede and guide. In Hebrew, the פרקליט (transliterated praklit), is our legal counsel. He is holy and is ready to make you holy, whole and complete. Parallax is the former ministry hybrid termed Life Coach. A Life Coach can be obscure in mission, offering no guaranteed outcomes, with non-biblical advice. This ministry hybrid changes in the vision of the observer.
Jesus on the other hand remains constant, the same yesterday, today and forever.
A Life Coach is what you get when ministers try to tone down Jesus in order to make His message more palatable to those who love the world. Life Coach is what ministers become when they no longer believe the message God sent them to deliver. I liken it to a large diamond that is clarity enhanced. It is fracture filled to improve clarity to an otherwise undesirable stone. It is a stone which may look good to the untrained eye, but one that has not increased in value. Fracture filled is ok, it’s just not natural. It’s flashy, but not more valuable.
A Life Coach should not be confused with rehabilitative counseling in the case of our U.S. military veterans, or others who are experiencing a life crisis. The life coaching I am referring to is self-help for self; unlocking more of self for self’s sake. You get the idea. After all, if someone gets addicted to the Life Coach he or she will also need the latest book or CD which of course includes some scriptures and scant reference to God. Jesus may even have a brief cameo to justify the schemed theology.
A viable alternative would be sixty six referential library books with tons of self-help principles along with sound advice for teaching a person to fish and develop his or her own thirst for living water. I love the Hebrew word for drink or rather to cause one to drink. That word is (lahashkot-transliteration), and is more beautiful in Hebrew להשקות*. Some call it the Tanakh, or the Bible. It is referred to and inferred by Jesus in New Testament theology as living water. Can God actually cause us to drink? This is hope. This is the beginning of living again.
Check it out at a life—I mean a library near you. Finally, I would add, take the advice found in the sixty six self-help books I mentioned and add some quality time in prayer. You will receive all the help you need.
L’Chaim to life and the coach in you.
*Ulpan-Hebrew, Hebrew English lexicon