Coaching for Life Change Or To Fill Slots?

In a recent coaching session with a new member at my church I heard the following:

“In other churches I have taken spiritual gift assessments and been told by the church they would help me find a place to serve based on my spiritual gifts. And when I meet with a leader, I sensed all they wanted to do was slot me where they needed a hole filled.”

Before the question of “Coaching for Life Change Or To Fill Slots?” maybe the question should be:


Does your church have a way to coach and shepherd people based on how they are uniquely created and based on where they are in their life?

I have been shocked but really not shocked at how many people who go through the PLACE experience at the church I serve on staff tell me how surprised they are that we would take so much time to help them individually determine where they should serve in our church or outside the walls of our church.


Before I go any further if your church doesn’t have an intentional process to help your people discover how God has uniquely created them join me May 2-3 in Atlanta to discover how PLACE Ministries can help you create an intentional process to help every person in your church individually discover how God has created them so they can be and do what God created them for in life and ministry.

The new member I referenced at the beginning of this message about 45 minutes into our conversation asked the following question:

“Is it okay to be in a place where I am not serving?”

If you knew me and my passion to connect people to meaningful ministry, you likely would say my response to this new member would have been emphatically “NO, it is not okay for you to be in a place where you are not serving”!  However, that was not my response to this new member.  Because I had taken 45 minutes to listen to what was going on in her life and hear her talk about the life experiences of anxiety and depression she had listed on her PLACE Profile I didn’t give the emphatic NO response to it being okay for her to be in a place where she was not serving.


Here’s why I guided her away from serving in the immediate future.  First, her PLACE Profile from her personality to her spiritual gifts to her abilities to her demonstrated passions all pointed to a person who would be antisocial.  She was driven and had been a star student through school and was excelling in her profession.  But she had few friends and would get off work and seclude herself in her apartment.  Her work schedule was not a normal 8-5 Monday-Friday and her ability because of her fluctuating work schedule to be involved even on Sunday’s at our church was limited.  She told me she was beginning to pursue a “life full of joy and quality friendships”.  She had started attending our young adult Bible study on Sunday morning and even a mid-week girls Bible study when her work schedule allowed.  She was so excited with the new friends and relationships she was making.  Toward the end of our conversation she told me she was beginning to look at changing her job to make her life more balanced and be able to be more available during nights and weekends to be more involved in our church.


At the end of our time I told her that for now based on everything I heard I felt her PLACE was being involved with the young adults in Bible study when she can join them.  When I made this statement to her she broke down in tears.  And when she walked out of my office I thanked God He has given me a passion to coach for life change and not just to slot people into holes our church needs filled.


Now to the end of the story.  We finished our time talking about the perfect ministry for her WHEN her work schedule has changed and she can continue to build “quality friendships” with those in her season of life. When she left I texted her about 30 minutes later summarizing what we discussed. 


I look forward to the day I can help her get involved in the ministry we discussed and continue building “quality friendships”. 


A few minutes after I texted her she sent me the following text:

“Thank you so much for taking the time to invest in my life.
It means more than you know.”

Would you consider joining me on May 2-3 in our Atlanta offices for two days of investment in your life and ministry to enhance an intentional process to coach others for life change.

Serving Him Together,

For more details on our two-day PLACE Workshop training click here: