By Rainer Kunz
Lately, I’ve been reflecting on the life of Nehemiah. He was a man who made a big impact. Quite often, missional leaders will voice their desire to make an impact in their community. When that opportunity arises in a missional coaching relationship, you can’t beat the following questions inspired by Nehemiah’s example.
First some background information. Nehemiah was cupbearer to the King of Persia. That made him the second most powerful man in the world at that time. And yet, he desired to make an even greater impact for God. That’s the foundation for a great coaching question:
“What kind of impact do you want to make in your world?”
When Nehemiah heard about God’s people in Jerusalem being depressed, discouraged, and defeated he took it seriously and prayed. His heart was broken by the things that break the heart of God. Nehemiah was dialed-in to God’s priorities and therefore he was sensitive to the true needs of others. This generates a second powerful coaching question:
“How sensitive are you to the needs of those around you?”
Nehemiah also models the value of a proven track record. We see that the king considered him so trustworthy he gave him the most reliable position in the kingdom: cupbearer. He entrusted his personal security to him. There was enormous confidence there because Nehemiah was dependable. That’s what we see in the lives of people who make an impact in their world. Their reputation with others is stellar.
As a skilled coach probes further, he or she may want to ask their client this question:
“How dependable are you?”
Lastly, the life of Nehemiah shows us that when the situation needed a leader, Nehemiah said, “I volunteer! Here am I, send me!” He already had the job that everyone else wanted. The problems of Jerusalem were a thousand miles away which was a two month journey across the desert on a camel. And yet Nehemiah said, “I’ll go! I’m not even a contractor but I’ll go rebuild the wall!” He was available. What a terrific attitude for those wanting to be effective on the mission to which God has called them. That creates another great question:
“How available are you?”
God chose Nehemiah even though he didn’t have the skills for that particular job. Why? Because Nehemiah wanted to make an impact, was sensitive, dependable, and available. God is not looking primarily for ability in the people whom He uses, as much as He’s looking for spiritual sensitivity, credibility, dependability, and availability. What a wonderful privilege missional coaches have to help people explore these crucial issues.
Rainer Kunz, Ed.D. Biola University, is the Director of Coaching for Forge Canada. Rainer is a pastor in Washington state and has been in ministry for over 30 years. Rainer and his wife, Susan, have been married for 31 years and have five children, ages 12-28. In his spare time, Rainer loves to fish and play with his kids. Sign up for missional coaching training with Dr. Kunz here.