Mentoring and Coaching are vital to the long-term success of an individual in the business world today.  Virtually every post-secondary business program has allocated time to the value of coaches and mentors on their syllabi.   Mr. Matt Starcevich, Ph.D. at the Center for Coaching and Mentoring, Inc. studied the difference between the two, and concluded, mentors are critical to the formal and informal development of an individual, while coaching enhances the goals of the organization, through developing the skills of the individual.

Does one deserve more consideration than the other? Is it a question of either or, or both and?  Dr. Starcevich concluded that mentoring is biased in favor of the individual and coaching is partial to the organization, however, both are essential.

This is true for organizations in both the private and public sectors, and it is true for the Church.  We call it discipleship!   Discipleship is a cumulative process of developing a follower’s maturity through mentoring, and enhancing their Kingdom-building skills through coaching.  Focusing on one over another is a recipe for growing immature, religious, club members-not bible-obeying, disciples of Jesus.

Every genuine, functioning, follower of Jesus should be filling the role of Mentor and Mentee, as well as Coach and Coached.  In other words, each of us should have relationships that lend themselves to our personal spiritual formation, as well as our ability to perform the disciple-making purpose of the church.

Proverbs tells us “A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel (Proverbs 1:5).  Who is your mentor and coach?  Who are you mentoring and coaching?  You can be part of a local church by doing one or the other.  You can even be a member of a religious body by doing neither.  Though, it is impossible to be a disciple of Jesus, without doing both.  We have been called to the lifestyle of disciple-making (Mt. 28:18-20), are you engaged in the healthy relationships that facilitate that lifestyle?