By Kay Harms

Twenty-five Arizona Southern Baptist senior pastors, church staff members and lay people gained new coaching skills through a two-day training facilitated by Arizona leaders March 28-29 at the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention office in Phoenix.

The training, which taught questioning and listening skills, was provided by Arizona Southern Baptist leaders who have been certified through Leader Breakthru. A faith-based organization, Leader Breakthru provides coaching and resources for risk-taking kingdom leaders.

“The training really taught a posture of listening more than talking,” said Keith Henry, AZSBC church life team facilitator. “Whereas mentors teach and speak into people’s lives, this training taught coaching, which helps people formulate their own ideas and plans.”

Henry explained that we all have people who come to us for advice. But often those people are already hearing from God, he said, and just need help sorting through the process of following His leadership.

“In coaching, we assume God is speaking and working, but they may not know how to hear that voice or discern it correctly,” Henry said. “The coach’s job is to ask the appropriate questions and get the other person to verbalize what they hear God saying and how they should follow through.”

Men and women attended the conference from locations throughout the state, including Prescott Valley, Yuma, Dragoon, Casa Grande, Arizona City and the Phoenix area. Nine senior pastors benefited from the conference, and the rest of the attendees were lay people and a few staff members.

“We offer some kind of coaching skills training every year,” Henry said. “Some years we offer certification, but not this year.”

In fact, additional Leader Breakthrough training and a certification course are both on the state calendar for next year. The coaching skills training is slated for March 24-25, and a coaching certification course is projected to follow, March 26-27. For more information, contact Keith Henry at keith@azsbc.org.