…And How to Find Them
“We are who we are in Christ as a result of a series of someones.”
I can think of three types of “someones” God has given me along the way who proved invaluable. There are other types of people we need as well who fall outside of these categories, but you will never go wrong seeking out the three listed below.
A coach is someone who is in a similar line of work but is ahead of you. Not necessarily way ahead, but enough to know the road you're on and be aware of possible obstacles. John Maxwell describes a coach in his15 Laws of Growth as someone who…
- Is a good role model
- Is available
- Has a proven track record
An additional aspect of a good coach, I would add, is someone who doesn't need anything from you.
I've had good potential coaches, but one common issue was their hopes of roping me into whatever project they were working on at the moment. Part of this was bound to happen due to the kind of coaches I’ve tried to secure in the past. The nature of my work has been relatively entrepreneurial, so potential coaches were those who happened to be just as excited about recruiting someone as much as I was!
“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
A coach needs to be someone who is far enough ahead so they can give you solid advice, but also needs to be someone who is close enough to remember reality.
An old Chinese proverb says, “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” Securing a coach, or a series of coaches, means you stack the stands with people who will cheer you on in a game they love simply because they have skin in the same game.
A counselor is someone who provides crucial emotional resources. Someone who calls “time-out” in the game of life. I ignored a pastor friend of mine who recommended I go see a Christian counselor when I started a church in 2010. I wish I’d known how a counselor can help translate the issues of the heart, and interpret life's most challenging issues.
Don't make the mistake of undervaluing what God can do through the help of Christian counseling. It takes more than a couple of sessions for your counselor to assess the situation and get to know you.
Abundant Life Counseling Center (ALCC) is one such place which values people, healing and emotional wellness. They practice a model which views Scripture as the key to understanding the essence of what it means to be human and provides guidance to live the abundant life.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Peer level friendships are essential for your personal and professional development. These are the “someones” you go to conferences with, share stories and perspectives from fresh experiences, and also provide a bit of a competitive streak which keeps you on your toes.
Let's face it, good competition is a great way to “keep score.” Yes, you can take competition to an unhealthy level, but having healthy levels of competition from someone in a similar field can take you farther than you could've gone on your own.
I've been a part of many leadership teams made up of high-level people who have accomplished a great deal. Currently, I serve on Abundant Life pastoral staff with around 65 coworkers and some of them have become the closest friends I've ever known.
Your city or county may have different types of associations if you don't have the luxury of having any comrades in close proximity. The meetings may not be the best, but there's bound to be someone in attendance looking for a friend just like you.
One of the best ways to find these types of “someones”is through GROUPS. God has created us each in a unique way to play an essential role in the body of Christ.
“…so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”
We all need a place where our names are known, where we’re tangibly loved, and where we’re genuinely cared for. This is what is called Biblical Community, and it is our best answer to see lives changed by Jesus. We can do so much more together than we ever could do apart!
Our prayer for you is to grow in Christ and to get connected with a “series of someones” who, in five to ten years, will have you saying, “I can’t imagine my life having never met them.”
Jeremy is Family Pastor at Abundant Life where he leads the teams providing ministry to people from birth through high school graduation and their parents. He's been married to his wife, Chandra, for 19 years. Together with their four children, they use their home as a learning laboratory for all things Family Ministry, and some thing that are definitely not.