Introducing the ALL NEW “Christian Coaching Best Practices 2.0″ Series!

Dear Colleague,

Coaching is an incredibly important field – you, as coaches, are foundational to helping people get their lives back on track. This is why we at the AACC are excited to announce that in partnership with the ICCA, we are developing a brand new line of courses designed just for coaches: The Christian Coaching 2.0 Best Practice Series!

The 2.0 courses feature a three hour study program, all targeted towards a specific topic. This new, three-hour study program is a DVD-based training platform tailored just for you—the Christian Coach. Each course will feature three, specially selected, hour-long presentations from renowned experts on coaching issues.

The first in the series, Becoming a Life Coach 2.0, features three dynamic presentations from expert coaches Dwight Bain and Catherine Hart Weber:

BLC 101: Coaching: The New Helping Relationship

Coaching is a vital new helping field that is growing exponentially. Dwight Bain and Catherine Hart Weber help you understand this emerging field, how it differs from other caregiving professions such as counseling, and things to consider in offering life coaching services.

BLC 102: The Business of Coaching

Being a highly skilled coach will prove pointless if you have no clients!  Dwight Bain helps you understand the “business” of coaching and how to build a thriving and financially viable practice in Life Coaching while helping people improve their lives.

BLC 103: The Future of Christian Coaching

Is Life Coaching a fad or does it have a real future? Dwight Bain gives his view of the future of Christian life coaching and helps explore its role in your future.


Keep an eye out for more incredible courses as we continue developing these courses! Don’t miss out – purchase Becoming a Life Coach 2.0 today for the special savings rate of $69 – regularly $149!

CLICK HERE to purchase!

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Changing the Storyline to Change the Ending

Shirene Gentry, M.A.

Stories. Drama.  Defining moments.  We love the storylines that catch our senses, capture our hearts, and captivate our minds to the point that we “can’t put it down.”

You have a story. I have a story. Your clients have a story.

As a life coach, your clients will come to you with many chapters of their lives already written.  Perhaps they have lived in the same chapter for a long time.  Maybe they are ready to write a new life chapter and aren’t even sure how to maneuver the next step in their personal narrative.

Here’s where you arrive in their storyline. Now is your chance to do the following:

  • Encourage them where they are
  • Inquire as to what brought them to this point
  • Instill the idea that they, not others, are the main characters

Regardless of poor choices in chapters that have already been written, either their own choices or those of others, your client will need to be committed to changing their own storyline as far as it is within their control. Doing so involves three ideas that relate to the past, present, and future.

First, the concept of disappointed acknowledges the past – past chapters that can’t be rewritten.

 Your client will need to acknowledge either disappointment with themselves (their own poor choices) or with others’ poor choices.

Second, the concept of determined acknowledges the present – chapters that are currently being written.  Within this category are the categories where the plot thickens and changes:

  1. Renew thinking
  2. Reframe understanding
  3. Refresh concept of God

Third, the concept of delighted acknowledges the future – chapters that are yet to be written.  These chapters are co-written by God as He reveals what He plans to do with your client’s story.  These are the chapters that allow your client, the main character, to thrive regardless of their actual life outcomes.  Comebacks.  A good ending.  Those that are only authored by God after the client has renewed their thinking, reframed their understanding, and refreshed their concept of who and where God is as their personal narrative unfolds.

All good storylines contain drama and defining moments. Instill within your client the knowledge that with God’s help, they can rescript a story that changes their hearts and minds to the point that their enthusiasm for having rewritten their storyline will leave them forever changed.

Click here to access the Changing The Storyline Tool



Shirene H. Gentry received her bachelor of arts degree from Wake Forest University and her master of arts in professional counseling from Liberty University.  She is a board certified master Christian life coach in High Point, North Carolina specializing in the areas of stress management, relationship, marriage, and health/wellness.  She is a member of the AACC and the ICCA. She has written several books, including Change Unveiled: Hope for Positive Choices, Inspiration Unveiled: Hope for the Seasons of Life, and Recipes Unveiled: Hope for Healthy Eating. 

She can be reached at, Hope Unveiled Life Coaching (Facebook), hopeunveiled (Instagram), @hopeunveiled; @Shirene_G. (Twitter), and Hope Unveiled Life Coaching (YouTube).

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Letting Go of My Dreams

Julie Woodley, M.A.


That night God spoke to Israel in a vision: “Jacob, Jacob!” He said. And Jacob replied, “Here I am.” (Genesis 46:3)                           

mural-1347673_640Webster’s definition of dreams:
“a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleep; an idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not real; something that you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time.”

I always thought that God was in the process of making our dreams come true, but I have seen many people’s dreams come true and then sometimes their world is turned upside down, much like mine was.

I thought God was answering all my dreams and was so excited to see the reality of them come true.  I began to understand in a very profound way, as my world crumbled around me, that I had been peddling fast to accomplish what I “thought” was God’s dreams for me, when in reality, my thinking was upside down. My dreams had become a reality, but I left God behind. I could only see him in the rear view mirror.

C.S. Lewis says: “He who has God and many things has nothing more than God alone. God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

Through many disappointments in my life, the shattering of dreams, and a broken heart, I have found the most valuable treasure – God. There is nothing apart from Him.  I am learning to not peddle faster in trying to show Him and others, that I can make an impact.

I have been drawn many times to Him and Him alone—to pursue God—He is enough.  I am lost in HIM! His presence, voice and song are within me. I raise the white flag—God is my only dream. God is all there is! Nothing else matters.

I now realize something so incredibly profound – my dreams are HIM. Yes, I still have active dreams, visions and mystical experiences.  But, HE is my dream. It’s about strength, beauty, and love – that is what life is all about.

I have read Jeremiah 29:13 many times: “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes.  I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

I am home, I make Christ my everything.  HE is restoring me; He alone.  My life is centered in the beauty of the Cross.  Everything I do is important to Him. Whether it be creating a video production for healing for hurting individuals, or helping a young mom with her young children. As Mother Teresa said: “Practice doing small things with great love.” Small things such as breathing, loving, and worshiping Him.

Julie Woodley, M.A., is the founder and director of Restoring the Heart Ministries. She is the Ministry Outreach representative for Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center.

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Gregory Jantz, Ph.D.

5 Keys to Dealing with Depression

When a person is depressed, there are emotional roots of anger, fear, and guilt that anchor depression into a person’s thinking.  These roots must be uncovered, understood, and addressed in a positive, healing way.  This is not a quick process.  It requires time, patience, and no small amount of courage.  

Courage is needed to identify and acknowledge the source of anger, fear, and guilt in your life.  The source of this pain may be rooted in childhood.  Meaning, you’re so accustomed to feeling this way, you may experience anger, fear, and guilt afresh at dredging up these truths.  Looking at who you are and why you feel the way you do from a fresh approach can be difficult.  

Over the years, you’ve learned ways to cope with the pain, and those ways are familiar and even comforting.   Giving those ways up and looking at the truth is the first step to creating change.  

Some people are able to realize improvement through medication alone, but research shows there is a higher degree of healing when therapy is combined with medication. [i] Therapy or counseling provides individuals with a safe place to talk about feelings and discuss past and current events in life that have contributed to their depression.  

Therapists can also make suggestions about positive actions people can integrate into their lives. When I have used this whole-person approach, including an understanding of the body and the appropriate use of medication, I have found success in helping people to achieve long-term recovery and healing from depression.

It takes courage to understand the need for change.  It takes courage to step out in faith and act differently.  Overcoming depression requires a new paradigm because depression can’t be solved by the same circumstances that created it.  In order to recover, you need to change how you listen to and respond to your emotions.  

In depression, we bury our optimism, hope, and joy and react with anger, fear, or guilt.  We allow overwhelming circumstances to knock us flat.  Emotional depression can become an automatic reaction to life’s trials.  Reactions are automatic, but responses need not be.  Depression does not have to be automatic.  

Even if we may immediately react negatively, we can learn to intentionally reassert positive emotions.  This may not be our first reaction, but our first reaction doesn’t need to be our only response. 

The next level above automatic reaction is intentional response.  You need to be intentional in your response to life and its circumstances.  You need to deliberately recognize, promote, and sustain optimism, hope, and joy.  In the midst of depression, the thought of sustaining even a modicum of positive feelings may appear overwhelming, a burden too heavy to bear.  But aren’t you already carrying around the weight of emotional baggage?  

Think how much energy it takes to carry around anger, fear, and guilt.  When you begin to put those emotions down, you will find strength for optimism, hope, and joy.  These are responses that come from within you and are not necessarily derived from your outside circumstances.  You can decide to remain optimistic, hopeful, and joyful.  

Having the courage to intentionally choose how to respond to life is no a trivial matter.   This attitude can save your life, and you have the ability to create a new world that is filled with HOPE.  


Like what you read? Check out Dr. Jantz’ new book, Five Keys to Dealing with Depression, available here! 


Dr. Gregory Jantz is a Mental Health Expert and author of 35 best-selling books.  He is a go-to media source on behavioral health and has appeared on CNN, Fox, ABC and NBC.  Under Dr. Jantz’s leadership, The Center • A Place of HOPE has been voted in the Top 10 Facilities for the Treatment of Depression in the United States.  


[i] Lindsey Tanner, “Treatment for Depression on the Rise, “ Seattle Post-Intelligencer (January 8, 2002).

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Weekend Reads: The Digital Invasion

The Digital Invasion: How Technology is Shaping You and Your Relationships


It is a digital world.
You coach in a digital world.

When coaching parents, adults, students, or children consider what you need to know. TMOT (i.e. “trust me on this” in texting lingo), the way people communicate has changed. How do you observe the field of life coaching has been influenced? How does technology impact your coaching?  The way you coach?  The opportunities and obstacles you face in coaching? How does technology impact the clients you coach?

In Dr. Archibald D. Hart and Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd’s book, The Digital Invasion: How Technology is Shaping You and Your Relationships, find perspective on the digital world. It’s a helpful, heartfelt look at the strengths and cautions of technology.

Dr. Hart and Dr. Hart Frejd (2013) expound, “It is our hope that this book will provide you, the reader, with the knowledge, wisdom, determination, courage, and tools needed…” (p. 34). The authors emphasize, “There is growing evidence that our cyber world can have a negative effect on every aspect of our lives, including our physical and mental health, our marriages, occupational success, and more” (Hart & Hart Frejd, 2013 p. 34).  Coaching looks holistically at a person’s life.  The digital world holistically affects a person’s life.  Reading The Digital Invasion educates a coach on a pressing issue.

Use The Digital Invasion to guide your clients (and yourself).  Shed light on identifying personal digital habits.  Discover the difference between digital immigrants and digital natives.  As you read, learn about the how technology rewires the brain.  The Digital Invasion covers multitasking, social media, serious cyber problems, and digital addictions.  Be inspired to help the parents you coach develop a digital protection plan. Leave the pages of this book encouraged with a Biblical view on technology and how to protect your “God space.” Come full circle by identifying how to live intentionally in a digital world.  You may coach in a digital world, but Dr. Hart and Dr. Hart Frejd remind parents, coaches, and individual to be strategic stewards of it.


It is a digitally invaded world.

Yet, you and your clients can live digitally intentional.


To get your own copy of The Digital Invasion and read more about the topic, visit life coach Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd’s website


Hart, A., Ph.D. & Hart Frejd, S. (2013). The digital invasion: How technology is shaping you and your relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

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Four Key Elements To Discovering Your Purpose

Lisa Murray, M.A.

Four Key Elements To Discovering Your Purpose

And how to make the days ahead the most meaningful ever


Delores had always been a vibrant, passionate woman.  She had been active in her church, taught Bible studies for more years than she could remember, and routinely invested herself in the lives of the women she taught.

Sitting with her, her eyes welled up with tears.  She seemed lost.

Ever since she retired and relocated to be near her children, she hadn’t been able to find a church community in which to invest herself.  Every church already had their programs, their teachers.  Her children and their families were busy with their lives and she struggled to nurture the kind of relationships she had always dreamed of with her grandchildren.

Her husband was now passed and this woman who had lived with such strength, passion, and purpose, now struggled to make sense of her life.  She ached to have a place to plant herself.  Her spirit was parched for soil in which she would thrive.  Lonely, she began to sink into depression.  Was this it?, she wondered.  Was there a purpose at all to her life? 

Katie is in her late 20’s.  Though she has a job, she longs to find her purpose in life – God’s unique calling to which she can dedicate her life.   She searches to find her purpose every day in her career and her relationships, yet ends up feeling more confused and farther from her pursuit than ever.

Without a compass to give stability, direction, and meaning, she remains locked in a cycle of emptiness and wandering.  Some days life feels overwhelming, almost unbearable.

Most of us can recall similar feelings at some point in our lives—the emptiness, the yearning, the confusion, the lacking, and the depression. They all merge together, and they always seem to present themselves in the dimmest moments of twilight.

We all need purpose. 

Viktor Frankl, an Austrian existential psychologist, created a school of thought called logotherapy. Frankl believed that our dominant driving force is to find meaning in life.

In the 1940s, Frankl was held prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. He felt the horror of losing everything only to be tortured and terrorized. With all the agony and brutality, what kept Frankl from giving up his relentless fight for his life?

Purpose.  He found meaning in his struggle, and that’s what gave him the power to push forward through unimaginable pain.

After escaping the concentration camps, Frankl published a book called Man’s Search for Meaning, which explores his experiences and includes an overview of logotherapy.  A quote by Nietzsche nicely sums up his philosophy on how people were able to survive the camps, without losing the will to live:

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.

That is the power of purpose.  We can find meaning and purpose in our relationships, we can find it in our values and beliefs.  We can find purpose in our relationship with God, and we can explore our God-given passions to cultivate potential purposes for our lives.

In my book, Peace For A Lifetime, I explore three things that must align for us to discover our purpose: identity, beliefs and values, and passions.  However, there’s one vital piece to the purpose puzzle that’s missing.

God’s purpose will always be connected with giving, not getting.

 We tend to look for something external that will provide direction or purpose, that will fill the void inside.  It’s counter-intuitive, but our search for purpose will emerge from what we are giving of ourselves to others.

 Viktor Frankl described,

Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.

Do you want to be loved?  Love someone.  Would you like more joy in your life?  Give joy to people!  Sounds so simple, right?  The more we learn to serve others, the more fulfilled and satisfied we become.

God’s purpose will always align with how He has made us.

 As we define our identity (our core strengths and weaknesses) and our most deeply held beliefs and values, our curiosities used in service to others will explode into a relentless passion that emerges into a vibrant dynamic purpose.

  1. Know your identity – write down a list of strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Define your beliefs and values – write down your beliefs about life, faith, relationships, work.
  3. Explore your passions – write down a list of things that interest you or make you curious.
  4. How can you use the above three to serve a cause, a person, a community, or an organization other than yourself?

Once you identify these things, you will have a map to begin discovering your purpose.  It may not include fame, it may not have a giant salary attached to it; it may be different than you had ever dreamed.  Yet finding and engaging the purpose for which you were created will provide the greatest meaning and satisfaction you can imagine.

Do you enjoy talking with people?  Where can you begin volunteering to talk or read with people who perhaps are lonely and would love a good conversation?

Do you enjoy cooking?  How can you identify individuals, families, or organizations within your community for whom you can begin cooking meals?

Are you gifted at teaching, writing, organizing, helping?  There is no right or wrong.  Get creative and try out several things.

Your purpose today may look different than it did twenty years ago.  God is always growing us to develop different passions and purposes for every season of our lives.

Explore the things you love today and begin to look for ways you can use a gift to bless someone.  In the end, you will be giving yourself the biggest blessing of all.  You will be living your life on purpose with purpose.



Lisa Murray is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Franklin, TN, with an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, as well as a graduate degree from Trevecca University.  In 2007 Lisa founded the Counseling and Family Ministries at Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork, TN, where she not only works to help individuals, couples, and families, deal with the complexities and challenges of life and relationships, she also treats a full spectrum of mental health issues.

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The Soundtrack of Your Life

Elizabeth Hixson


The scene is being set by the music.Tension fills the air as disturbing musical notes crescendo.

Fear begins to swell in the minds of the movie watchers.

It is hard to watch.

It is even harder to listen.

The music’s soundtrack takes over.


What is Heard

Consider how a soundtrack can take control. Jaws has a soundtrack that greatly influences the way a person experiences the film. Try watching a scene from Jaws on mute – without the soundtrack playing.  What you see is likely dramatic, but not really too scary.   However, Jaws becomes ten times more frightening when you are watching it to the spine-chilling musical arrangement.  It is a soundtrack composed to create a sense of dread in the movie watchers.  What is heard influences what is experienced.


We Choose the Soundtrack

Are not our lives as Christ-followers like this?  What we listen to in our hearts greatly influences the way we live. Let’s call it the soundtrack of our lives – the musical arrangements that play out in our souls.  Do we listen to the soothing reassurance of our Abba Father? It is His soundtrack of love that will anchor us in the midst of a distressing situation.  Yet maybe sometimes we let the sinister tones of Satan’s soundtrack cause us to become twisted with fear.  In our hearts we pull the pillow over our eyes like we would in a scary scene of a movie.  What is listened to influences what is lived out.


Author Steven Furtick (2014) calls the negative soundtracks we listen to the “Chatterbox.”  In his book, Crash the Chatterbox, he says, “I used to think that someone who struggled with the kinds of weaknesses I deal with daily was useless to God.  I felt so often like I was drowning in internal dialogue I couldn’t control.  It had been the soundtrack of my life as long as I could remember…Yet everything changed when I began to realize God has given us the ability to choose the dialogue we believed and respond to…Choosing to believe this, moment by moment, and action on it is the most important habit you will ever develop.” Furtick (2014) continues, “The voice you believe will determine the future you experience.”


Change the Soundtrack

Maybe right now you can identify you have been interpreting your life situation – that car accident, the divorce, the new job, the depression, or the health concern – by the wrong soundtrack. It is not Abba Father’s voice (Romans 8:15). Maybe you did not even realize it until now, but you are listening to a soundtrack of shame or insecurity.  It is influencing the way you see your situation.  This intimidating music playing in your soul is so loud you are having a hard time not being afraid.  It feels like a scene from Jaws, just it is happening in your heart.


My friend, it’s good we can together realize were created for God’s music to accompany our situations, not the lies of Satan.  Let us be angry at the Enemy, not ourselves, and turn away from his lies.  Children of God are wired to hear God’s voice (John 10:16), because we have Christ alive in our hearts (Galatians 2:20) to help us hear God.  Be free in this realization.  We can change the soundtrack!


He’s Always On

There was a time in my own life where the negative soundtrack that was playing so loud intimidated me.  It was a soundtrack of fear.  I desperately wanted to make it stop.  God provided many different reassurances of His love.  One way He helped me tune into His soundtrack again was through a song.  I did not even seek the song out myself.  One day when I turned on my cellphone, the song “Abba Father” by Planetshakers started playing.

How great is Your love for me

That You gave up Your Son for me

Now I am alive and free

Father I love You, Father I love You


Abba Father, Your love is never-ending

There’s no other love like Yours

In Your presence my heart is overflowing

Father I am Yours

(Planetshakers, n.d.)


It was at the moments I needed to hear those song lyrics the most, God seemed to allow my cellphone to switch automatically on to the song.  It has become of the soundtracks of my life.


In our lives, God is always speaking to us – through His Word, music, sunsets, people we encounter, etc.  His soundtrack of love is always “on.”


Ask His Help

What is the predominate soundtrack of your life?  Whose voice do you listen to?

As you walk through the day, ask the Holy Spirit to help you make Christ’s love the soundtrack of your life – what you listen to, what accompanies your experiences.  Ask Him to enable you to turn off the voice of the enemy so you can tune into His.


 “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning for I am trusting in you.  Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you” (Psalm 143:8, NLT).

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Coaching Clients and 5 Core Needs


“Who can I trust?”

“Who am I?”

“Who wants me?”

“Why am I alive?”

“What do I do well?”


Dr. Kathy Koch, founder of Celebrate Kids and author of 8 Great Smarts, developed the questions above to help people discover their 5 core needs. Dr. Koch “…believes all of us have five core needs that must be met. Ideally, they’re met in healthy ways, but when that doesn’t happen, people will choose to meet them in unhealthy ways because they must be met. The order of the specific needs is significant because the links between them are key to problem solving” (, 2016).


What are the 5 core needs exactly? Read what Dr. Koch has to say about the power of helping people discover their five core needs by visiting her website


Whether you are coaching parents or children, let Dr. Koch equip you to know what the 5 core needs are and how to help people identify those core needs!

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What’s Your Coaching Niche?


Are you looking to determine your coaching area of expertise – your niche?  Or perhaps you are simply interested to expand your coaching toolbox with training in an area of coaching. Either way, the ICCA blog empowers you to expand your coaching horizons by highlighting valuable professional life coaching courses from Light University.

This week’s highlight: Parenting Coaching

Explore Parent Coaching.

“Next to marriage, parenting is one of the most difficult tasks in life. From nuclear families to step families to multi-generational families, parenting certainly has its challenges. With all of the different types of families out there, this course will help you coach each of them and address their specific needs. With biblical insights and the best experts in the parenting field, this class will prepare you to confidently coach and care for each family that comes your way.” (, 2016).

What do you think? Is walking alongside parents an area you are passionate about? Perhaps your life story enables you to coach parents, single parents, or young families. Imagine the impact.

Discover more and find your niche in parent coaching through Light University’s Parent Coaching course.

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Clues to Cracking the Passion Code


Your client seems excited.

Her enthusiasm exudes from the tone of her voice and the smile on her face.

She speaks faster.

She is speaks of a children’s home downtown she heard about a few months ago.  You notice this topic brings out a level of energy in her that is different than any other topic she has spoken about.

You decide to ask.

Author, leadership coach, and master coach trainer, Tony Stolzfus (2016), explains that a way to crack the code of what someone is passionate about in life is to pay attention to the clues of what they get energized to talk about.

Tony shares in his blog post, “Using Energy Clues to Understand Passion,”

When trying to coach a person to discover their passion, one key technique is becoming aware of the client’s energy. When we speak our voice tone, volume, emotive content and so forth vary over time… When we talk about our passions, we want others to get it—to understand that this is something we care about, and to know why we care. So consciously or unconsciously, we change the way we talk to communicate that energy. (Stoltzfus, 2015)

What are more of the clues you look for when seeking to help a client discover his or her passions?  Read the rest of Tony’s post by visiting The Christian Coaching Center blog

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