Gospel Coaching

Over the last two years I have used a resource called Gospel Coach by Scott Thomas and Tom Wood for mentoring and discipling Church Planters, Pastors, Deacons, and just about anyone who would meet with me. The definition of Gospel Coaching: “Gospel coaching is a means to glorifying God through Spirit filled, cross-centered relationships that produce gospel-centered identity in Christ, worship, unity with a community of believers, and mission to people of all nations. It is an intentional relationship for working out the implications of the gospel in a person’s life.” This is a powerful statement for any person serious about intentional relationships and discipleship.

Although there are many reasons why I love this resource so much, the one that affected me most, was the challenge to address idols in your life and cultivate a culture of repentance that leads to fruit. I am continually amazed at how many people I come across that have no one asking them, through the context of an intentional relationship, “What are you repenting of?”

Here are some notes that my friend Wade Humphries, Pastor of Longview Point Baptist Church, put together for Gospel Coaching that deal with “Idols and Repentance.” We both use these with anyone we begin a Coaching relationship. I have found this to be a great resource.

Ezekiel 14:3 (ESV) 3 “Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them?
1 John 5:21 (ESV) 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

“What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs
your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only
God can give. A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that,
should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living.” Tim Keller

“If anything becomes more fundamental than God to your happiness, meaning in life,
and identity, then it is an idol.” Tim Keller

“The human heart is a factory of idols…Everyone of us is, from his mother’s womb, is an
expert in inventing idols.” John Calvin

“We discover what our idols are by asking what gives our life meaning, worth, and
value.” Scott Thomas

Three Categories of Idolatry:
1) Approval: I seek from someone or something other than God, approval or acceptance
and I derive my self-worth from the levels of approval or acceptance I receive.
2) Comfort: I seek from someone or something other than God, happiness as the desires
of my flesh are pursued.
3) Security: I seek from someone or something other than God, a sense of security as I
try to control the world around me to try to avoid trouble and pain.

How do we address idols?
2 Corinthians 7:10 (ESV)
10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

Six Ingredients for True Repentance byThomas Watson:
1) Sight of sin. Luke 15:17
2) Sorrow for Sin. Psalm 38:18
3) Confession of Sin. Psalm 51, 1 John 1:9; Deut. 29:18
4) Shame for Sin. Ezra 9:6
5) Hatred of Sin Rom. 12:9
6) Turning Away from Sin and to the Lord. Ezekiel 14:6; Joel 2:12; Prov. 28:13

Reaffirmation of the Gospel!

Romans 8:1 (ESV)

1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

• The Gospel is the only solution to find approval, comfort, and security.
• How does the Gospel address our idols?
• God is gracious-so I don’t have to prove myself.
• God is good-so I don’t have to look elsewhere for comfort, peace, and joy.
• God is great-so I don’t have to be in control.


About George Ross

I am a pastor, church planter, husband, and father of four.
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