When sharing with someone about life coaching, I am often asked what it is and how it differs from counseling. I have found the following analogy paints a helpful picture:

Counseling is like archaeology. Needful for getting beneath the surface presenting issues, counseling is most effective when the root system is uncovered and examined in the light of God’s truth. As a tree drinks from its roots, so do our lives – drawing into our very spirit, soul and body the substance of that which has comprised our life.

None of us are shielded from negative or hard things life brings our way. It is how we respond in the midst of such things that sows seeds and grows up with us into adulthood and/or continues the cycle today. Our formation in the early childhood years plays a key part in how our life ‘tree’ grows and what kind of fruit it produces.

Where there is ‘good fruit’, our life has been nourished in healthy, life-giving ways. Conversely, ‘bad fruit’ provides indicators of areas where negative roots need to be identified and severed through Christ, thus freeing us to make different choices in accordance with God’s will and design for our life.

As hurts, wounds and traumatic experiences in life are willingly brought to Christ Jesus for healing and forgiveness, freeing breakthroughs are accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Consider a field being prepared for its crops…

  • It is first turned over with furrows riveting its packed down surface.
  • Rocks and roots are exposed, but that newly turned-over soil is moving into its next phase of preparation.
  • As the rocks and roots are identified and removed, the soil is now receptive to sowing of new seed.
  • A good farmer keeps watch over his field, providing life-giving water, fertilizer, and dealing with pests and threats to the healthy growth and maturation of the crop.
  • In its time, as each crop is divinely and uniquely ordained to do, it brings forth its harvest and yields its fruit.
  • But the crop’s yield doesn’t end there. That for which it has been purposed becomes the very means and method the landowner uses to distribute the harvest for the feeding and nurture of multiplied many.

At Shammahs Field LLC and Shammah Ministries, biblically-based counseling is the foundation from which our marketplace ministry operates. My husband, Wayne, is a fulltime biblical/pastoral counselor employing the principles described above. Further information and more description of how we counsel can be found on our ministry website here or by clicking our Shammahs Field/Shammah Ministries button in the right sidebar.

Though I have much of the same counseling background and training as Wayne, my calling and gifting has focused primarily on life coaching. However, I recognize that in order to move forward in a healthy, sustainable way, there sometimes are issues that are best addressed in a counseling approach. I may offer potential or current clients the choice of booking time with my husband for deeper unresolved issues, or reserve the right to offer my counseling services on a case by case basis.

I invite you to visit my Coaching page to discover how life coaching is like architecture, the counterpart to counseling is like archaeology.

There I explain life coaching, how it differs from counseling, and the process I engage to help others live life forward !

Nancy Bentz

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