What Do You Want?

July 3rd, 2014 | Coaching
What Do You Want?

Excerpted with permission of the author from Chapter Five of The Coach Model for Christian Leaders by Keith E. Webb

In the Gospels, there are three separate incidents in which Jesus specifically asks people what they want.

Amazing. He has so much to offer, so much insight into their real needs, yet He allowed these people to voice their agenda according to how they perceived their own needs and interests. Let’s look at each example.

Two blind men cried out and… “Jesus stopped and called them, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked. ‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’ Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him” (Matthew 20:32-34). The blind men’s request and Jesus’ response are what we might expect.

In the next case, Andrew and another disciple made a simple and possibly unimportant request. “… Jesus saw them following and asked, ‘What do you want?’ They said, ‘Rabbi’ (which means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ ‘Come,’ he replied, ‘and you will see.’ So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him” (John 1:38-39). It is tempting to think we know what’s best for people and to give them something “better” than what they ask for. We might think, “No, what you really need to work on is this…” Jesus didn’t brush aside Andrew and Peter’s simple request. Instead, he honored it and them by treating as important what they felt was important.

Jesus was always willing to listen to people’s requests and desires. But if what they asked for was inappropriate, He did not feel obligated to provide it. James and John’s mother’s request provides a good example of this. “Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. ‘What is it you want?’ he asked. She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus said to them” (Matthew 20:20-22).

We follow Jesus’ example by asking people what they want, and allowing them to voice to their own concerns and wishes.

Keith Webb

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Keith Webb, PCC, is the founder and President of Creative Results Management, a global training organization focused on equipping Christian leaders. For 20 years, Keith lived in Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore. These experiences led him to question conventional leadership practices. In 2004, Keith created the COACH Model® and since then, a series of International Coach Federation (ICF) approved coaching training programs. In the revised and expanded edition of The COACH Model for Christian Leaders, Keith shares the process that he taught more than 10,000 leaders around the world use to solve problems, reach goals, and develop people. Keith blogs at keithwebb.com.

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2 thoughts on “What Do You Want?

  1. Paul Cheese says:

    I love this example of Jesus using a “coaching question” to help people explore both their needs and their desires. It’s also my favourite coaching book!

    1. Bob Tiede says:

      Thanks Paul!

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