Faith-Inspired Community Coaching

Have you ever wondered whether focusing on the past or focusing on the future is more important to moving on in life? At times we all experience problematic behaviours: these may just be general life issues or something that is more dominant in our life, such as addiction, abuse or struggles with mental health. Past difficulties can continue to inform and influence thinking and behaviour, but there is a need to positively move forward in life. One of the beautiful things about taking a faith perspective is that faith can become a basis for a belief that we might have a future in which we can flourish. This is what inspired me to found Metanoeo CIC.

Metanoeo, which is the Greek word for ‘to transform your life based on your understanding’ (or to use a theological word, repentance), is based on this idea that all people have the potential for a positive and fulfilling future, no matter what their current or past behaviour. We partner with socially minded organisations, community and faith groups to develop community coaching hubs to make life coaching accessible to the marginalised and disadvantaged.

Our initial project was developed with St Andrew’s Community Network in the Clubmoor area of Liverpool. Through the pilot, influenced by my current PhD research in theology and community justice, I was able to take the life coaching approach to working with people to help them move forward in life. This has a clear crossover with faith ideas and the valuing of faith communities as it is informed by the idea that we are all on a journey which requires hope, new identity and a positive sense of reconciliation with the community with which we identify ourselves.

The initial project’s success led to the development of the community coaching hub concept in which we use our specifically designed training programme to train professional life coaches and volunteer peer coaches to influence their own community. The biggest challenge we have faced is finding the right contacts and right funders. However, we have been able to grow through developing a guild and keep costs minimal through establishing an academy.

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