Just before Christmas I read, reviewed and thoroughly enjoyed Tom Camacho’s debut book, Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders through Coaching. Tom was kind enough to answer some questions for me, which I hope will persuade you to read his book and check out his ministry.
Could you just say a little bit about yourself?
I am a husband to a beautiful lady, Beth, father to two sons and two daughters, a lovely daugher-in-law and a handsome 5 year old grandson. I pastor a local church in Asheville, NC, in the mountains of North Carolina. I am passionate about helping people and organizations come into the fullness of all God created them for. He’s graced me to become an author with IVP UK and do professional coaching with individuals and groups in lots of different places. I feel blessed and love what I do.
So, you’ve written a book. What’s the elevator pitch?
There are riches in the people all around us. God placed the treasure of His nature in every person and we can learn how to mine for that gold (the image of Christ in earthen vessels) if we will humble ourselves and let God teach us. Thriving godly leaders are also great gold in God’s eyes. He created us to grow and thrive in our life and leadership and we can multiply our influence if we commit to helping those around us grow and thrive in their lives. Mining for Gold is sort of a manual of how to do that well.
You are bringing two important conversations (the practice of coaching and the challenge of Christian leadership development) together. Why was it important to you to do that?
I place a high value on gold Christian leadership. I had the privilege of training as a military leader as a helicopter pilot and platoon leader in the US Army and then about corporate leadership with the General Electric Company. When I was introduced to Christian coaching something exploded inside me. I saw that the principles of coaching would help us become way better leaders as we started asking more questions instead of telling people what they should do. Then, I became a national leader of coaching for my group of churches and was given an incredible coach myself. That experience was like being set free from a cage and finding my wings. Coaching was a game changer for me. After experiencing so much joy and freedom in my life and leadership, I have tried to help others experience the same.
You have applied the Bible to the practice of coaching. Why don’t you think this has been done that often before?
Well I think we see coaching in the work and leadership space, but I feel like it is a very Christ-like way to lead. The more I studied the scriptures the more I could see that the Bible was full of examples where God used a person to help another come into more of what God had created them for. I think we need to always begin with the scriptures in everything instead of beginning with our own thoughts and then bolting on scriptures to proof text what we think or believe. Jesus was more of an asking than a telling leader. I think we would greatly benefit from watching and learning his ways.
You are passionate about the role of the HOly Spirit in coaching – can you share a story of when God showed up in a coaching context?
Once a leader came to my home from the UK seeking a greater alignment of his gifts and callings. This is a high capacity leader who had already accomplished much and was doing great things. But inside he knew something wasn’t totally in place and lined up. We prayed, talked, and did lots of personal coaching. On the last day, just before he was to fly out to his next destination, God showed up in big way. He showed my wife and I a clear insight of who God created him to be and what he was meant to do. So I just started asking questions and gently gave him what God showed us. It was like his heart woke up. The Spirit filled him with a flood of revelation and understanding about his life and calling, and he has never been the same. God knows what He created us for, and if we will cooperate with the Holy Spirit, people will be set free and thrive as His sons and daughters.
What has ‘Mining for Gold’ meant for you in your own life? It often takes someone else to help us see ourselves the way God sees us.
Not always, but He does that often. At times in my life when I couldn’t make sense of what I was experiencing in my walk with God, He sent others to mine for the gold inside of me. IT wasn’t always sweet and gentle. Sometimes it was tough truth I needed to hear, but it was always full of grace and hope for the future. I wouldn’t be where I am today without some coaching-type leaders who mined for the gold God placed inside me. Mining for Gold has been an expression of God’s loving grace to me.
What is your hope for ‘Mining for Gold’? What do you hope this book will ‘do’?
I would like to see Mining for Gold be a part of the larger conversation of how we lead in God’s work in the local church, business and in our kingdom mission in the earth. I know that sounds large and lofty, but that’s my hope and prayer. I hope it can introduce or reinforce an asking type of leadership for many leaders that to me far exceeds a telling type of leadership. I hope to see thousands and thousands of believers come alive and thrive in the fullness of all created them for. If we will learn the skills of mining for gold, I honestly believe that can happen.
Anything else before we go?
I want to thank the team at IVP UK. I am so enjoying working with you in this work of Christian publishing. I’ve learned a lot and am excited to get to share what God placed in my heart. I love writing and connecting with people through this medium of book writing.