It is all about advancing God’s Kingdom.
This is the heart behind Advance Global Coaching, a great resource for overseas workers that we want to share with you.
Sherri Dodd, Advance Global Coaching’s CEO, first heard the words “life coach” back in 2002 after twenty-two years of serving overseas in Europe. It immediately resonated with her ministry style and she thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if cross-cultural workers could have a life coach?” She moved overseas at a young age and sometimes wondered if she was doing it right, doing enough. During her years in Norway and Germany, she watched many workers come and then give up, not because they weren’t called or weren’t good people, but because they didn’t have enough emotional and spiritual support.
Sherri initially spent sixteen months training to be a life coach, focusing on people she met in her speaking ministry, but her heart was always for overseas workers. The journey wasn’t easy, however, and she spent four years wrestling with God, telling Him all the reasons why coaching cross-cultural workers probably wouldn’t work. God continued to impress the idea on her heart. After much prayer, she surrendered.
She hired a business coach in 2007 to begin Advance Global Coaching (AGC), and then built a prayer team and launched a year-long pro-bono research project coaching four first-time workers. She returned to school for more training graduating from the Institute for Life Coach Training and was credentialed through the International Coach Federation. During this same season, Sherri also completed a Master’s degree in non-profit leadership. Since that time, AGC has built a team of coaches, both male and female, and has coached hundreds of workers in over fifty different countries.
Sherri is selective in the coaches she hires because it is important to her that the workers AGC coaches feel safe and connected. AGC’s coaches are professional, with coaching credentials and years of experience, but they also have cross-cultural understanding as well.
AGC desires to walk alongside workers in any season or point in the overseas journey, or at any transition point. They provide a safe, objective place to process life and the challenges of cross-cultural work. They help workers leave their home culture well, adjust to a new environment, learn a new language, balance life and ministry, deal with team dynamics, set ministry goals, and grow personally through the process. AGC can work with individuals or couples, and they allow their clients to choose the coach that fits them the best. Bios about their coaches are available on their website.
Sherri shared several brief testimonies from clients about their experience with AGC.
1. “I knew the first few years on the field would be difficult, but there was no way of knowing just how difficult. Having an AGC coach was beneficial in helping me see how normal I was with all the thoughts and emotions I was having. My coach listened with a non-judgmental ear as I shared things I didn’t feel I could share with anyone else. I can honestly say if I did not have my coach’s wisdom, patience and understanding, I don’t think I would have made it through the first year.” – Former AGC client, serving in Asia
2. “I know for a fact my relationship with the Lord, my marriage and my ministry overseas would not be nearly as healthy, or even thriving if it weren’t for AGC. I care much more about taking the time to attend to what is happening inside me and manage myself better because of the skills I learned from coaching. Coaching brought health to every aspect of my life.” -Former AGC client, serving in Asia
3. “Coaching alleviated the sense of ‘aloneness’, giving me a sense of community and fellowship as I transitioned from familiar to unknown. AGC helped me walk the precarious tight rope of leaving the world of comfort and security I had known to the world of no more props save the one found in the Savior. All that was familiar was gone. My AGC coach offered strength and encouragement to lean into the call rather than shrink back and retreat.” – Former AGC client, serving in Africa
4. Becoming a full-time worker – “Thank God for AGC who walked with me my first 18 months pre-field and on the field. My coach helped me plow through the good, bad, and difficult questions as well as ’talk out’ decisions that needed to be made. My coach’s years of experience as a [cross-cultural worker] really came to my rescue. It was undeniably helpful to have someone who gets it!”- Former AGC client serving in Europe
You don’t have to go it alone. AGC provides a confidential, safe place to process life’s challenges. They provide free initial sessions, and if cost is an issue, they help you look for funding within your own networks. AGC wants you to have the support you need to thrive no matter what season you are in and not feel like you have to do it alone.
This post is sponsored by Advance Global Coaching.