Personal Coaching for Those in Ministry

I have written previously about how to go further, faster. One of the best ways is to hire a personal coach. I have used coaches for more than a decade. I credit much of my success to this strategy.

Ministry Coaching International Website

The problem is coaches can be expensive—especially for those in ministry. That’s why I am especially excited about Ministry Coaching International (MCI). It was started by my good friends at Building Champions, the coaching company I use and recommend. MCI has the same philosophy as Building Champions, but it is specifically focused on—and priced for—ministry professionals.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Dick Savidge, the president of MCI. Please note that this is not a sponsored post. I simply believe in this ministry and wanted to make you aware of it. My questions below are in bold.

Q: What is personal coaching?

Coaching is a one-on-one relationship that focuses on life and leadership transformation. While it often includes counseling, mentoring, and spiritual direction, coaching has a great emphasis on whole life integration and growth. MCI coaches apply a systematic approach in helping a ministry leader develop in the key aspects of life. The pursuit of increasing excellence and sharpening is always in concert with the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Q: How did you get involved in coaching, Dick?

I got involved in coaching after a friend recommended that I experience coaching as a way to sharpen my skills when working with leaders. Being a life and leadership coach is a logical conclusion to a career that has included family therapist, pastor, and spiritual director.

Q: What is MCI and what makes it unique?

Ministry Coaching is a team of seasoned ministry veterans who have one goal: to help leaders multiply their impact, live well, and finish with excellence. We seek to empower the leader to embrace his or her calling and focus on four essential areas of life and leadership. Our distinctive is our dual commitment to systematic growth and spirit-led experiences.

Q: What are the “core four” and how do they apply in a ministry context?

The core-four are MCI’s foundational pillars for personal and professional growth. First is a life plan. Here an individual deals with who they are and who God is calling them to be and what He is calling them to do. Second is ministry vision. Here an individual deals with where they are going and where their organization is going. Clear vision is the first step toward focused strategy. Third is ministry plan. This involves developing the strategic steps that need to be taken to realize the vision. And four, priority management involves the execution of the plan. This is all about the stewardship of time, energy and gifts. It is about making it happen.

Q: What is the single most important reason a person should be coached?

The greatest reason a person should be coached is so they can maximize their God-given potential. To live, to lead, and to finish well is the essence of being a good steward.

Q: What is the problem that MCI is striving to solve?

Many ministry leaders are being held back from living out their true, God-given potential. We exist to help the leader maximize their potential as they live a balanced life and therefore, avoid the lonely road to burn out.

Q: Assume I want to be a client, how does coaching with MCI work?

First, you will meet with your prospective coach and share expectations and objectives. You will explore potential game plans, as you start to develop chemistry and trust. As this develops you will commit to twenty-four biweekly coaching sessions. During these sessions you will experience the power of the Holy Spirit’s working through your coach to help you achieve all God has for you.

Q: Can you give me an example or two of real results?

Sure. Mike was a pastor, who lived a lonely corner office existence. He discovered that his “high trust” team was anything but. He was devastated when he found out. However, through coaching he made the personal and organizational changes that he needed to make. Today, he has a genuine high-trust team. Jim is another one. He had no real understanding of health and balance. His life was out of control as he tried to be all things to all people. With our coaching, he started to understand that the need is not the call. He learned how to say “no,” so he could unequivocally say yes to the things that matter most.

Q: What kind of person makes the best client?

The best client is a full-time ministry leader who is hungry to grow, learn, and become the person God has called them to be. He realizes that living out his own unique call, with balance and intensity, is the ultimate adventure. By the way, we accept both men and women as clients.

Q: If someone is interested in exploring coaching, what do they need to do next?

The best thing is to call us at (541) 312-5852. They can also explore our website.

The first twenty five people to call our offices will receive a free 30-minute coaching consultation.

You may also want to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Questions: Have you ever considered using a personal coach? What could it make possible for your ministry? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Want to launch your own blog or upgrade to self-hosted WordPress? Watch my free, twenty-minute screencast. I show you exactly how to do it. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Click here to get started.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

     My wife and I were influenced early in our marriage by couples who I would consider “marriage coaches.”  These couples were instrumental in setting an example for us and for teaching us how to thrive (not just survive) in our marriages.  Like ministry coaching, I see this as an extremely valuable experience.

    Interestingly, one of these couples has gone on to focus on marriage coaching as they move towards/through retirement.  http://thesolutionformarriages.com/

    I hope we can provide this type of example for others.

    As for coaching for those in full time ministry, it’s essential!  I’ve seen the benefit from those around me in full time ministry.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Jon, that is awesome you were able to find couples to “coach” you in your marriage early on. If more couples did this, we would have better marriages and less divorce.

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

         I agree.  I hope that my wife and I can provide that type of coaching/mentoring relationship to other young couples.

        • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

          Jon -

          Any advice on how to set healthy boundaries for coaching/ mentoring? How did the couple that coached you avoid over-involvement?

          I’m sensing some young moms in my neighborhood reaching out to me as a parenting coach/mentor, and I’m happy to share my 20+ years of experience. But I don’t want to get inappropriately involved in the details of their lives and marriages.

          • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

             I think it can start on a more healthy level in a group setting.  Although it’s been ~15 years ago, I remember one couple meeting with several young couples from our church in a small group type setting.  A small group can provide fairly clear boundaries.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Jon -

      We have done the same.  We have “marriage mentors”.  I have a couple of “business” and “spiritual” mentors.  Very helpful!

    • http://twitter.com/DanielHarkavy Daniel Harkavy

      I agree Jon, it is essential and so very effective.  We are grateful for the opportunity to be used in the lives of those who devote themselves to serving us!

    • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

       Excellent Jon…. I am always encouraged to see couples mentoring one another.  All the research shows a marriage mentor works way better than traditional counseling anyway.  When I did marriage and family therapy, I’d always tell my couples that it would be better for them to get a couple mentor  :)

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        Stacy, maybe you could chime in on the boundaries question asked in the above comment string.

        • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

           I already did before you mentioned I should. :)

  • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

    As a business owner trying to use the business as a platform for ministry, this intrigues me.  I already have an executive coach so I probably could not make something like this work right now, but I will certainly keep it in mind for the future.

    How do they define “ministry” for the purpose of determining their potential clients?  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’ll have to let Dick answer this one. (He is on the west coast, so it may be a while before he checks in.) Thanks.

      • http://www.ministrycoaching.org/ Dick Savidge

        “Ministry”? Vocation/avocation?  We are all called to be ‘ministers’ in the context of where God has planted us.  Yet MCI, has chosen to focus on the full time (vocational) Christian leader that is living out their calling in the context of a particular & specific ministry.

    • http://twitter.com/DanielHarkavy Daniel Harkavy

      Hello Chris,  Great question about how we determine who is a ministry leader.  At Ministry Coaching International, we coach those who are in full time vocational ministry.  Then at Building Champions, we coach business professionals who may or may not serve different ministries.

      • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

        That makes sense.  I love the idea to break the vocational ministry out and to make it more affordable for them.  Thanks for making it possible for those vocational ministry leaders to have the coaching that those of us in the business world often take for granted.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I’d like to know the answer to that question as well …

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    I have found the best coaching I receive is in my prayer closet where I can be free to be brutally honest with myself and God. He is seated far above us and can see everything that is going on in our lives. He is also a very present help in time of trouble. While I see the advantages of the input from human coaches, God’s counsel to each of us is what truly sets us free. And, just a little aside, excellence doesn’t end…

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Hi Patricia … No doubt, God is our best counselor! It’s in his job description, after all ;)

      I think it’s also important to understand that God has called us to be his hands and feet to the world and to one another. That takes on many different forms, but one is encouraging, comforting, and exhorting one another. 

      Thanks for your input.

      • http://twitter.com/DanielHarkavy Daniel Harkavy

        Patricia and Justin, those of us over at MCI and BCI see it very much the same way.

      • http://www.ministrycoaching.org/ Dick Savidge

        Justin, I too, am intrigued in how it is that God brings individuals into my life.  Often a question, a reflective comment, an affirmation or a gentle rebuke can do a lot to help me move forward in my journey with our loving God.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Patricia.  Totally agree.  God gives wisdom to us as we ask.  Additionally, I believe God speaks through wise people to others.  

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I’ve been interested in using a personal coach. What has held me back is being unsure of what to look for in a coach and how to find a coach in my area.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It’s worth reviewing MCI’s site. I think it will help you fine-tune your needs and better articulate them. Thanks.

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Michael, I plan on taking a look at the MCI site in the morning. Thanks for recommending it.

    • Amber Franze

      Most coaching is done over the phone. In fact, when coachees experience coaching over the phone and in-person, they almost always choose over the phone. However, if you are still interested in-person coaching, I am based in Aspen, Colorado, not sure if that is your area or not.

      Qualities for a great coach: 
      In-person training from an accredited Christian institution 
      My training is from Western Seminary, Portland Oregon–graduate level education.

      They live what they coach. The Bible says in essence if you can’t manage your own life, you have no business managing other’s lives.

      Their coaching reflects the basis premise of coaching: people will take action when they decide the action to take themselves; people usually already know the answers, a good coach asks questions to bring out the answers and does not tell them the answers.

      • http://twitter.com/DanielHarkavy Daniel Harkavy

        Great answer Amber,  I wish you great success as you use your gifts to impact those you coach!

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Amber, thank you for the information. You’re not in my area, I’m from the good old mitten state, but I’ll take what you said into consideration.

    • http://twitter.com/DanielHarkavy Daniel Harkavy

      Hello Joe,  what you should look for in a coach is one who has the calling, the expertise, the experience and the connection.  Our coaches at Ministry Coaching International and Building Champions have the above and the beauty is that since there are many of us, our team has the freedom to interview you and help you to select the coach that you best connect with.  And with regards to finding one in your area, we have been very successful coaching leaders like you for the past 16 years using the phone.  There is no need to find one in your area.  As Mike suggested, check us out and let us know if you have any questions.

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Hi Daniel. I’ll be checking out MCI in the morning. Phone coaching just seems so foreign to me. I love face to face meetings and the phone seems so impersonal. But with all the recommendations for it, I am now considering it as a viable option.

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

    I spent nearly two decades as a vocational international missionary (mostly in Taiwan), and I think the need for ministry coaching is pretty high, but also hard to come by and, perhaps, hard to admit the need for.  Ministry can indeed be a very lonely existence.

    This is a great ministry from MCI.  Every blessing on your coaching team and those the coach!

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      Agreed. When I was leading Young Life in college, I sure could have used the help. My existence was marked by a cyclical crash and burn. Very unhealthy.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      Agreed that ministry can be lonely. I am so fortunate to have found a place do do ministry and be surrounded by such great people. I have found someone to help me develop as a leader and I am very excited about it!

      • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

        One of the hardest things in life is admitting we need help. Glad to hear you have help, Brandon.

        • http://www.ministrycoaching.org/ Dick Savidge

          Someone said that Christianity is all about one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread…..I like that because it is about locking arms in the middle of the journey.

      • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

         I’m curious why you say that ministry can be lonely? 

        • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

          Because assumptions people make.  Ministers don’t always have close peer groups they can be transparent with.  That makes for a lonely (potentially) existance.

          • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

             I think that ministers willfully choose to put themselves in that box, because for some reason many ministers think that they have to appear perfect, when in reality they aren’t. 

          • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

            I am sure some do.  Others just find themselves with no one to talk to (about issues they face).  How they get there really isn’t the point.   Helping them get out of that  box is what coaching is all about.

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

           I think ministry can be lonely for lots of reasons.

          One reason, especially in Student Ministry, is that you don’t typically see an immediate impact from your efforts and relationships.   And, unless you are patience, you wonder if what you are doing is making a difference. That can be very lonely. Just my .02.

          • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

             Good point, but that has more to do with expectations than real loneliness. One can have these expectations and choose not to share them with people…which is what I think the real issue is.  It’s hard to be transparent, especially for men, because of ego. 

      • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

        win.

    • http://www.AspenCoach.net/ Amber Franze

      I served as missionary in Thailand several years, and also saw the need for coaching for those in ministry. During my internship for seminary, I saw six cases of burnout–resulting in symptoms from bed rest to heart surgery to inability to interact with people to irritability. I returned to seminary to complete my degree in Ministry and be trained by Christians to coach. Thankfully, I was blessed to coach one of the people who experienced burnout to wholeness. You can see the testimony at: http://www.aspencoach.net/testimonies.html.

      I have a particular passion for coaching those who aren’t living at a peaceful pace, but would like to as well as those ministering internationally. I coach via skype and phone. Please share this opportunity with those you know in this situation: http://www.AspenCoach.net.

      • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

        Amber,
        “…those who aren’t living at a peaceful pace.”

        This is a a great coaching focus. I think this is one of the root problems to many of life’s challenges—thinking we can do it all.

    • http://twitter.com/DanielHarkavy Daniel Harkavy

      We would love to help you out Thad.  Please let us know if you want to explore how coaching with MCI works.

      • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

        Daniel, thanks so much for the offer.  I am no longer overseas (we returned in 2006 to care for an aging MIL with Alzheimer Disease).  I do believe the need is still a real one, so I will share this post with friend still on the field.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Although I think it’s changed quite a bit over the past several years, there still seems to be an unnecessary stigma surrounding ministry people “asking for help,” thus making it a lonely existence. What a difference it would make if we encouraged those who serve us in ministry to utilize coaches!

      • http://www.ministrycoaching.org/ Dick Savidge

        Michele, I think there is another dynamic that starts to enter the equation and that is rejection.  I try to project well….I try to be perceived as having my ‘stuff together’.  My fear is that you might discover that I don’t have it together.  And if you know me, you may not like me.  I think this dynamic adds to the loneliness that we all feel.

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          Yes … The unyielding pressure to be everything to everyone all the time, and the fear that we won’t measure up. Lonely, indeed.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I love the graphic used in the example. As one who has worked with coaches before, I can say how useful they are to your success. Coaches come in different styles. I’ve worked with a personal coach, speech coach, and a writing coach, and they all have been helpful. Finding one specific to your needs will get you the furthest.

    I recently worked with a writing coach on an e-book project. She had a lot of experience with copy-writing, and helped me craft a great landing page. With her specific knowledge she was able to add to my basic writing skills. It was a win-win. Not only did I end up with a great page, I learned a lot about copy-writing in the process.

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      Thanks for sharing your story. I am going to take that and run with it. I think my next step is finding a Piano coach in the Classical and Jazz field. Perhaps I need two.

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      Good to hear John. Thanks for sharing a success story.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Cool success story.  

  • http://mauricefoverholt.wordpress.com/ Maurice F. Overholt

    Michael,
    Thank you for posting this.  While I am not presently in full-time ministry, being involved in transition, I can speak to how important it is for a person in ministry to get coaching.  I was burnt out in a fairly acidic church staff environment and while I did not even know coaches existed, God provided a mentor for me who could encourage me and talk me through the hurdles.  I am SO grateful for this person, especially since I did nothing to find him; God just brought him to me.

    To anyone who is in a challenging situation in ministry, do not wait to address it.  Otherwise your burnt out status will affect your ministry and your family.  That’s what happened to me, and while God has used it to grow me, my hope and prayer is that you will make progress before you reach the point that I reached.

    Maurice

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I’m glad you had a good mentor help you. Mentoring is both different than and similar to a coach. It can really help to have someone else in your life, encouraging you to hang and to do better.

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      My burnout happened at an early age and I could not see any mentors around me. I was in the heart of Church life dying on the inside. God intervened. God’s always moving even when there isn’t someone available. 

      I still do believe it is worth pursuing a mentor. I’ve heard of people having mentors who are from other locations. I hear that one of the benefits is that they can give you an outsiders opinion on things.

    • http://www.AspenCoach.net/ Amber Franze

      An incredible book for those experiencing burnout is:
      (It is written in easy to read bite size pieces for daily devotion or as people see fit)

      Flor Ann Taylor’s free google book: When God T e!s You T o R est: R eflections of a Burnout Survivor

      Also see the webpage: http://www.aspencoach.net/stress.html about burnout symptoms and three ways to recover.

      • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

        Thanks, Amber. Gonna go check it out!

    • http://twitter.com/DanielHarkavy Daniel Harkavy

      Maurice, thanks for sharing your experience and your story.  I do hope many will continue to add coaches to thier support team so that they can avoid the pain that you shared.  Thanks for the encouragement!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Maurice,
      I think there are many in ministry that would relate to your story.  Thanks for your willingness to post your past challenges, and encourage others to seek out encouragement.

  • Terry Lange

    I have thought about using a coach to help me find a ministry. I have completed my theological education and have two Masters degrees (M.A. & MDiv) but have not been very successful in finding a full time vocational ministry opportunity. I have been a member of the same church for ten years – serving faithfully, but there seems to be no burden on the part of the senior pastor or any of the other pastoral staff members to help me in this search. Maybe a coach would help? Cost is a factor, coaches are not cheap.

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Hi Terry … Could you look at getting a coach as an investment rather than an expense? That’s when my thinking shifted, when I saw a coach as a down payment on my future instead of an expense.

      A small shift, but a helpful one indeed!

      • http://fromtheunknown.wordpress.com/ Terry Lange

        Justin, I see it as an investment and I realize that the laborer is worthy of his hire…i.e. their hourly rate.

    • http://www.ministrycoaching.org/ Dick Savidge

      Terry, With out a doubt a coaching relationship is an investment that you make.  The investments you have made in your education might be similar, yet I would suggest this is more important.  The process of discerning how it is that God is leading and directing our lives is of critical importance.  A job is not as important as having His job for you.  That requires various pieces of self discovery that a good coach can help you work through.

    • http://twitter.com/DanielHarkavy Daniel Harkavy

      Terry, we have many who have helped to reduce the investment of coaching with MCI.  It is less than half of what is charged by our sister business coaching company.  We would love to talk to you and to see if we can help you in your journey.

    • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

       Terry… what a bummer for you.  I feel your pain.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Cost is often a deterrent. But I think it could make a difference in your situation, Terry, helping you identify strengths and possible directions. Maybe viewing it as a business expense will help you swallow the cost?

  • Anonymous

    MCI is a great coaching program for ministry leaders.  I don’t know if David Makela would remember me but I was one of the first crew of guys to go through the coaching program way back in the day and went through their first certification program up in Bend Oregon back in 2004 or 5 I think it was!?!?!  Having a personal coach just makes sense.  If you wanted to make a run for the Superbowl or were a world class athlete training for the 2012 Olympics in London, you would not think twice about having a great coach.  How much more critical is it to have a great coach for the biggest game of your life! ADVANCING THE KINGDOM!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I agree Byron.

    • http://www.ministrycoaching.org/ David Makela

      Coach Byron,  You are an excellent example of a world-class athlete who understands the value of coaching, both being coached and coaching others!  Coaching for the Kingdom is mission critical. 

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      I second that ;)

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Byron–you put that in practical terms (unfortunate reference to the Super Bowl, but I, a Dallas Cowboy fan, will forgive you for that). What you have to say makes sense and reminds me of something that happened to me a few summers back. I golfed every Friday at our local course ($5 fee, a price I could afford). I usually golfed alone because a golfing friend usually didn’t have time. Near the end of the summer, he finally joined me. He kept dropping good bits of advice as he watched me swing. I finally said, “Chuck, I sure could have used your coaching at the beginning of the summer.” It’s nice to have someone give you direction at a time when you need it.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Completely agree Byron.  

    • http://twitter.com/DanielHarkavy Daniel Harkavy

      I love reading this Coach Byron!

  • http://RelevantMinistry.org/ Nelson Roth

    Great coaching article Michael.  I have
    been following your blog for several months – this is my first time to post a
    comment.  My wife and I are using the coach approach to encourage pastors
    and leaders where we live along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.  Interestingly,
    Hurricane Katrina has become a catalyst for unique ministry to churches for
    revitalization in our area – and coaching is an important part of that ministry.
     I’ve pastored for 38 years and now, through what we experienced during
    and after Katrina, have started and now lead Relevant Ministry – a ministry
    that focuses on spiritual rebuilding and church health.  As we coach, Pam
    and I will soon be completing our credentialing with International Coach
    Federation through Coaching4Clergy.  What
    we are experiencing is that coaching is a genuine way to build relationships
    where the Spirit can work in transforming ways.  I am glad to learn
    today about Ministry Coaching International. 
    Thanks again for the article.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome, Nelson. I’m sure after 38 years, you have a lot to contribute!

      • http://RelevantMinistry.org/ Nelson Roth

        Still learning and growing Michael.  

  • MaryAnn Diorio

    Thank you, Mr. Hyatt, for this informative post.  Not only am I a Life Coach, but I also have a Life Coach.  I believe that every coach needs a coach.  My experiences with coaching, both in my personal life and in the lives of my clients, have been transformational. Coaching is a highly effective tool for discovering who we are in Christ and for living out that calling in the Body of Christ and in the world. Thank you again for your timely post.

    Dr. MaryAnn Diorio
    http://www.TopNotchLifeandCareerCoaching.com

  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

    We all need coaching, not only in our careers, but our lives as well.  Sometimes a little tweak is all it takes to make a gigantic difference.

    I’m thankful that I have had mentors and bosses that coached me throughout my career.  

    I’m thankful for my pastors that have guided me thorough my spiritual walk, encouraging me along the way.

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      That’s encouraging to hear. I’m sure you’d be a great mentor and pastor for some people.

      • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

        Thank you Daren, for your kind words of encouragement!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      You’re so right! Sometimes the counsel I received in an hour-long coaching session made the difference in my entire year. Worth it.

      • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

        Thanks Michele!  I wholeheartedly agree.

  • Pingback: getting help, for those in ministry « Maurice F. Overholt

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    Wow this is great. I can’t find any information regarding to if they do this in Australia. I’m assuming no, but it is worth a shot!

    I have definitely considered a personal coach but just like it says in the second paragraph, it can be quite expensive!

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Daren,

      In this day of Skype and the Internet, you have options today that weren’t available to you even ten years ago. I can agree with the expense concern. When you especially need a coach, you probably can’t afford one. That’s a statement I’d love to have proven wrong.

    • http://www.ministrycoaching.org/ Dick Savidge

      Daren,  It is quite possible to caoch via the miracles of technology.  SKYPE is a marvelous tool.  The vast majority of MCI’s coaching is done via phone and internet.  Cheers,  Dick

      • Jim Martin

        Dick, is it possible the coaching to be exclusively by phone or skype, due to distance?

        • http://www.ministrycoaching.org/ Dick Savidge

          Jim, Coaching via the technology that is available today is very, very doable.  In some ways it is even better than being across the table from the person because the technology forces a sense of focus.

        • http://www.ministrycoaching.org/ Dick Savidge

          Absolutely!

      • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

        That’s great news. I’ve referred a friend onto MCI. I believe she’s at the point in life where some life coaching would be really great for her and her ministry.

    • http://www.AspenCoach.net/ Amber Franze

      As far as expense, I reduce my coaching cost to $50 a session (15-45 minutes) for those whose salaries are less than $75,000-pry most pastors. Hope that helps give you an idea of the cost. 

      Many companies and churches have continuing education funds, coaching is a great way to make use of these funds in a productive way. Usually much less than consulting costs that only have a set plan, rather than the organic relationship specifically for you found in coaching.
      Another question to ask is: Am I worth investing in? Is my ministry worth investing in? I believe the answer is yes.

      • Jim Martin

        Amber, these are two great questions that you pose at the end of your comment.

        Am I worth investing in?

        Is my ministry worth investing in?

  • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

    My coach asks pointed questions (“You’re putting enormous energy into ___ because…?”) and makes insightful observations (“You’ve GOT to block out time to practice your endings.”) that help me see my actions (or lack of) in a new light. This keeps me re-evaluating pillar #4 so I don’t get stuck in a self-reinforcing rut (“I’m doing ___ because I’m doing it.”)

    Since she’s an active speaker and writer, she’s also chosen to serve as a mentor. Attending her speaking engagements and debriefing afterward has given us a shared frame of reference for future coaching calls. (“Remember when…?”) She’s also invited me alongside her during the writing process of several books and openly shared the entire process, from proposal to finished manuscript. 

    • http://twitter.com/JaysonFeltner Jayson Feltner

      That sounds like a great coach.  I think I may need someone to observe me like that and be completely honest while also adding insight from their own professional background.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       What a blessing, a walk-with-me mentor. Sounds like you’ve received something very special, Cheri. Look forward to hearing more from you in the writing world.

    • Jim Martin

      Cheri, this sounds like such a great resource for you.  The questions and insightful observations alone sound like such a great resource.

  • Bretnicholson

    Would love to hear your take on GAP International as a coaching context for ministry.  I’m getting ready to go through the Executive challenge program — donated by one of our elders.  Encouragements?  Cautions?

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Bret … I am not familiar with them. Do you have a link?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have been through many of their programs. Absolutely life changing. They are not Christian per se (though some of the people are), but keep an open mind and drink it in. They are very sensitive to spiritual values and their principles are, I believe, very biblical. We used them at Thomas Nelson and sent several people through the Executive Challenge.

  • Josh Evans

    Michael, I appreciate your coaching thoughts. I actually have a friend of mine who has a coaching network for student pastors and leaders. If anyone is interested, you can check out the link here: 
    http://joshhevans.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/coaching-network-opportunity/

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Josh, you offer student pastors an excellent resource–accountability and help. This movement toward coaching (once known as discipling and mentoring) is something that has become easier to access. Thanks for sharing–Tom

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Josh,
      Coaching to youth/student pastors is so important. Over the last 16 years in youth min. I have seen SO many great youth workers burn—out or make really bad decisions, and having a coach would go a LONG way in encouraging those called to students and families.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeqdaniel Mike Daniel

    This is a great outline of the ministry coaching process!  I get to coach and speak with churches and leadership teams all over (mostly around San Antonio).  We’ve broken these down into a different format around some specific ministerial ideas: 
    1) GraceLife planning  2) Vision/Passion Profiling 3) Ministry/Strategic plan 4) Principle application (boundaries & mission clarity), & 5) Transition planning (getting to point “A” is sometimes harder than “A” to “B”!).
    Anyway – love this article, and STRONGLY encourage all pastors to get a coach.  Like counselors, not all coaches fit with all people, so kick some proverbial tires, get accountability for your life plans and obstacles, and enjoy the accelerated process of personal and professional growth that comes from the ministerial discipleship process!Thanks, Mike for posting and modeling right principles for all those you influence!

    • http://www.ministrycoaching.org/ Dick Savidge

      Mike, I really agree with what you are saying about ‘kicking the tires’, a good fit with your coach really helps.  Perspective and accountability are two very critical pieces to the transformational journey.

    • Jim Martin

      Mike, I am grateful for your comment about kicking the tires.  Sometimes pastors will attempt to get help and find they really don’t connect with the resource person.  They then decide that coaching (or getting help in some way) just doesn’t work.  If they had started out by kicking the tires, they might have ended up with a better fit.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

     I’m no longer serving as a full-time pastor but I’m closely connected to several friends who are. I think MCI’s focus is an exceptional blessing for those in ministry. I have two questions.

    How would MCI help a pastor with decades of service in a small town setting?

    What role would/could MCI play in the life of a pastor’s spouse?

    God bless you, Dick, in this wonderful venture.

    • Dick Savidge

      TN, one of the real values that a coach brings to any individual who is wanting to sharpen their game so that they might more fully glorify Him, is perspective.  When we have been in one setting doing a limited number of things in a certain way……we often get stuck in a rut.  We loose track of our strengths and our gifts. We no longer see the bigger picture.  At that point we are not sure how we can be a blessing.  A coach can really help a person get perspective and understand how their own personal mission statement asn be played out at this particular point in time.
            MCI can help anyone, pastor our spouse of pastor, rediscover their sense of calling and how it is that they can live into that adventure.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         Dick, that’s a good point. When we’re in a rut, we may or may not recognize it. One thing for sure, if we knew the way out, we’d already be making the move. I’m reminded of a middle school experience I had. I cut my finger and put iodine on it. Cut finger got worse. More iodine. Even worse, even more iodine. After a few days, the minor cut became a major problem. My mother took me to see the doctor. He looked at the festering wound, asked what I’d treated it with, and, after my answer, said, “You’re allergic to iodine.” Two days later the finger was fine. An outside perspective does offer help.–Tom

  • Amber Franze

    Glad to hear others value coaching for those in ministry. During a four month period I saw 6 people in ministry burnout–a real condition (see http://www.aspencoach.net/stress.html to find out if you have the symptoms). I also coach people in ministry–specializing in women’s and children’s ministry and international ministry abroad. See http://www.AspenCoach.net for more. 

    • Jim Martin

      Amber, you are right.  Ministry burnout is a real issue.  I suspect there are numerous reasons for this.  Coaching could be very helpful in preventing this.

  • http://www.7sistershomeschool.com/ Kym

    This is great stuff, Michael, thank you.

    I often feel like I am spinning my wheels and am definitely not being the best steward of the gifts and dreams He has given me.

    Any tips for finding a good coach if you are not officially in full-time ministry? I teach in a homeschool day school and am working with 5 other dynamic Christian women in building a business that will be successful enough to allow us to minister through it – full time!

    Thanks for any suggestions you or your readers may have!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Kym, congratulations on pursuing your business!  As you deal with business partnership and all of the other  issues of a start-up, there is no better time to have a coach!  Especially as you are teaching homeschool, life gets so busy that a coach is great resource who can act as a human compass and guide you through the process of life as you pursue your dreams.

      Building Champions is MCI’s “big brother” for business people.  That’s where I would start.  

      Best wishes in all of your endeavors!

  • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

    Very informative post and all I can say is that I wholeheartedly agree with everything said.  :)  

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    As this concept is relatively new in my country, only some corporates uses personal coach for increasing their efficiency and effectiveness. But, ministries rarely use such personal coach to train them. The need for personal coaching has not been felt necessary among the full time ministry people.  

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Uma, you make a good point.  Though, ministry coaching is unusual in the USA also.   In fact, while business coaching is certainly a growing industry, most US business people don’t have coach, either.  

      I’m personally convinced that many business and ministry folks would have dramatic improvements in production and quality of life if they tried the services that a coach/mentor can provide. 

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Me too John!

        I believe that there are great advantages and benefits from personal coaching. But, personally, I could not afford one currently. (will burn my purses)

        Subject: [mhyatt] Re: Personal Coaching for Those in Ministry

  • http://www.charlesspecht.com/ Charles Specht

    Coaches and mentors are great.  I’ve had my share of great coaches in athletics during my life and up through college.  And I’ve also had some poor coaches.  Funny, but every year that our team did really well, we had a good coach.  One year when we were dead last, our coach was little more than a fill-in who didn’t know much about the game.  Strange…

    I need a coach/mentor.  Actually, I need time management training.  Actually, I need more than that.  I need to prioritize and then act upon them.  Pretty simple stuff…just need to do it. 

    • http://www.ministrycoaching.org/ Dick Savidge

      My journey with coaches has been checkered.  Without a doubt, the best coaches were the ones that could build a relationship and analyze the ‘tape’. They could look at film and help me see what I was doing wrong and then they could structure ways for me to improve.  I believe this is a big part of what we all need.

      • Jim Martin

        Dick, this sounds very good.  I think you are right in terms of a coach who builds a relationship and analyzes the “tape.”

  • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

    There are also a great network of coaches at 48 days.net, Dan Miller is doing good work training quality coaches in a number of area’s.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I agree Kimanzi. Dan has helped many people become quality coaches.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=37516462 Rick Smith

    Great Post!

  • Tammy Berkman

    I am the author of “I’ve God the Whole Bible in My Heart” The Quick and Easy Way to Teach Your Kids (and yourself) the Whole Bible.  Is there such a thing as an “author’s coach?

  • http://twitter.com/moretobe Lisa

    As a life coach, I appreciate the simple explanations about coaching and the benefits!  Thanks.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I would love the opportunity to do this, but unfortunately our current financial situation prevents it.  However, I will file away this knowledge for future use.  Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/philrothschild Philip Rothschild

    I had the chance to meet the the MCI at the Building Champions Experience a year plus ago. I was thoroughly impressed with what I learned about the people and process behing their coaching.

  • Ronna-Renee Jackson

    So amazing how God brings you what you need when you need it.  I  serve on the Vestry (Episcopal Church name for Leadership team) at my church and we had our retreat this past weekend to ensure we are well prepared to lead our congregation throughout the year.   Our facilitator was the former dean of the General Theological Seminary in NYC.  He talked about the need for us as “ministers” to make sure we had a support system and that as we search for a new Rector (we are in transition) he suggested asking candidates if they have a support system – he thinks it’s that important.  All of this was speaking to me because I am wrapping up my course work to obtain my ICF accreditation as a Certified Professional Coach and I’ve been feeling a definite calling to coaching the clergy and other ministers…and lo! here is this blog entry.  I read all the comments and I’m grateful for the perspectives, insights and encouragement that they offered.  I’ve been wondering if this was a “legitimate” specialty and through my conversations last weekend and this blog, the need is validated so I’m very encouraged to continue to pray about this ministry opportunity in itself and discern where God is calling me.

  • Trugliaf

    looks like a MCI advertisement! Isn’t it?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, it’s not. As I disclosed at the bottom of the post, “Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
      I just happen to love what MCI is doing!

  • http://twitter.com/4himccm jennifer eckert

    Coaching would do a lot for me personaly as well as professionally while I try to get a  job in ministry.  I haven’t thought about getting coaching too much as the price usually makes it out of the question.

  • Karen Teasdale

    Hi Michael,

    From a slightly different perspective, where would one go to find out about becoming a coach? I grew up in Washington State, but spent the last 27 years in New Zealand. My last ten years in NZ have been involved in working full time on church staff, providing counselling, coaching and mentoring to all our paid and volunteer leaders. My specific role was leadership support and development. I have returned to the USA to be with family. I am finding the system here significantly different to the one I have left behind. Do you or any of your readers have any advice as to how best to explore my options for transference of skills, training and experience into a job here in the USA? I am passionate about the health of leaders, and the health of the Church.

  • Pingback: Gary Runn

  • Pingback: 7 Ways to Thrive When the Growing Gets Tough | BillintheBlank

  • Pingback: How to Practice the Art of Appreciation: A Practical Tip

  • Ronny Settle

    Is this company still in business?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      The website is up. Have you tried contacting them?

      • Ronny Settle

        The form is broken on the contact page when you hit submit. I called today and it seemed to go to personal voicemail. Awaiting a response. Didn’t catch the name on the outgoing message.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Okay, thanks. I will contact them as well.

  • Dick Savidge

    Mike, I just replied to Ronny. Hopefully, he got my email message.
    Thank you for your help and support.
    I hope all is well with you!

    Sincerely, Dick

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Dick.

  • justin

    I am a lead pastor and was searching for pastor coaching when I landed on this. In the last month or so I have been reading this blog, so I was relieved to see Michael recommend an organization. My only concern is that MCI’s Twitter and Facebook page hasn’t been updated in over a year. Is this organization still recommended?