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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Coaching is an interactive, dynamic, team approach toward achieving a person’s goal

    March 6, 2018 / By Rev. Chrys Beck and Rev. Ray Stees, approved UNY coaches

    Editor’s Note: Many Upper New York Conference leaders find benefits in coaching sessions. Below, Rev. Chrys Beck and Rev. Ray Stees describe the coaching process.

    Through a process that includes deep listening and powerful questions, a coach journeys alongside the client providing a supportive atmosphere where new possibilities are discovered or created, expanded, and explored. The coach engages the beauty and grace of the client’s God-given life purpose and affirms the client’s inner resources and spiritual gifts. Together, coach and client develop a strategy whereby the client commits to a values-oriented action plan that achieves the client’s goal.

    While coaching is similar to other helping disciplines it is not in itself therapy, mentoring, spiritual direction, consulting, or training. Coaching helps empower a person into his or her preferred future. Since the purpose of coaching is to maximize one’s effectiveness in achieving success, coaching stays in the present, builds on strengths, assumes competence, and taps into the client’s own experience, wisdom, and resolve to generate solutions and follow through on the client’s chosen action plan. 

    How might a coaching partnership benefit the local church? Coaching is a valuable resource for lay and clergy who are seeking to discern a direction or are beginning a new ministry, ministry context or leadership position. A church can help to ensure a good start, for example, for their new Sunday School Superintendent, Church Council Chair or Staff Pastor Parish Relationship Committee by contracting with a coach for a few sessions. More and more clergy across denominations benefit from time spent with a coach. This relationship can be especially useful for clergy during times of personal or professional transition, such as discerning a new call, when ending and beginning appointments, marriage, starting a family or moving into retirement.

    Disciples in any leadership position can contract with a coach through the Upper New York Conference Coaching Network. Clergy may use Continuing Education (Accountable Reimbursement) funds and churches may choose to invest in a block of coaching sessions as training for laity in leadership positions. In some cases, the UNY Conference may provide coaching at no cost to the coachee. Clergy may count coaching sessions toward their required annual continuing education.

    To learn more about becoming a coachee, contact Upper New York Director of New Faith Communities, the Rev. Dave Masland at

    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 867 local churches and 65 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."