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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    resources / New Faith Communities / Vital Congregations

    Coaching for Leaders

    Leadership in the 21st century calls for constant learning and adaptation.  Many high capacity leaders in the church are finding that having a coach as a partner is helping them to be more fruitful in their work!

    Coaching is both a relationship and a process.

    A unique relationship is established between a coach and a client wherein the coach uses learned techniques to surface the client’s own natural creativity and resourcefulness to set and accomplish his or her goals. The coach need not be an expert in the area in which goals are set. A good coach will ask many questions to elicit the client’s expertise.

    Coaches are often used in times of transition to assure a positive experience and an effective change in circumstance. A coach is also useful anytime a leader wants to take their work and life to another level.  A coach is helpful in establishing personal goals toward a higher level of effectiveness and satisfaction in ministry.  A coach then helps a leader to break big goals into smaller, more manageable chunks, and provides a built-in accountability system that allows her/him to thrive.  Coaching is always action-oriented.

    UNY Conference values coaching so highly that every New Faith Community planter is required to have a coach during (at least) the first three years of their launch.  And, any pastor and church that goes thru the Hand-2-Plow process is required to walk with a coach for a season as they seek to implement their plan for revitalization.

    A coaching relationship is not limited to career satisfaction but may include faith, family, health or personal fulfillment. 

    The coaching relationship can be negotiated as to frequency and length of conversation. Typical patterns are a single one-hour call, or two 30-minute calls per month.  Most coaching is done over the phone, but interactions can be face-to-face.

    The Upper New York Conference has a number of International Coaching Federation (ICF) trained coaches as well as those holding certification from ICF and those trained in specific areas such as church planting.  Some of these coaches can provide coaching free of charge for a season.  Others charge a fee.

    To engage a coach, either of the following two steps can be taken:

    1. Contact David Masland, Aaron Bouwens or Pam Klotzbach and ask them to refer a coach to you that they believe will be a good match for you, your ministry setting and your goals.  Or,
    2. Reach out to any of the approved coaches listed (click here to view the list), and ask for a conversation with them, where they answer your question:“If you were my coach, what would our conversations be like?”

    You will always have final say on which coach you will work with.  And, with your coaches help, a contract will be developed that lays out a plan for the relationship you most need to thrive.  Many people find that they benefit from experiencing the coaching of different people over a period of years.

    Is it possible that finding the right coach will move you and your ministry forward in new ways this coming year? 

    With more than 134,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 85 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."