Ildsjel Coaching

About Me

Associate Certified Coach – International Coach Federation

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Economics – Drake University

Master of Divinity – Emory University

Doctor of Ministry – Asbury Seminary. The focus on this program is church leadership and preaching. Dissertation: The Use of Humor in Public Speaking.

Elder in the Great Plains Annual Conference

Preaching Instructor at the Great Plains Licensing School

Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising from the Lilly Foundation

Leader of three Capital Campaigns. One to purchase land, one to construct a building, and one to eliminate debt.

Leader of a team that built a $7,400,000 church building from the ground up.

Author, Prayers from The Water’s Edge

Coaching for Churches

I coach churches. I’m busy with The Water’s Edge, so I limit my coaching to three churches at any given time.

Coaching churches is a lot like coaching soccer. I’m not an expert. I know some things really well: volunteer systems, small groups, missions, generosity / stewardship, and communication. Don’t ask me about music or how to be really organized. I can’t help you.

Here’s how it works.

  1. The spiritual, emotional, relational, and physical life of the pastor come first. No exceptions. Healthy pastors create and lead healthy churches. Dysfunctional pastors create and lead…well, you get the gist.
  2. I only coach United Methodist Churches. Nothing against Lutherans or Baptists or Episcopalians. I just don’t know your culture and you can do better than me.
  3. For church plants – the Annual Conference is the organization who hires me and pays me. I serve the pastor and local church. I am accountable to Annual Conference.
  4. For existing churches – the leadership team must vote to hire me.
  5. All coaching contracts are for one year. After nine months, all parties will talk about whether we will renew the contract for another year.
  6. I will start with a two-day site visit. This will happen during the week for a church plant and a Sunday / Monday for an existing church. We will set goals and create an action plan by the end of the site visit.
  7. Coaching happens on the phone, once a week, for 30 minutes to an hour. Usually these calls are with the pastor, but sometimes they are with with other staff, volunteers, and / or teams.

The goals are similar to when I was a soccer coach. 1) Dozens or hundreds of people acting as a unified church will always be more faithful and fruitful than a similar number of gifted people all doing their own thing. 2) Every day and every Sunday  is an opportunity to improve.

Specific goals for church plants: 1) A critical mass of people will be gathered between 12 and 24 months. Sustainable volunteer and discipleship systems will be created and implemented in 18 to 30 months. The church will be financially self-sufficient in 36 to 48 months.

I am currently coaching one church plant and one existing church. I currently have one opening. Email me — I’d love to talk to you!