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CASE STUDY 2

Leadership Coaching for a Senior Pastor & Church Leadership Team

Situation:

Rhonda was contacted by the Senior Pastor of a United Methodist Church in Alabama, who needed help focusing his leadership team and his church. The Pastor was newly assigned to the church, which is the oldest in town located in the center of one of the fastest growing suburbs of Birmingham. Started over five decades ago as a small country church, the environment had changed dramatically in terms of the demographics of people inside as well as outside the church. In the few years leading up to this point, they had been experiencing aggressive but unfocused growth. At this point, there was a great deal of energy and excitement for making some changes, but people were not on the same page about what the changes should be. Before they charged ahead and did something just for the sake of doing something, the Pastor wanted them to capture this vitality, so it didn’t burn out, but not feed it pointlessly without a focus. He recognized their need for spiritual discernment of mission and vision, which could in turn illuminate appropriate strategies and changes, but he also recognized he did not have the skill set to lead such a process.


Intervention:  

A Spiritual Discernment / Leadership Coaching process was designed to coach the Senior Pastor, his leadership staff, and lay leader team through the identification and clarification of foundational statements of belief, a unifying mission, guiding values, a compelling vision, and specific, aggressive strategic outcomes targeted for the church, its members, and the surrounding community.


Results: 

The 30+ participants were fully engaged by the process, which was grounded in Scripture, focused on God’s will for the church, bathed in prayer, governed by love, and focused on building up the church and its members for power, wisdom, character, boldness, and unity. In less than one day, they achieved agreement on a unifying mission, guiding values, a compelling vision, and targeted strategic outcomes, which they could get behind and introduce to the church members, while beginning to use these elements as guides for every future decision as well as motivation for engaging every member’s involvement.

Here is what the Senior Pastor and one of the church’s Lay Leaders had to say about Rhonda’s coaching:

“When I took the post of Senior Pastor at this church, I quickly realized that while the church was growing, we didn't know what we were growing towards. In the first two weeks, I called Rhonda and asked her to come help us discern our future. Rooted in scripture, peppered with humor and wit, Rhonda's approach to spiritual discernment has helped forge a new direction for this church, something we can all take to heart.” – Reverend Brian Erickson, Senior Pastor 

[Rhonda’s] coaching of our [Spiritual Discernment] Retreat was very professional as well as well-paced. I have been to a number of Retreats, Seminars and Clinics. This [was] by far one of the best. [ I ] look forward to working with [Rhonda] in the future.” – Pete Peterson, USMC Retired, Retired Sears Corporate Executive


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