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Why Get a Coach?

Sometimes people wonder why they might get a coach. Here's a top ten list for why you might hire me (with a few added).



You might hire me to :


10 - help you deal with serious issues before they escalate beyond repair - and please, call me sooner than later!  


9 - help you deal with emotionally immature and disruptive persons who are sometimes in a leadership position. The key here is to mobilize the healthy leaders to counter the destructive actions of the disruptive person.


8 - clarify top priorities that are based on the church's sense of who God is calling it to be at this time and place. Then you might develop an appraisal system that is based on these priorities.


7 - be a sounding board as you reflect on challenges you face and the various approaches you might take. Several clients have noted that the ministry is a rather lonely call at times and it really helps to have me to talk with.  I will ask penetrating questions and help you reframe challenges and opportunities you are dealing with so that you might deal with them more effectively. For example, the initial issue might seem to be a difficulty in making decisions when the challenge is actually mistrust or fear.


6 - provide you with tools to understand the church system you're in. This is especially important for pastors new to a church. You must understand the territory if you're going to thrive! I have developed an interview form that new pastors have found really helpful. Additionally, I have a number of other tools that I have culled from secular leadership literature that are very applicable to churches.


5 - help you build trust and teach people how to fight effectively. If folks don't trust one another, you're dead in the water!


4 - help you be acutely aware of how you interact with staff members and members of the church and how you might change behaviors that are counterproductive and improve those which are productive


3 - clarify your top priorities for leadership and personal growth, helping you incorporate whatever you've learned in continuing education courses or workshops or from your reading. I might help you manage your time more effectively, get clear feedback regarding your leadership, assess your strengths, determine where you need to grow, etc.


2 - raise your leadership to a higher level, helping you set new goals for yourself and hold you accountable to your best self. You might set some BHAG's - Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals that reflect your sense of where God is calling you.


1 - assess the arc of your ministry to date and to explore various narratives of where your life has been, where it might be, and identify next steps to take.


A mantra of coaching is that "I have the questions and you have the answers!" Unless you prove me wrong, I will assume that you either know what you need to do or you can figure it out. My job is to help you clarify what you will do (sometimes suggesting resources or approaches) and hold you to your commitments.


Additional services as a consultant or trainer


While I am most interested in coaching, I often act as a trainer/teacher and consultant.


What kind of Consulting Might I Get?

  • Developing a clear mission and vision for your organization (and for yourself).  I have successfully led seven churches and National Capital Presbytery through a mission and visioning process that results in clarity and energy.
  • Building a well functioning leadership team – this would involve looking at present structures, examining how well current leaders function, their dysfunction, the leader’s role in how things work, etc.  I am able to work with staff members in developing a strong team with clear expectations, trust, accountability, and results.  I could attend a board meeting at which I would observe your leadership and help you debrief what you did.
  • Dealing with anxiety in the organization and the role of leaders in handling their own anxiety and that of others.
  • Managing conflict – I work with leaders to help them stand up and take responsibility.  A clear vision helps with all of these problems.
  • Appraisals - both for the pastor and the board.  What do you expect of each other?  How do you set priorities?  What are they?  How does your vision and sense of priorities show up in job descriptions and performance appraisals?
  • Analyzing your church’s system – what helps you reach your vision?  What gets in the way?
  • Interim Ministry - I have led the National Capital Presbytery's Interim Pastors' group for a decade.  We share questions and challenges, mutual experience and insights, helping each other.  I have consulted and coached interims on an individual basis, helping them develop a plan of action for their particular church, dealing with the unique challenges they face.
  • Preaching - I would review videotapes of your preaching with you.  Through observations, a simple survey, and questions, I would help you identify and try new approaches that would strengthen your preaching.
  • Stewardship - I have been a guest leader for a number of churches using Herb Miller's New Consecration Sunday approach.  These churches have typically increased their pledges by 7-10%.


Part of each of these consulting services would involve my coaching you or other key leaders.


Where might such consulting happen?  This would depend on your objective and also your budget.  I have done part and full day retreats, met with boards for an evening meeting, and met with task forces on a monthly basis.

Coaching Groups - In addition to offering individual coaching, I periodically form coaching groups of 4-5 pastors. We meet monthly for about two hours (either in person or over the phone). Participants share what's going on in their situations. I then lead them to explore approaches to challenges, invite them to make commitments to actions, and we hold each other mutually accountable. These are less expensive than 1:1 coaching. Groups might be formed according to mutual interest, e.g. pastors new to a church, pastors in changing cultural situations, heads of multiple staff churches.


I encourage you to consider coaching, either one on one or in a group. Most of my coaching is done by phone in order to minimize commuting, but I make exceptions.


For more information and perspective, please review the FAQ’s on coaching on the website of the International Coach Federation:


Can I afford coaching? 

You are looking at this website because you have a sense that you need something more. If coaching an hour a month for three months helps you focus more effectively so that you attract just one or two new families to your church, that would more than pay for your investment. 

Motivated clients who are doing well already may lift their leadership skills to a new level and thus lead their organizations to new levels.

When a church and pastor have an unpleasant separation, the church suffers. Typically high costs include: 

  • Three months or more severance pay for the church; loss of income for the pastor or staff member
  • Lost income from those who left because they were upset with the pastor
  • Lost income from those who left because the pastor was forced to resign
  • Lessened commitment leading to less giving.

A motivated client who follows through on coaching assignments, grows in self awareness and learns new leadership skills will avoid all manner of difficulties.

In short, getting coaching is money well spent.

For more information do a web search on “leadership coaching roi” (roi= return on investment).

What does Your Coaching and Consulting Cost?

Basic fee - For pastors:  $125 for a 45-60 minute coaching call.  Fees for consulting depend on the services provided.

       For leaders whose coaching is paid for by a non-profit or for-profit organization - $175/hour.

 Money back guarantee – if, after participating in an agreed on period of coaching and after completing the agreed on assignments, you feel that my coaching or consulting was not worth what you paid, I will refund your payment.

 Leadership Coaching – this is the heart of what I do.  I will work with you to help you be a better leader.

 Most of my coaching is done over the telephone in 45 minute increments.  This makes it easy for you – no travel time, waiting in offices, etc.  It is also very focused to make the best use of your time and your funds.


  • ·         First session - a demonstration: no charge
  • ·         Six Sessions - $750
  • ·         Ten Sessions - $1100
  • ·         Follow-up - billed at $125/session
  • ·         or you can sign up for 12 sessions over a year for $1200

 Pastors in National Capital Presbytery receive a special discount.

 Consulting –

Leader Retreats - focusing on such areas as dealing with anxiety, building a strong leadership team, etc. A typical 6 hour retreat is $500.  Two day retreat - $1000 plus expenses.

 Developing a Mission and Vision – A 6 – 8 month process involving initial meetings with pastor and mission study team, follow up meetings, monthly coaching and phone check-ins with pastor and team chair, a leader retreat, review and feedback.  Fee - depends on particular needs, but around $3500.

 Healthy Congregations Workshops – using an approach developed by Peter Steinke -

These very creative workshops help leaders understand how their congregation works, its anxieties and stresses, its system.  How can leaders be responsible in an anxious system?  What difference does that make?  Specific workshops would be designed in consultation with the pastor and leaders.  Costs vary.  A basic two hour session using a terrific video would be $200.

(for more information, go to


Conflict Management -  Consultation would be based on conversations with the pastor and key leaders.  Central to this process would be that the pastor engage in coaching.    It would be likely that I would use some of the material in the Healthy Congregations Workshops.


Team Building – Whether it’s a staff team or the church board, it is critical that there be a real team leading the church (or other organization).  I would use a combination of one or two day long retreats and coaching to help you build trust, learn to deal with differences effectively, get ownership of the members, build a sense of mutual accountability, and achieve results.


Pastors Seeking a New Call - I will help you develop your Personal Information Form (resume/dossier/whatever you call it) so that it really sparkles and communicates to the pastor selection committee.  We can discuss your approach to a congregation.  What questions might you ask of them?  How might you implicitly be their leader as you are being interviewed?

How much coaching is need to make a difference?

 I have found that six sessions, roughly twice a month, is a good start.  This can help many pastors deal with immediate issues (a difficult staff member, criticism, lack of clarity concerning direction).   Depending on the situation, it’s fairly common to continue on a monthly basis for another 3-6 months.  I have some clients who simply like to check in monthly to stay on track.  Regardless of how long the relationship lasts, it’s good to have at least the initial six sessions to get a good sense of what coaching is about and begin to really make progress.

I don’t live in the Washington area, so how could you help?

Most coaching is done over the telephone in 30 – 60 minute conversations.  I find that 45 minutes is a good length of time.  I have had clients elsewhere in the country.