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What is coaching?

Naomi Garcia, Associate Director of Congregational Vibrancy for The Michigan Conference, is a certified coach now serving on the faculty of Coaching4Clergy.

Naomi explains, “Coaching is not mentoring because the experience of the coach doesn’t matter. Coaching is not teaching; the coach doesn’t tell but asks. Nor is this athletic coaching that tells what to do. Coaching is not counseling; counseling is about what has happened in the past. Coaching is forward looking: here’s where you are. What are you willing to consider doing to get you where you want to be.”

A stained glass window of John Wesley. Photo by Ronny Perry, UMNS
Coach works with coachee

Support for churches and clergy

In today’s world, pastors, ministry staff and church leaders find themselves poorly equipped to affect the kind of culture change needed.  Leaders are expected to enable new dreams for their congregations despite shrinking budgets and changing demographics of our neighborhoods. It leaves them feeling overwhelmed, overworked, ineffective, insecure, isolated and alone. That's where coaching can help. Coaches provide much-needed support by asking questions and challenging the one being coached to set and reach their goals. Using deep listening techniques, coaches ask questions aimed to trigger deeper contemplation, providing a sounding board that allows the coachee to think more deeply and profoundly than they would on their own. 

Discovering new perspectives

Coaching begins with a hoped-for outcome.

Unlike counseling, spiritual direction, mentoring, teaching, or consulting, coaching challenges the coachee to think differently to discover new perspectives.  These perspectives, in turn, invite and empower movement toward action. Using questions a coach joins in the shared discovery of limiting beliefs, assumptions, and/or expectations blocking action.  Once discovered, attention turns to replacing these blocked actions with attainable goals.

As part of the Michigan Conference vision to create Bold & Effective Leaders and Vibrant Congregations, clergy and church leaders can be referred to a trained Michigan Conference coach.  To get details, please contact the conference at left.


Interested in becoming a coach? 

Click here to find out how.

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