facebook script

Can't find something?

We're here to help.

Send us an email at:

[email protected]

and we'll get back with you as soon as possible.

Conference seeks coaches of color

Coaches trained online

Naomi Garcia announces that in 2022 The Michigan Conference Leadership Council has committed funds to train people of color to be coaches.


Michigan Conference, Associate Director for Congregational Vibrancy

I long for the kin-dom of The Divine among us to be so much of who we are that it’s obvious not one soul is left behind.

Nineteen percent of Michigan’s population in 2019 identified as people of color. Just over 1/3 of the USA population did, too. The world’s population, by contrast, is 82% people of color. That’s more than three-quarters. It’s actually more than four-fifths. Four out of every five people are not white. Said in an affirming way, are people of color! I’m convinced the world’s population more authentically represents the people of The Holy One. John Wesley did, too.

You may have noticed that leaders in government entities across Michigan are overwhelmingly white. Michigan Conference leadership is, too. The state of leadership in the Michigan Conference mimics the practices of secular outfits which, I hope you’ve also noticed, do not reflect the Gospels or follow our model, Jesus the Christ. Our versions of these inhospitable patterns of decision-making relentlessly continue institutional biases toward inequality in financial and relational support, appointments, recruiting, hiring, and most everything else we do.  

Each of us is created in the image of The Holy One. Each Divine-design is a favorite of the Creator, regardless of our human understanding of how this could possibly be. Every perspective along with every other perspective brings all of humanity closer to The Holy One’s beloved community. We are more and better together than apart. Like Elijah’s bottomless jar of oil, our potential for living the beloved community is as infinite as The Divine. 

Two Michigan Conference field staff goals are coming together: every person in a ministry transition –staff, laity, pastor– is engaged in one-on-one coaching and 25% of Michigan Conference congregations are intentionally raising their intercultural competence. Coaching is a key component of both.

Currently, most Michigan Conference (MiC) coaches are English-speakers, most for whom English is their only spoken language. A growing number of congregations include persons for whom their primary language is not English. Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Ojibwe, African languages, and French are the primary spoken languages in a number of our ministry settings. Very few of these non-English speakers are in Michigan Conference leadership roles. Non-English speakers in congregational leadership are more likely to be overlooked for connectional leadership and other positions of influence because the decision-makers cannot converse with non-English speakers. The lack of willingness and effort to understand another is a stark example of how privilege works. Those with privilege don’t have to work at understanding another because their dignity and life don’t depend on it. 

Coaching is one strategy for changing the historically low to non-existent number of multiethnic believers in leadership positions. Coaching is a process for tapping into our Divine-design — the very source of personal agency and self-empowerment.  Trained multiethnic coaches are often the best, and sometimes the only, way those typically marginalized may trust the intent and trustworthiness of our coaching initiatives.

One-on-one and group conversations with MiC multiethnic ministry leaders confirmed once again two consistent barriers to people of color pursuing training: time and funding. Most multiethnic leaders pay the bills because they have more than one job. Sometimes the bill-paying job is life-giving; often it is not.

I feel privileged to lead the MiC coaching initiatives. I am pleased to announce the MiC Leadership Council has committed 2022 funds to train people of color to be coaches. This funding will be combined with what the learner coach is able to contribute and other coaching initiative funds. Together these funds honor our partnership with Coach 4 Today’s Leaders, the parent body of Coaching 4 Clergy. We are strategically leveraging our resources to create a broadly diverse and inclusive pool of coaches.

Join me in generously passing along two links related to coaching.  Follow this link to request a Michigan Conference coach. 

Follow this link to explore coach training

Upcoming coach trainings, live by Zoom, are Basic Coach Training Thursdays, June 9-30, 5:30-8:30 pm EDT. Learn the basic coaching skills you can use the same day. Coach Training in the Summer quarter, required for MiC coaches, Mondays, June 13-July 11, 10:00 am – 2:30 pm EDT.

Asynchronous courses on your own schedule and at your own pace are always on demand.

Our life-giving future depends on ongoing partnerships rooted in power-sharing. Every coaching session starts with power sharing. The one coached and the coach are equals. Each has a specific role. The one being coached decides what to work on. The coach prompts opportunities for reflecting, imagining, and testing possibilities. Confidential space transforms views, limiting beliefs and assumptions into clarity, empowerment, and determination to follow through. Effective coaching creates safe, brave, and trustworthy space. 

Because MiC coaching meets the highest ethical standards of the International Coaching Federation’s (ICF) Code of Ethics our collective competence is on the rise. The competence of Self sets us up to raise our intercultural courage. Courage is what made the divine Christ human. This same courage is in each of our Divine-designs. Changing the worlds of our comings and goings is next in a rising cascade of kin-dom activity.

I long for the kin-dom of The Divine among us to be so much of who we are that it’s obvious not one soul is left behind.


Last Updated on October 30, 2023

The Michigan Conference