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Press Release Coaching Academy prepares church leaders for congregational transformation

Coaching Academy prepares church leaders for congregational transformation

2018 Coaching Academy participantsINDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 31, 2018) — Church leaders gathered in Indianapolis May 17-19 for the first annual Coaching Academy hosted by Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation’s ecumenical services.

The event brought together clergy and lay leaders from four mainline denominations to train a team of coaches that will walk alongside congregational leadership in the final phase of Hope Partnership’s transformation services.

“Coaching is a vital part of the transformation process,” says Rick Morse, vice president of Hope Partnership. “Time and time again, we’ve seen that coaching helps congregations live into their bold decisions and embrace their new ministries feeling supported and not alone.”

The three-day event featured coaching demonstrations, in-depth training on coaching procedures and best practices, and educational sessions with keynote speaker Robert E. Logan. Logan is the founder of Logan Leadership and co-author with Sherilyn Carlton of Coaching 101: Discover the Power of Coaching.

Coaching Academy is the second training event held by Hope Partnership under the groundbreaking ecumenical collaboration announced earlier this year by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) extension fund and three other mainline Protestant denominations: Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

The collaboration brings together the extension funds’ network of experts, decades of experiences, and the best of their programs and services to support congregations undergoing transformative visioning processes. The collaboration developed over several years, as extension fund leaders realized they had a shared vision to better support struggling churches. It provides congregations with an expanded portfolio of products and services, including leadership coaching, demographic research, and comprehensive transformation services.

Kedron Nicholson, Coaching Academy participant and Episcopal priest, knows what it is like to be in a local church and need help.

“We knew we couldn’t keep doing the same thing, but we couldn’t see something else yet,” remembers Nicholson. “So many churches are asking: but what can we do differently? Hope Partnership helps churches listen to the Spirit and find an answer.”

Gilberto Collazo, president of Hope Partnership, says,

“We believe that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to doing life-giving mission. God calls each church to do ministry with its community as is needed in a particular time and place.”

Hope Partnership’s approach respects the uniqueness of every congregation – and denomination – and builds on assets within a specific context. The newly expanded network of trained facilitators and coaches includes clergy and lay leaders from each of the four participating denominations.

“Coaching allows me to reach beyond my local ministry setting and do life-giving ministry for my whole Church,” says Steven Smith, pastor of United Disciples of Christ Church in Charleston, W.V.

Smith has worked as a ministry coach for new church planters and transformational leaders since 2004.

“This is one of the places I have witnessed new life and hope in our denomination.”

For a full list of trained Hope Partnership assessors, facilitators and coaches by denomination, visit: http://www.hopepmt.org/meet-our-facilitators-and-assessors/ .