Coaches Office

An Unconventional Way to Sharpen Coaching Skills

By Rev. Dr. Kevin Wilson

I’m sharpening my coaching skills more by listening to podcasts that aren’t about coaching than listening to podcasts about coaching.

Seriously. You can listen to podcasts about architecture or philosophy or fishing to hone your coaching skills. The topic doesn’t matter. You just need to know the secret to identifying the right style of podcasts and how to leverage the podcasts in skill building.

Identify the right podcasts.

The style of podcast you are looking for is what I call “Interview the Expert.” In each episode the host interviews experts about a specific profession or specialization. For example, I listen to a podcast named “LDRLB.” The podcast is hosted by David Burkus, an educator, researcher and author who specializes in leadership. On a regular basis he interviews other researchers and authors who focus on leadership for podcasts.

A more general style of podcast may also regularly use the interview model. My favorite podcast is Six Pixels of Separation, hosted by Mitch Joel. During any given month this weekly podcast will have one or two interviews with authors or leaders in a range of fields that apply to marketing or digital media.

The right podcasts are also about topics that interest you. The more you like the topic, the more likely you are to listen to the podcast.

Create a coaching environment.

I prefer to listen to podcasts while driving on the highway or exercising on a treadmill. However, these contexts are not conducive for learning. So instead of listening casually, block out time as if this were a coaching session. Find a quite place. Clear everything off the space except what you will use for notes.

Creating this environment helps you work on the coaching skill of “presence.” A […]

By |May 10th, 2016|Missions|0 Comments

Discipleship: Silos vs Sending

As I look at the landscape of the church today. I wonder if due to our declining numbers we have shifted our discipleship practices to respond more out of fear and less out of a sense of mission. Have our discipleship methods created more silos because we are responding to the increasingly less Christian culture around us? Instead, should we be viewing discipleship more as an opportunity to equip followers for the challenges of this unconnected to God culture? The German Pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was martyred at the hands of the Nazis once said, “the Church is the church only when it exists for others” what he meant was for outsiders.

Silo Thinking

In one of my previous congregations sometime in the fall was time for the pastor to trick and guilt (00ps I mean encourage them to take on this opportunity to serve our Lord on our various dysfunctional boards and committees) members into filling positions of leadership in the church. I remember one time when I had decided gain some history as to how things had been done in the past, thinking that maybe there was a method that proved effective. My research uncovered a troubling bit of information. When I inquired of my then 80-year-old Financial Secretary how he got the opportunity to serve. He described a sad, but I would discover a recurring tale of woe. The current Financial secretary went on vacation and asked him to cover for him while he was gone, but the guy never returned. So this poor fellow had been stuck with this job for over 20-years. Me being who I am said to him so, “I guess you haven’t been able to trick anyone else into […]

By |May 9th, 2016|Missions|0 Comments

Leaders It’s Time to be Selfish

Leaders it’s time to be selfish.
By Rev. Dr. Kevin Wilson
I’m serious.

Be selfish.

– Order a second shot of espresso.
– Download that audiobook you’ve put off buying.
– Leave a little early to hike the trail you’ve had your eye on for years.

Understand, I write for faith-based leaders. We are committed to placing God above all else. We are called to give our lives for others. We are conditioned to make sacrifices for the cause.

This means we are at risk for emotional burnout, physical exhaustion and spiritual drought. I look into the eyes of a lot of leaders. Too often I’m seeing a vacant stare, a stare that says a leader has nothing left to give.

If you are repulsed by thought of being selfish, then frame it as wellness. Here are five reasons to take your personal well-being seriously.

God gives permission to and even blesses self-care.
There is a litany of Bible passages that illuminate this truth. We care for ourselves because we were created in God’s image (Genesis chapter 1). It is assumed in the “Great Command” that we will love ourselves (Matthew chapter 22). Jesus went to lonely places to pray in part so He could recharge His batteries (Luke chapter 5). So we also should recharge our batteries.

Caring for yourself helps make you an effective leader.
Leaders experiencing burnout gain empathy but lose trust. Once trust is lost its almost impossible to regain. One key to effective leadership is consistently being ready and available to lead. Sustaining this ready state for leadership requires self-care.

Caring for yourself prepares you to help others with self-care.
Being selfish can produce selfless benefits. In learning how to care for yourself you learn how to help others learn the same. By modeling self-care […]

By |May 4th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

What Are Your Core Values

Often times there is a big disconnect between who we image ourselves to be and the way we actually behave. Have you ever wondered why you struggle to lose weight no matter how determined you are to change this time? If you put aside the physical reasons dieting isn’t working: your metabolism, age, genetics and the like; maybe just maybe, the issue has more to do with your core values. Let me give you a clear definition of core values. In a new e-book, “Multiplication Matters,” written by Todd Wilson for Exponential, a church-planting organization, he defines core values this way: “Core values … the things so important to us that they shape how we think and how we do all that we do. Our core values reflect our heart, what we really care about deep down. They overflow to shape the words of our mouth (our narrative) and the actions of our hands (our behaviors).”

Organizations often struggle to clearly define their core values. There is a risk when core values are not defined or in some cases not even recognized, that these groups will waste valuable time and human resources on ministry plans destined to fail. They are destined to fail because those well-developed strategies, the God-inspired mission statement and big God-sized vision statements are contrary to the core values of your church or organization.

There are two key elements to help shape your organization’s core values: your narrative and your behaviors.

How Are You Sharing Your Story (Narrative)?

The stories you highlight in your public assemblies (worship) are how your members discover the organization’s values. What do you talk most frequently about with your people? Is it the metrics we commonly measure: worship attendance, the dollars […]

By |May 4th, 2016|Missions|0 Comments

What is Coaching?

Our vision is to create a coaching culture in the church centered around our Triune God.  This is accomplished by training qualified and mature individuals serving our Lord to come along side of professional church workers, their families and leaders of congregations (referred to from now on as leaders) to help them discern the working of the Holy Spirit toward expand the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.  The vision of the coach mentoring ministry is focused on our coaches so that they are the best trained quality coaches in the church.

Great Lakes Coaching focuses on forward movement of the leader, which  results in different behavior for different results to the glory of our Lord Christ.   We are interested in the “what” God has in mind for the future and are not interested in going backwards and discovering why something has happened or did not happen.

By |October 2nd, 2014|Missions|0 Comments

How would a coach actually benefit me?

Having a Coach Advance certified coach benefits you or your team immediately by providing a non-judgmental, non-threatening environment that allows you the freedom to really explore God’s vision for you and discover action steps that will move you towards it!

Coaching is the process of coming alongside a person or team to help them discover God’s agenda for their life and ministry, and then cooperating with the Holy Spirit to see that agenda become a reality.

Coaches come alongside to help, just as Barnabas came alongside Paul, and then Paul came alongside Timothy and others. By encouraging and challenging others, coaches empower them for ministry. Barnabas may never have been in the starring role, but without him many others would not have been able to accomplish the great things for God that they did. Through his investment in people, his impact was exponential.

The goal of coaching is helping someone succeed, which is finding out what God wants you to do and doing it. Given that definition, success will certainly look different on different people, but it will all be tied into accomplishing Biblical mission. Far from a top-down program designed to accomplish pre-conceived ends, coaching empowers each individual believer to listen to the Spirit and act in accordance with the mission they sense God calling them toward. Coaching is essentially listening to the Holy Spirit and taking action accordingly.


What makes coaching so powerful?


People are at least twice as fruitful when in coaching relationships. Good coaching empowers people to discern God’s will and take the appropriate next steps for their personal and ministry development. Some of the benefits and functions of coaching:

  • Provides encouragement for the journey
  • Cultivates wisdom and strategic insights
  • Discovers breakthrough opportunities
  • Maintains focus on the truly […]
By |September 18th, 2014|Missions|0 Comments

Five “Times” to Find a Coach

ORev. Dr. Kevin Wilsonne of the more common questions I am asked is, “How do I know its time for a coach?”  Here are five times its wise to find a coach.

You face a significant challenge or opportunity. 

In day to day life, there are only so many times truly significant challenges or opportunities arise. There are only so many times you have a chance to relocate your organization. There are only so many times you can expand staffing. There are only so many times you will face an emergency shortfall in funding. When these challenges or opportunities arise, you still have to handle the day-to-day routine. That’s its a great time to consider a coach. A coach will help you navigate both the daily responsibilities and the steps to meeting the challenge or opportunity.

You are unable to sustain an important change in the way your work.

There are two “truisms” at work in this one. First, we are creatures of habit. It is difficult to make lasting personal changes in the way we work because we fall back into old patterns of behavior. Second, organizations constantly seek to conform to form. The established systems in organizations push back against changes. If the personal or organizational changes are important, a coach can help you create new healthy habits that stick and organizational changes that last.

Your work is so chaotic that you are struggling to focus on anything. 

Even leaders with the most unstructured personalities can reach the point where chaos at work is draining. You have a new boss. The congregation changes the Sunday morning schedule. You’re “right hand” leaves to lead another non-profit. The greater the […]

By |August 12th, 2014|Blog, What is Coaching?|0 Comments

Generosity Training

As pastors, we long for the day when God’s people would be more effective in reflecting God’s generosity.  CoachAdvance (formerly known as Great Lakes Coaching Center), a training organization of the Ohio District and the Northern Illinois District, LCMS contracted with CoachNet to develop a Generosity Storyboard to assist pastors in training disciples in generosity.  I am truly excited about the potential for helping God’s people become more generous.
The first roll out of the Generosity Development Training for leaders will be May 30th, from 9:00 A.M. — 3:00 P.M. at the Ohio District Mission Support Center.  Before you leave the training, you will be assigned a coach who will coach you toward implementing the process toward generosity within the congregation.  The coach will work with you once a month for one hour over the telephone for eight months.  The first three months of the coaching is without cost.  A scholarship will be given to all who attend this training making the monthly cost for coaching $35.00 instead of $150.00.
I pray that the Holy Spirit would lead you to become involved in this training and implementation within your congregation.
Send the registration form and check to Vern Bok by May 20th.
By |May 23rd, 2013|Upcoming Events|0 Comments

Coach Training Leading to Certification

CoachAdvance certifies its own coaches. The next training dates will be announced two months before the commencement of training.

By |February 26th, 2013|Upcoming Events|0 Comments