Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Coaching Church Leaders During a Time of Change: Part One

When you see a Baptist organization do something right, you just have to say something about it.

The Virginia Baptist Mission Board recently called my friend Charity Roberson to a new position.  Charity will use her skills as a life coach to develop church leaders, something she has done previously as a campus minister and pastor. This is an example of putting the right person and the right position together.

I asked Charity several questions about her new position and will share her responses in this blog and one later this week. 

What is the exact title of your new position and to whom will you relate (target group)?

“I am serving as the Leadership Communities Coach on the Emerging Leaders team at the Virginia Baptist Mission Board.  My primary target group as I start will be children and youth ministry leadership, lay and staff positions. Over time, the goal is to create leadership development communities that expand to other areas of ministry as well.” 

What skills, background, and preparation do you bring to this ministry? (Don't be shy!)

“Leadership development has always been my passion. As the North Carolina State University/Raleigh Area Baptist campus minister, I spent nine years with leadership development as the central mission of the campus ministry. I received training as a life coach through Coaches Training Institute, a world renowned coaches training program. I also received training as a church consultant through the Center for Congregational Health. I am working on my Doctor of Ministry studying the ministry of leadership. I also served as pastor of Sharon Baptist Church in Smithfield, NC. “ 

What makes this position innovative or novel?

“The most innovative aspect of this job is that it is so organic and creative. It is about getting out into the churches, seeing their needs, talking to those serving in ministry and then creating opportunities to meet their needs as leaders.  It is realizing that none of us have all of the answers and we all have to continually find new ways to grow. There are so many resources out there and we will find new ways to tap into those resources, while finding new ways to be connected to one another.  

“It is also innovative because these leadership development opportunities can take whatever form they need to and can exist however long or short they need to exist. It may be a conference call or online chat about one particular issue.  It may be taking a group to a weekend or week long training event. It may be creating a more in depth leadership development program that continues for years. 

“The reality is that the churches are feeling the need to be organic and creative. What we've always done is not working the way it used to.  The reality is that the world seems to be changing so quickly that our church and denominational leaders' heads are spinning.  The philosophy is that hopefully we are creating a new way of thinking about not just ministry development but also a new way of looking at ministry and church life.  The reality is that no one person has all of the answers for all of the churches about their needs for effective ministry. The strategy here is to raise up leaders that can assess the realities of their individual ministry settings and to provide them with tools to help meet those needs.”

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