By Beth Kennett
Ten years ago, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship began providing resources — connection with professional coaches and some scholarships — for individuals to engage in professional coaching relationships. The purpose of the coaching was to improve leadership capacity and longevity/sustainability in ministry.
Around that time, CBF contracted with a professional coach, Eddie Hammett, and training program, Coach Approach Ministries, to offer coach training to employees, organization members and clergy. This training marked the beginning of coaching being a part of the leadership culture in CBF.
Over the last four years, CBF has made coaching a significant part of training programs and leadership development. CBF also continues using a coaching approach for supervision and managerial leadership.
CBF has a vast constituency including staff, state and regional leaders, field personnel, and pastoral leaders who can benefit from the coaching experience. Included in this group are many entrepreneurial new church start pastors and lay leaders who desire for their congregations to thrive. Currently, 15 employees, 70 Dawnings pastors, 10 new church start pastors, 50 new clergy and many others have benefited from the coaching experience. CBF is working to make coaching a part of its DNA and a positive resource for healthy leaders.
Coaching continues to be used within CBF Global offices. Coaching is used in all programs that are developing people in the professional field of ministry. Coaching is being used in programs helping congregations and faith communities develop and change. Coaching opportunities are available at most national gatherings of CBF constituents.
From new church start initiatives to congregations with long histories, coaching is helping congregational leaders adapt and determine how to be in the present and move into the future. Coaching skills are being used more and more in the mainstream of CBF life. More and more leaders are benefiting from the opportunities to work with a coach.
This summer, CBF launched the CBF Coaching Network. This is a professional organization made up of coaches who are connected to CBF. The CBF Coaching Network is a place for coaches to connect. Continued coach training education, mentor coaching and peer learning will be offered for continued professional development.
If you are interested in learning more about coaching — finding a coach or becoming a coach; contact Beth Kennett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Coaching matters!