MISSIONAL COACHES & As part of the MissionalCoaches.network these 3 African-American church planters are shadowing me (pictured w/ client church pastor In the middle). It feels good to give back the tools I’ve discovered from 30+ years of coaching / consulting & 2 doctorates. www.Leadership.church

Learn about a opportunity to shadow me and learn my tools from two doctorates and 30+ years of consulting at … MissionalCoaches.network

MISSIONAL COACHES & What separates a coach from a mentor?

“Mentors offer great advice; coaches ask great questions.”

“Coaching: The Best-Kept Secret to Growing as an Entrepreneur”

by Zack Ferres, Entrepreneur Magazine, 10/26/17.

… Up to 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies now work with executive coaches, according to consulting firm Hay Group…

What separates a coach from a mentor

I posted about this coaching paradox on LinkedIn a while back, and my post attracted a flood of comments. After reading them through, I realized that many people don’t understand the distinction between a mentor and a coach. While these positions might seem similar, there’s actually a world of difference between the two.

“Mentors,” for one thing, don’t usually follow a fixed schedule or require payment. They help with strategic issues, answering questions for founders without actively participating in company operations.

“Coaches,” on the other hand, are not afraid to get their hands dirty. They are typically paid, and operate on, a fixed schedule to help entrepreneurs make themselves better. Mentors offer great advice; coaches ask great questions…

Read more: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/303361

EQUIPPING & 8 Ideas to Help Leaders Move from Being Regarded as Experts to Regarded as Equippers

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D. and the 2017 Missional Coaches Cohort, 2/1/17.

  • Create an organizational chart that includes each area of ministry.
    • Pastor, Director(s), Volunteer Leader roles, etc.
    • Identify and write down the positional names first, then add actual names of people. If you have not yet identified the desired positions or people, then begin to pray for clarity on roles and potential leaders for those roles. Pray for your current leaders.
    • Create (and have ready in writing) expectations and core values for the individual roles to have leaders lead. This brings value to the leader.
    • You become a better leader the more you can share the responsibilities of the your particular areas of ministry. You also raise the “leadership lid” as you are able to do what you can to empower/coach others to lead.
  • Take an intentional DAWG (Day Alone With God)
    • So something that fills your tank, gets you alone with God in his presence. (Go to a park, a hike, bike ride, to a lake, to the pool, etc) You get the point, do what you enjoy.
    • Take a day monthly. Journal, read a book/Bible, pray, Listen, etc
  • Begin to meet with 6-10 potential leaders regularly to move from expert to an
    equipper. (Dan Reiland’s 5 Elements to Empower Your Leaders summarized below.)

    • 1 time per month for about 1.5hrs for up to 1 year. Be intentional to talk about
      vision, core values, and maybe do a book study, and/or leadership lifter/training.
      Then recruit a whole new group of potential leaders and repeat the process.
      During this process there are 5 key areas to help equip and empower other
    • “Trust with responsibility”
      • Like a teenager learning to drive, handing over the keys to a new leader is
        a risk. But without risk, a leader can’t feel the weight of their responsibility
        and your trust.
      • Mistakes are likely, but growth occurs in that process!
    • “Train your leaders for competency”
      • “In the same way you would not let your teens drive the family car without driver’s education, your leaders need training too. Even the best and brightest of your leaders need training in order to become better leaders.
      • The training needs to be consistent, relevant, and practical. It must also embrace the cultural values of your church.
      • Global Leadership Summit, Exponential, or other Conferences if budget permits, Web-based video (such as TedTalks or Right Now Media) or leadership podcasts if budget is tight.
      • After you finish a training, plan a specific time to debrief and evaluate the their experience, what they learned, or how they were challenged. Find specific ways to apply their experiences.
    • “Give them authority”
      • Give authority (decision-making, teaching, financial responsibility, etc) equal to the responsibility.
      • Encourage an atmosphere of boldness by encouraging risks (and
        therefore mistakes). Progress is prioritized over perfection.
      • Sharing authority opens the way for others to lead.
    • “Communicate Clear Expectations”
      • Leaders need guidelines and clear expectations. Job descriptions, goals
        and cultural values of the church make it possible for them to be
        successful. When a leader does not know what is expected, they can’t
      • While uncommon, on rare occasion it is necessary to remove
        empowerment. Perhaps the leader refuses to operate within the
        guidelines, and values or cannot keep up with the needed competencies.
        This conversation always goes easier when clear expectations were
        previously set. It’s always a tough decision to remove empowerment, but on rare occasion it needs to be done.
    • “Love and believe in each one for maximum potential”
      • “When Jesus shared His authority with the disciples, it wasn’t a
        mechanical or hierarchical thing. He mentored them, invested time with them, and loved them. He saw through the mess and believed the best. Jesus had faith in the twelve, even though their faith often faltered. Jesus believed in them before they fully believed in themselves.”
      • We have the privilege and responsibility to “see” potential leadership in those we lead, and often before they see it in themselves.

© Bob Whitesel DMin PhD & MissionalCoaches.com #PowellChurch

COMMUNICATION & 6 Ideas That Will Increase It in Your Church

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D. and the 2017 Missional Coaches Cohort, 2/1/17.

  • Tips for  General Communication
    • Intentionally tell the story of your entire church & its people- what is the common ground that makes you call Powell home? How do you communicate the same to your congregation & your community?
    • Streamline and prioritize your message. An average person sees 14,000
      advertisements per day- make yours have an impact!
    • Develop “communication guidelines” that all ministries use for communication.
      • Include appropriate language
      • No Christian-ese, using “youth” or “students” exclusively, etc.,
      • Watch length, graphics, font, etc. to create a streamlined experience.
    • Create a timeline of when information needs to go out, so that announcements do not overlap or become cluttered. Know how often your church (and all its different ministries) are sending information out.
    • Check your engagement analytics regularly to gauge effectiveness during culture shifts. A person needs to hear something 7-12 times in a variety of ways before they “get it.”
  • Bulletin
    • Choose the most important items that the congregation needs to know
    • Make them visually appealing and uncluttered, especially new guest information
  • Social Media
    • Utilize your social media platforms regularly (schedule posts ahead of time)
    • Use social media for story-telling instead of solely marketing. This makes your web presence more appealing and informative to a new guest.
      • eg. Feature posts from a past event,
      • or member experience,
      • or “behind the scenes look” instead of marketing for events.
    • Engagement goes up (and more people are made aware of your church) when people who are already connected share posts from your page- so make your posts “share-worthy!”
    • Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, and higher
      engagement occurs when posts/emails are made/sent in the early afternoon.
  • Group Texting
    • Group texting services (such as “EZ Text” or “Remind”)
    • Are great ways to keep “insiders” in the loop on sign-ups, short reminders, volunteer opportunities, etc.
  • Email
    • 66% of marketing emails are opened on mobile devices. Is yours mobile-friendly?
    • Keep the subject line short & catchy (30 characters or less)
    • The average person will spend 2-3 minutes opening emails on their mobile phone at a time- less is more!
  • Church Calendar
    • Be sure the church calendar is easily found (digitally preferably) and up to date.
    • Check language to be new guest friendly (times, locations, descriptions, etc.)
    • An online calendar should be available to everyone (but only editable by a select few).

© Bob Whitesel DMin PhD & MissionalCoaches.com #PowellChurch

COMMITMENT & 6 Ideas That Can Increase Giving and Community

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D. and the 2017 Missional Coaches Cohort, 2/1/17.

  • Annually teach on giving.
    • Teach as a two-week series [studies show one week isn’t enough; three weeks people get bored / annoyed]. Offer it in January or February, after everyone’s Christmas bills come in and household budget/resource allocation is a priority.
    • When teaching on giving, teach on graduated giving – meaning, if you don’t
      give at all, where could you start? If you do give, but give less than 10%, how
      could you increase to the next percentage? If you give 10% or above, could you begin increasing giving to the next percentage as a ‘legacy gift’ to the church?
  • Annually review tithes & offerings.
    • Who knows who gives, and how much? Who knows who’s not giving, or has
      slacked off in giving? John Maxwell suggests the Treasurer, Senior Pastor, and Exec Pastor know in order to pray for givers & giving, and lean into those needing encouragement.
  • Annually review ministry priorities.
    • Get key staff and board together for a half-day or full day of ministry review. Are you most important ministries getting significant resources for ministry?
    • If they’re not, they might not be as high a priority as you think they are. Make adjustments as necessary.
  • Offer Stewardship classes.
    • Twice a year, offer Financial Peace Classes [or similar program].
    • Rather than a staff or board member, attempt to have a key layperson whose financial affairs are in order teach the class, in order to avoid people viewing church leaders as greedy for resources.
  • Expand giving options.
    • Do you offer a variety of ways to give such as: text-to-give, webpage for
      automatic giving, or giving kiosks? What does live giving look like in your church?
    • Do you have special giving opportunities – a campaign to pay down debt / faith promise giving for missions? Beyond weekly / monthly giving, what special giving emphases could be created?
  • Tell stories about giving.
    • Who’s willing to share live or via video a story of how God stretched them to give more generously/sacrificially? Who’s been blessed by receiving a gift through the church? What ministries could you highlight that wouldn’t exist without giving?
    • Interview some older folks who are long-time members. Ask about the vision and mission of the church, and how they see it being fulfilled. Ask them how they prayed and gave in the early days for God to bless and expand the church’s reach.
    • Interview younger folks, families, or individuals who are new. Ask about their experience being welcomed or helped. Use questions in these video stories to connect the dots between giving and outreach / mission accomplishment.

© Bob Whitesel DMin PhD & MissionalCoaches.com #PowellChurch

UNITY & 7 Ideas That Create Unity Among Multiple Worship Services

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D. and the 2017 Missional Coaches Cohort, 2/1/17.

  • Hold unified worship services, not just around holidays & special days.
    • Hold a combined service around the 4th of July and meet offsite at a lake or
      community pool for baptisms. Hold a combined fall fest service around Halloween or Thanksgiving, and make sure it has creative elements that express thanks and gratitude.
    • Hold a combined service after the new year, and speak to the ‘state of
      the church’ or the ministry focus for the year to come.
    • Make sure to celebrate ministries that have gone well in the previous year.
    • KEY > This is not about convenience (i.e. to compensate for a low-attendance Sunday).  Rather, it is about showcasing how God is moving through each of the worship expressions by:
      • Sharing testimonies
      • Sharing music
      • Sharing prayers
      • etc.
  • Swap Sanctuaries.
    • Have the different services / congregations switch their worship space for a
      week. Speak vision for the congregation to understand why they are doing it.
    • Consider mixing up the music just a little, and have some unique service
      elements – video, live testimony, special reading, etc.
  • Swap Serving Teams.
    • Not ready to swap sanctuaries? Okay, then how about swapping serving teams?
    • Greeters, Ushers, Hospitality Teams – send them to the opposite end of the
      building once a month to serve the other congregation. A hassle? Perhaps.
    • But the interaction might add some new life or increase the perspective or
      appreciation for what’s happening at the other end of the building.
  • Recruit prayer partners for multiple services.
    • Have designated prayer partners visit the other service and pray for the service, the families, the ministry effectiveness of that unique service.
    • Think about the impact of older folks praying for the younger families in their service, while seeing younger folks praying for the older folks who have prayed and given and sacrificed to build a church of great witness and reach in the community?
  • Hold a combined marriage retreat (or any similar type of retreat).
    • February or March are optimal. Be sure to highlight older couples in the church who are modeling good marriages for those who are just starting out.
    • Partner up older and younger couples for the weekend, and have public moments of prayer and words of encouragement to each other.
  • Hold combined prayer walks.
    • What would it look like to gather 2-3 times a year as one congregation and walk around the church’s neighborhood and pray for the people living in all those homes.
    • Make sure to read up on holding prayer walks; this isn’t a demonstration.
    • But what a great opportunity to expand the bandwidth of everyone’s prayer
      concern for the neighborhoods around the church!
  • Hold a combined mission emphasis weekend / go on trips together.
    • What local, regional, national, or global ministries do you support?
    • Get everyone from both services for a night or weekend to eat food from another country, hear stories of missionaries / ministry representatives. Schedule trips where various groups can interact and serve together.

© Bob Whitesel DMin PhD & MissionalCoaches.com #PowellChurch



NEWCOMERS & 17 Ideas How to Reach Them More Effectively

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D. and the 2017 Missional Coaches Cohort, 2/1/17.

  • Create a clear pipeline of discipleship from first visit to core group.
    • Make sure you have a volunteer “First Impressions” or “Guest Services” team
      that is easily identified and easily accessible
    • Highlight/announce a connection card to be filled out by guest and taken to guest
      services/dropped in offering basket. Consider giving a nice gift (shirt, mug, coffee
      cup, Chick-Fil-a coupon, etc.) out at Guest Central.
    • The best way to be able to follow up with new guest is to get their information!
    • Create a strategic timeline to follow up with new guests, including those
      who dropped off in children’s ministry.
    • Deploy a volunteer team to write hand written note cards and mail out to new
      guest each week. (provide the cards/envelopes, stamps).
    • Email at about week 4 to follow up with new guest inviting them to “Next Steps” in
      order to get connected- especially a specific class or outreach event.
    • Fusion (Nelson Searcy)- This book lays out a very clear assimilation process that
      you can contextualize for your church with sample communication pieces
  • Institute Small Group Events.
    • One per semester or twice annually to start new groups or get connected to
      existing groups. (September and February are great start times for these events)
    • Train potential small group leaders/hosts at a time convenient for them, and
      equip them with a guide and contact information if they need help.
    • Create a “signup” event- whether during/after services or on another night for
      congregants to view potential groups, meet the leaders/hosts, and sign up for
      one in their area or that fits their schedule.
    • A great model of this is Northpoint Church’s “GroupLink” event.
  • Meet the Pastor Dinner
    • Once per month, host a dinner and invite other pastors/staff there to highlight
      ministries, connection points, and inviting to a Membership/ownership class.
    • Divide people into small groups and have 3-5 questions at the tables for icebreakers
      (Provide name tags, pens, etc).
    • Share vision, mission, “Next Steps”, etc with guests. Allow for Q/A time.
  • 7 Touches Research
    • Research shows that new guests need to be contacted 7x to help them to better
    • Some options include: Parking Lot/Sidewalk greeters, Guest Services for adults
      and at Kids check-in, Auditorium Greeters/ushers, Connect Card/Guest Services
      Gift, Letter/Call from pastor on Monday, Email from Assimilation/Guest Services
    • Team with next steps opportunities coming up, Personal handwritten note card
      mailed out a week later, One month follow up.


C3 Intl. Inc., Church Change Consulting Inc. © Bob Whitesel DMin PhD & MissionalCoaches.com #PowellChurch

WRITING & How to Write an Executive Summary

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I encourage my students and the Missional Coaches I train to write “executive summaries” of books and articles they read. It is a helpful way to help other students who haven’t read the book/article.

Below are some brief bulleted points describing what constitutes an executive summary. (BTW, an executive summary of a book/article is different than an executive summary of a business plan which serves as an overview of a business proposal).

An Executive Summary is:

+ Often about 10% of the length of a short document, but not over 10 pages long, + Written to provide an “executive” with,
– An overview of the document and its main points.
– A recommendation to the executive based on the overview.

An executive summary is usually written for an executive that will not read the original document, hence accuracy and a recommendation are paramount.

I suggest that students and Missional Coaches aim for a two page overview, including recommendations.

If the writer is reading the document for their own benefit, then the recommendations would be for improving their own ministry.

CALL FOR CANDIDATES for 2015 Missional Coaches Training w/ Bob Whitesel DMin PhD

(50% Scholarships available for first 4 suitable candidates accepted before Jan 1, 2015. Email me today for the online application link.)

This is a CALL FOR APPLICANTS who want to be considered for the 2015 Cohort of Missional Coaches, who learn church health/growth consulting with me.

Last year’s cohort of missional coaches joined me for consultations at …

  • Ferguson, Missouri to help a Caucasian church transition to a multi-ethnic congregation.
  • Vineyard Church of Cincinnati, Ohio a mega-church to help with their pastoral transition to a new pastor.
  • 2014 cohort included (pictured below): Rev. Curtis Thompson, Dr. Leo Lawson, Dr. Lonnie Pope, Rev. Don Thompson, Dr. Mel Schnell and Dr. Nick Harvey.

Do you know someone who should be trained in Church Health Consulting? Then email me soon. As usual, only six (6) suitable applicants will be accepted before January 1, 2015. And the first four (4) can apply for a 50% discount.


Apply now for 2015 cohort & TRAINING FOR MISSIONAL COACHES (click for more info)

    • All potential church health/growth consultants and coaches.
    • Denominational Leaders, Consultants, Coaches, Church Advisors.
    • Join an elite group of ONLY six (6) trainees.
  • Missional Church Coach training by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., professor of Missional Leadership, Wesley Seminary and VP of the Society for Church Consulting
  • Join Dr. Whitesel on three (3) consultation visits to analyze actual case-studies under supervision by Dr. Whitesel
  • If booked before the end of the year, a 50% discount on coaching fees resulting in a total of $1500.
  • But, ONLY the first four (4) suitable applicants will be accepted.

Email me today for the online application link.

In His Grace;


PO BOX 333
MARION, IN 46952

574-265-1765 І 888-C3-PLANS



Curtis Thompson receiving his 2014 MISSIONAL COACHES CERTIFICATION in Orlando, at RENOVATE: The National Conference on Church


2014 Missional Coaches in Key Largo, FL

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COACHING & 5 Reasons for Hiring a Consultant/Coach by Thom Rainer

Photo on 2014-02-22 at 17:22.jpg 5 Reasons Churches Benefit From Outside Consultants
Commentary by Prof. B.: I was reminded of this relevant article by Thom Rainer as I trained in my yearly cohort of 6 new missional coaches in Miami (pic):