The mission of the Susquehanna Conference is to:

grow spiritual transformational leaders, equip vital congregations, create new places for new people, and connect with each other and the world so that alive in Christ together, the Susquehanna Conference will embody the beloved community of disciple making congregations.

Together, the Grow, Equip, and Connect teams have developed a Coaching Network to assist and encourage those of you who are engaged in missional and transformational leadership across the Susquehanna Conference.  Coaches provide focus and attention for individuals and teams who value the opportunity to reflect with a colleague and receive supportive accountability to set and follow through on goals and action steps that have been discerned as next faithful steps with God.

As coaching is developing as a respected profession and useful tool for leaders globally, the Susquehanna Conference sees our coaches as a benefit to our leaders.  Coaching differs from consulting in an important way.  Consultants come with answers that a person or group learns and implements.  Coaches focus on the individual or team. Coaches help them explore and discern their own avenues forward that match their context.  Coaching, also, aids in identifying and overcoming obstacles that otherwise would hinder movement forward with new visions and missional direction.  Coaches prioritize helping individual and leadership teams stay focused on action steps that follow Christ to new dimensions of discipleship and ministry.

There are three ways in which leaders can use our coaching network:

  1. An individual leader/pastor who is working on a specific leadership goal, for example:
    1. Starting a new appointment and focusing on the first six months of leadership,
    2. Developing a time management practice,
    3. Learning to lead staff.
  2. A leadership team who is working on something new, for example:
    1. Developing a discipleship pathway,
    2. Living into a Simplified Accountability Structure,
    3. Beginning a new cooperative ministry in the region.
  3. An individual that would like to be trained as a coach to employ those new skills in working with their own ministry teams locally or more broadly across the Conference.

The process for working with a coach is quite simple:

  1. Send a request to one of the directors of Grow, Equip, or Connect
    1. Grow - Kevin Witt – kwitt@susumc.org or Kim Shockley – kshockley@susumc.org
    2. Equip – tbd
    3. Connect - tbd
  2. Kim Shockley, who coordinates the Coaching Network – kshockley@susumc.org – will be notified. Kim will communicate with all parties involved to determine the focus of the coaching and next steps.  A coach will then be selected to work with the individual or team. A list of persons being coached through the network is shared with the cabinet, so they are informed of leaders and teams who have chosen to focus on ministry innovation and leadership growth in this way.  Typically, the details of coaching are not shared, unless the individual or team gives permission, or the coaching arrangement originates with that understanding.
  3. There are fees associated with using the coaching network, paid by the leader/church to the coach. We have tried to keep this as minimal as possible by using this fee structure:
    1. Coaching calls by Zoom or phone = $25
    2. Coaching visits to the local church up to 3 hours = $100 + expenses
    3. Coaching visits over more than 3 hours = $150 + expenses
  4. Once a coaching relationship is established, it is up to the coach and leader/team being coached to mutually define the details in terms of how often to talk, how long to stay in relationship, and how payments will be made.
  5. An evaluation process will be available when the coaching relationship has ended.

To become a coach, please contact Kim Shockley – kshockley@susumc.org

  1. The Coaching Network is offering training twice a year to train potential coaches in our Basic Coach Training. The Training involves six hours to learn the skills of a coach and a model to practice coaching conversations.
  2. Each coach will be part of a Mentor Coaching Group that meets regularly with Kim Shockley to check in on how coaching skills are developing and to learn new elements of coaching. Those who participate in the mentor coaching groups are preferred for coaching assignments.
  3. Each coach also chooses the types of assignments they prefer because of their own proficiency in certain areas of ministry, such as simplified accountable structure, developing leaders, or connectional mission.

One final word

The coaching network provides an assessment tool that local church leaders can use to help determine the area of coaching that would be most helpful.  The tool is developed around the Conference vision in the categories of Grow Spiritual Transformational Leaders, Equip Vital Congregations, and Connectional Ministries based on areas that are able to be resourced through these offices. This assessment tool will be adapted as the needs and resources around the Annual Conference change.  The link to the assessment tool is: http://www.susumc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/SUSUMC-Church-Assessment-1.pdf

Your assigned coach is ready to offer a complimentary call to help process this tool to discover the right next step to move your congregation toward being a beloved community that makes disciples for Jesus Christ.