NASHVILLE, Tenn. (GBOD) - The Rev. Gary Shockley has been named executive officer for New Congregational Development in the U.S. for the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD), where he will be leading the Path 1 Team, effective July 1, 2010.
Bishop Lindsey Davis, chair of the Path 1 Team; Bishop Charlene Kammerer, president of GBOD's board of directors; and Rev. Karen Greenwaldt, General Secretary of GBOD, made the announcement.
Shockley, currently New Church Systems Strategist for Path 1, will succeed the Rev. Tom Butcher, who is taking an appointment in the Desert Southwest Conference beginning July 1, 2010. Butcher, who was appointed the first executive officer in 2007, will continue in the role through the end of June.
Shockley will lead the Path 1 staff, based at GBOD headquarters in Nashville, and will continue to work with Path 1 steering committee and the Council of Bishops toward the goal of building and implementing the denomination's collaborative effort to train 1,000 new church planters who will start 650 new churches by 2013.
"Gary has shown strong leadership in working toward this goal with Tom and the others on the Path 1 Team," said the Rev. Karen Greenwaldt, top executive for GBOD.
"While we will miss Tom greatly as he moves to a new role in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference, we know that Gary will build on the success already demonstrated by the Path 1 Team."
Shockley, who has served as a New Church Systems Strategist since February of 2009, began his service as a pastor in the United Methodist Church when he was 18.
In addition to more than 30 years of ministry, he has more than 12 years of experience in New Church Starts.
An elder in the Florida Annual Conference, he has a master's of divinity degree, has an M.A., and lacks only his dissertation toward his doctorate in spiritual formation. A published author, he is also a strong verbal communicator. He also has experience as a leader in the annual School of Congregational Development.
"Gary brings specialized knowledge to the executive officer position with his extensive training and expertise in church consulting focusing on new church development, extensive fund development experience, visioning and strategic planning, new church design experience, team building with supervision experience and conflict resolution," said Greenwaldt.
In making the announcement, Davis, Kammerer and Greenwaldt all pointed to the fact that as a New Church Systems Strategist, Shockley has been developing a nationwide coaching network, assessment resources, funding strategy workshops, annual conference contextualized consulting and numerous other resources.
They also note the work he's doing to implement a coaching and training system for deploying 100 trained and endorsed Path 1 coaches to work with church planters. As New Church Systems Strategist, Shockley worked to organize the inaugural three-day Path 1 Coaching Forum held in January in Nashville.
Approximately 80 men and women from throughout the United States attended the forum that was conducted by 18 mentor-coaches, a diverse leadership group linked by their dedication to planting new United Methodist Churches throughout the United States.
The reason for initiating this event was that "planting new churches – now – is vital," Shockley said at the time.
"We are doing a parallel thing at the School of Congregational Development each summer where we will focus on the other two key components of our coaching model -- consultation and facilitation," he said.
The plan is for coach training to be carried out at both annual gatherings.
Shockley has played a key role in church growth as a pastor, consultant and coach and has been active in revitalizing existing congregations and planting new churches in Pennsylvania and in Florida.
His wife, Kim Shockley, is a consultant and facilitator who coaches pastors and mentors coaches in the Florida Annual Conference. They have two sons, Aaron and Jake.
GBOD's mission is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, GBOD is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. Visit www.gbod.org for more information or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.