Circuit Leaders Gather for Coaching Training

April 17, 2013

By Dr. Larry R. Hygh, Jr.

Director of Communications, California-Nevada


"The centerpiece of coaching is asking powerful questions," said Dr. Phil Maynard to 71 California-Nevada Annual Conference Circuit Leaders gathered in West Sacramento, Calif. for a two-day seminar.


The event was designed to support the work of Circuit Leaders, and some selected leaders of the annual conference, to provide basic coaching training and to learn the foundations of effective coaching. Maynard, who led and facilitated the training, is a director for the denominations Path 1 Coaching Network and EMC3 Coaching. "Christian coaches help people from where they are, to where they believe God wants them to be," he said. "Our job is to help them see the possibilities."


Maynard defines coaching as a particular discipline within the helping professions. He said, "coaching is a partnership…it can be a partnership between a coach and a coachee, or between a coach and a team or group." He also believes coaching is a mutual conversation that follows a predictable pattern leading to some form of action related to improved performance, or improved relationships.


The Rev. Dr. Bener B. Agtarap, conference superintendent for Congregational Vitality, hopes the event will help to identify persons who will continue in a journey to learn more about coaching. "We want to develop our own pool of coaches in the annual conference to effectively support our conference wide strategy for congregational vitality," he said. Agtarap says there will be more opportunities for training in the future.


The Rev. Latu Tangulu, pastor of Tulare United Methodist Church says this is his thirteenth year of ministry and coaching is a skill he believes every pastor needs to tap into to build strong leaders. Tangulu said, "I'm hoping that I could be able to coach some of the chairpersons in our committees and teams." He added, "Our people are anxious, they do have the skills, but there is a need for somebody to be alongside, to help point them in the right direction, and to help rediscover their gifts and talents."


The Rev. Tana McDonald, pastor of Grass Valley United Methodist Church, says her church began working with a coach last fall. She hopes the training will help her to more effectively help her with her church's coach and the team. McDonald is the circuit leader for the ten churches in her circuit, but there were two other persons in her circuit present for the event. "We want to partner more closely together in our circuit to coach one another," she said. "I came so we can make more disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world."