How do you speed up your development as a coach?

How NOT to speed up your development as a coach? Most people have an answer to this question.  Here’s how NOT to speed up your development as a coach: Over-stress yourself physically, emotionally and financially. Quit your job before you take your first coaching class. So, how do you speed up your development as a coach? […]

How do you speed up your development as a coach?

Last week I offered answer #1: Coach! This week, answer #2:  Work with a coach yourself! People are often surprised to learn that I still work with a coach, even though I’ve been coaching since 1999. If you want to help others be at the top of their game, then you need to be at the […]

Jesus, the Master Coach

One of my favorite things about Jesus is the questions that he asked.  Repeatedly in scripture, Jesus asks a question that changes everything – including people’s lives.  Here is a sample of questions that  Jesus asked: When the  disciples were in a boat  in a terrible storm, Jesus asked,  “Why are you afraid?” (Matthew 8:26) […]

Christians are frustrating too!

A frustrated pastor once said to me, “This job would be so much easier if it weren’t for the people.” How true! One of the reasons that I am SOLD OUT on every pastor, ministry staff and church leader a coach is because ministry involves people.  I contend that a ministry leader equipped with coaching […]

A + I + A = REAL Change

I have found this formula to be incredibly helpful over the years: A + I + A = REAL Change A = Awareness:  Before any intentional change can happen there needs to be an awareness of the need for change.  When I am coaching someone I listen for: How aware is this person of the […]

Why Church Meetings Never Accomplish Anything

Over the 25 + years that I pastored a local church I have to say that the part I disliked the most were meetings.  It’s not that I don’t believe in the importance of a team having regular strategic conversation—it’s that we NEVER accomplished anything!   I know, that’s an over statement. But it sure […]

Christian Coaching Develops Leaders

The number 1 response on Thom Rainer’s list of the Ten Things Pastors Wish They Knew Before Becoming Pastors: I wish someone had taught me basic leadership skills. I really resonate with this.  As great and wonderful as seminary was, it did not prepare me to lead.  Much of the leadership training I developed came […]

Coaching Lessons from Easter Weekend

“It may feel like Friday, but Sunday’s a-coming!” – Tony Campolo As we continue to look towards the Scriptures for coaching inspiration, today we land on the story of the resurrection in Luke 24. There are three days over the Easter weekend. Friday, when all hope feels lost, Saturday, where we just don’t know, and […]

Jesus Knew All About Direct Communication

This month we’re exploring some of the many powerful coaching lessons found in the Scriptures. In Matthew 4:18-20, Jesus comes upon Peter and his brother Andrew as they were fishing. Jesus calls them to follow him and “fish for people.” Talk about direct communication! Jesus gives an invitation that’s direct and succinct, “Come, follow me.” […]

How Psalm 139 Shows Us Our Greatness

The Scriptures hold many powerful coaching lessons, and we’re exploring some of them this month on the blog. Consider Psalm 139, which talks about how well God knows us, from before we were ever born. And at the end of the verse, David invites God to “search me, test me, know my thoughts,” because he […]

Coaching Your Way Through the Scriptures – The Man by the Pool of Bethesda

As we’re in the high holy season of the calendar, I thought it was a good time to look to the Scriptures for our coaching lessons. The pool of Bethesda had healing properties and people gathered there to cure their ailments. In John 5:6 we learn that Jesus visited the pool and saw a paralyzed […]

Coaching at End of Life: A Coach Approach to Ministering to the Dying and the Grieving

[box title=”Important Registration Update!” color=”#DF5B2A”]Looking to register for the new Coaching at End of Life program? Visit the new Coaching at End of Life website to learn about the new Summer and Fall 2013 program dates & enrollment![/box]          

Val’s #FF – Seven People I Love to Follow on Twitter and Why

Val’s #FF – Seven People I Love to Follow on Twitter and Why   For daily scripture and food for thought: @DRoland22         For ministry leadership: @L4T7 For coaching tips: @3dclaire For ministry quotes: @LeadershipQuote For inspirational ministry stories: @NelsonRoth For practical ministry tips: @CraigSmithExit7 For practical leadership advice and insight: @FastCompany […]

Helping Others See Their Greatness

Leaders are often very adept at directing a conversation, though they can usually benefit from more practice with bottom lining and interrupting. They can also miss out completely on an important component of direct communication – messaging. Messaging is a powerful way of tapping into someone’s greatness and helping them see it. It’s stepping away […]

Being More Direct Sometimes Means Interrupting

In our coach training program we talk about four different techniques for direct communication: interrupting, advising, directing and messaging. Today let’s focus on interrupting, which I refer to as an art. Most of us are masters at interrupting inappropriately, or in ways that are not helpful. I’m sure you’ve experienced being interrupted by others in […]

Get to the Point More Directly

Direct communication is a key competency of the coaching process, and it’s a skill that’s crucial for any pastor or ministry leader. A big part of direct communication is the ability to “bottom line.” When you take a concept down to its bottom line, you eliminate any storytelling, people pleasing or fear, and just name […]

Julie Carmichael

Julie is a certified personal life and mindset coach and trained through an accredited ICF school. She is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF), the North Texas Chapter of the ICF and serves on a local Health Advisory Council. Julie has a Bachelor’s of Science in Health & Sports Science Studies from the […]

Accountability Shows You Have Faith in Your Clients

Today we have more accountability lessons from our trainers, this time from Skip Grover, who writes:   One of the most important things about coaching is that it creates accountability – a tool for measuring actions taken and a method of reporting on learning from the coaching session. Here are some of the things I […]

Kirby-Smith Associates, Inc.

Kirby-Smith Associates, Inc. was established in 1938 in order to provide spiritually-based financial and fundraising services to Christian churches. Our services have grown to include Christian schools and communities. We deliver highly effective, spiritually-based capital and stewardship campaigns, and a wide variety of consultation services and educational programs to our Christian clients. The company has […]

Accountability: A Healthy Bumper and Not a Club

To continue this month’s discussion about keeping people accountable, here are some thoughts about accountability from our newly appointed regional coach training directors. First up is Kay Kotan, Midwest USA Regional Training Director   Accountability: A Healthy Bumper and Not a Club   Many church leaders are sometimes leery merely thinking about holding anyone accountable. […]


  Coaches and ministry leaders share the honored role of “goal-tending” for the people they work with. Yet many have expressed concerns to me about how to keep people accountable for making the changes needed to achieve their goals.   Accountability has three phases. First is brainstorming, when a person or group of people open […]

Accountability Requires Action

  As a minister or leader committed to helping people create lasting change, you may wonder what it takes to keep people accountable. I suggest a three-phase approach, with the first step being to brainstorm from a fresh perspective on the problem, issue or situation.   Once you’ve finished brainstorming with the person or group, […]

How to Keep Others Accountable

 A recurring theme from people in coach training sessions is around action and accountability. It’s easy for them to see people having “ah-hah” moments as a result of coaching but they wonder, “Does change really happen?” and, “What can I do as a coach or leader to keep people accountable?” Maybe you’ve wondered the same […]

Pastors as Entrepreneurs and Leaders

This month I’m reflecting on Bill Wilson’s “14 Pieces of Advice for New Ministers.” I found it in the Fall edition of inMinistry from the Palmer Theological Seminary, though it originally appeared online at In point #8, Wilson asks: “Can you spell entrepreneur? Can you be an entrepreneur? I hope so. The life of […]

Self-Care and Emotional Intelligence for Pastors

This month I’m reflecting on an article by Bill Wilson that was featured in the Fall edition of in Ministry from the Palmer Theological Seminary. “14 Pieces of Advice for New Ministers” originally appeared online at, and I’m honing in on five points in particular. Last week, I discussed point #6 about finding an […]