In the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod, the confluence of our relatively new coaching movement and the New Connections Campaign for the support of congregational growth, community engagement, and leadership support, was a very happy accident. The coaching movement here was already underway as New Connections was being concieved, but our leadership in the Synod Office, quickly saw how coaching could support the efforts of New Connections.
So we began to cast a vision that MetroDC Coaches and our larger coaching network could support our pastors, congregational leaders, and councils in their efforts to better and more focused leadership, mission, and growth. At present 40 + of our local leaders are engaged in coaching relationships. This is of course tremendous. At present just two congregational councils have taken us up on this offer. So there's room to grow on that particular front.
The last week of February 2019, lay leaders, deacons, and pastors, gathered at Camp Calumet in Freedom, New Hampshire, to be trained in the art and technology of coaching. In the New England Synod, they already have a movement of congregational revitalization in motion. It's called Forward Leadership (https://www.nelutherans.org/resources/forwardleadership). But in this context, they are growing a community of coaches because of the insight that to extend the power of the Forward Leadership learning journey for congregational leaders and congregations, they need the support and intentional investment of a cadre of coaches. It was an excellent training in the northeast, in a beautiful venue, with even more excellent leaders. The Spirit is definitely up to something in the New England Synod!
Personally, I'm very excited because it looks like in more and more synods across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, coaching is taking root as a tool to support our synods, leaders, and congregations as they seek to do the mission of Jesus in a culture that is pretty much post-everything.