Coaching of Clergy

 

 

Specialists

Rev. Mike Bonem   

Mike Bonem is a Christ-follower, consultant, coach, author, husband, and father. He loves to help churches and ministries, and their leaders, reach their God-given potential. Mike is the author of four books on ministry leadership including Leading from the Second Chair and Leading Congregational Change. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a breadth of experience in ministry and business, including 11 years as an executive pastor, consulting with Fortune 100 companies, and leading a start-up business. Mike and his wife, Bonnie, have been married for over 35 years and have four adult children. 

Mike has coached pastors, ministry leaders, and congregational leadership teams for over 15 years. His coaching focuses on leadership, change, and addressing complex challenges. Mike’s approach is to ask insightful questions that can generate new awareness and lead to the discovery of creative solutions. He is credentialed through the International Coaching Federation as an Associate Certified Coach.                             


                               

Rev. George Brookover

I have fifty-five years of pastoral experience. As an ordained Lutheran (ELCA), I served Holy Comforter Lutheran/Kingwood, Texas for three decades. This encompassed be church planter to leading a staff of nine ordained and lay leaders. From 1996-2014 I served my ELCA jurisdiction as an Intentional Interim Pastor. In 1997 Brookover Leadership was established for training and leading clergy and laity in several denominations.

This role is focused upon listening, asking, reflecting, and encouraging clergy to cope with the known and emerging roles for their calling. And even persons who enter the leadership role of being a pastor after a previous career or owning a business need guidance for dealing with “what they didn’t know they didn’t know.”


Rev. Dr. Aleze M. Fulbright

Rev. Dr. Aleze M. Fulbright is an ordained elder in who is a person of conviction with a personal mission statement to Encourage, Equip, and Empower all people to live on purpose and live out their God-givenness, with her underlying values of Faith, Fire, Focus, and Fruit. Dr. Aleze approaches coaching (as an ICF Associate Certified Coach) as a conversation partner, ready to ask the hard questions, explore new possibilities, and hold persons accountable for their discoveries to yield fruitful outcomes.

I have been an International Coaching Federation certified coach since 2018. I value the opportunity to approach coaching as a conversation partner with clergy to help explore the answers within to achieve their desired outcomes. I typically like for multiple coaching sessions to ensure greater accountability and results.

 


Rev. Dr. Janice Gilbert

My goal in life is to glorify God by using my gifts and serving others.  I enjoy helping others see possibilities in changing times.

I am a Certified Christian Life Purpose Coach with an extensive background in pastoring, education, and counseling (past 25 yrs.) who loves seeing others discover and utilize their gifting as agents of change. I believe it is pertinent that leaders are supplied with the necessary tools and strategies needed for effectiveness. As such, I believe God has given each of us the grace to serve in the world. 

I have authored serval books designed to enhance and support spiritual development and encouragement “Spiritual Stolen Identity: Recovering your Identity”, Prayer Manuals along with several devotionals.  (Effects Christian Life Coaching)

My experience as Pastor, Consultant-Coach, Educator and Writer has prepared and equipped me to help others with development of systems, structures, organization and strategies for change and effectiveness for Clergy and Congregations. 

My training as a Certified Coach along with my experience as Clergy will help other clergy identify and utilize the necessary tools/skill sets as they order the life of the church. (Professionally and Spiritually)


Rev. Deborah Hawboldt

I have experience as an associate pastor, solo pastor, and senior pastor. Currently I am the Associate Director of Clergy Leadership in the Center for Leadership Formation in the conference office. I have benefitted personally and professionally from having a clergy coach and have now been trained to provide individual and group/team coaching.

I am a trained coach with 60 hours of Coach Approach Skill Training from Holmes Coaching Group.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Houston Baptist University, 1980, Masters in Counseling Psychology: Houston Baptist University, 1985, Masters in Divinity: Perkins, SMU, 1999, Ordained UMC Elder in 2002.


Rev. Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson is a UM elder who retired in 2019 after 32 years of active service. Being retired gives him more time to partner with other church leaders and pastors to leverage that experience. He and his wife, Susan, now attend the west campus of St. Peter’s UMC in Katy.

After working for a Fortune 500 Company as an engineer for twelve years, Bob served churches in East Texas and Houston as solo/senior pastor, then as executive pastor for 15 years at Chapelwood UMC. At Chapelwood, Bob helped lead the church through two changes in senior pastors, both with 20+ year tenures. His ministry involved visioning and strategic planning, staff supervision and accountability, and he helped implement ministries to deepen discipleship and improve mission alignment, all in addition to normal pastoral functions of teaching, preaching, and pastoral care. Leveraging his longtime experience as executive pastor, Bob has consulted with several other churches both inside and outside the Texas Annual Conference on the executive pastor role.

Bob was a member of two different District Boards of Ordained Ministry and for 12 years he served on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, including a term as the Conference Psychological Officer. His BOM service gave him the opportunity to serve as a clergy mentor to several cohorts of elder and deacon residents, two of whom eventually became a District Superintendent. (He thus thinks of himself as a “grand-pastor!”)


Rev. Mike Johnson

After receiving his M.Div. from a seminary in Michigan, Mike moved to the Houston area to plant a church.  After 32 years in the Houston area, you could now say Texas is Mike’s home state. After over a decade of pastoring, Mike received his D. Min. from Fuller seminary in adult discipleship and leadership development and began a Christian non-profit called Ascending Leaders. As founder and president of Ascending Leaders, Mike works along with colleagues to equip churches for Christ-centered discipleship. Measurable results. Eternal outcomes. As a coach, Mike is known for his passion for the local church and its pastor, creativity, design, emphasis on implementation and results, loyalty, vision, management, and effectiveness. Mike is married to Gina with two adult children who are married, living, and serving in the Houston area and three granddaughters.

Mike has years of experience coaching clergy on discipleship in their congregation, their own growth as a disciple and their work in ministry. One recent coachee said “Mike has been a good friend and coach for many years. He has helped me as a pastor discern what God is doing in my life and ministry, even in the difficult situations. His background with discipleship has helped me in my own faith journey. He is a great encourager, asks good questions and is very helpful with follow through and accountability.”


Rev. Dr.  Vicki Johnson

Rev. Dr. Vicki Johnson served for 30 years in the United Methodist Church in a wide variety of ministry settings—small and middle-sized churches, clergy couple co-pastorate, associate pastor on a large church staff, district superintendent, and nine years as senior pastor of a growing, community-focused, downtown church.  Through her current work as an ICF certified clergy coach and associate coach trainer, Vicki pursues her passion for helping churches and pastor’s flourish.  A dedicated life-long learner, Vicki is also trained and certified as an interim ministry specialist, spiritual director, and yoga instructor.  She enjoys pilgrimage travel (one day again!), healthy cooking, reading historical fiction, writing morning pages, and walking in the woods. Together, she and her husband Roger, have 7 children and 9 grandchildren.  The Art of WellBeing is the fruit of Vicki’s long-time interest and continued personal journey toward spiritual, emotional, relational, and physical wellbeing.

I coach leaders who wish to serve with resilience, creativity, and positive energy, even in times of disruption and turbulence.  Our work as leaders in a world of working remotely has created an even greater need for connection with colleagues on the journey.  Group coaching provides inspiration, encouragement, and safe accountability for moving forward. Through individual coaching, I offer deep listening, meaningful questions, encouragement, authentic affirmation, honest feedback, opportunities to celebrate, and an accountability partner.   My fundamental assumption is that the one being coached—you—are creative, resourceful, and the expert on your own life.  My job is to listen deeply and ask guiding questions so that you gain awareness and clarity about what you really want or about what needs to change for you to move forward.

“The magic of coaching is the way in which small steps, chosen over time, create a transformative trajectory. A coaching relationship can be a powerful tool to optimize personal wellbeing & support effectiveness in ministry.”  -- Rev. Dr. Vicki Johnson


 Rev. Dr. Jeff McDowell

Hello, I’m Jeff McDowell. I joined the Texas Conference in 1998 and have served Sugar Land First United Methodist Church as both an associate pastor and now as Senior Pastor and was the founding pastor at The Harvest United Methodist Church. I have been married to Paula for 30+ years and have two adult children. I am a life-long learner and love to read and study in various fields. Before Covid – we loved to travel and visit new places or just lay on the beach. I have always been someone people came to when they needed help with a problem. The key is listening and understanding before attempting to find a solution. If having someone with practical ministry experience think through your circumstances and context and brainstorm some potential ways forward, I would be honored to work with you.

I have coached people in several different organizations and settings. We all need a coach from time to come to both encourage and equip so we can keep growing. Being clergy has its unique set of challenges and having a coach can make a huge difference. In addition to extensive coaching experience, I am a certified life coach and currently completing a Master of Counseling program at Houston Graduate School of Theology.

Perhaps my greatest privilege in ministry was being the founding pastor at The Harvest United Methodist Church. Being a planter requires a number of diverse and sometimes unusual skills not taught in seminary. Some are only learned by experience. If you are a considering leading a new faith community or already doing so, I would love to walk alongside you. God used my Doctor of Ministry in Evangelism to prepare me to plant The Harvest. Studying with Dr. Scott Jones and Dr. William J Abraham shaped my thinking on what it means to do evangelism. I would love to share what I have learned about evangelism. Putting it into practice allowed the churches I have served to receive several conference Copeland Awards.


 Rev. Dr. Chuck Simmons

After 43 years of pastoring, finishing with an 18-year tenure as Senior Minister at Memorial Drive UMC in Houston, I retired in 2016 and began part-time work with the Vibrant Church Initiative of the Texas Conference.  Serving as Mentor and Coach, my new roles proved a productive employment of my skill-sets and learnings from years of experience leading large congregations, plus a helpful one for the clergy and churches I partnered with.  So, I am pleased to offer my time and talents now as a Ministry Specialist to continue this enjoyable service. 

Blessed to work alongside and lead large staffs for decades, I feel equipped with the experience and expertise to help others chart and navigate the roller-coaster journey toward effective church leadership today. That is especially true with clergy, having enjoyed over 30 ordained Associates as colleagues, plus chaired the Texas and Louisiana Boards of Ordained Ministry.  I know each pastor is uniquely-gifted and heavenly-fashioned for God's chosen missions, so the job of a coach or mentor must be specific in style and content to each situation and client.  I simply welcome the chance to enter into covenant relationships wherein my responsibility is to offer a trained ear to listen, honest responses, emotional support, new perspective, and practical guidance to whatever is presented at whatever level desired.  By grace, such helps us to move forward in faithfulness together as spiritual leaders of Christ's Church. 


Dr. Jeff Springer

An educator for 34 years, a former Texas High School Head Football Coach and eleven-year veteran of the public-school classroom. Jeff is formerly the Principal at The Magnolia High School (2002-2016). In 2013 he was selected as the State of Texas TASSP State Principal of the year. Besides founding Spring Strategies LLC, that provides educational executive coaching, Jeff also served as the Minister of Men at Wildwood UMC, is a University Student Teacher Supervisor, and is also the founder of Suit Up Ministries, a nonprofit men’s ministry.

Jeff attended Abilene Christian University where he played on the 1977 National Championship Football team, received his Bachelor of Arts in Teaching from Sam Houston State University, and obtained his Masters of Sports Administration from the United States Sports Academy. In the spring of 2020, Jeff completed his Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Transformational Leadership from Concordia University.

Dr. Jeff Springer is passionate about raising DADs and helping them see their value. Jeff loves being a husband, DAD, and a grandfather. He is always seeking ways to acknowledge men, striving to be the Daily Active Devoted DADs God calls them to be. Jeff who resides in Montgomery, Texas, has been married for 40 years and has two children, and three grandchildren.

With years of experience, and a combined higher-level education, Dr. Springer has the capabilities and expertise to help expand your leadership to the next level. At Spring Strategies, we combine our insights and diagnostic tools to transform your entrepreneurial position. We want to capitalize on essential moments in the development for pastors.


Rev. Dr. Steve Stutz

The Rev. Dr. Steve Stutz is an ordained Lutheran minister who has served rural/small town congregations in west Texas, as well suburban/inner city congregations in the metro Houston area. He has worked extensively with clergy and congregations of the Texas Annual Conference in a wide variety of consulting roles since 2014. He is a certified church consultant through the Society for Church Consulting and teaches at the Houston Graduate School of Theology.

Coaches help clergy clients trust their deep inner wisdom and knowledge of the context in which they are serving and set clear and accountable outcomes, while encouraging them along the way. Essentially, coaches help clergy stay focused on God-sized goals and lead with courage and resilience. Dr. Stutz is a certified coach through the Coach Training Alliance and is member of Houston Coaches (an ICF charter chapter). He has worked with UMC clergy in the Texas Annual Conference (individually and in cohort groups) since 2017. Providing individual coaching for clergy or a comprehensive church consultation process for congregations.


Rev. Bill Taylor

Reverend Bill Taylor served five churches of multiple sizes, and two districts in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church before retiring in July 2016 after a 45-year career. In retirement Bill works as a clergy coach, intentional interim pastor, a CASA volunteer, and in his spare time, he pursues his hobbies reading, fly fishing, photography, gardening, hiking, running, and travel.

Reverend Taylor enjoys working with churches of all sizes, as well as clergy at different stages of their careers. Having served as a district superintendent in two districts, Bill understands the complexity of ministry in today’s world. He is passionate about helping pastors become more effective and churches more relevant and is willing to reach out where needed to help both clergy and congregations. 


Rev. Harry Vein

I have served in the Texas Annual Conference for the past 40 years, beginning ministry at my home church, Chapelwood UMC in Houston, I have also served FUMC Cleveland, FUMC Brenham, Cypress UMC and Faith UMC in Spring. Through my years of ministry, I have served on the Conference and District Boards of Ordained Ministry and was the Dean of Local Pastors School for the Annual Conference for 4 years. My greatest joys surround my family and people that I have connected with over the years. 

As I serve as a coach for pastors and congregations, my desire is to transform lives to transform the world. Along with almost 40 years of experience in ministry, I have completed over 60 hours of classes from Coach Training for Leaders.  I am also a member of the International Coaching Federation and will soon become an Associate Certified Coach within the IFC. I look forward to coming alongside pastors and congregations to help them grow to become even more effective in making disciples for the transformation of the world.


Rev. Dr. Steve Wende

Dr. Steve Wende is a native Texan, with degrees from the University of Texas, Yale Divinity School, and Princeton Theological Seminary. Of special relevance to the Ministry Specialist project is that his work at Princeton focused especially in the areas of leadership development, organizational growth, and role effectiveness. After serving smaller churches in south Texas, Steve went on to serve as pastor of University UMC of San Antonio for 21 years and First UMC of Houston for 15. He is married to Dr. Karin Wende, a church historian and Biblical scholar. They are the parents of Michelle Gebhart, who lives with her family in Virginia, and Rev. Meredith Mills, who lives and ministers with her family in Houston. Steve is now retired and enjoys traveling with Karin, spoiling the grandkids, and coaching pastors and leaders seeking to grow their ministries for the Kingdom.

Steve’s special concern is for those working through transitions in ministry, such as those experiencing a church expansion, a pastoral change, a financial crisis or a new congregational vision. Often, this means coaching the pastor or other leaders. It can also mean giving basic information on leadership development, role differentiation, team building and healthy change procedures not only to clergy, but also to staff and laity. Steve’s training and experience includes everything from leadership workshops to personal coaching to guiding lay leaders through change and systemic restructuring. Over the years, however, he has learned that along with any information given, his best approach as a coach is through supportive listening, learning, and encouragement. His goal is to walk with pastors and churches in a way which applies ministry best practices to the real-world dynamics, personalities and challenges involved in their setting, and to do so in a positive, effective, and uplifting way.


Rev. B. T. Williamson

Rev. B. T. Williamson retired from active ministry in July of 2020 after 53 years of service in Executive Pastor roles, Senior Pastor leadership, Superintendent of the Houston South District, Director of Ministerial Services, Director of the Center for Clergy Excellence, and Assistant to the Bishop. A native Texan, who grew up in a parsonage family and lived across the breadth of the Texas Annual Conference, he holds degrees from the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University and pursued additional studies in Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin.

For the last twenty-two years Rev. Williamson’s career focused on strategic planning, leadership formation, supervision, and administration. His service in the Center for Clergy Excellence helped establish standards for the professional development of clergy, interim ministry services, and one of the strongest benefit programs in the denomination. While in the position of Assistant to the Bishop, Rev. Williamson directed the Annual Conference gathering, coordinated the work of the Cabinet, facilitated the operations of the Core Leadership Team, and supported the bishops’ objectives related to boards, legal, personnel, fiscal, and strategic concerns.

Rev. Williamson was the co-founder of Benevolent Missions International, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing needed ophthalmic care to the underserved in Belize and Fiji. Current avocational interests include serving on the boards of Benevolent Missions International, Methodist Retirement Communities, Wiley College, the Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialists Association, and he continues his membership on the Texas Annual Conference Investment Committee.

The coaching of clergy involves a relationship of mutual accountability. That relationship is based on trust, honesty, covenant, confidentiality, and encouragement. My personal experience has included utilizing the services of a coach for over fourteen years, and the benefits have been invaluable. Through ministry in the Center for Clergy Excellence I helped create a program of clergy accountability that included the use of coaches. Through the Advancing Pastoral Leadership initiative, I have personally coached younger clergy. Working in the Cabinet venue I have been an advocate for the creation of a cadre of coaches, who have been available for clergy across the annual conference. As a coach I am committed to walking alongside clergy to listen, ask focused questions, consider actions, weigh benefits of specific directions, review communication strategies, and reflect on the outcomes of leadership.


Rev. Fred Willis

Raised in the UMC, I started ministry working with youth while in college before being ordained in 1997. Since then, I have been a pastor both in rural East Texas churches as well as communities along the Gulf Coast. Most recently I have been serving in the suburbs of Katy. This has exposed me to a wide variety of settings and cultures for ministry in our Conference.

Besides my work in Youth and Camping Ministry, I have spent a time in the Methodist Healthcare System of Dallas as a Chaplain, completing 2 credits of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education), received certification as a Pastoral Counselor through Krist Samaritan Counseling Center, and was trained by Coaching4Clergy, learning to stand alongside Pastors.

Most recently, I was one of original members trained to bring the Vibrant Church Initiative to our Annual Conference, spending several years walking alongside clergy while coaching the congregations. One of my biggest passions is to help congregations discover their own way to make Disciples and take Christ into their own unique settings.

Pastoring is not easy. No matter who you are or what size church you might be at, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, ineffective, and isolated. With wry humor and a supportive nature, I appreciate the chances to listen and walk with Clergy has they struggle with planning their next steps.