If it feels like you don't know where you're going, that's okay. Here's something that can help you reflect on what God might have in store for you and your congregation.
Issue 7: March 2021
A Coaching Question … in a Liminal Season
“How Do You Lead When You Don’t Know Where You're Going?”

(Don’t miss the special offer below)
Susan Beaumont, consultant, spiritual director and coach has titled her most recent book, “How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going: Leading in a Liminal Season.” That sounds like the statement of a consultant, who is going to tell you how to lead, but that’s not Beaumont’s purpose. She “... does not attempt to describe where the church is headed.” Instead, Beaumont is clear that she will raise many questions and provide no easy answers.”
As Beaumont describes it, in a liminal season a person or group is in between something that has ended and something else that is not yet ready to begin. It’s a time, like the Lenten/Easter Season, when we find ourselves reflecting on the path that we are taking in life: our values, our gifts, our passions, our purpose; the very “Way” that we are living and leading. It’s a time when we are drawn to go deeper in our relationship with God, letting go of what’s holding us back, and seeking to become the people – the leaders -- that Jesus is calling us to be, reframing our challenges to unleash fresh energy, creativity, and hope (Beaumont pg. viii). 
That’s where a Coach can be a helpful guide: helping you reframe your challenges to unleash fresh energy, creativity and hope!
As a person embraces the call to new beginnings and transformational change, a coach is present to the person being coached, asking powerful questions and then listening as the person draws upon their inner wisdom and their awareness of themselves and others (both individuals and the institution or congregation where they serve) helping them explore and design a path (a personal vision and or goals and action steps) that they can commit themselves to follow (experiment with, try without fear of failure).
In this Liminal Time, a Coach might ask the question: “In this time and in “your” place (your context) how are you called to lead when you don’t know where you’re going?”  
Through “fateful” questions, coaches seek to invite the person being coached to explore possibilities, believing that that person is the expert on his or her own life. Coaching therefore is not consulting, but as author and coach, Rev. Chris Holmes, calls it, “coaching is the art of purposeful conversation applied to the archeology of the soul.” Coaches believe that you have, within you, resilience, capabilities, insights, gifts, competencies, and inner wisdom, that when recognized, affirmed, and drawn upon can inspire you to become the leader that God is calling you to be.
If you are interested in connecting with a trained conference coach who is committed to helping you embrace intentional change with empathy, mindfulness and hope – and a bit of playfulness – go to the Conference’s Coaching Initiative web page, where you’ll find detailed information about: What coaches do, why we’re offering coaching in the conference, how to request a coach, a link to a FAQ page and the forms for the program. 
And NOW, thanks to the generosity of the conference, coaching is being offered to pastors at no cost, for a limited time! Your investment of time is your commitment to your own lifelong learning and growth.
How do you lead when you don’t know where you’re going? Invite a coach to help you find a wayContact Rev. Dr. Timothy R. Perkins (Tim), Coaching Initiative Coordinator via email or by phone at 414-403-0221.
Learn more about the coaching process in this 2 minute video
Missed these articles?

Revisit these thought-provoking articles from previous issues. Many include questions for groups discussions in your congregation, or for personal reflection.
Conference Supportive Ministries

In addition to the direct support to pastors and congregations provided by Wisconsin Conference staff, here are some of the supportive ministries congregations can take advantage of. Follow the link below to learn more about this programs and how your church might benefit.
  • Conflict Transformation
  • Coaching Partners
  • Grants and assistance programs
  • Communities of Practice for Clergy or Faith Formation
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • 5 Practices of Fruitful Congregations
  • Readiness 360
View a comprehensive list with more information about Supportive Ministries offerings.
Photo of Supportive Ministries Task Force
Supportive Ministries Task Force
Through this communication, the Wisconsin Conference Supportive Ministries Task Force provides articles, discussion guides and other resources for clergy and congregations on coping and thriving as we navigate the current turbulent waters. Supportive Ministries Task Force members from top left are Bob Ullman, Lisa Hart, Bonnie Andrews, Cathleen Wille and Tim Perkins.
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