Executive Pastors Coaching Network -- Fall 2013
Executive Pastors Coaching Network – Fall 2013

by Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor

The next Executive Pastors Coaching Network begins in February. You might not be called an “executive pastor” at your church, but if you are involved in strategic planning, budgeting, employment decisions and leading change—then this is a learning community designed for you.

There are only 12 slots available—and nine of them are already reserved.

In the past five years, 95 leaders have gone through this training. Here is what some of them have said:

Environments like this are hard to find. Developing relationships in this type of setting can help propel ministry forward for years to come.
— Chris Burgin, SeaCoast Grace Church, Cypress, CA

It was like getting a masters-level course in being an XP.
— Dale Roddy, Crossroads Church, Oakdale, PA

“The networking with other leaders, the resources that were given to us, and the entire experience has been the best investment to my growth since being in ministry!”
— Tim Hastings, Oak Ridge Baptist Church, Salisbury, MD

The Executive Pastors Coaching Network is worth every part of your investment in money, time, and effort.”
— Rusty Hintz, Florida Bible Church, Miramar, FL

The relationships and collective wisdom of the group is something that is hard to describe. Tim did a tremendous job of listening while also guiding the discussion and speaking wisdom into the conversation every time we met.
— Alex Lowe, The Woods, Warren, MI

Already leaders from Kentucky, Indiana and North Carolina have registered for the spring network. If you know a leader or pastor who would be ideal for this learning community, let them know registration will be open until it fills up. 

Download this PDF for more information.

I just received a question from Kyle—a friend who serves at a neighboring church in our area:

Do our greeters wear name tags or only those serving at our Guest Services center?

I've had dozens of conversations with churches asking a similar question, but much to my own surprise, I don't think I've addressed it in writing 'til now. Thanks for the prompt, Kyle! 

My amazing, inspiring bride, Laura

To Tag or Not to Tag

At Granger Community we want to remove all the barriers we can to build bridges that quickly connect people. Name tags are one small way we do that. In a quick list format, here's what we've learned and practice: 

  • Name tags on our guest services team members help guests recognize: "This is someone I can approach for help." That's everyone on every guest services team: traffic team, guest services center, greeters, ushers, children's check-in team, campus guides, cafe and bookstore team.
  • We don't ask guests to wear name tags. Some of them want to be anonymous. Remembering names is our job.
Continue reading on Mark Waltz's Blog...

Was this helpful? Want more great insight? Mark offers an interactive, contextualized coaching experience for Guest Experience & Connections leaders from all over the country. Interested? Get more information here. Apply here. Check out other coaching networks for your team here.

Click the graphic below to see the full postcard (at a size that's easier on the eyes):

Fall 2013 Coaching Postcard

Get more information, and register for a coaching experience that could change the trajectory of your ministry at


by Mark Waltz, Pastor of Connections and MultiSite

I'm very excited about saying "YES"!

I've had several people ask me in workshops, email and Twitter if I'd consider coaching them - for more than a day or two. 

The answer is "YES"!

Again this fall I'm offering a four-month journey with leaders whose responsibilities are focused on connections, volunteer involvement, group relationships, and spiritual growth. If you are a senior pastor or a pastor/director responsible for adult connections or assimilation ministries - I'm inviting you to apply for this coaching journey.

This fourth network (since 2010) allows a journey different from a single day of training or a couple phone conversations. I love the partnership with churches and their teams who are willing and ready to push against the walls of comfort and convenience to take sacrificial steps to reach people for Christ. In fact, I'll be on the road some this fall doing just that - it's a real privilege! 

But this is different.

  • It will be intensely practical. Highly conversational. Interactive. And limited to 12 leaders.
  • We will study. We'll read. We will learn together. We'll explore your specific questions, issues and church dynamic.
  • We will get specific about cultivating culture, building teams, casting vision and designing environments for connecting, serving and growing.

It won't be terribly convenient (like traveling to northern Indiana). It will be worth it.

Don't think one coach - think 12 coaches. We'll do this together. I'm confident you'll be better from the experience. I'm certain you'll lead your church, your staff and your teams more effectively and serve your people and guests more thoroughly because of this coaching journey.

If you're wondering, here's what some folks have said from previous experiences: 

  • Granger's Connections Coaching Network wasn't exactly what I was expecting - it was so much better!  When you combine Mark Waltz's expertise and the collaboration of professionals from around the country, you have a recipe for fresh ideas, new innovations, and strategic thinking.  Every moment of every session delivers the "Wow!" experience.  If you want to take your ministry to the next level, this is the place to start! -- Danny Franks, Summit Church, Durham, NC
  • I’m in a great frame of mind about life and ministry. This has been a very good experience for me and there are measurable results already from things learned, discussed and read.– David Hinkle, Fellowship Bible Church, Topeka, KS
  • I’m afraid my words do not adequately express how thankful I am to have had this opportunity!! Thank you! The Connections Strategy Coaching Network is a great experience!  I would highly recommend it to anyone in a “Connections Ministry” role – in any size church, with any size staff. I have gained much wisdom from Mark Waltz, both from his expertise with “Connections” ministries, but also as a leader of leaders. I’ve learned so much from him through the ongoing Coaching model – so much more than I ever could from a short-term seminar. – Tina Watterson, Greenville Free Methodist Church, Greenville, IL

I've loved the new friendships and quick formation of "team across miles" in the former networks I've been privileged to lead. I'm praying God forms an incredible coaching network that will surprise all of us before the end of this year! Perhaps you'll be part of this next group. 

Get more information here. Apply here. Check out other coaching networks for your team here.

by Kem Meyer, Communications Director

I can’t do it alone and there are times in my life when I need a good coach. I’ve talked about it before. The benefits of an ongoing professional alliance with one person (or a small team) creates unique benefits I can’t get in other learning environments—it’s a challenging, rewarding, provoking, empowering and highly-personalized experience.

Because of coaching networks in various seasons of my journey, I’ve been able to:

  • gain clarity & focus my efforts
  • sharpen my self-awareness & accelerate my personal growth
  • improve my personal effectiveness to positively impact lives around me

Anyone who knew me before and after every coaching season saw the long-term gains of the short season of investment. Not only am I thankful for those opportunities, I’m an advocate for others to find them. I’ve been able to lead several seasons of Communications Coaching over the past couple of years and have always said I’ll make room for more as long as there is a demand. Even with tight budgets and tight schedules, people are still reaching out. So, I’m kicking off a new network starting this spring.

  • Who: It’s for anyone who leads, influences or supports local church communications before, around and after the weekend message. While a coaching network isn’t for everyone, it’s a highly unique and rewarding experience for anyone who is a part of it. Several seasons of coaching networks has produced a diverse alumni list. See for yourself.
  • What: We’ll tackle the challenge of clearly communicating everything happening across departments and campuses without competing against each other and shutting audiences down in the process.
  • Why: Maybe you (or someone you know) is in a season or crossroads and needs customized, focused, up close and personal attention in a safe forum where you can be blunt about the challenges you face and get frank, encouraging insight in return.
  • When: This document holds the rest of the details you might be looking for (including dates, costs, alumni reviews, etc.).
  • How: If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, complete the application by March 7. By design, it’s limited to only 12 participants

I’m looking forward to seeing who shapes this season.

Tip: We’re hosting coaching networks for Executive Pastors and Guest Services at the same time to make it easier for teams to leverage the time and travel investment. That’s how we roll and we thought you might, too. We're also hosting coaching for EnterMission in 2013. See their schedule and info here.


Our job as communicators is more about a mindset than a skillset

In our recent Coaching Networks workshop, Kem Meyer led a group of communication leaders through a day filled with rethinking our total interaction strategy. 

We all strive for an effective approach to our announcements, bulletins, and even social media efforts. As Kem points out, nothing is going to make us more effective until we change where we’re coming from.

For instance, consider the words we all use:


Publicize > Connect

Control > Cultivate

Push > Personalize

Censor > Coach

Capture > Liberate

Interrupt > Interact

Prescribe > Influence

Chaos > Clarity

Corporate copy > User-generated content

Conform > Channel

Broadcast > Share stories

Inform > Sharing inspiration

Get feedback > Tell us what you think

Create more content > Elevate what you already have

Destination > Vehicles

Send a message > Release the right response

Function > Flow


If you missed this session, get tuned in from more info on the upcoming Fall Coaching Networks sessions.


It can be so easy to forget the power of a first impression. 

Think back to your last job interview, or maybe even your first date: how much time did you invest in making sure your first impression communicated the right message?

First impressions matter! 

We recently hosted men and women for our Summer Coaching Networks who came from all over the country to learn from Mark Waltz, GCC's Pastor of Connection and Multi-Site.

First Impressions ResourcesHere's just a few highlights from the first hour of the session:    

  • With vision, you need to know where you are so that you know where you can go
  • Analogy of being in a shopping mall and planning which stores you want to visit
  • You can’t get where you want to go until you are honest about where you are. What steps are going to be required, how do you take them, and where are they going to lead.
  • You can’t be any other place than where you are because you’ve taken the steps you’ve taken

What one or two words comes to mind when you see these images:

  • Starbucks
  • BMV
  • The person to your right
  • Last hotel stay
  • US Postal Service
  • Your local church
  • Last movie preview you watched
  • A Walmart store

As a true test of first impressions and associations, imagine a photo of a boarded up, run down home. What do you think of? A quick survey of the room, none of the answers were about the structure we were looking at – all of them were judgments about the people (homeowners) we have never seen or met. 

Your first impressions – or associations – with these images matter. 

If you missed this session, get tuned in from more info on the upcoming Fall Coaching Networks sessions.

This fall we're launching three coaching networks. Want the lowdown on what's involved? These meetings are a chance for participants to connect in a smaller group (they're limited to 12 people) over an extended period of time with others who serve in their same ministry area. It will be personal. Highly practical. Intensive. Collaborative. Think less workshop or conference and more like a hands-on graduate study program.

You'll be coached by a Granger leader who will walk you through best practices, strategy, leading change, working with volunteers and will take time to drill down on whatever your core ministry challenge is in your environment. Plus, you'll get feedback and insight from the other participants, not just from a Granger perspective.

You'll get VIP treatment during your visits to Granger, hear from guest experts in your area, receive extra books and resources and have access to your Granger leader during your coaching journey (your emails will filter to the top!).

It's not going to be cheap or easy. It will involve an investment of money, time and a commitment to travel (Granger isn't “on the way” to anywhere). But for those who join us, we promise it will be an experience that will enhance your ministry and take you to the next level of personal leadership. Space is limited so apply soon!

- Executive Pastors Coaching Network
- Connections Strategy Coaching Network
- Communications Strategy Coaching Network
- Launching in February: EnterMission Coaching Experience