Ministry Alternatives: a mastermind for those who are considering a change

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This six-month group coaching experience is for those who’ve had enough. If you’re burned out, overwhelmed, and have a desk drawer full of job applications, keep reading.

Studies show that as many as 30% of all churches will close in the next five years. Trends that have been in place for years will continue, and that means fewer resources, fewer members, and fewer professional positions for clergy to occupy. With denominational splits looming, times have never been harder for church leaders.

Our starting point: this program assumes that you are called by God to be in ministry. We don’t think that has changed. But we are often guided into expressions of ministry that are at odds with our own deep sense of calling and are not flexible over time. This group experience will reconnect you with your vocation and walk with you into your next steps.

Confidentiality is key. One problem with programs sponsored by your judicatory is the fear of being “flagged” as someone who does not have long-term career potential. Our program is completely separate from church governance structures and is completely, 100% confidential. It is a safe space in which you can do the work you need to do.

In this six-month group coaching experience, you will:

  • learn to take the wilderness path and grow in your faith (Matthew 8:18-22)
  • take an inventory of your skills and make new workplace connections (Luke 14:28-32)
  • identify the seed of your calling and discover how to make it grow (Luke 8:4-8)
  • stay true to your calling while finding new ways to express it
  • build your LinkedIn profile
  • explore your personality and your passions
  • work with a resume and job interview coach
  • gain the courage and faith to take your next steps

This experience will consist of live group sessions, individual coaching sessions, reading assignments, on-demand videos, and online group chat features. Strict confidentiality guidelines will be observed and enforced.

“I got into ministry to change the world. Now, all I do is
try to keep these people from killing each other.”

-A pastor in Bristol, Virginia

About the facilitators:

Rev. Steven D. Martin is an ordained United Methodist minister in the Holston Conference. He has maintained his conference membership every year since leaving parish ministry in 2006, when he started a documentary filmmaking and strategic communications company. This work led him to a position with the National Council of Churches, to work with the White House on a religious freedom project, to travel the world, and to work with government and faith leaders in Washington, DC, and across the globe.

Rev. Annette Flynn is also a clergy member in the Holston Conference with 20 years of service as a parish pastor. Her passion for education led her to create the Wesley Institute, a clergy development agency in her conference, a Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University, and a ministry of clergy coaching and consulting for government and church agencies.

Both Annette and Steve had to conquer self-doubt, derision from colleagues, difficult conversations with family members, fear of failure, and a thousand temptations to return to an ordinary career path. After having thoughts of returning to Egypt, then being fed by manna, quail, and water from desert rocks, they both feel closer to the Promised Land than at any time in their lives.