Karen Ahlquist is a professional Life Coach. Karen sees the positive potential in every person and knows that we each have within us the God-given gift to create our experience of life.
Karen’s passion is helping people harness this gift, our spiritual inner horsepower, so that they can alleviate the unnecessary suffering of worry, anxiety, fear, anger and confusion and experience God’s joy, peace and clarity in all circumstances.
Karen is not a teacher or mentor. She does not provide advice, stock answers, tips or techniques that do not produce lasting results for her clients. Instead, Karen walks alongside of each client as their companion, guide and catalyst for discovery. She helps her clients connect with their own inner wisdom and with God’s wisdom. Together Karen and her clients explore deeper understandings that lead to insights, personalized solutions and lasting change. As Karen and her clients dive deeply into life, they also have fun together. Laughter happens! This work is a light-hearted easy process that helps people become more fully who they are created to be.
Karen has been coaching for five years. She trained at one of the first ICF (International Coaching Federation) approved schools (Coach, Inc) and holds the ICF ACC (Associate Certified Coach) accreditation.
Karen was Methodist before she was born. Her grandfather was a Methodist minister in the MO Conference and her parents met and were married at Centenary UMC in downtown St Louis. She was baptized by her grandfather at Centenary and grew up at Kirkwood UMC in the St Louis area. Karen has been a member of UMC churches in Minnesota, Texas and California. She has served in each of her churches by singing in the choir, serving on multiple committees and serving in various leadership roles.
She is currently a member of College UMC in Warrenton MO where she is chairperson of Staff Parish, lay member of Annual Conference, a member of the Worship Team, the Administrative Council and the choir.
Karen and her husband John have been married for 42 years. They have three grown children and two grandchildren. They live on 27 acres of pasture, woods and ponds outside of Warrenton with their 4 dogs and 6 horses. Karen sees coaching as a calling and an honor. Karen loves to ride her horses, hike, read, sing, go out to eat, and hang out with her family and friends.
Tony is the CEO of Saving Sight and has been in nonprofit leadership for 22 years. He is an active lay leader and a member of Platte Woods United Methodist Church, recently earning his MDiv from United Theological Seminary.
He also serves as a member of the Missouri Conference Mission Council. Tony has a passion for leadership, serving as a coach for pastors and staff as well as helping to make the simplified structure work effectively for local churches.
He has completed a discipleship coaching certificate program through Coaching4Clergy and is currently working toward his Associate Coach Certification with the International Coach Federation. Tony, his wife Julie, and his daughter Abbie reside in Liberty, Missouri.
My name is Craig Finnestad. I’m a pastor and coach who lives in Omaha, Nebraska. I planted The Water’s Edge in 2005. It has grown from a dream to one of the largest United Methodist Churches in the Midwest. I’m an Associate Certified Coach credentialed by the International Coach Federation.
My seminary degrees are from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and Asbury Theological Seminary. My dissertation was on the use of humor in preaching. I love to have fun!
I occasionally teach the preaching class at the Great Plains Licensing School. I earned the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising from the Lilly Foundation and have led of three capital campaigns: one to purchase land, one to construct a building, and one to eliminate debt.
I enjoy coaching pastors and leaders throughout the country in the areas of leadership, generosity, relationships and self-care.
With 20 years in ministry, quick wit and practical wisdom, Rev. Charity Goodwin provides dynamic preaching, coaching and facilitation. Her mission is to support Christian leaders to expand their leadership and emotional wellness. Her clients see the following results: healthier relationships at church and home, they start new groups, worship, churches and they experience an increase in courage. She has a heart for pastors in transition.
Rev. Goodwin serves as the Clayton Site Pastor at The Gathering in St. Louis. She is a coach with Coaching4Clergy. She strengthens her ministry and coaching with certifications from The Daring Way™ where she facilitates groups in the curricula created by Dr. Brené Brown. In addition, she holds Emotional Intelligence (EQ) certifications from Six Seconds. EQ is the learnable, measurable, scientific skills of emotional intelligence. Rev. Goodwin is able to utilize a complete range of assessment tools and reports for individuals and teams.
Goodwin is a Mizzou Journalism graduate. She completed a Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City. She’s an ordained elder.
“I firmly believe that my role as a coach is to help pastors hear what God is already speaking. Then support them as they create buy-in and increase their courage to take action within their church, which can oftentimes be stubborn,” she said.
Goodwin enjoys spending time with her two sons Gabriel and Levi cooking and listening to podcasts.
Schedule a free one-on-one at www.charitygoodwin.com.
“My mission in life is to help pastors, churches and people to actually live their God-given potential.”
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, David received a BA from Vanderbilt University and a Doctor of Ministry from Lexington Theological Seminary (1974). He served six years as an associate in an inner-city church in St. Louis and then twenty years in Manchester, MO, as a Disciples of Christ pastor.
David left the local pastorate and began helping churches in his own business, Effective Ministries Coaching and Consulting in 2003, following two years at Lay Renewal Ministries in St. Louis. He received his initial certification as a Christian Leadership Coach from Valwood in March, 2005. David works now as a full time Coach and Consultant. David helped to develop the Pastoral Leadership Development (PLD) and Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) processes in the Missouri Annual Conference. He was part of a team that trained other Conferences to use the HCI and adapt it to their churches.
David has become involved with Coaching4Clergy, a national coaching organization, led by Rev. Val Hastings, serving as a Trainer for Basic Coach Training, a member of the faculty and a Mentor Coach. He received the Professional Coaching Credential (PCC) from the International Coaching Federation in 2014, the second of three credentials awarded by the ICF. He is active in the St. Louis Chapter of the ICF.
Living in St. Louis, David is married to Bonnie and they have two grown children and two grandchildren in Kansas City. He loves to play golf and support the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.
Jenn has served the church for over 20 years in suburban, urban and rural ministry. She is an Elder of the United Methodist Church, a Spiritual Director trained in the Benedictian tradition, a Professional Coach Training Graduate for the Coaching4Clergy program, and Certified Discipleship Coach (Relevant Ministries), MKI coach and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Cohort facilitator with the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Jenn describes herself as a spiritual pilgrim who embraces life as a seeker of God's abiding grace in action and loves sharing that journey with others. Jenn and Rusty have been married for 31 years and have three children. They currently live and serve in Hamilton, Missouri.
Rev Amy Lippoldt has been serving local churches in Kansas since 2002. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, and Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Along with offering leadership to local churches, Amy has long been active at the annual conference and general church level. She is currently serving as the chair of the Great Plains Board of Ordained Ministry and was a delegate to both the 2012 and 2016 General Conferences. Amy has a deep interest in leadership development and wants to see all persons, clergy and lay maximize the gifts God has given them. Amy loves seeing people grow and accomplish more than they ever expected! She is a trained coach by an ICF certified program (CAST coaching) and focuses on coaching clergy for effective local church leadership.
Lia McIntosh is an International Coaching Federation (ICF) certified coach, a United Methodist Church endorsed life coach, a Gallup certified CliftonStrengths coach, author of two books, and program officer for the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri.
She is an ordained United Methodist Church elder and formerly served as a pastor of four congregations and the Associate Director of Congregational Excellence for the Missouri United Methodist Annual Conference.
Lia is a graduate of the University of Missouri and Saint Paul School of Theology with master’s degrees in business (MBA) and Divinity (M. DIV).
Previously, Lia served communities across the Midwest in corporate marketing and specialized in leading, training and coaching employees.
She lives with her husband and three children near Kansas City, Missouri.
Dr. Larry Ousley is the Executive Director of the Intentional Growth Center (IGC). Before coming to IGC in 2000, he served as senior pastor of several large churches in the Holston Conference of the UMC. He is a life coach recognized through the International Coach Federation (ICF) as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) in 2004 and as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) in 2010. Larry is also an Endorsed Life Coach by the United Methodist Endorsing Agency, is a Certified Organizational Relationship Systems Coach (ORSCC), and is a faculty member for an ICF approved international coaching school. Recently, Larry earned the status as a Certified Mentor Coach with the ICF. He is an author of the anthology Ministry 3.0: How today’s church leaders are using coaching to transform ministry. Larry has led approximately 12 long-term group leadership coaching projects, several Shifts coaching groups, and has over 2,000 hours of experience coaching pastors, district superintendents, conference staff persons, church staffs, and conference staffs. He is often called upon to customize programs involving training and coaching. E.G. In 2014-2015, he created a training/coaching program for all new large church pastors and another group for all new mid-size church pastors in the North Alabama Conference of the UMC. These began with him leading a three-day retreat and following up with coaching each affinity group through group coaching by telephone to assist them in best practices in their first year in the new size church.
Geoff Posegate is a retired elder in the Missouri Conference, having served 43 as a solo pastor, lead pastor, and executive pastor. Geoff’s ministry has focused on evangelism, church growth, discipleship development, and leadership development. He was the Conference’s 2012 clergy recipient of the Harry Denman Evangelism Award. Geoff was featured in chapter six of Paul Nixon’s book, We Refused to Lead a Dying Church!
Through the Center for Congregational Excellence, Geoff has served as a teacher, peer ministry leader, coach, and consultant for pastors and churches throughout the state since 2007.
Geoff is a professional coach training graduate of the Coaching4Clergy program, under the direction of Val Hastings. He carries Associate Certified Coach credentials from the International Coach Federation.
Geoff and his spouse Elaine have three children, two “children-in-law”, and five grandchildren. They live in West Plains, Missouri, in the south central Missouri Ozark hills. Geoff enjoys stream fishing, canoeing and kayaking, power-walking, and reading historical novels.
A native of Cambridge, Illinois, Roger has served as a pastor in Texas, the British Channel Island of Guernsey, and Illinois. He has been involved in planting two new churches and served for 10 years as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Springfield, Illinois.
In July of 2017, Roger became the Director of Congregational Excellence in the Missouri Conference where he leads a team responsible for creating new places for new people and transforming existing churches across Missouri. Roger has been coaching pastors and leaders for over 15 years and is currently pursuing his Associate Coach Certification with the International Coach Federation. He is the author of Meet The Goodpeople: Wesley’s 7 Ways to Share Faith and Come Back: Returning to the Life You Were Made For, both by Abingdon Press.
Roger is married to Leanne Klein Ross, and they have two adult children, Zach and Jane. He loves spending time with family, reading, SCUBA diving, and traveling in different cultures. He also has a weakness for golf.
Originally from Pennsylvania, I spent most of my ministry as a United Methodist Clergy in Kansas. In my 42 years of ministry I was blessed to serve in a variety of contexts including appointments to: hospital chaplaincy, pastor of small town and county seat churches, associate pastor of large urban church, senior pastor of multiple staff large city church, and as a District Superintendent for eight years.
Each appointment taught me about the importance of context as well as the on-going journey of gaining new skills in ministry. And in it all I have come to believe the basic journey of ministry happens in relationship.
In 2016, I, along with my clergy spouse Janet Maxwell, retired to Kansas City, Missouri. In retirement I am focusing on a ministry of encouragement, which includes serving as a clergy and congregational coach. I received ICF coach training in Coach Approach Skill Training from Chris Holmes as well as coach training for the Readiness 360 program. Also I am part of a denominational pilot program developing training in Reflective Supervision. I currently provide coaching to pastors and congregations in the Great Plains Annual Conference. My compass in coaching is the belief that all of us are “creative, resourceful and whole.” And as a coach I seek to walk alongside others in exploring, strategizing and acting on one’s hopes and dreams in ministry and life’s journey.
Melanie Smollen is a full-time Missional Strategist with the Center for Congregational Excellence in the Missouri Conference. Her primary focus is to help church planters create New Places for New People and equip existing churches with resources and support for transformation. She finds great joy in coaching leaders to leverage their strengths, build productive relationships, gain clarity about goals, and lead with confidence. Melanie recently completed Professional Coach Training through Coaching4Clergy and is working toward her Associate Coach Certification with the International Coach Federation.
Before coming on staff with the Missouri Conference, Melanie spent the last 12 years as the founder and president of Faith Perceptions; a church consulting firm best known for the Mystery Guest Program that gathered the first impressions of over 10,000 first-time guests. Melanie used this research to help hundreds of churches create welcoming first impressions and has spoken at numerous events on best practices for hospitality. Over the last decade, her work has been featured in numerous Christian publications, blogs, podcasts and articles.
Melanie lives in Cape Girardeau with the love of her life, Paul, who is in full-time ministry at La Croix Church. They are parents to four kids, two dogs and a cat. Away from the office, she enjoys hiking, running, gardening, and cooking up a big meal for her family and friends.