Creating a Coaching Culture


Everyone gets better with a coach. That philosophy is what is driving the Missouri Conference to create a coaching culture and invest in training more coaches to increase the availability in coaching across the Conference. 

Central to this effort is Val Hastings, author of the book Coaching for Clergy. Hastings has been doing coaching training in the Missouri Conference for several years. Last fall he conducted a weeklong course for 20 coaches from the Missouri Conference. 

“No one can play at as high of a level as they are capable of playing without having a coach,” said Roger Ross, Missouri Conference Director of Congregational Excellence. 

This hit home with Ross about 20 years ago when he was reading a story about Tiger Woods. At the time Woods was regarded as the greatest golfer in the game, and was making a bid to be the greatest golfer in history. 

“Yet, he still had a coach. He had more than one,” Ross said. “I’m not the greatest in the world at anything, so why should I think I don’t need a coach?”

After that epiphany Ross started formal coaching, not just the occasional informal conversation with a colleague to talk things over, but rather hiring a paid coach and taking the coaching process seriously. He has had a spiritual director for 34 years. For 20 years he has had a coach.

Only a couple months after starting his position in Missouri, Ross participated in a coaching for clergy seminar by Val Hastings that was offered through the Missouri Conference Center for Leadership Excellence. In October 2021, 20 people completed a weeklong coaching training by Hastings that the Missouri Conference offered. 

“To create a coaching culture we need more coaches,” Ross said. 

Another coaching training is being planned for October 2022. 

To connect with a Missouri Conference and to get two free coaching sessions go to