My First Coaching Experience (Part 1)

I had never heard of pastor-to-pastor coaching before I started the church I still pastor.

As a new church planter, I set out to raise funds and by God’s grace secured a large (for us) commitment from a mega church in Dallas. It came with one string attached: I had to meet with the Senior Pastor once a month for coaching.

While I was a bit intimidated to meet with the pastor of such a significant church, I humbly welcomed the chance to learn. It was the first time I engaged in a coaching relationship.

I soon learned there was another string attached to this megachurch financial commitment. If I didn’t show up for the coaching meeting with the Senior Pastor, they didn’t cut our support check that month. Guess which meeting I never missed for three years!

It wasn’t long until the monthly coaching calls became the highlight of my month. I was being taught by someone who understood my situation but was further down the road. I had multiple advanced degrees and had been in ministry for almost a decade but this coaching relationship opened my eyes to so much more that I needed to know.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you what exactly this coaching relationship did for me.

But for today, let me ask you:

Are you in a pastor-to-pastor coaching relationship with someone who is committed to helping you?

Have you reached the same conclusion that I reached: seminary and degrees are good but successful ministry requires ongoing practical learning?

Do you have a regular time each month that you have set aside and dedicated to personal and professional growth?

Think about it. More tomorrow.


P.S. After several years of being coached, I was asked by a group of pastors to coach them. I’ll tell you that story some other time. But God has blessed my Coaching ministry and to date I have coached 2100+ pastors of all church sizes and denominations in all parts of the US and around the world. I’m constantly improving my Coaching process. My latest and most updated Coaching network – which I am calling Senior Pastor Gold Coaching – is starting in one month on Tues, March 6. Will you pray about joining and check out what’s involved at

I’m accepting 30 pastors and there are some cool bonuses for early action.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 80 church growth resources and 15+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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