It is always a delight to share with you the thank you notes I get from our Kidology Coaching graduates. (Always reprinted with permission – they desire others to know how the Kidology Coaching has changed there life.)
This letter comes from Amy Hardeman, and it is our hope it will encourage those of you who may feel like the sides are closing in on them!
Thank you so much for establishing and investing in the Kidology Coaching program. For several years I had been a silent snoop on the Kidology website. A year or so after adopting a newborn from foster care, I will still feeling so overloaded with life and ministry and was having a hard time balancing it all. Before a baby, I had somehow managed to do it all, relying heavily on myself. One day when listening to a KidMin Talk podcast I started to consider the coaching program.
When I first took the plunge and decided to sign up I was feeling a lot like Princess Leia and her Star Wars in the trash compactor scene. From event to event, ministry crisis to crisis, it always seemed like the walls were about to close in on me. I felt overwhelmed by stress with things spinning out of control. In fact, I remember sobbing as I filled out the “Getting to Know You” form. Even just choosing to ask for help was such a big step and a big release from the burden I had been carrying.
At that time, little did I know what the next two years would hold for me: leaving our denomination to plant a new church, impact of the economy on our church’s finances, parenting challenges with our children adopted from foster care, major staff transitions, etc. In spite of all those challenging circumstances, I haven’t once felt like I was in a trash compactor in a Star Wars movie!
That is because I have significantly changed. I have changed my thinking, my mindset and my procedures. Instead of constantly feeling overwhelmed, I am more comfortable managing difficulties, when they arise. I have increased my skillset to handle these challenges. Instead of living in panic mode, I am constantly looking and planning ahead, reevaluating and making adjustments.
A big turning point in my coaching occurred when Barney came to see me on a trip to the Atlanta area. It meant so much to me personally, that he took time from his busy schedule to see me, hang out with my family, and just dream with my husband and I about what our children’s ministry could be. We had recently moved into a new building as a church plant and were just in survival mode. Thanks to his challenges and my investment project, we received over $2,000 in donations and transformed our boring children’s church room into “S.P.Y. Central”.
My church has struggled financially off and on through the years, so I have paid for my entire Kidology Coaching course myself. I also felt like the coaching was something I was doing for me. During some “lean” months, my extra funds were paying for apple juice and cheerios for the nursery. So, I sold crocheted dwarf beards and hats on www.Etsy.com for extra money to pay for my coaching. When you found out, you not only purchased one, you gave me helpful and constructive advice for how to make it better. I appreciated that so very much. All these things helped me to feel like I was truly a part of something bigger. Instead of being a “nobody” in a large organization with an untouchable leader, you make everyone feel like somebody.
Since that first visit, Barney has visited me two other times. Once in California when I flew in for a family funeral and most recently just last month here in Georgia. It was truly God’s perfect timing for me. I was so blessed to receive my graduation certificate in person. Having the opportunity to see Barney face to face, spend time together, to be affirmed and encouraged to dream about the future was absolutely priceless. I now know that whatever ministry opportunities come my way I am well prepared—thanks to his coaching. Our time together left me filled with hope for the future and knowing that He believes in me.
About half way through my coaching, I lost a significant amount of weight as part of a “Biggest Loser” contest at my church. Shortly thereafter, I picked up running to help continue my weight loss. I distinctly recall telling Barney that I had set the goal of running an entire 5K without stopping. As soon as it was out of my mouth, I regretted it. This was too hard! What was I thinking? Just six months later, I have just finished my first half marathon. My journey as a runner has been a physical manifestation of the changes that have taken place in me as a leader. Barney’s coaching has helped me to not just set a goal, but to evaluate, prioritize and do all the stuff it takes to get from setting that goal to achieving it. Just as in running as I grow leaner, I get faster and increase endurance, the more I accomplish in my ministry, the easier it gets, the more intuitive it seems. Although Barney hasn’t given me any running tips, when I crossed that finish line last weekend I was thinking of him and all he has taught me.
I give you my sincere thanks for the investment you have made in me. Today I am a better leader because of Kidology Coaching and look forward to continuing to grow through the graduate program.
If you feel the walls closing in, like Amy did, or simply desire someone to journey with you as you take your life and ministry to the next level, take some time to read through the links at Kidology.org/coaching and pray about whether this could be just want you need. We have several coaches ready for you!