Appreciative Way Logo
The Appreciative Way
Enabling Innovation at the Speed of Life           
Free Article
Conflict to Collaboration

The Clergy Coach

Rob Voyle

The Rev. Dr. Rob Voyle is a leader in the development and use of appreciative coaching in his work with clergy.

>>   Coaching With Rob

The Career Coach

The Appreciative Way

The Dr. Kim Voyle is the Founder and Director of Pathfinders Career Services.

>>   Career Coaching With Kim

Creating Cultures
of Excellence

Assessing Skills and Discerning Calls

Appreciative Inquiry Based Guide to Mutual Ministry Reviews

  • Templates and Worksheets
  • For Congregations
  • Individual Performance
  • Coaching Strategies

>>   View Contents

Stay Connected

Receive The Appreciative Way our Free Email Newsletter
and receive advance notice of future programs.

First Name

Last Name

Email Address

Privacy: We never rent, sell, or share your email.

What People Say

Rob will enhance your ability to delight in yourself, your neighbor and God through his insightful, practical, loving, professionally grounded, appreciative and often mischievous coaching and teaching skills; and that will make you a better leader and citizen in God's creation.
Ed Leidel, Episcopal Bishop and Congregational Coach serving North America


After 45 years in the pastoral ministry and attending three events led by Rob Voyle, I have finally learned a better way to help church leaders help themselves and the people they serve. John Wilkerson, Director: Church Leadership Coaching and Consulting

Individual Coaching and Consultation

Coaching and

Do you Need to:

  • Develop your leadership skills?
  • Explore new career options
  • Live and work congruently with your purpose and values
  • Create Cultures of Excellence amongst those you lead
       Email Rob Voyle For an Initial Consultation  

Leadership Coaching

In the past 50 years the majority of the Church's applied theology has been chaplaincy training. As the church moves from ideas of maintenance to mission they will need to move from training chaplains to leaders. This is not to say that chaplains are unimportant or that chaplains can not be leaders but chaplaincy skills are very different from leadership skills. As someone who is steeped in the chaplain and individual counseling tradition I am aware that while I was highly effective in pastoring individuals I was woefully inept at leading a group to accomplish a mission.

Thinking like a leader rather than a chaplain is essential if you are to grow a congregation from a pastoral size to a program size church.

Leadership Research

There is a parallel transition occurring in the business world. As businesses have flattened their management structures there has been a call from industry to train people to be leaders rather than managers. In response there has been considerable research into the qualitites and competencies effective leaders manifest. Our experience strongly suggests that these same competencies are equally important and relevant to clergy as tehy develop their leadership abilities.

What is a Leader?

In our leadership coaching and training we use the following definition of a leader:

"A leader is someone who other people choose to follow"

From which we draw three questions to focus our coaching:

  • Why would someone choose to follow you?
  • Where would they end up if they did follow you?
  • How would they be treated on the journey?

Answers to these questions are individually developed by examining core leadership competencies. Our experience of training and coaching clergy leaders is that there are three primary tasks in developing leadership ability in clergy.

  • Clergy need to know the core tasks or competencies of leadership.
  • Clergy need to think and strategize like leaders rather than chaplains.
  • Clergy need to know and have confidence in who they are as leaders.

Leadership Competencies:

Research by people such as Bennis, Sashkin, Kouzes and Posner have identified five core skill areas that a leader needs to have. For example Kouzes and Posner have identified the following practices of effective leaders:

1. Challenging the Process: Leaders search for opportunities to change the status quo. They look for innovative ways to improve the organization. In doing so they experiment and take risks. And because leaders know that risk taking involves mistakes and failures, they accept the inevitable disappointments as learning opportunities.

2. Inspiring a Shared Vision: Leaders passionately believe they can make a difference. They envision the future, creating an ideal and unique image of what the organization can become. Through their magnetism and quiet persuasion, leaders enlist others in their dreams. They breathe life into their visions and get people to see the exciting possibilities for the future.

3. Enabling Others to Act: Leaders foster collaboration and build spirited teams. They actively involve others. Leaders understand that mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts; They strive to create an atmosphere of trust and human dignity. They strengthen others, making each person feel capable and powerful.

4. Modeling the Way: Leaders create standards of excellence and then set an example for others to follow. They unravel bureaucracy when it impedes action; they put up signposts when people are unsure of where to go or how to get there; and they create opportunities for victory.

5. Encouraging the Heart: Leaders recognize the contributions that individuals make to keep hope and determination alive. In every winning team, the members need to share in the rewards of their efforts, so leaders celebrate accomplishments. They make people feel like they are heroes.

Check Out Our Coaching Services

Are you still wondering if our coaching would be helpful to you?
Send Rob an email and request a free 30 minute session to explore whether coaching with Rob would be of benefit to you.

>>   Obtain the Coaching Letter of Agreement

 Email Rob Voyle For an Initial Coaching Consultation 

Leadership Training

In addition to providing Coaching, the Clergy Leadership Institute also provides appreciative inquiry based Coach Training for those who would like to develop their coaching skills.

We offer a blend of residential intensives and teleconferences to train you to appreciatively use your gifts for the benefit of others.

>>   Appreciative Coach Training

Our Certificate in Appreciative Coaching program is especially oriented toward training clergy to coach: peers, staff, and volunteers; and psychologists and counselors who are interested in coaching clergy and consulting to congregations.

>>   Certificate in Appreciative Coaching

 View Schedule for Training Locations, Dates, and Costs