Just hear how Clergy Life Coaching has helped pastors just like you...
“A wise leader tells you where to look, but not what to see. This quote came to mind as I pondered what to say about working with Barbara as my clergy coach. During a recent journey of “recovery” from burnout and its related maladies, I worked with Barbara and I cannot imagine that journey without her. With her astute, professional, and Christ-centered approach, Barbara helped me wring every shred of insight from my effort to restore my personal, emotional, and spiritual health.
The best care one can receive comes from one who is “equally-yoked” with you; that is, one who walks side-by-side, sharing in your experience but allowing you take the lead. Each time I met with Barbara, the “work” that I did seemed like a joy, even though I faced some big issues and some ugly demons. Her feedback allowed me to turn every trouble into a tool, every problem into a possibility. And this was not simply a “positive attitude” type of exercise, but a gentle nudging that facilitated a deep desire to be captain of my own ship.
A favorite passage of mine is Galatians 6:5, which says, “Each of you much take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” I love that message, but was lost as to how to make this work for myself. Barbara helped me to examine, prioritize, and plan a way of life that will allow me embrace the message of that Galatians passage and live an authentic, meaningful life. But most importantly, Barbara made me responsible for my future. That’s wisdom and compassion all rolled up into one terrific package.
Finally, Barbara’s awareness of the systems of the church and the complexities of church leadership makes her unique in the coaching world. Plus, I know my journey would have been bumpier, more frustrating, and longer had I attempted it without Barbara. Praise God for her desire to use her gifts for the good of the Kingdom!”
"Having worked as a Clergy Life Coach over the last three months, I have much more confidence in the long term sustainability of my career as a parish pastor."
“I have been an Ordained Pastor for ten years. Though I have regular contact with my peers I have felt a strong need to seek out someone who would challenge me and support me in other ways. I needed a safe place to express my doubts, fears, frustrations and joys. I needed a listener who would allow me to be honest and in return be honest with me. I have found such a gift in Barbara Solsaa.
I have tried individual Spiritual Direction, Clergy Group Spiritual Direction and participated in other coaching programs. All these experiences were good but I was always looking for something more substantial and now I have found that in working with Barbara Solsaa.
A Clergy Coach is a gift of intentional listening and support. This support helps me to look beyond what is happening in this moment and create a vision for the future in both my professional and personal life. The benefits of Clergy Life Coaching directly benefit me the pastor but then this blessing extends out to my family and congregations as well.
I am most appreciative to have Barbara Solsaa as my Clergy Life Coach.”
"Having someone who will deeply listen while I talk things through has been the best gift I have given myself in years."
“For the past year and a half I have been working with Barbara Solsaa, Clergy Life Coach. We now have a line item in our budget for ‘coaching’ because my spouse has seen so much benefit that he is reluctant to have me stop.
As a pastor, my role within the congregation is often to listen. To have her listen, and ask questions that challenge, affirm and confirm my experience has matured me as a person and a pastor. We have worked together on balance, self-care, skill building, and ministry programming. It is wonderful to be able to share thoughts, ideas and concerns not only with a coach but, with Barbara in particular. Her experience in counseling, with congregations, camp ministry and pastors all folds into her coaching making her uniquely gifted in this role.
One specific area of growth for me has been in the handling of church conflict. Her prayers, spirituality and support built my confidence enough to tackle conflict directly and lovingly without taking things personally.
Barbara has a well-organized process, and gets results. I have grown tremendously into my role as a pastor, and find the vocation to suit my gifts so well. I was not thinking so positively when I began working with Barbara.
Working with Barbara as a clergy life coach is well worth the investment for individual pastors, their families and the congregations they serve.”
"Thanks for the encouraging words yesterday – I needed that! I woke up today and I couldn't stop smiling. Literally. I am ready to offer more of myself to a congregation who is ready to accept it. I see it now that I am up for the challenge. Let's go!!!!"
“In November of 2014 I was going through a difficult time in ministry. I started working with my clergy coach, Barbara, in mid-November. We speak nearly every Monday. Our initial phone meetings centered on the struggles and giving me that safe place to get everything out there, but over the last two and a half months our time together changed into seeing my strengths and the ways that God has blessed me in ministry. I am so thankful for this time each week and I strongly recommend Barbara as a clergy coach. I’m not sure that I would have been able to see and feel God’s hand in what is going on in my life right now if I had not taken this step to welcome her so deeply into my life.
One more thing... do you remember my initial paperwork talking about my physical health and not wanting to do the blood work or going to the doctor? While I had done that before we started 'meeting' it took a while to get going. For the last 7 weeks I've been on a new lifestyle (I refuse to call it a diet) and I've not only lost weight but my cholesterol has been cut in half to a healthy level and my blood sugar is almost there too... (It’s cut in half and will be at a good level soon). Being a healthy leader has MANY levels to it...and it all seems to be coming together through diet, healthy conversation, prayer, and looking at things differently. You've been a HUGE part of this...so thank you!!”
"Clergy Life Coaching has led me to discover that making healthy self-care my first priority of the day, is directly linked in me to decreasing professional anxiety, less self-criticism, and need for random approval."
“Having worked as a Clergy Life Coach over the last 3 months, I have much more confidence in the long term sustainability of my career as a parish pastor. It can be difficult work because no matter what your personal, emotional or professional buttons are, they will be pushed. Having someone who will deeply listen while I talk things through has been the best gift I have given myself in years. Her support has helped me to steward my time, energy, and gifts without apology.
Clergy Life Coaching has led me to discover that making healthy self-care my first priority of the day, is directly linked in me to decreasing professional anxiety, less self-criticism, and need for random approval. Overall decision making is getting easier, and I sense my physical energy, focus, passion for ministry, as well as the joy in my personal life, all growing steadily.”
"I cannot imagine how I would have made my way through this challenging call without you! I am thankful to God for your gifts which you have graciously given in abundance. Your knowledge and experience are sound and righteous. Your ability to listen deeply a pool of refreshing water. Your warmth and compassion a balm in the midst of difficult days and situations. I thank God for you and your gifts. Well done good and faithful servant!
I am so thankful for your gifts of listening and caring!"
“In completing the Rostered Leader under Call Report to my Bishop, the question was asked, what was your most meaningful/important continuing education over the last year. Without a doubt, the time I spent with Barbara, Clergy Life Coaching, was the most important and most meaningful.
Each session enabled me to look through new lenses as my professional, and personal goals were evaluated and developed. Plans were developed, by myself with the coaching guidance of Barbara, resulting in decisions on how I would/could implement and handle issues and concerns in my personal as well as professional life.
The initial information I shared with Barbara enabled the focus to be on my concerns and challenges, my passions and spirituality.
The result has been very positive and beneficial to my personal and professional life. Barbara is a blessing with a special gift enabling her to guide individuals through concerns, challenges and questions to finding their own resolutions and plans for action.
As I shared with my bishop in my year-end report, I would recommend clergy life coaching for all who serve the church.”
"I have worked with Pastor Karna over the last 18 months. Karna was our assigned coach for the Healthy Leaders Serving Healthy Congregations, NW Synod of Wisconsin initiative to help our retreat team of pastor and 4 members discern deeply our congregation’s vision and spiritual health. … If we had to sum up our experience, we would all say we felt deeply listened too. Karna has a gift of asking questions that you yourself did not know to ask … her questions opened pathways for further discernment. I cannot recommend her highly enough and I felt blessed to have her steady presence as a guidepost for further discernment. Oh and she has a great sense of humor for those moments when you need a little levity!"
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