Welcome! If you’ve found your way here and you don’t know me, you might be wondering: “Does the world really need another coach/consultant?”
If you’ve found your way here and you do know me, you might be wondering: “Why are you not pastor of a church? What happened? Have you left the ministry? Are you in trouble?”
Second set of questions first. Why I’m not a pastor at the moment is because I feel called to do this. What happened, I’m about to explain. No, I haven’t left the ministry—this is my ministry. And no, I’m not in any trouble.
Now, back to the first question. Yes, despite the plethora of coaches and consultants out there, in every field from business to education to the church, I think the world can use one more (actually many more). Not because I’m better or brighter than the ones who are already doing it (I’m not!). But because there’s a need.
Ministry is hard. Pastors are struggling. Church life is not what it used to be. The institutional church, the church that most of us grew up with (and many of us are trained to serve), is in decline.
And that leads to all kinds of difficult stuff: Anxiety. Conflict. Downsizing. Grief.
Of course, it can also lead to some fun stuff, like re-visioning, re-missioning, re-purposing, and re-vitalizing.
But either way, good or bad, these are times of change, and change produces stress. And what do you need when you’re going through stress?
A friend. A companion. Someone who can come alongside you and journey with you.
When I was a pastor, I experienced first-hand the difference that coaches, consultants, mentors, and outside facilitators can make. These people offered fresh eyes and fresh perspectives. They provided encouragement, support, and accountability. They moderated difficult discussions and facilitated exciting discoveries.
And by the grace of God, I now find myself at a place where I can be for others what these folks were to me.
Here’s what happened: In 2018 I was offered two opportunities to teach overseas, in Tanzania and Cambodia. I figured there was no way I could do both of those and still be Senior Pastor of the very active church I was serving, so with my wife’s blessing and support, I took a sabbatical year (July 2018 – June 2019) to go “be a missionary.”
When we weren’t traveling, Lorie and I were living at our house at Lake Junaluska (where we will one day retire). While living here I heard about, and applied for, a position at the Intentional Growth Center (IGC), a continuing education provider here at the Lake. That position started in May.
I loved it. I was traveling around, doing research, meeting church leaders in several states, and asking them about their needs for continuing education. We were starting to make some plans for new programs. And on the side, I did some coaching and consulting work for different pastors and churches because I was asked, and I loved doing it.
Then in August, the IGC reorganized. We switched from being a programming agency to becoming a grant-making organization, using the IGC’s endowment to provide funding for other educational events at Lake Junaluska.
SO… I now find myself without a job, but with an opportunity—and a call—to turn my “side gig” into a full-blown ministry. I grieve the end of my work with the IGC. But I’m really excited about what’s coming next.
Oh, one more question: Why the name? Why not a cool name like Next Step Coaching or Pythagoras Consulting, or The Effective Church Group? Why name this ministry after myself?
Well, it’s like this: Every cool name I could think of is already taken. And the names I could think of that weren’t taken just didn’t fit. And then lots of people told me (even a friend who has a coaching ministry with a really cool name) that when people look for you online, they’re usually searching on your name.
So, Claude Kayler Coaching and Consulting it is. That’s who I am. That’s what I do.
Thanks be to God.