Margie Bryce

Your leadership coach
and self-care advocate

100: Empowering Ministry Leaders through Coaching with Cathi Parish

The Crabby Pastor
The Crabby Pastor
100: Empowering Ministry Leaders through Coaching with Cathi Parish

When Cathi Parish went from  a local pastor in Indiana to a minister of evangelism in Alabama, little did she know that her quest for coaching would redefine not just her path, but the way we all view mentorship in ministry. Our latest episode of the Crabby Pastor podcast is a heartfelt exploration with Cathi into the world of coaching for ministry leaders, where we debunk myths and showcase coaching as a cornerstone of support and guidance. We wade through the waters of self-discovery and unravel how a coach can be the cheerleader every leader secretly needs, especially when the going gets tough and self-doubt creeps in.

Join us as we discuss how coaching can be the antidote to imposter syndrome and a catalyst for crafting a ministry that not only survives but thrives amid the demands of worship planning and pastoral care. Our conversation takes a personal turn as I share my transformation from pastoral ministry to providing support through coaching and creative outlets. We extend a warm invitation to dive into the conversation on fostering robust self-care practices within the ministry community. It’s not just about replenishing the well; it’s about ensuring that the spiritual journey is as enriching and sustainable for the leader as it is for the flock they guide.Support the show

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Margie : 0:01

Hey there, Margie Bryce, here bringing you the Crabby Pastor podcast, and I don’t think you’re going to be too surprised to know that it’s too easy today to become the Crabby Pastor. Our time together will give you food for thought to help you be the ministry leader, fully surrendered to God’s purposes and living into whatever it takes to get you there and keep you there, and we’re talking about sustainability in ministry. Well, for this episode of the Crabby Pastor podcast, I want to thank you for listening and welcome you. I’m Margie Bryce, I am your host here at the Crabby Pastor podcast and today I have with me Cathi Parish and she’s going to introduce herself in a moment. We’re going to talk a little bit more about coaching and what it is, what it’s not, or because people have some ideas about coaching, that it’s, you know, like your kid’s soccer coach. You know like I’m going to yell on the sidelines or something. It’s not exactly that, but let’s, let’s. I’m going to let Cathi just introduce herself and describe her role in ministry.

Cathi: 1:21

Hi, I’m Cathi Parish and I am a retired licensed local pastor from Indiana and currently approved but not appointed, and that happened so that I could move back to Alabama, where I’m from, with my husband and, as life tends to do, even though I thought I was retired, I’m currently serving on staff at a United Methodist Church in Fairhope, Alabama, as their minister of evangelism, which incorporates welcoming first time worshipers and bringing them through the process to become members and plugging them in according to their gifts and their graces. So that, I think, is plenty about me, and Margie asked me to describe a little bit about my coaching experience.

Margie : 2:11

Yeah, yeah, Cathi and I coached together. And when you were in Indiana, when you were full time, yes, pastor in Indiana, and it was kind of interesting to me how we connected, because you, you saw some comments I made on social media and then you kind of searched me out online and and made connection that way and I thought, oh look there, see, all that website and whatnot is like actually working. And so we coached together. I do you know, do you remember that whole?

Cathi: 2:48

I do remember and and I will say it was ironic because I I saw your podcasts and then I saw your posts on social media and I wanted to learn more about you and one of the things that led me to that was was the fact that my district superintendent had had asked me if I would consider becoming a coach and as I looked into that, I realized, you know, down the road that might, might fit me, but really I didn’t need to learn to be a coach. I desperately needed a coach and I felt like in my situation, and maybe in a lot of people’s situation, I felt safer finding someone outside of my conference so that if I talked about specifics it wasn’t going to get back to people in ministry with me and that may be too much information and you even they want to edit that out

.Margie : 3:49

No, no, no, no, no. I mean, that’s a thing. Everybody needs a safe place where they can be totally honest, and it just feels safer if the confidentiality that exists anyway in coaching is not on your particular conference. I found that I coach people on my conference, but then I also coach people not on my.

Cathi: 4:13

You know, it’s a little bit of both and there is that like, oh my gosh, is this person going to end up being my supervisor one day, and you know, or it just feels better right, and that was exactly because the people that I knew, who were coaches that were geographically close to me, certainly are people that I could imagine being a DS in the future or over me in some way, or possibly being on the committee district committee on ministry who might choose to either vote me in or out as a licensed pastor, and so it did feel a lot, a lot more comfortable. And then, as, of course, as soon as I had the first conversation with you, I knew that I had chosen correctly.

Margie : 5:02

Oh no, it’s okay. And just one thing why did you think you needed a coach? What drew you to that conclusion?

Cathi: 5:08

As a licensed pastor. It is so interesting that you become a pastor and then you start taking classes and while I started very late in life and had a lot of other life experience that helped me, there were so many things I didn’t understand about being a pastor and there aren’t classes for that, and so really being able to take apart things that were challenging for me, or bringing up issues and finding out what was maybe the cause of those that I didn’t, I couldn’t see the force for the trees those things really were so helpful to me in the coaching process.

Margie : 5:55

Okay, so what was your expectation of coaching going into the process?

Cathi: 6:03

Well, I thought that you would say what are you doing? And I would tell you and you would say that’s really good and that’s really terrible, and of course, that’s not how coaching works at all. Stop doing that. Exactly, exactly. I thought I was going to get my do and don’t list and the process was really so different than that in helping me to peel back the onion and see what the real issues were and how to address things and improve on things, and for me, time management was one of those huge issues and just what I learned through the coaching process with you from that are things that I still use every day.

Margie : 6:49

Well, that’s always good to know, isn’t it? So you had this different encounter. What would you say? It felt like to be coached. No-transcript.

Cathi: 7:04

I feel like being coached actually was more like having a cheerleader. For me as a person who constantly questions myself and questions whether I’m good enough, whether I can do things capably, to have someone saying you are doing fine, let’s try a different way to do this or that was so helpful to me. For all of the Enneagram ones out there whose inner voices are always bad or worst enemies, it was really great to have you as an encourager.

Margie : 7:46

That certainly is valuable to have someone validating you because you came out of a different career, didn’t you?

Cathy: 7:58

Yes, I had worked on staff at a church for five years before finally answering my call to ministry very late in life. But I had a long career as a mortgage loan officer and in fundraising and other sales, so definitely did not have a pastor background.

Margie : 8:19

But what I find, because I was also second career, as they say, to ministry. My background was marketing, communications, work for, and I did work for healthcare and businesses and government and school districts, that kind of thing. There’s a skill set you learn and the other skill set you learn is how to navigate with people, and that’s helpful, but there still is a learning curve that you have to navigate to get to help lead your people. So there’s some good skills that have application and then there’s still some new ones that you want to double check yourself on, I think. What would you say?

Cathi: 9:03

I absolutely agree with that and I do believe that as a later career pastor I could draw on a lot of just the professional skills that I already had. But what you can do and say in business is certainly different than the way that you want to pastor a congregation, especially with many pastors, where we end up pastoring a congregation. That is a completely different context than what we’re used to. I went from a good sized college town to a rural farming community and so the things that worked just in life in one place were not the same, and so getting some different ways to look at situations was hugely helpful for me.

Margie : 10:00

So I’m going to say a sentence, okay, a statement, and then I just kind of want to see how you would respond to the statement, whether you agree or disagree, or you want to elaborate on that. Okay, are you ready? I’m ready, okay. Okay, some of the coaching process takes place after the coaching session is over.

Cathi: 10:26

Absolutely. And I would say, in addition to that, it also takes place before the coaching session begins, because with you each, each before each session, I had some questions that you asked that helped me to see, well, how did I do with what I learned last month and how did I implement those things, and what worked and what didn’t work, and what do we need to continue to focus on and what lessons are harder to learn and what things can we let go of. So yes, absolutely, it is not. It is not just a flash in the pan, it is. It is before, it is during, it is after.

Margie : 11:15

Okay, yeah, so you kind of hear my voice, or maybe a question sticks I still hear your voice, do you really?

Cathi: 11:25

And we wrapped up when I moved. Yes, I will go back and draw one things and and I’m so appreciative for some of those things that I that really did that you were successful in helping me cement into my thought process. So, yeah, yeah.

Margie : 11:43

Cause we get stuck in our own little thinking rut, so to speak. Absolutely when it’s like a lane, a lane on the highway, we’re just we’re stuck there, and sometimes you miss the billboard on the side that maybe is helpful in giving you direction, because you’re focused on your lane, and that’s, that’s some of what, or some ways that coaching can be helpful. So what would you say then to a ministry leader who’s considering what next steps to take, or who’s feeling a bit stuck? What would you say to them if you were, say, having coffee over overlooking the ocean, or something I don’t know.

Cathi: 12:26

Well, I’ll tell you what I would say. I would ask them if they had considered coaching. I actually had worked with a spiritual director before coming to you as a coach and and that was helpful to me in a completely different way and in in my particular situation. That prepared me for coaching and because, because that helped me get rid of some of the baggage that I was lugging around and and I know you want to edit this out because that was really more therapy for me- oh well, why would I want to edit that out?

Margie : 13:09

I’m gonna edit that out. You know I was gonna. I was gonna kind of follow up with how were those two experiences different?

Cathy: 13:17

Well, because for spiritual direction, a lot of it was living into my own abilities as a pastor and and trusting that that I could let go of my imposter syndrome, that that weighed on me so heavily for so long, so that by the time I decided to to try coaching, I was able to let go of that and and move forward. The spiritual direction to me almost dealt with past things and and coaching, coaching prepared me to move forward.Margie : 14:00

That’s a. That’s a good point that you’re making is that Coaching is going to deal with the here and the now and then. Where do you want to go with this? What are your next steps? So that was a really good distinction that you made there. So what, what would you say was the biggest benefit to you?

Cathi: 14:23

It is hard to narrow down to just one. I would say that Learning to Do my worship planning in large chunks so that I was More available for pastoral care and for sermon prep and for all of the hundreds of Unexpected things that happen in any, you know, in any given Moment, day, week, whatever in in the life of a pastor, that was for me Huge and and I had a lot of pushback with you on that I didn’t want to do that and you, you tried to give me some helps that I Conveniently misplaced and didn’t focus on, and we kept going back to that and when I finally, when I finally made that jump, it was huge and and it helped me, it helped my administrative, administrative assistant, it was, it was so beneficial and so it helped my entire congregation.

Margie : 15:30

Great, great. Well, I is there. Anything else you wanted to add?

Cathi: 15:36

Well, I don’t know if it’s inappropriate to just say if you are considering Coaching out there, I highly recommend Margie she just was tremendous for me and and whether, whether you have the funds available in your own you know pastoral budget or have to move that around, go to your SPRC and and ask them For help if you cannot figure out how to make this work, because the investment in yourself Pays off in spades and and I just highly recommend it.

Margie : 16:11

Sure, sure, and and I did not pay you to say that, no, you did not know, you did not. Just to be clear. This is me clear and this is some you know I had. I think was you and one other person just out of the blue Texted me about some success that you had had as a result of coaching that we did months ago, and so I did, you know, follow back up with you and with the other person and said you know, you know, have talked about what we coached on, but what about the experience of coaching? Could you help the audience to understand? And they hear me enough. So I thought it’d be great to hear from some, some people who were on the receiving end, who had reached out to me. So I appreciate you taking your time to come on and and talk to the audience and enlighten the audience about your experience of coaching and and it’s great to see you again because I there, I get really, I guess, attached, yeah, to the people that I’m coaching and and I’m journeying with you, and so I hadn’t got to see you and now you’re further south and warmer weather, we’re all the smarter people. So I I appreciate your time.

Cathi: 17:27

Well, I am grateful. And, in one last thing, happy birthday Because, because I can see you and I can. So happy birthday and and blessings on this tremendous ministry that you are doing helping helping pastors to Not be crabby.

Margie : 17:46

Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate you as well. Are you wondering whether your fatigue, your lack of motivation, your lack of interest is burnout Maybe? I just wanted to let you know that I have a resource on the website, margiebryce dot com, that’s B-R-Y-C-E margiebryce dot com and it is a burnout questionnaire, free for you to download, and kind of self-assess and get a sense of where you’re at. There are questions that not only ask about what you’re going through but maybe how often you’re experiencing it and that’s kind of a key to where you might be, because you have to know where you are in order to chart a course forward. And most pastors who experience pastors and ministry leaders who experience burnout rarely know that that’s where they’re at until they’re well into it. And if you’re unsure about that little statistic, so far, everybody that I’ve interviewed on this podcast who has experienced burnout, when I asked that kind of question, they’re like, yeah, I didn’t know, that’s where I was at. So again, go to margiebryce dot com it’s on the homepage of the website and you can get your burnout questionnaire and kind of see where you’re at. Hey friends, the Crabby Pastor podcast is sponsored by Bryce Art Glass and you can find that on Facebook. I make stained glass that’s part of my self-care and also by Bryce Coaching, where I coach ministry leaders and business leaders, and so the funds that I generate from coaching and from making stained glass is what is supporting this podcast and I will have opportunities for you to be a part of sponsoring me and, as always, you can do the Buy Me a Cup of Coffee thing in the show notes. But I will have some other ways that you can be a part of getting the word out about the importance of healthy self-care for ministry leaders. Hey, thanks for listening. It is my deep desire and passion to champion issues of sustainability in ministry and for your life, so I’m here to help. I stepped back from pastoral ministry and I feel called to help ministry leaders create and cultivate sustainability in their lives so that they can go the distance with God and whatever plans that God has for you. I would love to help, I would consider it an honor and, in all things, make sure you connect to these sustainability practices you know, so that you don’t become the Crabby pastor.

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