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Coaching is a partnership. It is the experience of one person, the coach, coming alongside another person to help that person maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching honors the client by respecting them for their life and work and believes that every person is creative, resourceful, and whole. Coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help parish clients produce fulfilling results in their ONCD journey. Coaches help parishes improve their performances and enhance the quality of their Orthodox NCD experience.

The coach's responsibility is therefore to:

·         Discover, clarify, and align with what the parish wants to achieve;
·         Encourage the parish's journey of self-discovery;
·         Elicit parish-generated solutions and strategies; and
·         Hold the parish responsible and accountable

Coaches are trained to listen, not to "tell"; to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs, not to insist on doing things "their" way. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the parish Church Health Team; they believe the parish is full of naturally creative and resourceful people. The coach's job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the parish already has.

What a Coach is Not

A coach is not a consultant. He is not there to "tell" the parish what to do or implement his own preferred solutions, but rather to help the parish find those solutions that are best for them.

A coach is not a mentor. A mentor is one who guides another based on their own experience and maturity. While sometimes confused with coaching, the difference is that the mentor imparts his own knowledge and experience, while a coach helps the coachee find and develop their own skills and experience.

A coach is not a trainer. Training programs have certain learning objectives set out by the trainer; you learn what he wants to teach. A coach, on the other hand, sets the learning objectives based on what the coachee wants to learn.  Training also assumes a linear learning path which coincides with an established curriculum. while coaching is less linear and does not necessarily have a set curriculum plan.

While at times certain aspects of consulting, mentoring and training may take place within a coaching assignment, the core aspects of coaching focus entirely on the needs of the coachee - the parish and the Church Health Team.

Parishes can always benefit from the assistance of a coach in working through the results, developing and executing an action plan, and staying focused on implementing the ONCD process over the long term. ONCD does offer the services of trained, experienced and certified coaches via our nationwide pan-Orthodox coaching network. Coaching costs vary according to the experience and competencies of the coach and are availabile on request.

ONCD Coaches can:

  1. Conduct presentations in a parish-wide, deanery, or diocesan setting to introduce ONCD fundamentals and familiarize attendees with the concept of Natural Church Development (presentations take approximately 45 minutes and can also be offered as webinars)
  2. Train the parish Church Health Team (CHT) (1 full day, 6 hours, seminar format)
  3. Debrief the priest and CHT on the survey results (approximately 1-2 hours)
  4. Facilitate workshops designed to work through the survey analysis and come up with a plan to address necessary issues (1 full day, 5-6 hours, workshop format)
  5. Debrief the priest and CHT on the ONCD process at the conclusion of a cycle (usually after the end of a 12-18 month period)
  6. Offer training in any number of areas related to parish growth and revitalization (1-2 hour modules, workshop format)

Why would you consider the additional cost to retain an NCD trained coach to help you with the process? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Learning Curve - Priests and parish leaders are already busy people, and a coach can help shorten the learning curve to incorporate NCD principles in the life of the church.
  2. FreedomPriests need to be free to be part of the process ather than trying to wear a coach’s hat as well as a pastor’s hat. A coach can more easily and objectively ask some of the hard questions with which the church must wrestle.
  3. Experience - Priests and parishes will experience 'bumps' along the way, which cna derail their plans to address their Minimum Factor. This can come in the form of unexpected emergencies within the life of the church, events, attitudes or people who keep the plan from proceeding, or simply the busyness of ministry. A coach will bring expertise and experience to the process that can help churches avoid common pitfalls and will come alongside to help the Church Health Team refocus their energy to accomplish the goals they have set.
  4. Nothing Missed - Experiences with churches show that without an NCD trained coach to help guide the process, essential setps are missed or dismissed which are vital to seeing the health of the church increase in a significant way.
  5. Training & Resources - An ONCD coach has been trained in both the theory and practice of NCD. They are trained to spot and deal with issues that the Church Health Team will encounter. Additionally, he has access to additional resources such as one-day orientation training for the clergy and church leaders and training for Church Health Teams, which will orient the Church Health Team for their role in the NCD Process and help them begin the first steps.
  6. Deeper Understanding - Biotic Principles are the key that opens the door to increased church health. An ONCD coach has a deeper understanding of how and where biotic principles should be applied in the NCD process.
  7. Accountability - Accountability to an NCD coach to continue the plan developed by the Church Health Team greatly increases the probability that all your effort will result in the desired fruit of increased health for your church.

A coach will not tell you what to do or do your work for you. A coach will keep you accountable to your plans, help you negotiate the obstacles you encounter, and give you encouragement along the way.

Coaching can be undertaken for a definitive period of time - for example, 4, 6, 10, or 12 months - or selectively as the needs of the parish dictate. Costs will vary depending on the coach selected (you are, after all, contracting with a coach for his training and experience), so contact us for further information and details at

Learn more about the ONCD model
The ABCs of Orthodox NCD


ONCD: An Introduction for Parishes and Church Health Teams

Parishes using ONCD (partial list):

St. John the Baptist, Euliss, TX
St. Demetrios, Fort Worth, TX
St. John the Baptist, Beaverton, OR
Ss. Peter&Paul, Glenview, IL
St. Haralambos, Peoria, AZ
Holy Cross, Macon, GA
St. Innocent, Macon, GA
Annuncation, Dayton, OH
St. Mary's Assumption, Worcester, MA
Holy Ascension, Mt. Pleasant, SC
St. Nicholas, Wyckoff, NJ
Arch. Michael, Colorado Springs, CO
Holy Trinity, East Meadow, NY
Ss. Peter & Paul, Boulder, CO
St. Catherine, Greenwood Village, CO
St. Spyridon, Loveland, CO
Ss. Constantine&Helen, Cheyenne, WY
Assumption, Bayard, NE
St. Demetrios, Concord, CA
St. John the Baptist, Pueblo, CO
Holy Trinity, Tulsa, OK
St. Elias, Battle Creek, MI
St. Nicholas, Jamaica, NY
St. John Prodromos, Amarillo, TX
Ss. Constantine&Helen, Webster, MA
St. Nicholas, Tacoma, WA
Holy Anargyroi, Rochester, MN
St. Lawrence, Felton, CA
Nativity Holy Virgin, Waterbury, CT
Christ the Savior, Southbury, CT

St. Philothea, Watkinsville, GA
Holy Spirit, Omaha, NE
St. George, Trumbull, CT
Annunciation, Sacramento, CA
Holy Trinity, State College, PA
Arch. Michael, Port Washington, NY
Holy Resurrection, Brookville, NY
St. Mary, Minneapolis, MN
St. John Theologian, Shirley, NY

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