Location: CityLife Church, Melbourne, Australia
In the mid 90’s, CityLife Church (known as Waverley Christian Fellowship), was in the midst of a leadership transition from Kevin Conner to his son, Mark Conner. My first significant engagement with the church focused on leadership development for the senior leadership team.
At the time, the church was attracting 1500 to their Sunday services and the ministry staff were eager for an opportunity to learn together and to receive personal coaching. I installed a monthly, full day training experience called Focusing Leaders and personally began coaching four of the top leaders on a monthly basis.
Solutions in Action
The initial training experience opened a long term partnership with the church that continues today. I coach the executive pastor and the Life Groups pastor on a monthly basis for over 20 years. In 2010 I traveled to Australia and facilitated long range planning for the Senior Leadership Team which helped them frame a number of top priorities.
CityLife today conducts four high energy worship celebrations. Two on Saturday and two on Sunday. They have also become one of the leading small group churches with over 500 Life Groups meeting regularly. Four other campuses are opened now with exciting plans for further expansion across Melbourne in the years to come. The most significant impact I have had in the church is the coaching culture that permeates all levels of how the staff and key volunteers practice ministry.
Buck has been coaching me for over 15 years – initially it was face to face when he was a missionary ‘down under’ (aka Australia) and over recent years via phone and Skype. Buck has had a profound impact on me personally and professionally as a coach and mentor and spiritually as he has journeyed with me though the ups and downs of life and ministry. He asks the hard questions, gets the best out of you, and helps you think and process. He’s been a sounding board, a mentor, a strategist, a resource, a prayer warrior, and a supporter. I love the fact that he understands my world but he’s outside it and I can be totally honest, say what I think, and process in the moment without reservation. Buck has been a pressure reliever and a life saver. I’m still going full on in ministry after 20 years and Buck’s been a huge part of that journey.