Church of God (Anderson, IN) – Darren Adwalpalker

Being on a journey of coaching with Kirk Kirlin has been transformational for me. I am in my first senior pastor role leading a church that has been focused more on maintenance than mission. Our coaching produced the courage, clarity, and competence to initiate a change process that I had neither the confidence nor fortitude to undertake on my own.

I underestimated the push-back and resistance I would encounter in my efforts to lead the church into redemptive relationships with those outside. I assumed church people would be happy to make that shift in obedience to Christ’s clear commands.  In the midst of painful criticism and accusation, Kirk helped me to get clear that my self-worth is not tied to people’s opinion of me. This helped me to lead from a place of security and confidence in my identity in Christ that allowed me to be bolder and more courageous than I have ever been.

As a result of Kirk’s coaching and influence, I feel much stronger in the core of my being. As he often says, “Who you are is more important than everything you say and do.”

Kirk goes beyond technique and methods and gets to the heart of the person. He helped me address the fears, anxieties and insecurities that led me to believe that pastoral leadership was about pleasing people. I have since learned what an impossible and off-target goal that is.

Now, I focus on leading boldly according to my best understanding of where God is taking us. I don’t fear failure or mistakes; I see them as gifts God gives to teach us more than we would learn without them.

One of Kirk’s amazing gifts is to invite me to put a different ‘frame’ around the way I see a situation. I’ve often been quick to assign meaning to someone’s actions. Kirk has challenged me to ask, ‘what else could this be about?’

He’s helped me identify my contribution to situations that I would prefer to blame entirely on others. While those realizations aren’t always pleasant, embracing them helps me grow in maturity as a man, a Christian, and a leader.

If you’re tired of living in the status quo of your life and ministry, I challenge you to begin a journey of tremendous growth and new insight with Kirk as your trail guide.

You’ll never be the same!

Darren Adwalpalker, Senior Pastor                                                                           South Bay Church of God, Torrance, CA                                                                 September 2012

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