Presbyterian Church USA: Tom Cramer
Kirk Kirlin’s professional coaching is invaluable. As we led our church through the most significant change process of our 45-year history, Kirk gave us the tools we needed to persevere and be effective. With his expert guidance leading us, we were able to move our congregation from maintenance to mission, from ministries of attraction to ministries of engagement, in just 18 months.
It has been said, “the culture to which one is most blind is one’s own.” Kirk opened our eyes to our church’s culture and gave us the courage, perspective, and resilience, to navigate our church through the rough waters of change. It was a painful but rewarding process, as it required us to grapple with our own resistance to change as pastors before we could hope to lead our congregation out of the pews and into the world. Many times, we asked ourselves, “Could this really worth it?” And every time we heard God answering back, “It’s worth it to me!”
Kirk helped us listen to God’s voice, and when necessary, he spoke God’s calling into our lives again. He reminded us of who we were as leaders and why we got into this crazy business in the first place.
Kirk doesn’t teach methodologies or techniques from a distance, he jumps into the trenches with you, and by his example, teaches you how to “be” with people in a different way—thereby teaching you how to lead differently. We learned that what goes on “inside us” as leaders during the change process impacts our effectiveness more than any methodology we might choose to employ. Kirk’s guiding presence with us, praying for us, laughing and crying with us, set the stage for both our own personal transformation and the transformation of our congregation.
Through Kirk’s coaching, we honed a laser-clear focus of our roles as leaders, and were equipped to lead from a different place than we were before. The courage required to lead people through change is now an indelible part of our character as leaders and our congregation’s character as well. Kirk has my highest regard and I recommend his services to you with utmost confidence.
Tom Cramer Associate Pastor Geneva Presbyterian Church, Laguna Hills, CA July 1, 2007