recently talked with Charles Hooper, Jr. MDiv, ACC, president and founder of Hooper Leadership Coaching, about his work as a leadership coach and the potential coaching holds for equipping leaders in the local church. (CLC): Charles, tell us a little about yourself.
Charles:  I am the Director of Life on Life Movements through Perimeter Church in Atlanta. Life-on-life missional discipleship is a gospel transformation process that involves a mature and equipped follower of Christ intentionally and relationally investing in others in the context of a small group. Our mission is to ignite a movement of life-on-life discipleship in churches and businesses worldwide.
Coaching pastors and C-level leaders has been the focus of my calling, education and training for the majority of my career. I have a passion and proven track record for coaching leaders according to their unique design so they can maximize their character, calling, and competency.
Being married to Jill and raising boys (ages 14-23) to become men keeps my life fun and active.
CLC: God has called you to coach Christian men who are leaders in the church and marketplace. How does leadership coaching differ from other available leadership opportunities?
Charles: Most training falls in line with an “expose and expect” approach. We expose leaders to content at seminars, conferences and cohorts then expect them to understand, apply, and pass on the skills. Our experience tells us this approach fails to produce lasting results.
Because the needs of male Christian leaders are unique, leadership coaching provides a personalized approach that targets the development needs and actually accelerates the growth of individuals.
CLC:  As a pastor, you know the challenges and opportunities leaders face in the church and marketplace. How can integrating a coach-approach in the local church maximize growth and Kingdom impact?
Charles: Our church has seven full time staff in Pastoral Care. I estimate that they focus on 20 percent of the church. I often find myself wondering, “What if churches used lay coaches to help the 80 percent of the people who are healthy, functional, and hungry to grow?”
If a church has a healthy discipleship ministry, this will help train and equip new leaders for kingdom impact. Coaching, however, goes beyond “church work,” helping leaders live a missional life where they live, work, and play.
In the coming years, I believe we will see more pastors securing training in coaching skills. Pastors know that sermons and teaching alone will not get the job done. I believe that Christian coaching will become the difference maker for churches who desire to develop strong and godly leaders in the coming years.
CLC: What lessons learned would you like to share with new leadership coaches breaking into this niche?
Charles: There is no way that a new leadership coach can experience and know everything there is to know about leadership. As leadership coaches, we are not leadership experts as much as we are experts on the change process.
One of the themes I see in the life of Jesus is think big, start small, and go deep.
As a leadership coach, think big when it comes to making a difference in leaders’ lives through coaching. Start small by helping a few leaders get where they want to go. Then, go deep with a few. Your niche will develop as you have more stories of success.
CLC: What factors should leaders consider when choosing a leadership coach?
Charles: An effective Christian Leadership Coach will have leadership experience, coach specific training, and proper credentials. He should also have integrity, wisdom, curiosity, and a servant’s heart, along with a solid biblical worldview and the power of the Holy Spirit to bring real and lasting change. Good leadership coaching will get you where you want to go.
CLC: What else would you like our readers to know?
Charles: To learn more about me or the services I offer, visit

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