A Barna Research survey (2022) found that 42% of Pastors in the USA have considered quitting full-time ministry within the past year (up 13% from the previous year). Reasons listed included stress (56%), loneliness (43%), cultural issues (34%) and the toll of ministry on their families (29%). LifeBridge Coaching allows ministers to to work through such struggles as we bring God’s story and divine calling back into focus.

John Studebaker developed LifeBridge after recovering from severe ministerial burnout, applying what he learned in his recovery. The material emerged from a thorough study of Scripture passages centered on divine calling (i.e, Abraham, Moses, Jesus’ disciples) and in his Ph.D. studies (theology of calling and models of calling assessment).

Now, LifeBridge Coaching assists Pastors, missionaries, Christian leaders, and/or their spouses as they deal with the challenges of life within professional ministry. John will coach you through the LifeBridge process in order to focus your life and ministry around your unique, God-given calling. LifeBridge Coaching is a 10-14 hour process, where you’ll re-discover your:

VERTICAL CALL: Examine the way your life-story (Origin, Destiny, and Identity) can be shaped and energized by God’s story; write your Purpose Statement.

HORIZONTAL CALL: Combine your Heart Motivations, Gifts, Talents and Passions into your unique Mission Statement.

PRACTICAL CALL: Write Vision Statements; develop practical plans for your Personal, Relational, Vocational and Ministry domains of life.

You will also develop a Re-assessment Plan for living your calling the rest of your life.

Optional coaching sessions include:

    • a Turning Points Inventory (discover your Life themes, Core Values, and Roadblocks)
    • a joint LifePlan for your Marriage or family
    • a Decision-making Matrix (for those in transition)
    • a Debrief (to walk through a specific struggle or conflict in life or ministry)
    • Guided theological research

The results of LifeBridge Coaching will be renewed boundaries, passion for life and ministry, and a practical blueprint for life. In addition you will:

    • address the root causes of ministerial fatigue and (if needed) begin recovery from ministerial burnout or stagnation
    • develop or re-develop a “Purpose Statement” in order to focus each major area of life around your ultimate purpose and relationship with God
    • discover how God has designed you uniquely and develop a personal, actionable “Mission Statement” based on your unique design
    • discover your “Life Themes”, “Core Values”, and potential “Roadblocks”, along with how each of these can transform your overall life and ministry
    • write one-year “Vision Statements,” along with goals and faith steps, that will allow you to walk forward in your calling on a daily basis
    • develop an intentional, workable Re-assessment plan for retaining margin, joy, and “balance” in ministry
    • walk through a “turning points inventory,” discovering your personal life-themes, core values, and roadblocks.
    • for those in times of transition (personally, ministerially, etc.) you will work through tools designed to help you make decisions regarding your future (based on your unique calling and current needs)

Many pastors and Christian leaders have found LifeBridge Coaching to be a major catalyst in their own spiritual growth, ministry development, and overall focus (see “Testimonials” page).

We also provide optional follow-up coaching, once a month over the following 12 months, to assist you in walking out your plan.

The requested donation for a Refocus Retreat is typically $1200 for an individual, $1500 for a couple (tax-deductible). Scholarship may be available, upon request.

We encourage you to stay at the BMI Oasis during your Refocus retreat ($75/night donation in the Vineyard Suite). This support will help expand our ministry in the USA and overseas while assisting with our own ministry expenses as well.

See testimonies from past participants in LifeBridge Coaching (Pastors and Missionaries) here.