MEET THE Team
Our team of professionals have a wealth of experience coaching and training pastors and laity in church planting, revitalization, connecting with your community, and stewardship. They are also available for assessments, staff development, and conflict intervention.
Jim began his ministry in 1975 starting new churches because he saw this as the most effective way to reach new people. Over the next 21 years, he launched six new churches that primarily reached those outside the church. In 1996, he began to share his experience through coaching and training new church pastors and their teams. In 2001, Jim transferred these learnings to existing churches wanting to reach new people in their communities. Additionally, he has conducted over 2,000 assessments of candidates for ministry, helping place them in ministries or congregations to maximize their effectiveness. Jim has a B.S. from the University of Florida, M.Div. and Th.M. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Kim was a church planter for over 10 years, first starting a new service to help revitalize an older church and then serving as the founding pastor of River of Life United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, FL. She served as the Associate Director for New Church Development for the Florida Annual Conference and as a National Strategist with the United Methodist Discipleship Ministries. Kim enjoys working with pastors and laity who are beginning new faith communities, and with churches that are seeking to revitalize and connect with new people. She is a certified StrengthsFinder coach and loves helping people utilize their strengths to thrive in their life and ministry. Kim has a B.A. from the University of Florida, M.Div. from Emory University, and D.Min from Wesley Theological Seminary.
Paul Nickerson is an ordained United Church of Christ pastor of more than 30 years. Paul served 20 years in parishes, turning around declining congregations. He then worked with 400 congregations at the Conference level, specializing in evangelism, vitality and new church starts. For the past four years, Paul has served as a full-time Sr. Associate for Griffith Coaching, currently working with churches in more than 15 states. Paul is married to the Rev. Dr. Marlayna Schmidt and has two grown sons. They reside in Beverly, Mass.
Sally is recognized as an innovator in Christian practices worldwide. Known best for her book, Worship Evangelism (Zondervan, 1998), she became a trusted interpreter of North American cultural trends and a guide to the crucial shifts necessary to engage new generations. Since the late nineties, Sally has coached congregations of every size and denomination, helping leaders navigate key changes in worship, leadership, and church systems. Her skills at facilitating “conversations that matter” have helped congregations transcend dysfunctional patterns, develop healthy communication pathways, and establish collaborative team models for enhanced innovation. As the founder of Encounter Executive Staffing, she matches quality leaders with forward-thinking congregations. Believing that excellent, sustainable hires start with strategic coaching, she sums up her approach with this motto: “Know who you are, know who you need.”