Meet David Wilder, M.Div, CPC
“I’m a Southern Baptist minister and retired Navy chaplain. My professional subspecialty was initially Pastoral Counseling and then Marriage and Family Education. After 38 years of specializing in helping marriages thrive, I was nearing retirement with the dream of focusing entirely on relationship coaching. So I turned to RCI and completed their couples’ coach training and went through their business building programs. I must say that this is the most helpful training I have ever experienced in real-world application of skills needed to make a difference in people’s lives. Plus, RCI has helped me tremendously in the task of setting up my coaching practice to both make a living and make a difference while enjoying my “retirement career.” Thank you RCI!”
As a Faith Leader you most likely are already helping singles and couples with their relationships and you are in a uniquely qualified position to make a huge difference in your community as a relationship coach. You can easily leverage your training, experience, and audience to bring relationship coaching into your faith community and/or establish a private relationship coaching practice.
Here’s our Top 5 Reasons for Faith Leaders to Consider Relationship Coaching:
- You’re already doing it!
You can easily expand your relationship support and make a bigger, wider difference in your community.
- Easily establish group support programs for singles and couples
Within your Church or Temple or privately, we make it easy for you to establish relationship seminars, workshops, retreats, and coaching support groups that you lead yourself or delegate to staff or volunteers.
- Easily generate revenue
Let’s be honest, most faith organizations and leaders struggle to get by financially. Whether for your Church or Temple as fundraising activities, or privately for your own business, relationship coaching services and programs are positive, inspirational, and constituents are more willing to pay out of pocket for “value-added.”
- Prepare for retirement
Most faith leaders will need to supplement their retirement income and relationship coaching is a fun and fulfilling retirement profession that allows you to work as much or as little as you want, from anywhere in the world!
- Fulfill your calling
Most faith ministers join RCI because they feel called to make a larger difference in the relationships of their community but they don’t know how. Like Pastor Dave (above) they find relationship coaching to be the answer they’ve been seeking and RCI’s training and support to be perfect for their needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will your program be compatible with my faith?
Our coaching programs are designed to be universal and applicable to all faiths. Since our founding in 1997, for more than 20 years, our programs have been used successfully in all major faith communities. In addition, our coaches find it easy to customize our programs to their particular faith or culture, which we encourage and support.
Is it a conflict of interest to market my private coaching services to my congregation?
Most of our graduates who are faith leaders believe that it is a conflict of interest to actively market your private services to your constituents, and we agree that it could be a perceived conflict that would hinder both the private coaching relationships and the faith community relationships to do so.
However, the keyword here is "Market," which means you have two important options to consider:
- Serving Non-Constituents: Being a leader in your community, once you become a coach, most of your clients will seek you out by word of mouth, and we'll help you design your business so that no active marketing is necessary, however, you are free to actively market to your local community by conducting classes, workshops, retreats and presentations/seminars, which are very effective for being of service to your local community and reaching potential clients.
- Serving Selected Constituents: Successful coaches are selective in who they accept as clients, and by accepting clients from your constituency who 1) Specifically request your private services, and 2) Are functional and you have good rapport with them. As long as you are not actively marketing to your own constituents and only accept clients who are a good fit for your private services, you will set yourself up for success.
How can I charge for my coaching services when I provide individual relationship help as part of my job?
Great question. Let's make a distinction between a "consultation" and "coaching."
A "consultation" can be defined as one or two meetings to problem-solve a situation.
"Coaching" (or counseling) is a long term professional relationship to accomplish a significant goal or overcome a significant problem.
When a constituent contacts you for relationship support, do you provide unlimited individual counseling sessions?
We don't know any faith leader who does, as they couldn't do their job if they didn't have boundaries around how much time and help to provide individual constituents. Most faith leaders would meet a few times and make a referral if more help was needed.
So the relationship help you provide as part of your job is probably limited, and those boundaries should be well defined and communicated. You can leverage the resources of your faith community by organizing relationship support groups, classes, seminars and workshops (we show you how and provide the materials needed) that are free to your constituents or request a small donation from participants.
[Sidebar: Conducting a relationship seminar, workshop, class or retreat for your faith community and opening it up to the local community is great outreach and a great way to reach potential clients who are not your constituents. Charging non-members for the event is a great fund-raiser!]
But your private time is precious and limited, and after providing a consultation to a constituent you can choose to refer them to appropriate resources inside or outside your faith community, and discuss the possibility of private coaching if they are a good fit for you. If you do so, we suggest providing names of 2 or 3 other relationship professionals you can recommend to ensure that you have been provided all possible choices and options before they make their choice. Since their connection and trust is with you, it is most common that they would choose to work with you over someone they don't know.
How can RCI membership help my faith community?
Here's our Top 5 Ways RCI Membership Can Help Your Faith Community:
- Provide powerful relationship support services for your singles, couples, and families
Most faith leaders tell us that couple and family relationships are the most important part of their ministry and your ability to provide effective relationship support for your constituents will promote a strong, successful faith community.
- Easily provide group programs for singles and couples
We provide all the materials and support needed to conduct relationship support groups, workshops, classes, seminars and retreats for your faith community.
- RCI can train your staff and volunteers
With an Organizational Membership, RCI can train your staff and volunteers to provide individual and group relationship coaching to support the singles, couples, and families in your faith community.
- Easily organize outreach and fundraising campaigns
Inviting your local community to your relationship classes, workshops, retreats and seminars can be great for outreach and fund-raising. We provide the materials and show you how.
- Provide positive support and connection for your singles
In many faith communities, singles often feel surrounded by couples and families and feel left out and disconnected. Providing group programs and events for your singles will support them to connect with each other and enhance feeling like they're important and belong in your faith community. And, since singles become couples, you will be promoting successful marriages and families within your community. Here at RCI we make it easy for you to organize group events and programs your singles will love, and provide highly effective individual and group coaching services to promote successful relationships.
How can I fund my RCI training?
Here's our Top 5 Ways to Fund RCI Training for Faith Leaders:
- Fundraisers: Immediately after you join RCI you'll have access to all the resources you need to conduct relationship classes, workshops, seminars, and retreats. Just one of these events can potentially fund your RCI training. Plus, these are great for on-going fundraisers as well.
- Pre-paid Services: Announce availability of individual and group relationship coaching services and accept first-come pre-registration deposits for a limited number of spots for the first scheduled programs. Constituents typically jump to sign up because they trust you, want to benefit from these new services, and are excited to be among the first to participate. And don't worry, we'll make sure you are fully prepared and supported to provide these services within a month after starting your training.
- Sponsors: Most faith community memberships include prominent members of their local business community who would be happy to support their faith community to expand services and programs to promote successful relationships. Sponsors can also be from outside your faith community.
- Joint Venture: Most faith communities have strong relationships with other local faith communities who might be open combining resources for mutual benefit.
- Just ask: You have access to abundant support and resources all around you and there are always ways to make things work and people willing to help if you were to simply ask, which includes us here at RCI! Let us know if we can support you to find a way fund your RCI training.
Why would my constituents pay for coaching when we have free programs available?
Here's our Top 5 Reasons Why Faith Community Constituents Would Pay for Coaching:
- Free programs tend to be structured and educational and not designed to help constituents with their individual goals and challenges.
- Free programs tend to be limited in duration and scope, while coaching is longer term and can be tailored to address individual goals and challenges.
- One word- results. Free programs can be interesting, supportive and educational, but are not designed to deliver a concrete, tangible, life-changing result for regular folk.
- Privacy- many people prefer individual services because they don't want to share their problems in a group setting, and most free programs are conducted in group settings.
- Individual support- when they are stuck and want help, most people prefer individual attention to address their unique situation and needs, which is typically not available in free programs.