An Open Letter to Eddie Hammett


Thanks so much for including me in the Congregational Coaching seminar earlier this week at the Baptist General Association of Virginia. The resources you provided in the seminar, as well as your exceptional book, “Recovering Hope for Your Church: Moving beyond Maintenance and Missional to Incarnational Engagement” should be of tremendous help to pastors, denominational leaders, staff members, lay leaders – pretty much anyone who loves the church and wants to see it be more alive and engaged in the communities and culture where we have been planted.

At some point, I feel God might call me in the direction of being a “Congregational Coach.” For now, I am called to be a pastor. What I have learned from you is the importance of asking the right kinds of questions – the kinds that spark conversations. I agree with you that the people of God have, thanks to the indwelling Holy Spirit, all they need to find powerful and creative solutions to the challenges that confront us in today’s world.

I was especially inspired by the need to create new metrics in the church. Our denominational traditions have taught us to count pennies in the plate and people in the pew. Our metrics have been around “come structures.” I still remember the offering envelopes which inquired about whether I was in Sunday School, had brought my Bible, was giving my tithe, and would be present in worship. These are just some of the “come structures” by which we evaluate our sense of success and well-being as a church.

How exciting it would be if churches had and accounted for “go structures.”

How many relationships has your church created with community leaders?

How many partnerships have you created with civic and charitable organizations in your neighborhood?

I know that Jesus went to the temple throughout his ministry. I also know that he was invited into many homes for dinners, parties, weddings, funerals, and celebrations. He was invited to participate in the life of the people around him.  How exciting it would be if people in our parish fellowships were excited to share all the places they have been invited to live life because they were reflecting the gracious live of Jesus Christ!

I know that I am going to be asking a lot more questions around these subjects and others that you brought to my attention in the congregational coaching seminar.

I was also happy that the seminar was not lecture, but practicum experiences were we got to use the skills we were learning as you modeled them in your style of teaching. This allowed me to not only begin the process of becoming more efficient with these skills, but also to meet fellow travelers on the journey.

My life and ministry will be greatly influenced in some extremely positive ways in the days ahead. I feel certain of that. So, once again, from the core of my being, I offer you…

Many Thanks,


William M. Nieporte Sr. (Bill)

Recovering Hope for Your Church: Moving Beyond Maintenance and Missional to Incarnational Engagement (TCP The Columbia Partnership Leadership Series)
by: Edward Hammett
publisher: TCP Books, published: 2014-08-30
ASIN: 0827232284
EAN: 9780827232280
sales rank: 440028
price: $15.39 (new), $17.78 (used)

“Why?” seems to be on the lips of many church, judicatory, and denominational leaders today. “Why has our church plateaued?” “Why are so few young leaders going into church-based ministries?” “Why are so few interested in church these days?” Recovering Hope uncovers the “whys,” creating space to embrace new realities, commit to the tough road of recovery, and develop new skills, structures, and ministry designs through a process of spiritual discernment, congregational coaching, and a deeper reliance on the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Eddie Hammett, a Professional Certified Coach and Church and Clergy Coach for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina, provides a step-by-step process of hope and health to encourage, guide, and inspire pastors, leaders, churches, regions, and denominations that recovery of hope is possible. A TCP Leadership Series title.

Reaching People Under 40 While Keeping People Over 60: Being Church for All Generations (TCP Leadership Series)
by: Edward Hammett
publisher: TCP Books, published: 2007-02-01
ASIN: 0827232543
EAN: 9780827232549
sales rank: 616551
price: $14.95 (new), $6.88 (used)

Many established churches are facing a number of challenges in today’s increasingly secular culture. Such a shift in many communities creates a challenge of church growth and church health when it seems that satisfying the needs of one group creates barriers to reaching another group. So many are asking, “How do you keep people over sixty years of age, who often hold church culture values, while at the same time reach people under forty, who often hold postmodern values?” If a church is interested in growing, this situation becomes a major challenge. Reaching People under 40 while Keeping People over 60 looks at the church as it seeks to function in a new world. It looks at the differences in the generations and at postmodernism – not just a generational difference but a global change. Most importantly, Reaching People under 40 while Keeping People over 60 looks at what a church can do in this new age to help the church survive – and thrive! Foreword by Bill Easum. A TCP Leadership Series title.

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