Excel Leadership Network Coaching Team

The Excel Coaching Team is a group of high-level leaders who love Jesus, and desire to advance His kingdom by investing in the next generation of high level leaders. Each coach has pastored for an extended period of time, and they offer a wide range of experience – from urban to rural settings, planting traditional and out-of-the-box churches, and a variety of approaches to ministry styles. They are passionate about the various ministries in which they serve, and eager to encourage and equip other leaders.

Ministry is challenging, and there are times when you need to reach out and receive wise counsel in your current situation (Proverbs 11:14 + Proverbs 15:22). We want to extend valuable help to you and your church. Our coaches are knowledgeable and eager to help if you have questions, need direction, or if you’re looking for wisdom in all things church planting or pastoring.

Our goal is to bring out the best in each church planter, and help determine their best strategic step. These goals are primarily accomplished through asking the right questions and encouraging the planter to take steps of faith.

An Excel coach’s role can include:

  • Training and empowering the church planter

  • Helping the church planter see their blind spots

  • Providing a safe place for the church planter to have doubts and ask questions

  • Asking the tough questions

  • Bringing wisdom, experience and an external perspective to the church planter

  • Helping the church planter balance the stress of being an entrepreneur with a demands of a healthy family life

  • Being a cheerleader for the church planter

 

Our Team

 
aaron clayton sized.jpg

aaron clayton

“We are in need of new methods, expressions, and efforts to bring the gospel to people who don’t know Jesus, in their own contexts and streams of ordinary life.”

Aaron and his wife Charity planted Remedy Church in Waxahachie, Texas in 2012. 

The mission of Remedy Church is to enjoy and extend restored life in Jesus, by living out the true message of the gospel. “We have made it our goal to reach people who are not interested in going to church, in a medium sized town in the south where people are saturated with churches and churchy everything. Everyone thinks they have some connection to Jesus, or they assume he's absolutely not for them. So it is incredibly hard to get them to consider the real Jesus and his real message, separate from what they are sure they already know about him. When they see it lived out among his people, they're intrigued, but it takes time.”

Aaron’s philosophy is simple: make disciples, prioritize the Kingdom, and worry less about the organization of your church. He says, “Jesus will build his church through you if you do these things humbly.”

COACHING

As a coach, Aaron shares what he has learned from experience. “I am not an expert! I’ve just learned a lot along the way that allows me to help a church planter make the right decisions in their own context, and avoid unnecessary mistakes.”

 
james wood.jpg

jason wood

“A pastoral “win” is seeing someone begin to see how God has wired them for His mission, and start to use their gifts and invest in others.”

Jason and his wife Traci pastor at Covenant Church in Bossier City, Louisiana. 

As a founding pastor of a church plant with a mission to multiply, Jason holds a unique perspective on the heart of the Gospel; the goal of Covenant Church is not to increase attendance, but to raise more disciples. As Jason puts it, “If you build a church, you might not get disciples, but if you make disciples you will always get the church.”

Bossier City is nestled in the center of the “Bible Belt”, and one of the challenges facing Covenant Church is the prevalence of “cultural Christians”, who haven’t truly encountered the transformative Jesus. “There are so many lost people in our world, and one of the best ways to reach those people is through planting a church in the middle of their world. Planting a group of Jesus followers in a community is the best way to see that community thrive and to see lost people come to faith in Jesus.”

Coaching

As a coach, Jason hopes to listen and encourage, while also providing challenge and accountability.

david cook.jpg

david cook

“I think the challenge is to uniquely express God’s Kingdom in who you are as a leader, what your church leadership’s passion is and connecting that to the unique needs of the community you are called to be the presence of Jesus.”

David Cooke is not a traditional church planter, but his journey led him through many of the challenges that face church planters. David and his wife Pam lead Cold Springs Church, which was established in 1946. David says, “I came on board in 1998, leading a turnaround of a highly conflicted, exhausted, visionless gathering of people who built a new building but didn’t have the energy or vision to know how to be the people of God in their community and their world.”

The mission of Cold Springs Church is to raise up compassionate followers of Jesus Christ to be risk-takers for God, and they have big dreams - over the next ten years, they aim to raise up 10,000 local, national and international leaders who live and lead out of the overflow of a Jesus-trusting life resulting in restored and strengthened lives, families and communities.

“Anytime a church is started the gates of hell are being beat back and the Kingdom of God is taking more ground. And that is not just a good thing, it’s a God thing.”

Coaching

In addition to being the lead pastor of Cold Spring Church, David is also a highly trained and qualified coach. His credentials include Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF),  Certificate in Transformational Coaching (Western Seminary), Global Certificate in Leadership Coaching (Internal Impact), Coach Trainer/Equipper - Western Seminary and Coach Approach Ministries, International Coaching Director - The Leadership Connection, StrengthsFinder Certified Coach, EQ-i 2.0 Emotional Intelligence Certified Coach, and IEQ9 Enneagram Certified Coach.

As a coach, David focuses on accountability and goals. “A great coach brings both a skill set and a mindset that will give the person being coached a new awareness and clear actions, while providing accountability to accomplish their goals. If I haven’t done this in every coaching conversation, I have not done my job” 

 
Tim Celek.jpg

Tim Celek

“The size of your vision is completely dependent on the size of your God.”

Tim and his wife Sue planted The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa, California in 1988, with a vision to reach people who were saying “No” to God. 

Tim says, “The Crossing is a church where all people truly and genuinely matter to God! It doesn’t matter whatsoever your education level, your economic position, your ethnic background, your marital status  - you are welcome to explore and experience Jesus at The Crossing.”

Over 40% of the people who attend The Crossing cite it as their first church experience, and almost 50% are minorities. They also foster a large recovery ministry.

Coaching

As a coach, Tim brings seasoned leadership to the table. He has great insight on how to stay relevant and connected, and offers practical understanding of the importance of finances in accomplishing dreams and reaching goals. 

luke allen coach.jpg

Luke Allen

“Research shows that church planting reaches more people for the Gospel than any other strategy. It has proven to be the most effective practice for evangelism and discipleship in the modern age. Bottom line: new churches reach new people.”

Luke and his wife Ashley planted Covenant Church in Bossier City, Louisiana in 2010.

The mission of Covenant Church is simple – display the Gospel to their neighborhoods, networks, and nations. With core values of community, transformation, and multiplication, Covenant Church’s goal is to be a “church-planting church”, and they have seen that vision come to life through planting several churches within their first 9 years. 

Luke currently serves as the pastor of preaching and vision at Covenant Church, and as COO of Excel Leadership Network.

Coaching

Luke is passionate about planting churches and equipping church planter; he says, “I have had so many coaches, mentors, and cheerleaders in my planting journey!  I know I could not have made it without them. I love to help planters and leaders consider and strategize their next steps, and bring focus and balance to their decision making.”