Leading Well Community

Sabbath Rest

Worship | Rest | Recreation
  • Schedule Sabbath moments into every day.
  • Establish adequate margins for  renewal.
  • Reclaim your interests and hobbies.
  • Do less and delegate more.

Collegial Support

Befriending | Encouraging | Crowd sourcing
  • Participate in a Live Well/Lead Well cohort.
  • Connect online via the LW Facebook Group.
  • Find a mentor to support your next steps.
  • Collaborate on projects with your colleagues.

Practical Learning

Rethink Assumptions | Reimagine Possibilities
  • Attend onsite & online Learning Retreats.
  • Join Master Classes and short-term cohorts.
  • Create an annual Reinvention Road Map.
  • Meet with coach to apply learnings to life.

Meet the Leading Well Planning Team.

Jim LaDoux

Rev. Matthew Short

Director of Coaching Services, Vibrant Faith Ministries
Assistant to the Bishop,
Greater Milwaukee Synod
Jim lives in Minneapolis, has been part of the Leading Well Leadership Team since 2005, and oversees the Leading Well initiative, cohort coaching, and the Siebert grant program.  He finds Sabbath  through journaling, listening to music and podcasts. He lives out his callings as a husband, a father,  a coach, and a small group leader.
Matt lives in the Milwaukee area. He is being trained as a coach, serves as our technology guru, and oversees the Leading Well Facebook Group. Matt finds Sabbath rest through exercise, dwelling in the Word, and listening a variety of music.

Deacon Tammy Devine

Rev. John  Weit

Devine Coaching
Assistant to the Presiding  Bishop, ELCA
Tammy lives in Bloomington, Minnesota. She is a Deacon, a certified coach, and works with Portico related to wholeness. She finds renewal walking, reading the Daily Text, and spending time at her cabin in northern Minnesota.
Deacon John  oversees the work of the worship team within the Office of the Presiding Bishop and provides leadership on the bishop’s behalf in churchwide matters related to worship. This work includes developing and implementing strategies and resources that support worship in synods, congregations, and other local worship assemblies across the ELCA as well as planning and worship leadership for church-wide events. John has served as a musician for congregations in Pennsylvania and most recently as cantor to Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester,.

Who We Are

We are a collection of Christ-centered, Spirit-driven church leaders who strive to live and lead well in the midst of continuous change. We focus on what's present, what's possible, and what God is up to in our lives.

What We Do

We create in person and onsite venues for people to experience authentic relationships that spark collegial conversations around living and leading well, and God's dreams for the world. 

What's Different

We believe in whole-life discipleship, the importance to tending to body, mind, and Spirit, and the need for becoming more agile leaders who anticipate and adjust to disruptive challenges.


Leading Well is planning to offer both an online retreat experience as well as an onsite learning event.  Onsite retreats are held at Spirit in the Desert Conference Center, located in Carefree, Arizona. 
November 15-18, 2022. | February 7-10, 2023
More details about upcoming retreats will be available February 10, 2022.

Join us for  30-minute "mini-retreats" during monthly Abiding Together events held the second Thursday of the month at 12:00 noon central.
February 10, March 10,  April 14, and May 12
Call 408.638.0968 (ID: 541 252 9630)


Short-Term Cohort Coaching Groups

Participants will create a 1-page road map around a specific ministry initiative. Groups will be formed based on the number of people  interested.  
Becoming a Welcoming Church  (Enroll Now)
March 3, 10, 17 & 24 @ 10am central
  • Session 1: Assess Your Church's Hospitality
  • Session 2 : List Touch Points for Deeper Connection
  • Session 3: Sparking Caring & Consequential Conversations
  • Session 4: Helping Leaders Create a Welcoming Culture

Growing Generous and Joyful Givers   Enroll Now!
March 1, 8, 15, 22 @ 1pm central
  • Session 1: Inviting People to be Generous
  • Session 2: Broadening People's Definition of Stewardship
  • Session 3: Growing Generosity Year-round
  • Session 4: Helping People begin a Journey of Generosity
Leading Well through Living Well (PDF) 
New dates to be confirmed by January 21, 2022
  • The power of small habits
  • Finding what works for you
  • Stress eating; paying attention to what you eat
  • Movement, exercise and fitness

Skills for Selecting and Supervising Staff (PDF)
May 5, 12, 19 & 26 @ 10am Central
  • Getting the right people in the right seats
  • Onboarding paid and unpaid staff
  • Tips for supervising staff
  • Increasing staff engagement & collaboration

Vibrant Faith MasterClasses

A 2022 Winter/Spring MasterClass Season Pass offers you free access to all of the MasterClasses offered between January and June 2022. Use it for your own development and to encourage others from your church ministry volunteers or team to enhance their skills and understanding in their areas of responsibility. You will receive a promo code for your team to be able to register for courses without charge. This season of MasterClass offerings are listed below and are free for Siebert grant recipients  |  For more details, go to

  • Leadership by Jazz: Effective Ministry for a New Reality (January 19 & 26, 2022 )  
  • Pivot: Now, Not Yet, or Never?  (January 20 & 27, 2022)  
  • Creating a Radical Welcoming Culture  (February 10 & 17, 2022)  
  •  Self-Care for Ministry Leaders (February 22, 2022)  
  • They’re Not Coming Back’: Embracing a Paradigm Shift In Ministry (March 2 & 9, 2022)  
  • Coaching Ministry Leaders Through Conflict  (February 16 & 23, 2022)  
  • Gen Z's New Kind of Faith  (March 3 & 10, 2022)
  • Learning the Practice of Faith-Formation from Children (March 24 & 31, 2022)
  • The Practices of Thriving Congregations  (April 13 & 20, 2022)    
  •  Helping People Struggling with Anxiety & Depression (April 21 & 28, 2022) 
  • Family Practices to Raise Faithful Children (May 4 & 11, 2022)
  • Creative Community Engagement (May 12 & 19, 2022)
  • Influencing Healthy Relational Environments (May 18 and 25, 2022)
  • Building Intimate Church Community (June 2 and June 9, 2022)

Year-long Cohort Coaching Program 

(partially funded by the Siebert Foundation)

  • 10 monthly cohort sessions & 4 quarterly 1-on-1 sessions.
  • Assistance with developing a Reinvention Road Map.
  • Access to training videos and resources.
  •  Access to Individual & congregational  assessments.
  • Ongoing dialogue via Leading Well Facebook Group.
  • Access to 30-minute consulting sessions.
Monthly sessions include time to:
  • Connect with and encourage each other (relate)
  • Pay attention to what's working, not working or changing in you (review),
  • Explore actions and  approaches to a preferred future (rethink).
  • Receive support as you  develop your  ministry roadmap (reinvent).
  • Identify and access  assets to support your intentions (resource).

Monthly  Cohort  Coaching  Conversations

 Meet  via  ZOOM Call 408.638.0968 (ID: 541 252 9630) | Online:
Schedule a  COACHING SESSION with Jim  Schedule sessions @
Participants are encouraged to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,  A Failure of Nerve, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, and Crucial Conversations.
Participants are invited to join monthly book discussions, short-term cohort groups, and Master Classes sponsored by Vibrant Faith.

2022  Questions  &  Assignments

2023  Questions & Assignments

JANUARY  |  Be proactive
  • Review:  How often do you let life happen to you?  In what areas of life?
  • Rethink:  What are you currently tolerating? What's it costing  you? 
  • Reinvent:  Create a 2022 roadmap. List the choices you make each day.

FEBRUARY  |  Begin with the end in mind
  • Review:  What do you want for your family and  Your church? 
  • Rethink:  How clear is your vision for your congregation? 
  • Reinvent:  Describe 3 ways you can inspire a shared vision this month.

MARCH  |  Put first things first
  • Review:  What are your top 3 goals for today?  This week? This month? 
  • Rethink:  How will you need to choose differently to fulfill your goals? 
  • Refocus:  List what you'll add to your schedule to support your next steps.  

APRIL  |  Think win-win
  • Review:  How often do you ask others about their hopes and values? 
  • Rethink:  What do you need to let go of to collaborate better?
  • Refocus:  List a person/organize you'd like to collaborate with.

MAY  |  Seek to understand rather than be understood
  • Review:  What does being a curious leader look like in a group? 
  • Rethink:  What causes you to feel understood by others?
  • Reinvent:  List 3 questions you'd ask to better understand others.

JUNE  |  Synergize relationship, ministries, and systems
  • Review:  What does interdependency look like in your settings? 
  • Rethink:  How do your gaps and gifts play a role in how you collaborate?
  • Reinvent:  List 2 relationships or systems that benefit from synergy.

JULY  |  Team Training - "Sharpen the Saw"

AUGUST  |  Planting hope
  • Review:  How often do you to lead from behind? 
  • Rethink:  How do you support/equip front-line leaders? 
  • Reinvent:  Strategies for leading from the second chair.

SEPTEMBER  |  Why change efforts fail
  • Review:  Is your mission/vision statement captivating?
  • Rethink:  How would you describe your church's vision in one sentence?
  • Reinvent:  Write a personal mission statement; share it with 3 people.

OCTOBER  |  Change your culture
  • Review:  Do your leaders have a bias for action?
  • Rethink:  Share 3 reasons why great ideas to die on the vine?
  • Reinvent:  List 3 actions you and/or your leaders will take to finish faster.

NOVEMBER  |  Change your conversations
  • Review:  What do you like about your current culture?  Dislike?  Why?
  • Rethink:  What would a culture of constructive candor look like?
  • Reinvent:  List 2 ways you'll improve staff and church culture this month.

DECEMBER  |  Team Training - "Systems that Support Transformation"
JANUARY  |  Are you measuring what matters?
  • Review:  In what ways are you living into your legacy? 
  • Rethink:  Shuffle steps toward transformation. 
  • Reinvent:  Create draft of this year's Reinvention Plan.

FEBRUARY  |  Which small habits lead to big results?
  • Review:   What are some of your life-giving rituals? 
  • Rethink:  Which norms are working for your church? 
  • Reinvent:   Identify a new habits/norm  to try-on this month .

MARCH  |  Are you  filling slots or fulfilling callings?
  • Review:  What's your process for inviting & equipping people to serve? 
  • Rethink:  If you could wave a magic wand, what would you do different? 
  • Refocus:  Write a proposal for improving how you'd share the  ministry.  

APRIL  |  What's your plan and pipeline for developing leaders?
  • Review:  What criteria was used to select past and present leaders? 
  • Rethink:  What do leaders need to know and be able do to lead well?
  • Refocus:  List 3-5 leaders you plan to intentionally develop.

MAY  |  Are you positioning people for maximum Impact?
  • Review:  Do you have a process for selecting and assessing leaders? 
  • Rethink:  Who needs to get off the bus?  Why? 
  • Reinvent:  List two leaders who  need to find a different seat.

JUNE  |  Do you know how to delegate and share the ministry?
  • Review: In what ways have your leaders grown? 
  • Rethink: How long is your leadership prospect list? 
  • Reinvent: Making plans for building capacities.

JULY  |  Team Training - "Build Better Leaders and Teams"

AUGUST  |  Lead From the Second Chair
  • Review: How often do you to lead from behind? 
  • Rethink: How do you support/equip front-line leaders? 
  • Reinvent: Strategies for leading from the second chair.

SEPTEMBER  |  Are you inspiring a shared vision among leaders?
  • Review:   Is your mission/vision statement captivating?
  • Rethink:  How would you describe your church's vision in one sentence?
  • Reinvent:  Write a personal mission statement; share it with 3 people.

OCTOBER  |  What prevents your ideas from being  implemented? 
  • Review:  Do your leaders have a bias for action?
  • Rethink:  Share 3 reasons why great ideas to die on the vine?
  • Reinvent: List 3 actions you and/or your leaders will take to finish faster.

NOVEMBER  |  What are you doing to change your culture?
  • Review:   What do you like about your current culture?  Dislike?  Why?
  • Rethink:  What would a culture of constructive candor look like?
  • Reinvent:  List 2 ways you'll improve staff and church culture this month.

DECEMBER | Team Training - "Strategies to End Well; Start Strong"

Jim's  Past &  Present  Living  Well  Road  Maps 

(Q=Quarters of the  Year;  bolded quarters indicate what's been completed)

2021 Reinvention Plans

FAITH Intentions
  • Q1:  Schedule  quarterly Sabbath retreats  - CO, FL, OR and AZ.
  • Q1:  Participate in Thursday morning Men's Bible study.
  • Q3:  Watch Introduction to the New Testament via Wondrium.
  • Q2:  Discern who God has entrusted me to  invest this year.
  • Q4:  Attend Leading Well Retreat in Carefree, AZ

2022  Reinvention  Plans

FAITH Intentions
  • Q1:  Schedule quarterly Sabbath retreats  - Naples,  Cancun,  Rancho Bernardo,  and Carefree.
  • Q1:  Embed journaling & Daily Examen into morning routine.
  • Q3:  Watch Introduction to the Old Testament via Wondrium.
  • Q4:   Attend Leading Well Retreat in Carefree, AZ.
  • Q4:  Finish listening to the New Testament (Message Version).
  • Q2:  Go skiing at A-Basin  with friends from Colorado.
  • Q2:  Update lower level space for gaming, exercising , watching movies.
  • Q3:  Take rail trip via Empire Builder to Portland to visit nephew, Ben.
  • Q3:  Go to Barcelona with  son, Brett to bike, sail, and hike.
  • Q3-4:  Attend 3 family weddings.
  • Q1:  Go skiing at Telluride  with friends from Colorado.
  • Q1:  Spend spring break in Naples/Ft. Myers Beach with Gina & friends.
  • Q3:  Hike Joshua Tree  &  kayak  in LaJolla  with  son, Brett.
  • Q3:  Attend Ben's wedding  at Ranch Bernardo Inn in July.
  • Q4:  Hike Sedona and Grand Canyon with Gina. 
FINANCE  Intentions
  • Q1:  Increase giving to Prince of Peace's general  fund by $100/month.
  • Q2:  Add. $6000 to retirement IRAs.
  • Q2:  Increase FICO to 800+; apply for pre-approved mortgage.
  • Q3:  Replace deck overlooking the pond; replace bathroom vanities.
  • Q4:  Increase retirement contributions to Portico by 1 percent.
FINANCE  Intentions
  • Q1:  Begin saving $250/month to buy  bedroom & stairway carpeting.
  • Q1:  Budget $2000 for start up costs related to new Coaching podcast.
  • Q1:  Budget $1500 for editing and setup costs for book, Surface to Soul.
  • Q2:  Enroll in the Reinvention Academy certification program.
  • Q2:  Refinish garage flooring with Perfect Epoxy.
FITNESS Intentions
  • Q2:  Begin practicing intermittent fasting 2-4 days a week.
  • Q3:  Start averaging 5000 steps/day (35,000/week).
  • Q3:  Schedule ablation surgery.
  • Q4:  Weigh self daily; lose 20# by end of year (reach 180#).
  • Q3:  Continue physical therapy session to strengthen shoulder.
FITNESS Intentions
  • Q1:  Average 7500 steps/day (52,500/week) via rebounder or walking.
  • Q1:  Reduce weight to 165#  through increased walking & exercise.
  • Q2:  Make decisions about the need for shoulder surgery.
  • Q2:  Participate in a sleep study; focus on better sleeping habits.
  • Q2:  Develop weight-free exercise routine for home & travel  use.
FUTURE   Intentions
  • Q4:  Populate Surface to Soul Youtube channel for Coaching School.
  • Q4:  Update format and content of all Coaching School tools.
  • Q4:  Update team coaching/marketing chapters in coaching manual.
  • Q4:  Develop 30 Leading Well tools based on book curations. 
FUTURE   Intentions
  • Q1: Update format and content of all Leading Well tools and resources.
  • Q2:  Learn Final Cut Pro; use to edit work-related Youtube videos.
  • Q3:  Submit coaching hours log; apply for PCC-level ICF certificate.
  • Q3:  Create Udemy-style online learning modules for Coaching School.
FORM  CONSISTENT HABITS  that help me live and lead well
Review monthly; rank consistency (0=never; 5-Almost always)
  • 5:  Regularly arise at 5am;  go to bed by 10:30pm. 
  • 3:  Average 7500+ steps a day and 50,000+ steps a week.
  • 2:  Schedule  2-hour content creation time  blocks.
  • 4:  Read at least one book a week; summarize takeaways.
  • 5:  Monitor FICO score; maintain scores within a 780-820 range.
FORM  BETTER  HABITS  Intentions  (1=rarely; 5=most of the time)
Review monthly; rank consistency (0=never; 5-Almost always)
  • 1:  Create and post 3 blogs a week.
  • 1:  Create 2 Youtube videos per week for clients and Coaching School.
  • 4:  Drink 64 oz of water before 8am; Continue plank & kettlebell routine. 
  • 3:  Connect with 2 friends by phone every week.
  • 3:  Maintain zero inbox every day; process emails 3 times a day.
MONTHLY  GOAL  for  Each 2021 Leading  Well Theme
  • JAN:  Measure what matters - create personal financial scorecard.
  • FEB:  Develop small habits - build on 3-hour morning routine.
  • MAR:  Fulfill callings - help sons discover and deploy their callings.
  • APR:  Develop people - help VF coaches become ICF-certified.
  • MAY:  Place people in the right seat  - 
  • JUN:  Delegate/share the ministry - 
  • JUL:  Build better leaders/teams - create coaching teams module.
  • AUG:  Lead from second chair - propose changes in VF systems.
  • SEP:  Inspire a shared vision - reframe the use of VF's website.
  • OCT:  Implementing your ideas - create better tracking system.
  • NOV:  Change your culture - launch Planner to increase collaboration.
  • DEC:  End well; start strong - use week before New Year's to reinvent.
MONTHLY  GOAL  for  Each 2022 Leading  Well Theme
  • JAN:  Be proactive - create 2022 roadmaps that shape a preferred future.
  • FEB:  Begin with the end in mind - list clear, compelling goals for February.
  • MAR:  Put first things first - prioritize time spend with wife/children.
  • APR:  Think win-win - research 3 ministry partnerships.
  • MAY:  Seek to understand - interview current VF coaches about hopes/goals.
  • JUN:  Synergize - improve coordination between program and admin staff.
  • JUL:  Sharpen the saw - use July as mini-sabbatical for creating new content.
  • AUG:  Planting hope - journal about ways to help others be more hopeful.
  • SEP:  Why change efforts fail - list what I need to be more urgent about.
  • OCT:  Changing your culture - address ways to discuss difficult conversations.
  • NOV:  Change your conversations - develop 3-5-year goals for self/VFM.
  • DEC:  Change your systems - create a 90-day content posting schedule.

Jim's  10  Observations/Insights  from  2021

  • I need to focus as much on the journey as I do on the destination.
  • I struggle using  systems that I  didn't help create. 
  • Clutter distracts and depresses me. I need to remove the clutter.
  • Don't organize items that should be discarded.
  • Keep only what delights you or serves you well.
  • Listening to current affairs and news drains my energy. 
  • Small things, consistently repeated, result in major results.
  • I over estimate time involved in completing  short-term goals.
  • I underestimate how much I can accomplish  long-term.
  • I need to review, at least hourly, today's most pressing goals.

Jim's  10  Monthly  Experiments for  2022

  • JAN:  Plan tomorrow the night before to ensure a strong morning start.
  • FEB:  Give away 3 things a day to Good Will.
  • MAR:  Don't eat after 8pm for 1 month.
  • APR:  Don't buy anything unessential.
  • MAY:  Give up brewing and drinking coffee.
  • JUL:  Read 1 book a day.
  • AUG:  Seek to add an affirmation to every email I send to people.
  • SEP:  Write in my gratitude journal every day.
  • OCT:  Take and share a picture everyday via email, text, blog or social media..
  • NOV:  Call one friend or relative every day.
  • DEC:  Go to bed by 10:30pm every night.

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