Ken is passionate about helping ministry leaders work with joy and vitality in their area of giftedness so that they and the communities they serve thrive and grow. He recently stepped away from a position after more than ten years as a Senior Pastor to focus full time on coaching ministry and business leaders through his new venture, Synchronous Life, LLC. His greatest joy in ministry is watching his client’s lives transform as they discover their own true calling and begin to live into it with humility, confidence and grace.
His approach incorporates the best leadership development work from business and psychology, along with the insights of Family Systems Theory for understanding ourselves and our place in relationship systems. All of this is woven together with threads of spiritual formation and direction to help the leader become an integrated whole and growth toward fullness of maturity in Christ. His faith affirmation is that God is always and everywhere already present, working and calling us forward into fullness of life.
Ken’s commitment to formation for ministry can be seen in his professional and academic work. He designed and led ministry training programs that support people from the early discernment of call through and beyond seminary training and ordination. His practice includes training and equipping for specific ministry tasks in context, teaching to large and small groups, peer mentoring sessions, individual coaching with ministry supervision and spiritual direction. The combination of these elements is designed to integrate spiritual practice, pastoral identity, ministry calling and gifts, along with the minister as person, away from all the joys and responsibilities of a ministry role. Ken works in a consulting role with congregations and institutions. He also loves speaking to groups and facilitating conversations about these topics.
He is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry degree at Perkins School of Theology, SMU (2014) in transformational leadership development with a focus on the role of coaching. Along with this he is completing the Certificate in Spiritual Direction offered by Perkins. His Master of Divinity degree from Brite Divinity School at TCU (1996) drew together broad insights from across the field of pastoral ministry leadership. Professional certifications include: Ordained Minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Board Certified Coach, Pastoral Care Specialist and Pastoral Addictions Counselor. He brings more than 25 years of congregational and institutional ministry leadership to his work as a ministry coach in the formation of transformational leaders.
Ken and his wife Laura have a daughter and son, Camille (a singer) and Russell (a lacrosse player), who are in high school and elementary school, respectively. Laura teaches language arts in Allen, where they live. In their free time, when they’re not hanging out with their kids, they like to read and walk on the beach. Ken enjoys hiking, sailing and golf, writes poetry, short fiction and essays, and plays guitar now and then.
Ken and his wife Laura have been married for over 20 years. They recognize that a successful marriage offers joy and blessing in abundance, and takes mutual commitment to sacrifice, “serving one another in love.” They focus on the theme of “sustenance” in their marriage – specifically those habits and practices that are life giving to them and help sustain a happy and healthy marriage that nurtures their union together and the children they are raising while also nurturing each of their individual spirits.
Ken grew up in Tyler, Texas where he played soccer, sailed, and acted in the high school theatre. He spent much of his time in Boy Scouts, where he was able to earn his Eagle Scout award, attend two National Jamborees, two treks to Philmont and a week on a yacht in the Florida Keys at the Florida Sea Base. He worked on camp staff for two summers in Texas and one in Sweden. He was active at the First Christian Church there.
In college he studied architecture at Texas Tech, earning a Bachelor of General Studies. He wrote a Senior Thesis on “The Socialization of the Homeless.” The focus was on how people acquire life skills in community to help them cope in their particular social context, arguing that the acquisition of new skills requires a new supportive community to teach and reinforce them over time.
Ken’s ministry has included such diverse service as a year as children’s minister at a Hispanic church and community center, a year as a full time chaplain at a veteran’s hospital, and 5 years teaching adjunct biblical studies and ethics at two colleges. In addition, he has served as a mission intern, a youth minister, an associate pastor, and as senior pastor of two congregations for 5 and 10 years respectively.
Their decision to settle in Allen, Texas followed a mutual desire to find a place where they could live, work and play, developing their careers and raising their kids until both Camille and Russell graduated from high school. That amounted to a 20 year commitment, with the caveat “unless we have a burning bush experience.” Ken encountered a burning bush in the context of a class at SMU where he clearly heard God calling him to step away from the congregational pastorate to focus his energy and attention on the leadership coaching and development work. They love their home, community and the friendships they and their kids have developed and are happy.