coaching. speaking. writing.
April brings the fusion of ministry experience and coaching expertise. She understands the on-the-ground challenges leaders face and is also able to offer high level perspectives that help frame your ministry hurdles and opportunities. The best coaches can offer both support and challenge and April delivers.
A couple of years ago I had the privilege of getting some 1 on 1 coaching with April and it made me a better leader. She is a force to be reckoned with and a voice to lean on. She is a great coach. Equal parts compassionate grace giver and punch you in the throat truth deliverer. I can’t think of a better combo for a coach.
April is incredibly knowledgable, wise, strategic, caring, and thoughtful. With her assistance, we were able to navigate change, plan for the future, and execute difficult decisions. She did not come in with a “copy/paste” gameplan or strategy, but truly sought to know us, our culture, and the calling God has placed upon us. Every person involved felt genuinely cared for and was challenged to take things to the next level, for the sake of the Kingdom. We are beyond grateful!
My experience with April was truly life changing! Going into the coaching experience, I was very uncomfortable with all the unknowns, but she set my mind at ease in the first five minutes! My time with her was completely tailored to where I was, what I was hoping to accomplish, and my plan for the future. She took into consideration all the roles in my life (i.e. wife, mom, leader in the church, etc), focusing on whole health, not just my role professionally. She challenged me to be the best version of myself as Christ created me to be! For this, I am forever grateful!
Like a loving punch to the throat, April makes you question everything you thought you knew about leadership. After ten years of ministry, lots of formal education, and three separate ministry contexts, I needed to hit the restart button on my leadership development. April was that restart button. As a coach, she has helped me in my character development, competency, and overall leadership impact. I gained a valuable, workable framework for personal development that continues to produce fruit. Those I lead are now better equipped, my staff team is more supportive, and my family is healthier. But above all, I’m seeing Jesus work in amazing ways!
April was truly AMAZING! When I shared a story about some youth with special needs, she opened my eyes to a new opportunity for ministry. With her coaching, encouragement and ideas, we started a ministry to help get our families with youth who have special needs more involved. It’s thriving; we have families coming to worship who haven’t been in years and now they’re inviting other families/youth with similar needs. I’m so thankful that she helped me address this need in our church; I’ve been blessed to be walking with these youth/families in their faith journey.
I was a part of EDEN, a Leadership Cohort that April led a few years back. It was amazing to experience first hand the joy of being led by April. She’s a leader who discerns. She stands in front to lead, walks alongside to assure and knows when to stand behind to support. She has been all three roles for me and it changed the trajectory of my life. Leadership does not have to be a lonely place with leaders like April. She has become true friend in my journey.
Our team was struggling to move ahead in the same direction when we began working with April in a coaching relationship. April was able to discern our strengths and differences, move us through exercises to focus our conversations and dreams, and bring clarity to our foggy future. April’s unique approach is both pastoral and strategic. As a result of time with her, we were able to make concrete decisions for a preferred future in our ministry.
April is a one-of-a kind coach. April was my first coach, and that brought a little nervousness; however, talking with her for the first time relieved all anxiety. April was available, approachable, and professional - with flare of fun. When I needed to discuss a ministry idea she would challenge, encourage and help me get to a level of passion that would enhance the ministry. Working with her was an experience that continues to pay dividends for the church, my profession and the kingdom! Thank you for continuing to equip the church!
In a season where I was feeling stuck and needed help figuring out next steps, I began coaching with April. Little did I know as we began our calls together she would help me navigate a significant transition in my career. April was honest, easy to relate to, and offered perspective and encouragement to my weary heart. Hands down, best investment I’ve made all year. The way I live and lead is different because of what we worked through together!
Several months ago, I was seriously stuck and I knew it. I couldn’t put my finger on what had brought me to this point but I was there and knew that I had to do something to get unstuck and gain momentum to move forward. I knew I needed an extra help and so I asked April to help me get out of my current Point A and on to my desired Point B. It was one of the best decisions I have made. While I might have eventually gotten unstuck on my own, I have absolutely no doubt that I got there quicker with the coaching I received from April. If you are stuck or you need to make a change and are not sure how to go about doing it, then it and you are worth the investment of choosing April as your coach.
I cannot say enough good things about my experience with April Diaz. I’ve been doing this a long time…almost 20 years…so long that your vision gets blurry, like when you stare at something without blinking for a while. Fresh eyes, ears, and perspective are just what the doctor ordered on a recent sabbatical, and April packed a whole lot of affirmation, challenge, and wisdom into an hour. I heard “I totally get it” plenty of times, which made me feel less alone in my angst and tension. But she also held my feet to the fire on some points where I needed to be taken to task. In short, I got off the call with plenty to process through, including 2-3 practical steps to take on my own moving forward. I can’t imagine that a better coaching service exists. I would recommend it as an annual check-up for every student pastor in the country.
Participation in a cohort is an active choice to fully engage in your personal and professional ministry life. It’s choosing to acknowledge the beauty in your life. It’s leaning into the yucky, messy parts that we want to hide. Yes, you’ll learn skills and collect tools to be a better youth pastor, but maybe more importantly, you’ll refine your identity and become a better follower of Jesus.
Being a woman in youth ministry comes with its own set of joys, challenges and learning curves; being a part of a coaching program helped provide a space where all of those unique elements could be discussed, where resources could be shared, and where I knew I would be welcomed and understood. Coaching sessions throughout the year allowed for asking the hardest and (sometimes) most ridiculous questions, knowing that an experienced and skilled mentor would be walking the vocational ministry journey alongside me. I especially appreciated the emphasis on leadership materials developed by women!
This (women in youth ministry) cohort has been such a defining chapter of my life because I have learned to face my fears of failure, of the unknown, of not being good enough, and of so many things outside of my control. I have learned that my fears can’t control me and that God is so much bigger than any fear I could ever face. I have learned that I have something to offer this world and that shouldn’t be silenced. I have been taught to step out even when I think I am not good enough.
Copyright April L. Diaz. Feel free to share content and share credit.