Greetings!  I’m Dr. John Studebaker. I experienced intense ministerial burnout in 1985-87.

It began after conducting an evangelistic event on a college campus. As I started reading through the response cards, I thought to myself, “I don’t even care what’s written on the cards!” I had lost interest in ministry and meaningful relationships. Watch my story here (less than 3 minutes)

I was able to recover from burnout with the help of a skilled Christian coach. Soon afterwards, the Lord called me to coach Pastors and Missionaries. I then developed the LifeBridge Coaching model as part of my Ph.D. course work and based on the principles I learned in my recovery.

Since 2001, I and my Bridge Ministries team have coached over 200 clergy, assisting them in overcoming burnout and in restoring divine calling, mission clarity, margin in life and ministry, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Our coaching features:


Your coach will provide a relationship marked by:

  • Safety – freedom to share your struggles, defeats, & anxieties
  • Listening – time to process your thoughts and heart
  • Encouragement – your coach will seek to lift you up in Christ
  • Grace – experiencing God’s deeper mercy, gaining new spiritual/moral strength
John Studebaker Pastoral Coach
Pastoral Coaching


Our passion is to help Pastors and Missionaries refocus and re-ignite their unique calling. Patterned after the call of Moses, you’ll begin your journey, in the first six meetings, by developing a plan to re-orienting life and ministry around the three specific calls of God:

God’s personal call to you – to know him intimately – will be set forth as top priority in all that you do

You’ll clarify your unique God-given mission, which will provide direction and focus for life and ministry

You’ll develop a practical blueprint for life and ministry, incorporating margin into daily life along with regular times for personal and spiritual refreshment.


Pastoral and Missionary Coaching can specifically incorporate all or some of the following, according to personal need:

Develop a plan for overcoming ministerial fatigue; begin to develop a “balanced” life

You’ll experience the renewal and empowerment of the indwelling Holy Spirit. You’ll pray through grief or woundedness, surrender anxieties, performance-orientation, etc.

Talk, think, and process through areas of life and ministry that may have become confusing or unfocused.

Develop a vivid blueprint of your church’s “calling” (Purpose, Mission, and Vision) through our ChurchBridge reassessment tool.

Engage with your coach to develop a deeper, life-giving theology; allow God’s Word to become fresh; analyze contemporary worldviews; learn how to engage one’s self in today’s confusing world.

Resolve relational stress or conflict in church life, marriage, family, etc.

If desired, incorporate personal accountability (within a framework of grace)

Preview the Video Series for LifeBridge Coaching here

We offer three types of coaching (click on the links for more information):

  1. LifeBridge Coaching is a 12 hour process of discerning your Vertical, Horizontal and Practical calls, and developing/living out a blueprint for life based on your calling (includes videos, a study guide, and follow-up meetings).
  2. Pastoral and Missionary Coaching meetings are oriented around one or more of the “clarity” topics listed above; meeting are typically conducted on a monthly or bi-monthly basis for 6-12 months (or longer).
  3. Renewed and Empowered Coaching is a series of 8 meetings oriented around the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the totality of life (spiritual life, mind, heart, will, relationships, church, calling, ministry).

Coaching meetings may be conducted in person (at the Oasis) or remotely (through Zoom meetings). In addition, the Pastor or missionary may join a network of Pastors who meet monthly (on Zoom) for partnership and additional encouragement.