For Senior Pastor Search

“Thank you, Jim. I appreciate all of your help and feel we got the Frazer appointment right along with rebuilding trust with the leadership. We could not have done this without your help and expertise. I will be more than happy to share with my colleagues your help in this matter and the work that you bring to assist us in this kind of work.  Again, Thank you!

–  Bishop David Graves, Alabama West Florida Conference, 2020

For a Changeover Zone Workshop

Good Monday morning Kathleen!  As our DS I just wanted you to know that here at Edges (BUMC), we just finished our first weekend coaching visit with Jim Ozier.

To my great surprise (i have worked with my share of minimally helpful consultants), Jim was a master. he received and gently refocused our community’s grief; he gave leaders healthy and helpful roles; he framed the appointment process in clear, positive and hopeful ways; he helped me to think widely about leveraging my impact in this season; and he  instilled confidence in partnerships across our church, conference, and denomination.

Truly, what felt impossible last week seems holy today.

After spending the weekend with Jim’s expert wisdom, I believe edges will make it.  In fact, I believe this community will be a true north as our denomination seeks desperately to find it’s way.

I know all this is because of your prayers, your leadership, and your investment. I’m grateful more than I can say.

For now, wordless prayers of thanksgiving will have to do.

–  Rev Kelly Shushok, 2020

For Hospitality Workshop

Thanks again for coming to present your workshop in Arkansas.  Like always, those who encountered you left encouraged and equipped.  It was so great! I hope our paths cross again soon.

–  Kay Kotan Conference Staff, Arkansas, 2020

For Accelerating Growth Workshop

I am writing on behalf of myself and my congregation to express our sincere gratitude for Jim Ozier who led us in an Accelerated Growth Workshop; it was a fantastic event!  Dr. Ozier’s presentation was one of the best events I have held in my nearly 20 years of ministry.  My congregation was genuinely excited about his presentation and they are now filled with a new enthusiasm and motivation I haven’t seen since I arrived.

I want to say not only thank you to the Faith Renovations Committee but also want to strongly encourage you in the continued use of Dr. Ozier for future coaching needs.  Rockford I would be thrilled if you would share my experience with the Bishop and the cabinet as they explore needs for other churches in the conference.

–  Rev Patrick McPherson, 2020

For Transition Coaching

Thank you Jim!   You were a great encouragement and help to me at some major crossroads… and beyond!  I look forward to the book and to keeping up.  Thanks again!

–  2020

For Following a Long-Tenured Pastor

Nothing quite prepares you for the call that says you are about to follow a pastor who has faithfully served a church for twenty years and has grown it from hundreds to thousands. You feel like you’ve been tossed in the deep end and you desperately want someone who has navigated the waters. In my first year, that was Jim Ozier. 

When you launch your boat into the deeper waters, you are grateful for someone who has already navigated the waters. Jim has been a voice of comfort, compassion, challenge and confirmation. He has asked questions to help broaden my perspective. He has helped me see opportunities where I was only seeing challenges. He has gently nudged and challenged my way of thinking in ministry. In other words, he has brought his experience and expertise along side me in this new chapter of ministry.  He has helped me get over my fear of drowning so I can enjoy the water!

–  Rev David Campbell, Due West UMC, 2020

“From planting congregations that reach new generations to discerning ‘second pastors’ to working with churches in conflict to imagining a new future for declining congregations in transitional neighborhoods, Dr. Jim Ozier offers exceptional leadership in church consulting.  In the Texas Annual Conference, we call on Jim to help us think through some of our most challenging situations.  He has a remarkable ability to listen deeply to God and to the people of God, observe reality in the congregation, neighborhood and culture, and weave together possibilities for new life and hope.  I am personally grateful for his expertise and friendship.”

– Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, Texas Annual Conference, Houston, TX

“Attending Jim’s ‘church hospitality’ workshop was the key for lay members, leaders, church staff, and me to open new doors of welcome and inclusion for our newly relocated church. We subsequently hired Jim to coach us in our new location, and eventually he coached us through a pastoral change as I prepared for retirement. It was a very successful clergy transition accompanied by numerous comments by lay people… ‘It’s been an amazing transition.’ ‘Why can’t UMs do it this way every time?’ ‘We didn’t skip a beat in this healthy pastoral change.’ Thanks to Jim’s excellent relationship skills with me and congregation members…and the new pastor, we were able to achieve the transition we had all wanted.  Through phone calls, emails, and Skype sessions with Jim, their new pastor, and me… we were able to accomplish our transition goals. Jim’s coaching includes time and space to get to know people. He doesn’t have his own cookie-cutter agenda to push, but uses his experience and wisdom to support and coach you with your agenda. Jim’s a people-person and very gentle but he’s also not afraid to share ‘hard truths’ with you if that’s what’s needed. His books (and shared manuscripts) were a great source of inspiration and insight for all of us. I’m convinced that Jim was the seasoned guide who kept me from stepping off the edge of numerous cliffs along the way!”

– Rev. Dr. Jim Keyser, Trinity UMC, Lincoln, NE

“Our conference contracted with Jim as a transition coach for my appointment as a second pastor, and I have found his expertise, genuine concern and systems knowledge to be remarkable.  Not only has he helped me in avoiding costly pitfalls in ministry, but he has become a colleague in ministry, truly living out our Wesley connection that is an excellent model of collaboration for our conference and our denomination.”

– Rev. Mike Broome, Lead Pastor, The Bridge UMC, Cartersville, GA

“It has been a true blessing to have Jim Ozier’s help in our Conference as we discern our future direction in Church Planting and transformation. He has brought experience and knowledge of this unique aspect of Church vitalization through guiding us to ask the right questions in order to move into our preferred future in local church mission.”

– Don Cottrill, Director of Connectional Ministries, Louisiana Annual Conference, 2020

“Thank you, Jim Ozier, for the impact you have had in such a short time in the Minnesota Annual Conference. You are a great resource for multi-site, church planting, and church transformation. Your teaching on hospitality is so simple and so effective! We are already seeing fruit.”

– Cathy Townley, Lead Church Planting Coach, Minnesota Annual Conference, 2020

“Dr. Jim Ozier contracted with us on a significant challenge we were facing as a church. He worked with our leadership in an extraordinarily effective way, building understanding of the internal dynamics of our situation while facilitating a unifying and empowering decision making process. He won the respect of those who resisted bringing in a consultant and the trust of everyone involved.  We discovered he has an excellent ability to bring appropriate analysis to large, strategic issues, and also to resource smaller, very specific challenges. In addition, he has both the integrity and self awareness to be clear about situations which would be better served by others, and the knowledge to be able to make appropriate referrals.  I recommend Dr Ozier enthusiastically and without reservation.”

– Steve Wende, Senior Pastor of First UMC Houston, Houston, TX

“Being a second pastor comes with unique challenges, and nothing prepared me better to deal with those challenges than the Following the Founder training and follow-up coaching with Jim Ozier. Jim explained the complex (and often counter-intuitive) dynamics of second pastor transitions and gave a clear preview of what it would look like concretely as those dynamics played out in the church. Had it not been for his training and coaching, I would have translated healthy seasons of pruning and loss as personal failures. But during the hard times when I began to question myself, God used what Jim taught me to renew my confidence, sharpen my focus, and fortify my resolve. Having been equipped by Jim, when I faced criticism from people inside and outside the church who did not understand the unique dynamics and challenges of second pastor transitions, I was empowered to explain the big picture of what was happening, rekindle the embers of hope, and continue leading the way forward. We are still in the thick of it at Shepherd’s Community UMC, but we have brought in over 130 new people in 2 ½ years and the church has experienced deep cultural shifts that have laid the foundation for another season of explosive growth. I am grateful to Jim Ozier for helping me lead through one of the most challenging transitions a pastor will ever face.”

– Rev. Mark Reynolds, Shepherd’s Community UMC, Lakeland, FL

“Jim has done an outstanding job in offering guidance and help in placing second pastors in the Texas Annual Conference. His discernment in identifying potential second pastors has dramatically impacted the ministry of those churches at the critical crossroad of losing their founding pastor. He also has a wonderful way of calming nervous church members who are anxious about what the future holds. His accessibility, knowledge, experience, and winsome spirit made him our “go to” guy whenever we were unsure on how to proceed. I am grateful for Jim and his ministry and the difference he has made in our conference but also all across the connection.”

– Morris Matthis, District Superintendent, Texas Annual Conference

“Jim Ozier brings a wealth of wisdom and experience to every interaction. Jim is first on my call list when I am looking for a trusted consultant to work with a denominational leader, a highly effective pastor who wants to grow or a team from a local church that is striving for excellence. His experience as a disciple of Jesus Christ, a highly effective pastor, serving on the cabinet and as a national leader is unmatched. He has a demonstrated and fruitful capacity for helping churches reach the increasingly diverse mission field in North America. He has a powerful way of asking the right questions and communicating just the right message at just the right time that helps churches take the next step forward in building up the body of Christ for a needful world.”

– Steve James, GoSeeLove, Charlotte, NC

“I’m so grateful for the ministry of Jim Ozier!  Jim worked with the Bishop, Cabinet and planting pastors in the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Jim taught a framework for what Annual Conference leaders and local churches need to do to prepare the soil (and the soul) for church planting. The timeline and check list he gave us has proven invaluable. He gave helpful, hands-on, cost-effective tips for ministry that would revitalize any congregation.”

– Rev. Karen Bruins, Rosemount UMC, Minnesota Annual Conference

“Let me recommend Jim Ozier as both a speaker and coach. His ideas have had ripples across the North Georgia Conference from his pioneering work on “Following the Founding Pastor” to his compassionate coaching of several of our 2nd pastors. He speaks the language of both the existing church and the new church plant fluently! I know he has made an impact when the pastors here, several months after Jim has spoken here, quote his words back to me as part of their passion to reach their communities.”

– Phil Schroeder, Director of Congregational Development, North Georgia Conference

“We received a copy of Jim’s book, Clip In: Risking Hospitality in Your Church and I have loved it! I have found it to be a fascinating and relevant read with great questions and practical resources for anyone. I look forward to teaching and implementing many of the tools and ideas offered to our witness team and congregation. Thank you for your insight. I will be sure to recommend this book to anyone seeking to create a more hospitable culture!”

– Virginia Cain, Evangelism/Witness Chair, Cochran Chapel UMC, Dallas, TX

“Thank you so much for your time. It was great to see you and work with you again. However, I wish it had been under better circumstances. This is complicated work and with your help, we have begun to sort and break down our next steps. Steve James will be joining us in early December for what I hope is a brief and important time of transition. We do hope that we can continue to tap into your wealth of knowledge as we rebuild our ministry. Thank you again for being so willing to give so much of yourself.”

– Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, Louisiana Conference

“Thank you so much for the gift of the Clip In book. My connections chair and I just had a great discussion about the book, its ideas, and how to implement them at Greenland Hills. Thank you for empowering us to make a greater impact on our community. Blessed to be in ministry with you.”

– Rev. Kerry Smith, Pastor, Greenland Hills UMC, Dallas, TX