Who We Are
UnstuckChurch.net is a service of Barlow Consulting, LLC. Our reason for existence is to help churches understand what vital ministry looks like today, and to discover ways to bring that vitality to fruition for the transformation of the world.
Rev. Dr. Thomas Barlow, Vision/Vitality Consultant and Coach
Tom is an Ordained Elder in the Mountain Sky Conference of the United Methodist Church. He holds a B.S. in Organizational Management from Colorado Christian University, an M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Theology, Philosophy, and Cultural Theory from the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology. Rev. Barlow serves as Adjunct Faculty at Iliff, teaching classes in United Methodist History, Doctrine, and Mission & Evangelism; Spiritual Foundations for Fundraising; and the online student version of Iliff’s signature Authentic Engagement™ process, a course focused on effective, values-based organizational leadership. He also serves as Director of Iliff’s Spiritually-Integrated Financial Resiliency Initiative, a significant component of Iliff’s commitment to equip leaders for service in churches and religious organizations, and directs the Office of Alumni and Community Education.
After a successful career in Corporate America, Tom now combines his experience and training in management and ministry with a passion for vital Christianity at both personal and congregational levels. In the past two decades, he has worked with annual conferences, churches, clergy, and faith-based non-profits on leadership and vision. He has served turnaround churches, and, in the process, was blessed to witness God’s activity as the churches experienced increased attendance (between 40% and 60%), found new financial stability, and engaged with local communities and the world in new ways. He was one of six researchers in the General Board of Discipleship’s Toward Vitality project, which examined the common traits of vital, engaging, Spirit-driven United Methodist churches across the United States.
He presently lives in the Denver area with his wife, Kirsten, who is also an Ordained Elder serving in parish ministry. Kirsten and Tom understand their ministry to involve service to God’s creation, and an important part of their work involves providing “forever homes” to rescued Shelties.
Tom shares his thoughts on church vitality, leadership resources, Wesleyan theology, and other topics on his website.
Kim Shockley, Vision/Vitality Consultant and Coach
Kim is a trained coach with over 1000 hours of coaching time with United Methodist pastors and lay people in leadership. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Christian Education from West Virginia Wesleyan College and Ashland Theological Seminary. She was the Media Resource Director for the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference and the District Coordinator of Congregational Excellence in the East Central District (Orlando area) of the United Methodist Church. In 2013, she completed the Toward Vitality Research Project as the team leader – learning how United Methodist congregations across the United States experience positive change in order to reach new people, younger people, and more diverse people.
Kim is the co-author of two books: Imagining Church: Seeing Hope in a World of Change, with her husband, Gary A Shockley, Alban Institute, 2009; and The Surprise Factor: Gospel Strategies for Changing the Game at Your Church, with Rev. Dr. Paul Nixon, Abingdon Press, 2013. Her specialty in both coaching and consulting is helping congregations get where they think God is leading them. She understands the important work of congregational attitudes and behaviors and the way they affect a church’s ability to move through change in order to have clarity and focus in mission and ministry. Kim is particularly tuned in to recognize fear and anxiety in church systems and can coach leaders to overcome these obstacles to change.
Kim serves as a Church Vitality Strategist for the Western North Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, and lives in Gastonia, North Carolina. Her husband, Gary, is an Ordained Elder who is presently appointed as the Congregational Development Team Leader for the Westerns North Carolina Conference. They are the parents of two young adult sons. Together, Gary and Kim have started two new United Methodist Congregations and have always approached ministry as a team effort. Kim’s current blogs are at http://kimcoach.wordpress.com/ and http://thesurprisefactor.blogspot.com/.