Case Study: Our Lady of Lourdes

By August 7, 2017November 1st, 2017Case Studies

Obstacles to overcome:
Small staff servicing several thousand parishioners. Ongoing confusion around roles. Wanted ways that goals can be shared by the entire team.

Founded in 1912 as an African-American Catholic community, Our Lady of Lourdes joyfully worships God and seeks to share God’s love with all. They strive for genuine friendliness within their diverse community and serve others with the love of Jesus Christ through their time, talent and treasure.
Length of Engagement
May 2016 – November 2016
Team Profile
Senior Leadership Team > Pastor + Staff of 4
Atlanta, Georgia

The team scored itself at the beginning and end using the online Team Diagnostic assessment created by Team Coaching International. The team was coached as a group every few weeks, following a totally customized change agenda.

To come up with new ways to make decisions together, they used the SCARF Model — status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness and fairness. This new lens quickly identified what needed to change. To resolve conflict, a non-judgmental way to see where they were stuck was to look for team toxins: defensiveness, blaming, stonewalling and contempt. For example, when defensiveness appeared they could ask: “What are we defending?” to move toward resolution.


• Team goals unclear
• Ongoing confusion around roles and responsibilities
• Criticism among team members
• Team tended to avoid conflict


• Improved alignment on goals and strategies
• Clarity around roles and responsibilities
• Recognizing each other’s gifts and capabilities
• Better understanding and communication



  •  43% Goals & Strategies
  • 21% Decision Making
  • 15% Resources
  • 13% Proactive
  • 12% Alignment
  • .05% Team Leadership
  • -0.2% Accountability


  •  24% Constructive Interaction
  • 21% Respect
  • 20% Optimism
  • 18% Trust
  • 15% Camaraderie
  • 10% Values Diversity
  • 9% Communication

It’s easy to experience overwhelm and stress in ministry work with five staff and hundreds of parishioners. After coaching, they now turn to each other to creatively solve problems and speed decision making.

There’s a commitment to exploring unpopular opinions to achieve alignment. With a spirit of humility, there’s more openness to giving and receiving performance feedback. There’s a sense of team pride, and they deeply recognize each other’s gifts and contributions.

MACRO VIEW: Before & After Results

What Participants Had To Say

We know that it’s completely within our power to create what we want together.

It’s so much easier to add new staff now that we’re on the same page.

We are aware of the unlimited possibilities for our parish based on the work of the team.

We are inextricably bound by our faith.