Archives For Gospel Coaching

Steve Ogne: In Memoriam

Steve —  October 20, 2015 — Leave a comment

Steve Cover

The post-it note prayer that was hanging from his computer screen declared the prayer and promise, “I will serve you to the end and you will provide for me.” This past Wednesday at 5:05pm marked the end of Steve Ogne’s life and ministry.

But the impact of his life and ministry will continue through not only those he loved and served as a husband, father, family member, and friend, but also through the thousands of church leaders he empowered to multiply disciples, leaders, and churches around the world.

There is no question in my mind that Steve accomplished his life-long vision for

“training 10,000 leaders, influencing the start and strengthening of 1,000 new churches that will make at least 100,000 new disciples of Jesus.”

But you won’t be able to see the metrics because most of his ministry was that of a humble, behind-the-scenes mentor and coach.

He was a rare leader of leaders. A teacher of teachers. A coach of coaches. Yes, he was often on the platform as a teacher and speaker around the world. And he was a great author. But he knew and followed the Master’s method like few men I’ve ever known–pouring his life into the lives of emerging church leaders of the next generation. And most often doing that face-to-face, on the phone, or over a video conference. It’s no surprise he’s been called the “Father of Ministry Coaching.”

Ogne Family

I first met Steve in the 80’s when he worked with Bob Logan at CRM fueling church planting movements in the USA and abroad with cutting-edge resources like the Church Planters Toolkit and the New Church Incubator. We began to work together in the 90’s. Just before writing this I put his name in my computer search engine and 657 documents surfaced, not counting photos and hundreds of emails, including:

  • His many handouts for church planters we distributed at the annual GCA church planter training conferences around the country
  • Church planter training curriculum we had written and taught together. Much of it not finished.
  • Personal notes from hundreds of hours of phone conversations over the years, usually called “Ogne Call Notes” with a date. I just reread one from June 28, 2013 that referred to his oldest son getting married and his youngest son coming home from college for the summer and how his wife, “Janie” was doing well on the school board, etc.
  • A document he wrote for me in 2007 describing how to lead a church planter training exercise correctly–that I’d been doing incorrectly for a long time.

But my richest memories with Steve were not during the conferences and seminars we would teach together. But usually afterwards, especially when we were on the road and staying in the same hotel after a long training conference day had ended. I have vivid memories of our last time like that when he ordered his hot tea and we debrief not just the long day but our long time since we’d been together.

Steve and dog

Recently, on my way home from the seminary where I teach, I suddenly realized how long it had been since Steve and I talked. So I just called him. That warm, familiar voice was good to hear. But it sounded more faint and weak than normal. We talked for almost two hours—mostly about his long-term, horrific battles with sickness.

And yet somehow, even in his weakness, he managed to do the old “Ogne Judo Flip” on me and begin asking me deep, penetrating questions that exposed my greater need for Christ and then point me to Him. At the end of our conversation, my last one with him, we both agreed it was finally time for him to start mentoring and coaching me (both ministry and LIFE) more formally with a real appointment schedule. We laughed about how many hours of free coaching I’d stolen from him over the years because we were friends and worked together. I agreed.

It deeply saddens me now that I don’t have that opportunity. But I’ll be forever grateful to God for Steve and the profound impact he had on my life and ministry. The world lost, the Church lost, and I lost a humble, faithful, wise, ever-plodding man of God with a God-sized vision for Christ and His Kingdom. I pray now that I might be one of many who help carry his torch to the next generation–resting as he did on the prayer and promise, “I will serve you to the end and you will provide for me.”

Ogne Post it

Steve Ogne Memorial Service

Friday Oct 23rd, 10:00AM

Calvary Community Church

5495 Via Rocas, Westlake Village, CA 91362

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a benevolence fund in Steve’s honor. Checks may be made to MCWR, 484 E Los Angeles Ave. #228, Moorpark, CA 930121.

Please note “Benevolence Fund” in the memo line. The family plans to continue his ministry and work to finish his last few writing projects.

PS: Steve’s last book, co-authored with Ken Priddy and published in March 2015, is called the “The Leadership Development Ladder: Developing Missional Leaders in the Church” In the video below (31:37), Steve gives an overview of his model of developing missional church leaders–one of the greatest needs in the church today.

Join with church leaders from networks and denominations across the country and overseas—for 2-5 days of inspiration, networking, encouragement, and training at the GCA conference being held this year at the beautiful Canterbury Retreat Center.

Canterbury Retreat Center

Canterbury is located on 48 acres surrounding serene Lake Gem in the greater Orlando area (Oviedo)—only 25 minutes from the nearby Orlando airports (shuttles available) and 45 minutes from world famous beaches and amusement parks.

This conference is a combination of workshops and seminars designed to equip church planters, pastors, missionaries, and lay leaders to start, grow, and multiply gospel-centered churches. Come and learn why Christian leaders from more than 50 countries, representing over 300 denominations, have taken this training.




Again, we’ve prepared an excellent line-up trainers for you—all veteran church planters, pastors, coaches and church planting leaders, representing hundreds of years of collective, in-the-trenches church planting experience. For a quick video peek at the trainers in action at last year’s conference, Click Here.

Two-Day Workshops (Mon Aft – Tues Noon)

  • Missional Discipleship Workshop
    Learn to develop missional discipleship pathways that lead people from being unbelievers to mature leaders in your church.

 Four-Day Seminars (Tues Aft – Fri Noon)

NOTE: The GCA Essentials for Church Growth & Renewal Seminar is scheduled for July 21-25, 2014, in Orlando.



Canterbury Hike Trail Cropped

Experience a new kind of training conference that is intentionally limited in size (to the first 150 people who register) so that the focus is not on just hearing trainers make presentations, but also on providing you with multiple opportunities for transformational learning in community, such as:

On-Site Meals & Limited On-Site Lodging

Build Relationships, Network, and Learn in Community

  • Over delicious meals (breakfast, lunch, & dinner) made from scratch and served at the retreat dining hall (see Pricing section for meal prices).
  • While staying at a limited number of rooms (25) available (first-come, first-served basis) at the retreat center (see Pricing section for room prices).
  • If you’re staying off-site there are 10 very reasonably priced hotels within 2-5 miles (see Logistics section for more information).

VERY IMPORTANT: If you’re staying off-site, you’re still strongly encouraged to have all or most of your meals at the retreat center. Sharing meal times with trainers, coaches, mentors and other leaders is a VITAL part of this community learning experience–and well worth the extra cost.

Group Meetings with Trainers & One-on-One Coaching*

Meet with Seasoned Trainers and Coaches for Personal Applications

  • Meet with trainers in small groups over meals, and Wednesday & Thursday after 3:00pm
  • Meet One-on-One with certified coaches/mentors over meals, and Wednesday & Thursday after 3:00pm

*Limited availability on a first-come, first-served basis with a sign-up sheet at registration table (no extra charge).

Special Opportunities for Learning, Replenishment, & Fun


Enjoy Special Opportunities on Wednesday & Thursday After 3:00PM

  • Enjoy the refreshing 1-mile hiking trail (a “Fit-Trail”) around scenic Lake Gem
  • Spend time canoeing or kayaking by yourself or with others on beautiful Lake Gem (no charge)
  • Debrief, apply what you’re learning, and pray with your leaders in private meeting rooms at Canterbury
  • Experience teambuilding by taking a ropes course led by a professional ropes team (TiesThatBind) after 3:00pm Wed-Fri (extra charge)
  • Start and end your day with a brief Morning and Evening Prayer Service (15 minutes) in a small prayer chapel using an historic prayer liturgy
  • Hang out, relax, and enjoy 24/7 refreshments in the cozy retreat center “living room” and on the patios overlooking Lake Gem




Seminary Credit


What Leaders Are Saying