Navigating Leadership Challenges, Accountability, and Boundaries with Sara Emmerson

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Sara Emmerson on the Churchfront Worship and Tech podcast. Known for her impactful coaching style, Sara helps people navigate their thoughts and emotions to flourish in life and ministry. As a creative producer and former worship leader with an impressive résumé spanning multiple churches and ministries, her perspective is invaluable. Our conversation touched on her journey into coaching, the challenges she helps leaders overcome, and practical steps for thriving in ministry roles.

How Sara’s Coaching Journey Began

Sara grew up in the church, and her father, Stan Endicott, founded the Slingshot Group. This early exposure to ministry life laid the foundation for her career as a worship leader and creative producer at several notable churches. Despite thriving in creative roles, Sara realized her true calling was helping others develop their gifts to their full potential. That realization led her to launch her coaching business four years ago.

Understanding Thoughts, Accountability, and Boundaries

Throughout her coaching career, Sara observed that ministry leaders often struggle with managing their thoughts, accountability, and boundaries. By helping them gain control over these three areas, she enables them to achieve clarity and direction in their work. Here’s a closer look at each:

  1. Thought Management: We all have thousands of thoughts daily, and Sara emphasizes that managing these thoughts is crucial to avoid bitterness or burnout. We must choose which thoughts to allow and which to release.

  2. Taking Accountability: Ministry leaders often feel overworked and overwhelmed, leading to resentment. Taking ownership of our decisions, and recognizing that we choose to be in a particular role, empowers us to seek the support we need and communicate our limitations effectively.

  3. Establishing Boundaries: Boundaries are not about keeping people out but about clearly defining how others interact with us. They ensure we remain healthy and focused on what matters most.

The Three Levels of Control

Sara advocates for assessing your challenges through three levels of control:

  1. Full Control: Only our thoughts and actions are fully within our control.
  2. Partial Control: We have partial control over relationships and projects that involve others.
  3. No Control: We must release our focus on things outside of our influence, like others’ thoughts and behaviors.

This framework helps us identify and prioritize areas where we can make a meaningful impact while reducing stress from situations beyond our control.

Finding Support and Building Community

Sara stresses the importance of having a strong support network and mentors outside of one’s immediate church community. Cultivating hobbies and relationships independent of work nurtures creativity and prevents bitterness.

She also highlights the value of working with a coach. Individual coaching brings tailored strategies and accountability to maximize success and fulfillment. If you’re seeking clarity and growth, reach out to Sara via her website to explore the best coaching fit.

Moving Forward

Coaching provides a safe space to evaluate personal values and the challenges we face. It allows ministry leaders to find their voice, communicate their needs, and take the right steps toward a healthier and more productive journey. You can connect with Sara on all major social media platforms at @saraemmersoncoaching or via her website at for her insights.

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