In February, I did a breakout session at the Relate Conference at Grace Family Church. Relate is a coaching and networking group that helps other churches grow and answer their tough questions. I have enjoyed coaching other churches and I learn a lot while helping them take the next step.
When asked to speak, I was asked to share part of my present day journey as a pastor. I chose to speak on what I call “Transitional Leadership.” This is a very real challenge in a lot of churches today because many of the excellent leaders who have been leading the church, staff and volunteers did something without even trying…they got older. As “cool” and “hip” as I think I am; I am not. As much as I could try to stay young, I know that I will begin to slow down or even, impede the church’s ability to reach the next generation of leaders. I have to be focused on doing only what I can do, while empowering the next generation of leaders to fulfill the calling they have on their lives.
The lesson that day was very fresh. It was difficult to go through some of the teaching points because each of them represented a painful memory or even a step of growth that cost me something. I am grateful that I have a great role model in Pastor Craig Altman. In the summer of 2014, he came to me and said that we needed to begin to pray for a Teaching Pastor at GFC. He still had lots of vision and ministry in him but the weekly demands of preaching were beginning to wear on him. We began a search of our own early in 2015 and then partnered with Vanderbloemen group to formally find our candidates in August. Saving you a lot of details, we brought Matt Roden on January 1, 2016.
So engrossed in the details of the journey, I never gave much thought to what it would look like to have someone else doing the preaching at GFC. Craig continues to lead through serving and being secure in the journey. Craig had to give up a lot. He wouldn’t be “the guy” on stage, the one voice for GFC, the speaker everyone didn’t want to miss, etc – you get the picture. I have been listening to him preach since college and I honestly get a nugget every time he speaks. Now, we had a different voice also representing GFC. The big win is that Craig is the most secure leader I know and he was ready to give up and empower Matt to come in and run as a speaker. To Matt’s credit, he came in with great humility and honor to Craig. We are excited about the future of GFC. The “Duo Voices” already blend together as one very well and we are already seeing the benefits of bringing in the next generation of speaking at GFC.
I am going to do a blog series on leadership, based off the lesson I taught that day. Each week I will take another point from the lesson and bring it out in a leadership lesson form.
Are you ready for your hardest assignment yet?