A Day in the Life of a Pastor – I Failed.




I do a lot of interviews.  I am honored and humbled by the amazing people who serve at GFC either on staff or as high level volunteers.  I am the last interview before someone is hired.  I am amazed at the stories people share – their victories and their moments of challenge. In that context, I share one of my biggest failures at GFC.

We moved onto the Van Dyke campus on March 18, 2000.  It was a great day!  Finally, a permanent home base for our church!  And we grew…in fact, we grew so fast that would quickly outgrew our volunteer base.  I was tasked to create an opportunity for people to find where they could serve at GFC.

The idea was fantastic!  Our group came up with the idea of taking a Saturday morning and “showcasing” all of our ministries.  Each would be given space to show what they do and get people signed up.  The date was set and each team was given the ability to creatively show their stuff.

Leading up to the date, the ideas crystalized into an awesome event.  The parking lot team was going to have remote-controlled car racing to highlight what they do.  The food teams had snacks and waiters with towels on their arms to show how we serve people when we feed them.  The praise and worship team had a huge karaoke display with a full sound system and monitor.  As each ministry built their promotion, we began sharing from the pulpit and the value of everyone in the church using their gift.

The only setback was that I had to be out-of-town on the day of the event.  I couldn’t change it and was assured by our leadership that the event was going to be fine without me.  I knew they could do it and left on my trip ready to celebrate all the teams accomplished when I returned.

I got off the plane when I got back to Tampa, dialed my assistant and said, “Tell me the good news!”  She said, “All the ministries did a great job and it looked spectacular.  Everyone had all their creative elements going and it was so creative.”  A big grin spread across my face and asked, “How many people showed up?”  She said, “Oh, seventeen people showed up and Pastor Craig wants to see you before service.”  Smile disappeared.  Confidence shot.  And I was going straight to the services.  All I could think was “Deadman walking.”

I got to the church and as I got out of my car, Pastor Craig was walking across the pavers to “talk with me.”  As I approached, I said, “I am so sorry…”  Before I could go into any explanation, he said, “Sorry?  No need to be sorry.  It was a good try…it just didn’t work.  Hey!  We are going to use the karaoke after the service…won’t that be great!”  And he was the first one to step up to sing.

There are many things I love about my pastor and GFC.  That was the day that I learned it is “Ok to swing the bat.”  I learned it is not fatal to fail.  I know we can fail quickly and move on.  I learned that GFC is a safe place to grow and try new things.  He did ask me what I learned but never has made fun of one of my biggest failures.

Do you enjoy that where you work?  Better yet, are you like Pastor Craig when you are leading people?  Do they know they can try anything and it is OK fail?  Do they know they can grow safely under your leadership?

What would it look like if all those questions above were answered with “YES!”


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