We asked pastors of some of the nation’s largest churches to reflect on the wisdom they’ve gained along their ministry journey. There’s a lot we can glean in the words that follow, regardless of the scope and circumstances of our own ministry.
Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette, Colorado
We have been committed to teaching real truth to real people in real ways. Our teaching is biblical and engaging, and we constantly hear people say that this has been a huge reason for their engagement in our community. Our multisite strategy is also teaching us a lot about how people can engage in smaller, more convenient locations. As our area of the country continues to explode with growth, the roads are more congested and people are less willing to drive long distances, especially to go to church. So we have to go to them and not expect them to come to us.
I had a very challenging stretch of time last fall when I ended up teaching more than I had expected in a very concentrated amount of time. I had so many teachings swirling around in my head and heart that I wasn’t sure if I would teach the right one at the right time. It was one of those moments where I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. I was afraid my teaching would reflect the amount of preparation I was able to put into it, yet God really did provide and showed up for me when I was in over my head.
I really enjoy reading books, blogs, articles, etc. I have always been a learner in this way, but I’m learning more now about paying attention to how other people around me lead. There are some great leaders around me who are wired in very different ways and have very different leadership styles. I’m learning how to take some of the things they are great at and apply them to my context.
People do not want to be soft-served, and they can tell when you are dodging the question. People have real questions about polarizing and divisive issues and if we ignore them, we are contributing to the problem. Healing only happens when you are willing to address a wound; pretending it’s not there makes it worse. We have to navigate these issues in the tension of grace and truth.
FLATIRONS COMMUNITY CHURCH
A 2017 OUTREACH 100 CHURCH