Experience Speaks: Steve Poe

Steve Poe: “Success is seeing people step across the line of faith and follow Christ.”

In our Experience Speaks series, Outreach 100 pastors share what they’ve learned about themselves, the church and the definition of success.

Steve Poe
Northview Church in Carmel, Indiana


I hear so many people critical of the church and while I realize some of the criticism is justified, I absolutely love the church! In fact as Bill Hybels often says, I believe the local church is the hope of the world. We are all messy people but we are also God’s hands and feet and in spite of our messiness, God is using the church to make a difference in our world.

The other thing I remind myself of quite often is that “vision leaks,” so I have to constantly cast vision and help people clearly see where we are going as a church. People like to be a part of something bigger than themselves and I need to show them how they can be used by God.


I’ve learned that I’m an introvert and it would be very easy for me to stay in my office until it is time to speak and then come out, give my talk and then slip back into my office without ever talking to anyone. But I have come to realize how important it is for people to feel like their pastor knows them and cares about them. There is so much power in touch, so I am very intentional about being in the auditorium shaking people’s hands at least 15 minutes before the service begins and then stay up front talking to people after the service ends.

I have also come to realize how easy it is for me to be envious of what God is doing in other churches, so every weekend in our service I pray for a specific church by name and ask for God to bless them. I then send them a note telling them we prayed for them and if we can ever be of help to them in any way we are here for them. I have found that it’s hard for me to be envious of a church I’m praying for. On the other hand, it also gives our church a much bigger vision for the kingdom of God.

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Success is seeing people step across the line of faith and follow Christ. If people are not coming to faith in our services then I don’t feel like we are doing what God has called us to do in the Great Commission. So if we are seeing people find Christ and we are training them to be fully devoted followers of Christ then we are doing what God has called us to do.


I have been given a lot of good advice through the years but the thing that comes to mind is that I need to pastor people the way I would want to be pastored myself.  And when I deliver messages, do it as if I were speaking one-on-one and not to a large group.

Carmel, Indiana
Senior Pastor: Steve Poe
Twitter: @PastorStevePoe
Website: NorthviewChurch.us
Founded: 1980
Affiliation: Nondenominational
Locations: 4
Attendance: 7,140
Growth in 2014: +1,775 (33%)
Fastest-Growing: 2
Largest: 64

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