The senior pastor of one of the country's largest and fastest-growing churches talks about lessons learned in ministry.
BOB COY is senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale (Fla.), a 2011 Outreach 100 church (No.11 Largest, No. 78 Fastest-Growing).
CONNECTION TO OUTREACH: Bob Coy is one of the featured pastors in the article “The Transparent Leader” in the 2011 Outreach 100.
Achieving what I came to Florida to do:
When I saw people bringing Bibles to church, I realized I was doing what I had come to Florida to do. When we first started, I’d say “Hey, why don’t you open your Bibles to page … .” I’d look out, and no one had Bibles. But one morning I said, “Open your Bibles to …,” and I heard pages turning. I thought, Oh my goodness.
I wanted to quit when …
Three years into the church, I called the Calvary Chapel denomination and told them I wanted to quit. I said I only had 40 people, and they all questioned me and what I was doing. The guy said I could quit and that he had a lot of young guys jumping at the chance to serve 40 people. I hung up, and my wife asked me what he said. I told her that he said I could quit, but then someone else would come. I said, “No way. Those are my 40 people.”
The problem of ego:
All pastors have egos the size of mountains—we pretty much think we’re all that. So we need to delegate more, share the platform and give others the opportunity to do more.
When I don’t know …
I’ve learned to be honest with myself about not having all the answers. My senior pastor would say, “I don’t know the answer to that.” I think of untimely deaths. I just find those things so pregnant with misunderstanding. As I’ve gotten older, I’m more OK with my lack of understanding. It’s actually in my lack of understanding that God gets to be God.
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