The senior pastor of one of the country's largest churches talks about lessons learned in ministry.
ROBERT EMMITT is senior pastor of Community Bible Church, San Antonio, Texas, a 2011 Outreach 100 church (No. 36 Largest).
CONNECTION TO OUTREACH: Robert Emmitt is one of the featured pastors in the article “The Transparent Leader” in the 2011 Outreach 100.
A risky choice that paid off?
We stopped passing the offering plate and put offering boxes in the lobby. The No. 1 reason men give for not going to church is, “All they want is my money.” So we stopped passing the plate and have reached a lot of men over the years. Our offerings never went down. The Lord has given us all we need.
A safe choice that I regret?
I accepted the pastorate of a church that I shouldn’t have. They needed a pastor, and I needed a place. It was a vision collision. One week later, I resigned and started Community Bible.
Two things I’ve learned:
Everyone has a fascinating story … and family comes first.
What excites me now:
Right now, I’m most excited about our CBC Online Church and Bible studies. The technology is cheap, fast and worldwide. The potential for outreach is limitless!
My biggest disappointment in ministry:
Being told by someone I admired that he sure was disappointed in me. (Twenty years later, he said he sure was proud of me.)
The hardest sermon I’ve preached …
was at the funeral for my best friend’s 3-month-old daughter, Georgia Sue. She and my oldest son were born about the same time. She had a heart defect. I was there when she was born, and I was there when her heart stopped. It was 30 years ago, but my eyes still fill with tears
What is success?
At the end of the day, I measure ministry success by asking, “Are we reaching, teaching and helping more people in Jesus’ name this year than we did last year?”
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