Thursday, August 22, 2013

Campus Pastor /// Year One Reflections

One year ago, today, I walked into Central Peninsula Church to start a new leadership role.  I wish I could say I was fully prepared for this role, but I wasn't.  I wish I could say I wasn't nervous the first day I walked into my new office, but I was totally nervous.  The one thing I was confident in the day I started my new role is: God has called me here.  Because God has called me here I want to share some big lessons I've learned in my first year of being a Campus Pastor.

Power of my words
When I was leading in High School Ministry my words had a good deal of weight, so I thought.  This year I've learned the power of my words.  There was a particular occasion when I said a simple yes to one of our leaders.  That yes was put into motion.  It wasn't a bad yes.  It wasn't a yes that anyone would have questioned; I needed to say yes but I learned how important every decision I make is.  Leading at the current level I'm at holds a much larger responsibility than I could have ever imagined.  This year I've learned how powerful my words are.

Team Value 
I've been blessed to work on many different teams in my life: soccer teams, football teams, mission teams and staff teams.  This year I had a huge leap as the one who leads the team.  Weekly I sit around a table with sixteen people who look to me as the team leader.  This year I've learned how important it is for our entire team to feel valued for who they are and what they bring to the table.  I have been super blessed to work on an amazing team and I value them dearly.

The first year can't be filled with all positive things.  The transition didn't happen immediately but it happened.  About six months into my first year our Elders made a tough call and we asked our High School Pastor to resign from his leadership position; that was tough.  At the end of June I was prepping to leave for our High School Houseboat trip when I had a regular meeting with our Children's Director.  During that meeting she pulled out a piece of paper and suddenly, and unexpectedly, resigned.  Transition on any team is going to happen, what matters is how you lead in transition.

When I started at CPC I felt like I was a pretty good communicator.  I had a style I had been using for a while and I never thought I'd change my communication style so drastically.  I like to give a manuscript of my message to my pastor to read before I preach.  One day, as he was leaving the office, I asked Mark if he got the copy I emailed to him.  He let me know he had it.  I quickly responded: "Make sure you're sitting down when you read it because its gonna be so amazing I don't want you to fall over."  The next day Mark gave me my manuscript, bleeding red with all the edits I needed to make.  He was right, it needed to change.  This year I think Mark has helped me become a better communicator.

Lots of Firsts
I've been in pastoral ministry for almost ten years now.  I've experienced many firsts but this year was a year of firsts for me.  From leading out on my first baby dedication, to speaking to over 1800+ people at our Outdoor Service and even having a chance to host the Global Leadership Summit.  This was a true year of firsts for me and it was a great learning experience.  Through all my firsts I was able to form new relationships with people on our Foster City Campus and in the community!

As I reflect on my first year of being a Campus Pastor there isn't much I would change.  I'm thankful our Elders gave me space to learn about the culture and DNA of CPC.  I'm thankful for all the new relationships I've made.  I'm thankful (and humbled) for the new level of leadership God has asked me to lead at.  Last week I was interviewing a potential High School Pastor and he asked me: "How come you're not taking the role, you seem like you would be the perfect fit."  It was nice to confidently respond: "Because God has called me to be a Campus Pastor."

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