Bio: Jud Wilhite serves as Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church. Central Christian Church is one of the fastest growing churches in America. Jud’s role as Senior Pastor is to be the spiritual leader of the Central family, the primary Bible teacher, and the communicator of Central’s mission, vision, and values. Under Jud’s leadership, Central thrives as a church dedicated to helping people find their way to God. He and his wife, Lori, have two children.
After becoming a Christian, Jud went on to graduate from Dallas Christian College and Lincoln Christian Seminary. He is a frequent conference speaker and the author of several books including Stripped: Uncensored Grace on the Streets of Vegas and That Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
Church: Central Christian Church
The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Jud: "Seeing someone make a decision to follow Christ—nothing compares to that!"
2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Jud: "Long time Christians with all kinds of books, CD’s, blogs and teachings at their disposal complaining that they aren’t being fed. My response, “So eat. Be a self-feeder and then turn around and spiritually feed others.” For me, realizing that I’m the one who is responsible for the fact that I don’t feel “fed” has changed my whole approach personally and in ministry."
3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Jud: "Pastors that poured into me—Roy Wheeler, Keith Ray, Scott Greer, Barry McMurtrie—and other well known leaders through teaching and writing—C. H. Spurgeon, Soren Kierkegaard, John Piper, C. S. Lewis, Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Eugene Peterson."
4. What books have changed your life?
Jud: "I think the books that change your life are at least as much about the stage you are at when you read them, rather than just the book itself. For me, Ian Murray’s biography of David Martyn Lloyd-Jones inspired me to be a pastor; Daniel Miller’s “The Myth of Certainty” changed my life in grad school and reaffirmed my faith; John Piper’s “Desiring God” re-directed my focus in ministry; Albert Camus’s novel “The Fall” helped me realize the depth of sin more than any Christian book. C. S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity” and “The Problem of Pain” were huge for me. Also, G. K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy.”
5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Jud: "I think there are different challenges for different seasons that rise above others. For me right now, I’m trying to find the right balance of leading for growth rather than control, pushing past my leadership lids and being comfortable in the messiness of helping people."
6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Jud: "Personally, to be a good dad and a great husband. I want my kids to grow up and know their father’s faith was genuine and grounded and that my love for them is unconditional. I also want them to know they are more important to me than the ministry. I also want to help bridge the gap between many who are skeptical and have lost faith in the church. My goal is to hear them, walk with them, and help them come to love the church as Christ does. Other goals are to improve as a pastor/leader. I’m getting a lot from Marshal Goldsmith’s “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.” It is a great book which deals with 20 bad workplace habits—I’m learning I’ve adopted several of these and am working hard to identify them and grow through them."
7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Jud: "God willing, as a pastor/leader in the local church and particularly in the Las Vegas Valley. I love the church and I’m passionate about church work."