Friday, August 22, 2008 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Alton Garrison

Alton Garrison

Assistant General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God

Bio: L. Alton Garrison was elected assistant general superintendent of the Assemblies of God at the 52nd General Council of the church in August 2007. He is a member of the Fellowship’s Executive Leadership Team and Executive Presbytery.

As assistant general superintendent, he serves as the commissioner on discipleship and as executive director for the Discipleship/Church Ministries Division, which includes all of the adult, youth and children ministries of the church.

Garrison served as executive director of U.S. Missions from 2005 until his election to assistant general superintendent. He served in district leadership in the Arkansas District, including assistant superintendent and superintendent from 2001 until his election to AG U.S. Missions. As superintendent, he launched a district mentoring ministry for pastors with the District Coaching Group and local church leadership through the Arkansas Cohort Group.

Garrison served as pastor of First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Arkansas, for 15 years. Throughout his pastorate, the church experienced significant growth, developed extensive lay ministry involvement and gave millions to missions. Garrison began his pulpit ministry as an evangelist from 1966 to 1985.

Garrison is a graduate of Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas. He is author of Hope in America’s Crisis and Building a Winning Team.

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions

1. Alton, What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?

Alton : "Helping others reach their maximum Kingdom potential. After 18 years as an evangelist, 15 years as a pastor, and 4 years as a District Superintendent, I know I may not throw as many "touchdown passes" as I used to, but now I am privileged to help others throw them. Investing in others really brings me great joy."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?

Alton: "Lack of sequential process. If the process is flawed the product will be flawed."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?

Alton: "Without a doubt, my father. He was a hopeless alcoholic when Christ saved him at age 37. His entire nature was changed and he became a pastor of a church before he had preached even one sermon. He was uneducated and never pastored a large church, but his wisdom and personal example still influences me greatly. "

4. What books have changed your life?

Alton: "Different seasons foster different needs, so I am reluctant to be too specific. At different times during my journey of faith and leadership development, I was able to receive instruction and encouragement by the books I read or the people I met."

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?

Alton: "Balancing spiritual sensitivity and learned behavior. Implementing time-tested principles can be tempting without waiting for God to give Divine direction."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?

Alton: "I am praying that I finish well."

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Alton: "My experience has been that God has only revealed one chapter at a time."