Thursday, October 16, 2008 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Pete Hise

Pete Hise

Pete Hise, a native New Yorker, is the Founding and Lead Pastor of Quest Community Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Over the last 9 ½ years, Quest has seen almost 5,000 people come to Christ and has been named the 44th Fastest-Growing Church in the U.S. with over 3,300 in attendance.

Pete gave his life to Christ on November 12, 1982 and has been completely transformed by the love of God. His dynamic teaching, compelling leadership and authentic relational evangelism have shaped the heartbeat and DNA of Quest – transforming unconvinced people into wholehearted followers of Jesus.
Pete loves the Dallas Cowboys, the local church…and hanging out with his wife Jacki and his boys, Corey and Carson.

Quest Community Church

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions

1. What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Pete: Provoking people to thrive. Investing in people and watching as they begin to realize their potential…initially by deciding to follow Jesus…and then as they learn to live out His expansive plans for their lives.

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Pete: People forgetting that this world is not our home.

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Pete: Jesus – He loved me back from the dead and taught me to love people recklessly.
Keith Green – He lived the life of a Christian barbarian & helped me see that I could do the same.
Bill Hybels – His contagious love for the local church ambushed my heart & birthed the same love in me.

4. What books have changed your life?
Pete: The Word of God as it’s shaped me, my worldview & my life’s passion.
Bill Hybels’ Courageous Leadership… a book where my heart agrees with every line & I am energized to do what I was made to do.
Philip Yancey’s What’s So Amazing About Grace has painted pictures that continuously fan the flames of the grace I’ve never recovered from.

5.What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Pete: The heartbreak of watching people I love and have invested in choose badly – and then crash and burn. Sometimes this is just caused by poor life choices, but I am particularly grieved when it happens through divisiveness and disunity. It breaks my heart – for them, for the church and for the heart of God.

6.What goals do you have as a leader?
Pete: To be more like Jesus this year than last, to see my heart race & break with the same things that make His heart race & break, to love people more tenaciously today than yesterday, to be true to my calling, & to be a loving father & husband. Mostly though…to make Jesus famous - leading as many people to Him as possible!

7.Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Pete: Serving Jesus, loving lost people, and having a blast loving the people of Quest Community Church with more passion and joy than ever…and loving my wife & sons like crazy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008 | |

The Growing Leadership Blog Interviews List

Here's the 70+ Great leaders & pastors that I've had the opportunity to interview!

Dr. Neil T. Anderson
- Discipleship Counseling Ministries
Mark Batterson
- National Community Church
John Bishop
- Living Hope Church
Greg Boyd
- Woodland Hills Church
Brian Boyle
- West Ridge Church
Dave Browning
- Christ the King Community Church
Bob Buford
- Leadership Network
Rudy Carrasco
- Harambee Christian Family Center
Matt Carter
- Austin Stone Community Church
Doug Clay
- General Treasurer of Assemblies of God
Wayne Cordeiro
- New Hope Christian Fellowship O'ahu
Bil Cornelius
- Bay Area Fellowship
Bob Coy
- Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
Buddy Cremeans
- Northway Fellowship
Bill Easum
-Easum, Bandy & Associates, Inc.
Tim Elmore
Mark Evans
- The Church at Rock Creek
Dave Ferguson
- Community Christian Church
Dave Gibbons
- New Song Church
Joseph Girdler
- KY District of the A/G Superintendent
Troy Gramling
- Flamingo Road Church
Craig Groeschel
-Life Church
David Foster
- Bellevue Community Church
Alton Garrison -
Assemblies of God
Ted Haggard
-New Life Church
Todd Hudson
- Southeast Christian Church
Dr. Joel C. Hunter
- Northland Church
Todd Hunter
- Alpha USA
Dr. Walt Kallestad
- Community Church of Joy
Guy Kawasaki
- Author, The Art of the Start
Rob Ketterling
- River Valley Church
Dan Kimball
- Vintage Faith Church
Kyle Lake
- University Baptist Church
Gary Lamb
- Ridgestone Church
Mel Lawrenz
- Elmbrook Church
Rod Loy
- First Assembly of God
Max Lucado
- Author
John Ed Mathison
- Frazer UMC
Brian McLaren
- Author
Erwin McManus
Bob Merritt
- Eagle Brook Church
Tony Morgan
-Granger Community Church
Sally Morgenthaler
Doug Murren
- Square One Ministries
Perry Noble
- New Spring Church
Mark Oestreicher
- Youth Specialties
Dr. Larry Osborne
-North Coast Church
John Palmer
– General Secretary of the Assemblies of God
Doug Pagitt
- Solomon's Porch
Brad Powell - NorthRidge Church
Bill Purvis
- Cascade Hills Church
Thom Rainer
-Author, Lifeway President
Dan Reiland
- Crossroads Community Church
Mac Richard
- Lake Hills Church
Dino Rizzo
- Healing Place Church
Bob Roberts
- NorthWood Church
Greg Rohlinger
- Palm Valley Community Church
Ed Rowell
- Tri-Lakes Chapel
Bob Russell
- Southeast Christian Church
Nelson Searcy
- The Journey Church
Steve Sjogren
-Vineyard Community Church
Toby Slough
- Cross Timbers Community Church
Ed Stetzer
Terry Storch
- Fellowship Church
Greg Surratt
- Seacoast Church
Stan Toler
- Trinity Church of the Nazarene
Brian Tome
- Crossroads Community Church
Thomas Trask
- Assemblies of God
Dr. Randy Valimont
- First Assembly of God
Mark Waltz
- Granger Community Church
Dave Workman
- Vineyard Community Church
Dr. George O. Wood - Assemblies of God
Ron Woods
- Raleigh Assembly of God
Darlene Zschech
- Hillsong

Monday, September 15, 2008 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Rod Loy

Rod Loy

Bio: Rod Loy is Senior Pastor of First Assembly of God, North Little Rock, Arkansas. Under his leadership, First Assembly has seen significant growth in all areas including missions, attendance and outreach. His wife Cindy and two boys, Tyler and Parker, share his passion for missions and people. They live and teach the principle "Every Soul Matters to God."

Church: First Assembly of God, North Little Rock, Arkansas

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Rod: “I thoroughly enjoy seeing guys I've mentored wildly succeed! Sunday afternoons, I get emails and text messages. Nothing thrills me more than when one of them have a huge altar response, their biggest crowd or their best offering. It's fun to think that in some really, really small way, I have a part of that.”

2. Rod, What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Rod: “My biggest pet peeve is when people mistake traditions for essentials. The gospel message is essential and unchanging. However, our traditions and our methods must continually change. When traditions are made essentials, conflict is inevitable.”

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Rod: “Alton Garrison has been (and continues to be) a huge influence in my life. His quest for excellence and zeal for learning is unmatched. He spent hundreds of hours sharpening, preparing, coaching and correcting me as I prepared for the next phase of my leadership journey.”

4. What books have changed your life?
Rod: “The Search for Significance was a huge influence in my life - learning to be candid and honest with God about my insecurities and learn to replace them with the truth of His word. All leaders (and everyone else) have insecurities. I want to deal with mine proactively instead of letting them dictate my reactions to people and situations.”

5. Rod, What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Rod: “My biggest challenge is to make sure I am around and in relationship with lost people. Leading and managing a church pull you towards church relationships. It's so easy to get caught up in the church bubble - meetings, conferences, speaking, etc. That's my job, but my assignment is the same as all Christ-followers: to be salt and light - representing Jesus in a lost world. I just got back to my office from volunteering with a first grade class at a public school. It's hard to stay disciplined to do that instead of "working" at the church.”

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Rod: “I want to know lost people and point them to a meaningful relationship with Jesus and then help them to share their new found faith with others.”

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Rod: “I don't set ten year goals. Life moves too fast! I know this: I want to still be growing as a Christ-follower. I want to be a life-long follower of Jesus Christ.”

Monday, September 08, 2008 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview:
Dr. Randy Valimont

Dr. Randy Valimont

Bio: Dr. Randy Valimont, Senior Pastor of First Assembly of God in Griffin, Georgia. During Pastor Valimont’s ministry at Griffin First Assembly, more than twenty thousand souls have dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ through the ministries of the church. The church has grown from 400 to over 4,000 in Sunday morning worship attendance.

Pastor Valimont has served on the World Missions Board of the Assemblies of God and is currently an Executive Presbyter of the Georgia District Assemblies of God and General Presbyter for the General Council of the Assemblies of God. He is also on the Board of Regents at Southeastern University, his alma mater. In addition to these responsibilities, Pastor Valimont serves on the following boards: CIS Bible School Board of Regents Chairman, International Media Ministry, Asian Compassionate Touch Foundation, Georgia District Missions Director, Cutting Edge International, and Northwood Assembly Board of Overseers.

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions

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

Randy: “My greatest joy is the ability to see people improve and grown in their personal & professional lives. This is multiplied when it affects the Kingdom of God and the local church. I get a lot of energy out of mentorship. (I mentor 3 groups – approximately 3 times per month – Pastoral Staff, 100 business leaders in the church, 10 leaders that I mentor in their business & personal lives.”

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

Randy: “My biggest pet peeve: In our church culture we value 3 things: passion for God, teachability, and work ethic. It appalls me when people aren’t teachable. I despise lazy people. They hurt the organization, drag people down and cause others to work harder to pick up the load.”

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

Randy: “Other than Jesus, my Pastor Fred Richard, has been and continues to be the biggest influence on my life as a leader. As I teenager I watched our church grow from 50 – 1500 in 4 years. He was John Maxwell before there ever was a John Maxwell. Out of his ministry alone (1 local church in Charleston, SC) he has produced dozens of pastors and 4 of them pastor churches of 2,000 or more.”

4. What books have changed your life?

Randy: “Books that have changed my life are: Good to Great and Built to Last by Jim Collins. He presents a wonderful concept of why mentoring is so important. They inadvertently put Kingdom principles in each book. After reading and taking our board and staff through them, it changed our philosophy of successorship and enhanced our mentorship position. Recently, The Tipping Point – it’s a great read and shows how God used different things to create energy.”

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

Randy: “My biggest challenge as a leader is to continue to grow because sometimes success can breed complacency. There are so many demands in a growing ministry that I need to keep my priorities focused, and stay fresh and up-to-date with paradigm shifts taking place in the church and in America.”

6. What goals do you have as a leader?

Randy: “My goals are to continue to expand the ministry and influence of the local church, to continue to mentor more young pastors and leaders as the opportunity presents itself, to stay relevant yet continue with Pentecostal passion and purpose, and to know and remain in the Will of God.”

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Randy: “In 10 years hopefully, I’ll be pasturing this church and pastoring pastors and leaders.”

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Brad Powell

Brad Powell, Senior Pastor, NorthRidge Church

Brad Powell is the Senior Pastor of NorthRidge Church in Plymouth, MI and a frequent conference speaker. Brad has an adventurous spirit, loves a challenge, and passionately believes that the Church is the hope of the world… when it’s working right. He has devoted his ministry to being a catalyst for change in the church, knowing when it comes to the church, failure is not an option.

Brad provides leadership resources and encouragement to leaders, churches and organizations through NorthRidge Ministries Association and an annual conference, Change Without Compromise. He is a strong communicator drawing on real life examples, inspiring stories and his own experience with leading transition in ministries of various shapes, sizes and philosophies. His passion is steadfast – to see all churches become what God has uniquely called them to be by helping their leaders understand and successfully manage the principles for positive change.

He writes a regular Q&A column on transition for pastors and leaders in Outreach Magazine and is author of the recently released book “Change Your Church for Good: The Art of Sacred Cow Tipping” (Thomas Nelson).

Church: NorthRidge Church

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. Brad, What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?

Brad: "Seeing positive change. When my leadership is engaging people, I love seeing life change. When my leadership is engaging an organization, I love seeing the organization change... from static to dynamic, irrelevant to relevant, declining to growing, aimless to focused."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Brad: "Those who seek or hold positions of leadership for personal benefit rather than to further the purpose. Nothing ticks me off more than so called spiritual leaders that serve as anchors rather than engines; consumers rather than contributors."

3. Brad, Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Brad: "Ultimately, as is true of all leaders, I am a product of so many who have gone before me. However, I think the biggest influences come early in our leadership because they set us on course. Because of this, I would have to say the person who most influenced me as a leader was John Maxwell. The reason...until I met John I couldn’t relate to anyone else in ministry. I was a pastor that didn’t identify with or relate to pastors. Because of this, for the first six years of my ministry, I was constantly struggling with the idea of leaving ministry. The way I led, the things I did, how I thought and communicated didn’t match anything out there. Though God was using it, I felt very misplaced. John, who was a pastor at the time, was the first one I could identify with and relate to. It was like breathing for the very first time. God used my exposure to John to clearly confirm that He had called and anointed me uniquely for ministry."

4. What books have changed your life?

Brad: "Honestly, other than the Bible, books don’t change my life. However, there have been some books that I have greatly benefited from...especially books on leadership. Because I believe leadership is all about change and so few spiritual leadership books ever addressed this reality, I benefited a great deal from two of John Kotter’s books: “A Force for Change” and “Leading Change.”

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Brad: "Transitioning my own thinking, style, strategy, and practice of leadership as the world and my ministry challenges change. For Example: As time has gone by, I have had to go from intuitional leadership to intentional leadership. Intuitional leadership, which is much easier, was all about leading people to myself. Since I was young and at the center of the culture, I just had to follow my intuition and lead people to myself. As I’ve matured and moved away from the center, I’ve had to learn to lead people away from myself. This demands intentionality and a lot of work."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?

Brad: "My goals flow off of my clearly defined purposes and my experiences. Personally, I want to be a man of God who reflects, reveals, and represents Christ in every area of my life. Professionally, I want to be a man of God who is a force for Christ in leading the church to prevail."

Generally: My prayer is to keep growing, keep creating, never become an anchor, make better everyone who knows me, and finish well.
Specifically: My prayer is that God will continue to use my leadership as a catalyst for NorthRidge to continue being a relevant, effective, and growing church and that He will use me as a catalyst for transitioning other leaders and churches to relevance, effectiveness, and growth both in the United States and around the world.

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Brad: "At this time, I see myself doing the same very new and different ways. However, I do believe the balance of my investments will tip more and more toward leading through and investing in other leaders as well as the producing of resources that can help to challenge, encourage, and strengthen other pastors, churches, and believers. Having inherited a church that failed to invest in and release younger generational leaders as genuine stakeholders in the ministry, I have a growing passion to facilitate this at NorthRidge and beyond."

Friday, August 29, 2008 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Jud Wilhite

Jud Wilhite

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."