Thursday, January 12, 2006 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Scott Hodge

Scott Hodge


Bio: Scott Hodge is the Lead Pastor of Orchard Valley Community Church in Aurora, IL. The Orchard is a 75 year old church with an exciting story of change and transition. Scott has recently written for Leadership Journal on the topic of church transition and is passionate about creating relevant environments to reach their highly unchurched community located just outside of the Chicago area.

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

Scott: "Without a doubt, my greatest joy in leading people is watching people grow, develop and maximize their potential to impact the world around them. I always gain great joy in hearing the stories of people’s lives that have been impacted through our church community. When I watch our team (staff & volunteers) do their “thing” every week I am continually overcome with joy."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Scott: "Negative people. I have seen what happens when negative people spread their poison in an organization – and I have to tell you, I just can’t tolerate it. Probably another pet peeve as a leader when I see or meet someone who has incredible potential, but for whatever reason is not teachable or thinks that “it’s all about them.” It frustrates me to no end, but then I usually remember that I don’t have the ability to change anyone so I usually just resort to praying for them."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Scott: "Without a doubt, my dad - Larry Hodge, who passed away about a year ago and who is terribly missed. When I was around 18 or 19 years old I really began learning about leadership from John Maxwell – and that set the tone for my continued pursuit of leadership. And there are actually a lot of people in my life – teachers, pastors, old ladies who really knew some things about prayer that I hope to one day figure out, and others who really impacted my life over the years. And of course, Bill Hybel and Andy Stanley have helped keep me focused on my commitment of reaching people who don’t know God."

4. What books have changed your life?
Scott: "Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders – This is a “must read” for anyone in leadership.
Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell – This was one of the first leadership books I ever read. I remember reading it and being so excited about leadership for the first time in my life.
Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose – there’s something about the pioneering story of Lewis & Clark that just inspires the tar out of me.
Good to Great by Jim Collins – This book guided us through a major transition/turnaround with our church. Incredible book!
More Ready Than You Realize by Brian McLaren – Most of McLaren’s stuff challenges my thinking and overall he has helped me have a better understanding of the mindset of our culture."

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Scott: "Not moving too fast! My wife is great at helping me stay focused on where I need to be. Because of my creative side, I could easily spend all of my time coming up with new and fresh ideas – and easily lose focus on strengthening and stabilizing where we’re at now. But when it’s time to create, it’s a big asset! Another big challenge is staying out of God’s way. Which isn’t always easy to do."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Scott: "To be the best father and husband imaginable. My other goal is to always remain flexible. My hope is that I will always remain willing to change and learn - for the rest of my life."

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Scott: "Dang. That's a tough question. If my life changes as much as it has in the past 10 years there's no telling where I see myself ten years from now. Perhaps Mars?? But seriously, I see myself pastoring a bunch of crazy, uncomfortable, risk taking Christ followers at The Orchard while continuing to come up with new and innovative ways to reach more people. I also have a passion for urban environments, so I’m excited about the possibility of being a part of planting new churches in some of the urban areas of the US. I also see myself doing a lot of writing."

Thanks Scott for taking time for the interview!