Ed Young’s book The Creative Leader radically changed my idea of what you can do in ministry to reach those outside the church. I don’t think it would be a stretch to say, that this book is the main reason I am where I am today. This book unlocked something within my heart that set me on the course to pursue full time ministry.
Because of this, it has always been a dream of mine to attend Ed’s C3 Conference in Grapevine, Texas. So imagine my excitement when last year I discovered Southwest Airlines was offering a great deal on fares to Dallas, Texas, just a few minutes away from Grapevine. Now, all I had to do was convince our senior pastor to get on a plane, something he hadn’t done in years. It didn’t help that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had gone missing just a few months before this. But after much encouragement and a great deal of peer pressure, we finally got him, along with our other five staff members, on a plane headed for Fellowship Church.
C3 2015 was an experience I will never forget. The facility was amazing, the worship was inspiring, and the speaker line up was tremendous. There was something else that became quite clear to me during those two days. The culture, in which they operate, couldn’t be more different than the small town culture where I, and many others, do ministry.
That fact was most evident in this five minute talk on fashion, which took place before the Q&A session one afternoon. Or perhaps it was the promoting of Ed Young’s site http://pastorfashion.com. Either way, it soon became obvious that what works in Grapevine, Texas (Population 46,000, Median Income $94,000), isn’t going to translate to Westmoreland, Tennessee (Population 2,200, Median Income $37,000).
I ended up leaving C3 a little disappointed but a lot wiser. No doubt, there are many things we can learn from leaders and speakers who operate in cultures different than ours, but I think the most valuable information we can learn is from those who’ve been in our shoes, those who do ministry in settings similar to ours.
That’s what I hope this blog can be: a resource for small town church pastors that can help guide you along the path to church growth. Who knows, maybe we can even teach the big city guys a thing or two.
What book has influenced you the most? In what ways?