I had the privilege of having a pastoral intern this summer. Dan Dominguez is a student at Moody Bible Institute and a good friend of my son Nate, who is also a student at Moody. Dan had to intern with a senior pastor to complete his course work and wanted to learn all the ways NOT to perform as a pastor…so he chose me. Dan is a sharp young man and is going to make a great pastor.
Part of my assignment for Dan was for him to ask me questions he had about being a pastor, but had never asked anyone.
I asked Dan if he would share with me his notes from the interview. These are random notes, mostly without complete sentences, because he was dictating them as I talked
Here is my leadership interview with Dan Dominguez:
Here’s a copy of my notes from our conversation. I just mixed what you said with my thoughts, so the sentences aren’t complete.
How do you avoid complacency or contentedness in your own Christian walk? (and/or with where the church is at?)
To a certain extent you can’t/don’t. It is important to recognize where you are and keep going back to the vision.
For self: In dry times step up discipline and change things up. Routine can be part of the problem so change the way you do things.
For the church: Challenge the staff and keep looking forward. It is essential to have someone driving change and creating innovation.
When you first started the church how did you “advertise”? How did people find out about the church?
A business mindset carries over to the church. This can be good generally, but in terms of advertising, it can also be harmful. Advertising causes people to think that’s what is bringing people into the church and prevents them from depending on God for the people and seeing how God uses them to bring people.
Wal-Mart didn’t advertise at first.
Create a buzz. Grace uses people to advertise. Word of mouth. The idea of caged momentum.
What is the biggest mistake you think you have made so far in pastoral ministry? How can I avoid that?
Following own will instead of God’s.
What has been the most successful thing you have done so far? How can I learn from that?
Being willing to take a risk on what you see God doing things I couldn’t do.
Also, take chances on people. Don’t hold others back. Empower them. Allow them to make decisions within the vision.
What do you think are the key characteristics to a good pastors wife?
Number one thing to look for: Someone who will follow your spiritual leadership and respect you.
Other characteristics: Heart for people (compassionate). Not caught up in material things. Willing to sacrifice. Not a malicious talker/gossip. “What a pastors wife says will be repeated.” Humble. Teachable.
What is something you wish you would have known or learned sooner?
The importance of business and leadership principles within the church.
How do you go about finding the right staff person? What does that process look like? How do you know they are a good fit?
Know the person you are hiring the best that you can. Spend time with them. Meet with them and their spouse. Hire for both. Biblical qualifications. Try and talk them out of it by telling them all of the negatives. Make sure they know what they are getting into. Be slow to hire and fast to let go.
Follow up questions about hiring:
Build teams: Different skills same heart (passion). Hire for your weaknesses. Age doesn’t matter. Hire the best fit whether 65 or 25. Obviously consider cost and experience.
What kind of goals do you set? And how do you measure them? (For yourself, for your staff, and for your congregation)
Categories: Physical , Spiritual, Professional, Relational
Write the goal so that the goal itself is measurable. Place a numeric value on things when possible. Example he gave: Number of baptisms. Compare that to number of people. Track relationship between growth and baptisms. Watch motivation when placing a number on things, but allow it to motivate you.
If you could start your ministry over again, what would you do differently?
Been bolder in following God’s call…never failing to pursue something out of fear.
What do you think is a good ratio from church staff to church size?
Varies based on churches needs and values. Balance money and vision. Grace is 187:1.
Have a few friends with lake houses. (Haha) … You’ll often need a break!
Does this produce any questions you’d like to ask?