Charles Stone is an author and pastor. He serves as the senior pastor of Ginger Creek Community Church in the Chicago suburbs. Charles is full of wisdom and loves investing in other pastors. You can follow him on Twitter HERE.
In addition to the interview today, I’m giving away three (3) copies of his newest book, 5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them. This book focuses on how to overcome pastoral burnout, frustration, and depression to be able to fully serve Christ, their families and, their churches. Pastor Charles Stone uses his thirty years in the ministry to identify five potent killers in pastors’ lives and shows how to defeat them to regain the hope and enthusiasm they once had for ministry.
If you want to win this book:
1. Comment on this post with your name and/or Twitter name.
2. RT this post
I will choose three random winners tonight after 9 PM, CST.
Here are 10 questions with leader Charles Stone:
When you were growing up, is this what you thought you would be doing vocationally? If not, what did you want to do?
I was going to be a marine biologist, until I realized at the time that there were only four jobs in that field each year.
What’s the most different job you’ve had from what you are doing now and how did that job help you with what you are doing now?
During college I worked for a civil engineering company. We’d pop manhole covers to check sewerage. I climbed into many manholes to measure the sewerage dept with a wooden ruler. If we were in a neighborhood and I heard a ‘flush’ sound come through the holes above me that led to houses, I’ve have to scramble out…our else. This experience helped me learn when it was time to quit getting dumped on and walk away.
Who is one person, besides Christ, who most helped to shape your leadership and how did they help you?
Probably Carl Marshall who pastored the church I attended when I felt God’s call to ministry. Before I went to seminary he gave me the best advice I ever got. “Find a church where you feel comfortable and just volunteer to serve anywhere they need you.” I did that and ended up being hired as the part-time singles minister at a large church with several hundred singles. I came to seminary with no experience, yet the church saw my willingness to serve and they hired me over several other ‘experienced’ seminarians who wanted a job, but didn’t want to serve first.
Besides the Bible, what is one book that has most helped to shape your thought process in life and ministry?
Probably Philip Yancey’s two books, Disappointment with God and Where is God When it Hurts. These two books helped me develop a healthy theology of managing disappointment in ministry. I was so successful with a church plant in
Atlanta several years ago that attendance the first day of 51 grew to 17 in six months. That was tough on my ego. On top of that, in the first year our one year old faced brain surgery. Yancey’s insight into disappointment has served my wife and I well.
What are three words other people would use to describe your work style/ethic?
Focused, Fun, Productive
What is your greatest strength in leadership?
Seeing the big-picture connections, how things fit together (my undergrad degree is systems engineering).
What is your greatest weakness in leadership?
Sometimes I struggle that I’m not making the impact I wanted/thought I’d make.
What is the hardest thing you have to do in leadership?
I’ve had to fire a few people. I hate it, but sometimes it’s necessary.
What is one misconception about your position you think people in your church may have?
That pastors are immune to feeling disappointed, hurt, and discouraged.
If you could give one piece of advise to young leaders from what you’ve learned by experience, what would it be?
Find a safe person to whom you will give access to your inner world. Let them in. Let them lovingly make you aware of your blind spots. Do it early in ministry and be teachable and you will save yourself a lot of grief.
Are you facing burnout? Please read this book.