Podcast Episode 016, 40 min
Pastoral Longevity and Ministry Partnership with Gary Garcia (Ep 16)
Karl Vaters and Gary Garcia have a unique relationship. They’ve worked together at the same church for 29 years. For the first 25 years Karl was Gary’s lead pastor. For the last 4 years Gary has been Karl’s lead pastor. Yes, at the same church.

Gary Garcia: I would tell pastors, man, stop chasing ministry and enjoy it. You know, that's one of the reasons I've lasted. I've enjoyed where I'm at. I've had so much fun doing ministry. Are there problems? Yes, we're, we're working with people. There's always going to be problems, but my enjoyment of ministry, it's so much bigger than the times that I've been frustrated, disappointed, or any of those things.

Karl Vaters: Hi I'm Karl and I'm a small church pastor. And welcome to this episode of, Can This Work in a Small Church? My podcast guest today is GG and the subject is pastoral longevity and ministry partnership. Gary and I have a unique relationship. We worked together at the same church for 29 years.

For the first 25 years, I was his lead pastor. For the last four years, he's been my lead pastor. Yes, we traded jobs at the same church, but there's so much ground to cover with him. So we're going to take two episodes to do it. In the next episode, we'll talk about that pastoral transition.

But first, in this episode, we talk about how to stay in ministry long-term, how to stay fresh while in the same church, how to work well together, and advice for those wanting to stay strong in ministry for the long haul. Don't forget to stick around when the interview is done. I'll come back with an overview of the content and an answer to the question. Can this work in a small church?

Alright, so this month, as we are recording this interview, you celebrate 30 years on staff at our church. Not just on staff, but as the youth pastor. And not just as the youth pastor but the two of us have been working together for now almost 29 years together. And not only that, but after 25 years serving as my youth pastor now for the last, almost four years, I have served as your teaching pastor.

I used to be your boss and now you're my boss. So we're going to have to take two podcasts just to tackle all of the stuff going on there because it's so unusual, so different. And quite frankly something that both of us, I think get asked a lot. We must get asked this a lot because when I mentioned it to you about doing it, Amy, your wife looked at me. and went, "Oh, yeah. Like, I think you can figure out how to do a podcast on that." Or something like that because you've been asked this question a lot. Right? How, how have you lasted so long in the same place, particularly in youth ministry, right? So give us, I, obviously, I know the story, but give the listeners some of your story starting with, when did you feel called to pastoral ministry?

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