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.

I, for me, I've always thought that would be a pretty clear sign is when I don't have a vision or direction for where I'm at, then that would be something telling me, like there's something not, not working anymore.

KV: Which is really interesting in this church because before I came, I was the same thing. I wanted to be in the same church for all my ministry. I went to two churches where I thought that would be it. One that was good, but didn't last. One that wasn't very good and thankfully didn't last. And came kind of dragging my tail to this congregation. So I came in as a wounded and hurting pastor out of a previous difficulty.

This church at the time was really wounded and hurting because they'd been through what five, I think I was the fifth pastor in 10 years.

GG: Yeah.

KV: There was a real revolving door. In fact, when I talk to people about interviewing at this church, a couple of them told me don't go there, it's a pastor killer. So the church had a real reputation as a revolving door. And now here we are talking about both of our longevity at a point where, when people hear not just each of our longevity, but our longevity together, they just, you can see them pausing to go, "Did I just hear that correctly?" So I don't even know what the question is going to be out of that. Let me ask it this way.

Since I wasn't around, before I showed up, what was the feeling? The environment? How did the church feel to you? You were young at the time, you know, in a young teenager, I didn't even know how much of a feel you had for it, but what did the church kind of feel like before that, in that 10-year span where they went through so many different pastors?

GG: I think it just, it was a church that was trying to figure out who they were. You know, we, we were just a small community church, and then we had a pastor come in who would really kind of try to blow it up. And he did, he grew the church and did a big building project and all of these things. And then he left because of some, not a, not necessarily moral thing, but he was gone through a divorce and some things happen.

So he left and then we had another pastor come in. And again, I think trying to find, who are what our church was and who our church was. And, and I think they kept trying to do that and never really understood what community Bible church at that point was and how it fit into this community and what it did.

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