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.

KV: Yeah. For me, I had nothing to lose. I was the new guy. I was checking to see if I could work with you. It doesn't, it didn't have nearly the weight that it had for you. Am I going to be able to keep this job kind of a thing. But I do remember it being like, I think we brought two and a half hours and I remember at the end of it thinking, okay, there's something here that's special in kind of the way we approach things.

Now here's the deal, in the 29 years since then I have tried to figure out what that something special was because we're not polar opposite personalities, but it's pretty close. I mean, you and I liked different things, function in different ways. We have totally different strengths in ministries. When people know one of us and then meet the other, and then they realize those two of them working together?

And well for almost three decades, how in the world does that happen? Because anybody who knows us instantly just, it's just kind of a laugh of like, yeah, I know they couldn't be more different. So have you thought much about it? What are some of the things that have helped us? Cause we're talking not just about longevity in this podcast, but about our partnership for a long period of time because both of those things are so rare.

What do you think are some of the things that have kept us. Working functioning well together for such a long period of time.

GG: I think one of the, probably the major things, and I only see this now as, as someone who's been in youth ministry a long time and walked a lot of youth pastors through a lot of things is; with you and I there was never this never this fear of from your side that I'm just trying to build something. And, you know, I, I hear this fear from a lot of lead pastors that there's this inner fear of the guys behind them, just wanting to push them out and wanting to kind of take that position. On the other side, you have these youth pastors who will get frustrated with kind of what their lead pastor is doing or the direction or whatever, and just complain, complain, complain, complain.

And I don't feel like we were ever, neither one of us were at that point. I'd always looked at it like whatever your vision and direction is, that's what I'm going to do. And I'm going to make it happen to the best of my ability. I never thought I'd be a lead pastor. So that was never even on my radar.

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