Geologists say that constant and significant pressure can turn rubbish into something precious. Given enough time, such conditions produce oil, coal, and even diamonds. This also happens to be the process for forming the character needed for leadership.
Since 1980 David Johnson has served as pastor of Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, Minnesota. During his tenure, the church has experienced both growth and decline, and in recent years has shifted its emphasis, as Dave puts it, "to produce 'formed people,' not formulas for more nickels and noses."
Leadership sat with Dave to ask how, below the surface, he is being formed into that paradoxical combination: follower of Jesus and leader of people. The following is an excerpt; Dave's whole story is featured in the Spring issue of Leadership.
You were the 27-year-old pastor of a church of 160 people that grew dramatically. It exploded. What was that like for you?
We had a season where, this may sound weird, it felt like everything we touched ...1