The reason I share that is because I've had to grow in that, because my role in the alcoholic system was the lost child, the middle child. When everything starts to blow up or get hard, the lost child disappears. I would go play with my Barbies on my bed. Get out of there. I've since learned I can't just escape conflict. In my role, that's all I deal with every day : conflicts in relationships or between staff or between the senior pastor and somebody else. The Lord has really gifted me in helping me through that process where I learned good conflict-resolution skills and good relational skills. That's the professional piece I'm always pressing into.
How has this role caused you to grow in your faith?
It causes me to depend even more on the Lord, because I take very seriously my call as a pastor and I am shepherding God's flock. I don't take that lightly. I know that if I am not connected to the Lord, as in John 15, I could get really off track and lead people astray. So I keep myself in accountability in my own life in the Lord. I have regular prayer days and prayer retreats. I meet with a spiritual director once a month. I have a friend I'm accountable to as well as my husband. I just really need to keep my spiritual life healthy.
It's a challenge amidst all the craziness, which is why I require myself and my staff to take one paid prayer day a month. We each take a whole day to go off and pray for our work and our families, and hear the Lord.
How do those prayer days affect your team dynamics and decision making?
Usually I end up talking with them after the prayer day, and the Lord has shown them something they're dealing with themselves and need his help to press through. Or because they've been quiet, the Lord has shown them where they need to go in the next step with their leadership ministry. There are times when I'm struggling with stuff, and when I sit and get quiet and I'm praying—there it is. I hear the same feedback from them that it makes a difference.
What do you like best about your role as an executive pastor?
I love to lead leaders, to maximize all of who God has created them to be and to mobilize them to be a force for the kingdom. That's my passion. And I'm in a position to do that. I can encourage them.