Here's Some Advice From Great Campus Pastors

Campus pastors need advice and prayer, too.
Campus pastors need advice and prayer, too. (Lightstock )

Trey Hildebrant is our newest campus pastor at 12Stone® Church. We prayed over Trey and his wife Sara at the Snellville, Georgia, campus as he officially stepped up to lead on June 7.

Several of our campus pastors and I met with Trey for breakfast at J. Christopher's for great food and great conversation. Our purpose was to have each of the campus pastors share their best leadership and ministry practices as a campus pastor with Trey.

It was so good we were all taking notes. Here is a summary of our notes:

1. Lead with spiritual intensity.

  • It's important to live out your personal spiritual intensity Monday through Saturday. You can't fix on Sunday what you haven't lived all week!
  • Pray with people on Sunday morning. Take the time right then!
  • If you don't preach, learn to take your 30-minute message ideas (that the Lord gives you) to a 3-minute message that you give to staff, volunteers the moment. Communicate God's power in ways other than the "sermon".

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2. Plan your ideal week or you won't have an ideal week. It doesn't always happen according to your plan, but without the plan, it will never happen.

3. Lead with courage. Moral authority comes from a close walk with God.

4. Take pics of the people who attend your campus, learn their names and pray for them. Have a volunteer photographer take shots as well. The photographer can simply say: "Pastor wants to pray for you by name." 

 5. Celebrate the wins of your staff. Be your staff's best champion.

 6. If you are type A and driven, be careful not to focus more on tasks than people.

7. Deal with your own stuff before you get on stage ... (Self-confidence, pride, fear, insecurity, self-awareness, etc.; it's about the people not you.)

8. You are the leader of momentum. It's important to communicate "This place is the BEST place to be." You have to believe it for it to find its way into people's hearts. 

9. How do you shepherd your spouse so they feel completely part of the ministry and connected to you at a heart level within both marriage and ministry?

  • Never assign your spouse a ministry; let your spouse pick their own ministry.
  • Encourage your spouse not to over-commit.
  • Protect margin for family time and be intentional about it. Do everything possible to make your family number one all week so that when the crazy days hit they understand.
  • Take time as a couple, even just once a month for 30 minutes for big picture planning, so your spouse knows what's coming!

10. Be the creator, carrier and champion of FUN at the campus. The CP sets the temperature for fun at the campus.

11. Remember that your key leaders need to be pastored too. Ask them questions about their marriage, walk with God and personal life.

12. Keep your comments live and real as a CP on the stage. It's not all about a script. Be personal. In 20-30 seconds, you can add heart through a personal comment.

13. Be passionate about all that is new. New leaders, new visitors, new volunteers, etc ... Look for God moments in the lobby between, before and after services!! God is present, what is He doing?

14. Love your people.

Dan Reiland is the executive pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY.

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