Episode 038: A Conversation with Clayton King

For this conversation, we sit down with Clayton King and discuss the leadership structure of Newspring Church and the value of healthy confrontation.

 

 

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We have lead pastors, teaching pastors, and campus pastors… each one of our campuses has a campus pastor who handles the day-in and day-out and preaches occasionally…

 

Our lead pastors—there are four: a pastor of culture and vision, a pastor of ministries, a pastor of finances and facilities, and a pastor of campuses—serve together in a lead pastor role…

 

Then we have three teaching pastors who preach and teach and create the series’ we’re going to go through…

 

The team approach is a beautiful thing for us because it forces us to submit our egos to the Holy Spirit; you can’t hide from ego in that kind of space…

 

The system is important, but it’s really the goodness of the people that makes the system work…

 

There’s nothing like personal integrity… it is indispensable… for us, what we’ve learned is that the Holy Spirit wants to bring unity… and while there isn’t a model prescribed in Scripture, there are some bedrock principles…

 

One of the decisions we made after our change was that we were going to quit reporting our numbers… we wanted to be more focused on discipling and shepherding our people… We changed the culture so that our pastors and shepherds were part of the family…

 

We’re also more open to the Holy Spirit… his presence and gifts… we’ve sensed a fresh wind and fire, a revival, where we’re seeing people healed at our gatherings, where we’re praying over and for people and sharing prophetic words…

 

We are not telling people “This is the only way to do church”; we are saying, “This is what the Holy Spirit has told us to do…”

 

Every church has opportunities to make changes… and we should seize those opportunities… but don’t make them quickly or out of panic… don’t get in a hurry… slow down, take your time, and labor before the Lord… and God’s church will prevail…

 

When you embrace healthy confrontation, while it is hard in the beginning, eventually it becomes normal… once an ego has been exposed, bruised, and then recovers, as a team we’re less likely to get hurt or take offense… it’s a maturing process…

 

http://www.claytonking.com/

Episode 037: Courageous Preaching

For this conversation, we discuss how courageous preaching requires us to say things that are costly.

 

 

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I feel quite honestly that pastors are choosing the charming, winsome, attractional side of preaching at the expense of calling people into the greater good of following Jesus…

 

Every pastor in America is being compared to the four or five most popular preachers… all week long our congregations have instant access to the ten or twelve most popular preachers, and then they gather to listen to us and we’re getting compared to them…

 

The pressure I feel is to be like those other preachers… but that’s not my mission… my mission is to shepherd my congregation in a way that challenges them…

 

Jesus said that it wasn’t the healthy who needed a doctor but the sick… the preacher like the doctor doesn’t have to be boring or mean to be effective but they do have to be truthful… if at the end of the day we’re not diagnosing what’s wrong, we’re not doing our job…

 

If our preaching is void of the medicine that will heal people, we’re giving them appetites for things that will not change their lives…

 

John says that Jesus came full of grace and truth… if we’re preaching the person of Christ, we’re getting grace and truth at the same time…

 

We should be aware of social injustice and social ills… if they are talking about it in the lobby of the church, you should talk about it in the pulpit of the church… if you’re not going to address it, then your congregations will search for answers in other places…

 

Our primary focus, however, is not preaching about social ills… our call is to point people to the person of Christ… our people should walk in with questions about social brokenness, and walk out with a compass that points them to the person of Jesus…

 

When we’re really preaching Jesus, we wind up transcending the petty differences and tribes that are so easy to fall into…

 

I always say to pastors: don’t preach to win fans… the greatest trap we can fall into is preaching in order to win over fans… we’re called to preach to win over disciples…

 

Here’s a practical question for pastors: when was the last time you preached a sermon where you knew ahead of time that it would cost you something? Courageous preaching requires us to say things that are costly… 

 

Episode 036: Contending for the Spirit

For this conversation, Pastors Brady Boyd, Andrew Arndt, and Dr. Glenn Packiam talk about the importance of prayer, and how we are called to lead ministries with prayer at their core, at their essence.

 

When was the last time that you were surprised? I ask myself often, “When was the last time I was surprised by God’s breaking forth into my world?”

 

It is possible for us to become church programming experts who can do this without the surprise of the empowering presence of the Spirit…

 

The Creed says that the Spirit is the GIVER of life, not that he GAVE life… there is a sense in which welcoming the Spirit’s work means recognizing that we don’t just need him for startup but for making the whole thing run…

 

I think there have to be moments in every church’s life where you linger together in prayer… we need regular times where we just wait together on the Lord…

 

Practically, for us, we’ve learned that we just need to schedule it… we need to schedule times to pray together and be together and wait on the Lord…

 

Of all the vocations in the world, pastoral work requires prophetic imagination… and the only way that can happen is to be together in those Spirit-led, Spirit-filled environments…

 

Many pastors take up the Moses model of leadership, but in the New Testament the model was people sitting in prayer meetings together in unity… that’s the model of leadership that the church was birthed in and should be brought back to…

 

It’s easy to tell ourselves that prayer is the warmup… from Paul’s letters we see that prayer is not the prelude but the premise…

 

Prayer meetings help me grow feet… they make my activity more focused and purposeful… a lot of times if I don’t pray, I wander around looking for God’s work in my life, but when I pray it seems like it’s right in front of me…

 

When the Spirit is at work within the way he’s made us, sometimes it will make our minds fire and our hearts burn and make our eyes weep and our bodies want to jump and shout… the different between this and emotionalism is when there is fruit: are we serving our neighbors better and loving Jesus better?

 

There’s a difference between a church that prays and a praying church… every church has some kind of prayer happening… [but] we are called to lead churches that have prayer at their core, at their essence…