Not many pastors can also claim the title Fire Chief, but in this episode of Real Church Stories, Joe talks with Phillip Murdock, the Lead Minister of Life Pointe Christian Church in Toano, VA and the Fire Chief of the James City Bruton Volunteer Fire Department. Serving in the fire department has given Phillip some unique opportunities for ministry.
In this episode, we hear how Phillip had one career path in mind but when that got derailed, God led him on a different path to ministry. Phillip also shares some of the personal lessons he’s learned in his years of ministry as a Student Minister, Worship Leader, and now Lead Minister.
It was a great conversation!
Some Key Takeaways:
1) Lead Pastors should never underestimate the importance of their connection to other ministries of their church. While the Lead Pastor shouldn’t be the one to carry the load of all ministries, it can mean so much to the different ministry leaders when the Lead Pastor takes a real interest and even involvement in the different ministries of the church and not just send people off to do their own thing.
2) When people leave your church, it hurts. Plain and simple. It doesn’t matter why they leave, it can feel personal and really hurt. We have to be prepared for those times when individuals and families will step away and we need to learn to properly deal with the emotions it creates within us.
3) Ministry can happen in places like firehouses just as easily as it does in a church building. When Phillip joined the volunteer fire department, he found connections with people that he never would have crossed paths with, and he found opportunities to minister to people that may never visit a church building.
In a couple weeks, I'll be sharing my next conversation with Nathaniel Foote, Lead Pastor of Grace Church in Lexington, OH. He shares his experience going from Youth Pastor to Senior Pastor at the same church. I'm excited to share it soon!
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Joe Thompson is the pastor of Smithfield Christian Church in Smithfield, VA (Hamtown USA). Joe grew up highly involved church and knew from middle school that God had called him to ministry. Since graduating from Johnson University (Knoxville, TN) in 2002, he has been involved in student ministries in VA and NC and now as a lead pastor in VA. Joe also holds a Masters of Arts in Religion from Kentucky Christian University (Grayson, KY). Joe has been married to Beth since 2005 and they have two kids, Brennen and Allie. He also loves family trips to Busch Gardens and woodworking.