Our team often has the chance to connect with churches who are just knocking it out of the park with how they're reaching their community, focusing on their mission, and staying focused on where they're headed rather than where they've been.
This week on the podcast, we're talking with a pastor of one of those churches. Mark Pritchard is the Lead Pastor at Church at the Gates in Missoula, MT, a church I personally had the opportunity to work with a couple years back. They went through a planning process with The Unstuck Group, similar to what we do in VisionDay, and came out with some incredible clarity and unity for where they're headed as a ministry.
We had a ton of fun on this episode (Austin's question of the day was the most random one yet) and we loved hearing about the ministry Church at the Gates is doing today and how Mark has grown in his leadership. I feel like this happens every time we record a new episode, but this is definitely one of my favorite conversations:
Here are some key takeaways from today's conversation:
Across the board, getting a set of outside eyes on your ministry is so valuable. I love the story of how Mark and his team had been struggling for months on what the mission of their church should be, and then came to consensus on a new direction within just a few minutes during the planning retreat. It just took someone from the outside to come in and guide the conversation to help them ask the right questions.
Your mission should be simple. It's so easy to complicate things as we structure our ministries. But why you exist needs to be understood by everyone in your church and should make sense to people outside the church as well.
Don't give up. "I can't think of a more forgotten, but a more powerful group of God's workers than small-church pastors... Just don't stop." Mark's encouragement is simple and great at the end of this week's episode.
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Dale is the Executive Director here at 95Network and the author of Stalled: Hope and Help for Pastors Who Thought They'd Be There By Now. He has been in ministry for 40 years and is dedicated to helping small and mid-size churches get healthy. Dale has served in nearly every role of church leadership (except Worship Pastor), and has had a wide variety of coaching and consulting experience. He and his wife Gina have been married almost 40 years and live in Greenville, SC.