Mercy Church Olathe - A Church on the Move

Photo Credit: Whitney Box

Photo Credit: Whitney Box

Wow, what a huge turn out for Mercy Church's FIRST service in Olathe! It was overwhelming to see so many people turn out, some familiar faces, as well as some new faces! Imagine that, "first time guests" coming to church in a garage, crazy cool!

Big thank you to everyone who helped make this happen! Absolutely impossible to have done it alone ... you know who you are! The Elders, Management Team, Staff, Team Leaders, all Volunteers and the entire community at Mercy Church are just amazing! Thank you for believing in me and Jana and the vision of Mercy Church

to lead people to a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ, without being weird about it! 


This week, Sunday, June 14 is our LAST WEEK in my garage ... we have a summer location that is going to be sweet - with A/C! We'll start meeting in NEW summer space Sunday, June 21 (Father's Day) and we'll be celebrating with a BIG HOT PANCAKE BREAKFAST (including Sausage, Eggs, Potatoes, Fruit Salad, Biscuits and Gravy and juice! Everyone is invited out! 

For purposes of food preparations PLEASE shoot me an


to let me know you are coming so I can tell the cooks how much food to prepare! Thank you! 

Photo Credit: WHITNEY BOX

(Photo taken by Professional Photographer and Mercy Church member: Whitney Box)

Mercy Church in a Garage, Really?

Q: Why is Mercy Church starting in a garage in Olathe, Kansas?

A: Simple, we are starting over as a church and we want to conserve our resources. And in order to re-group we (Elders and Staff) felt we should start small and see just where God takes Mercy Church from here. Yes, it's going to be ridiculously awesome crazy at first, but this will give us an idea of just what to prepare for as we move forward.

As many of you know, Mercy Church has a 13 year history in Kansas City. Originally starting in Olathe, Kansas in 2003 as Olathe Life Fellowship, then in 2009 changed name to Mercy Church, then in 2010 moved to Prairie Village. And now June 2015 we are moving back home to Olathe ... to start all over, in a garage! But we are in good company, many a great organizations (pictured above) started in a garage, faced hardship, loss, failure, bankruptcy yet went on to change the world.

The good news is we haven't filed bankruptcy or anything, but we've fallen on hard lean times and it's only up from here for Mercy Church. I hope you will join us in the journey of Mercy moving forward!

Zechariah 4:10 "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand." NLT

I am sure you remember the Sunday School story of the five loaves and two fish from the little boy that were brought to Jesus? Instead of despising the boy’s small lunch, Jesus caused the small lunch to feed more than 5,000 people with 12 baskets full of leftovers! Friends, whatever you are building right now in your career, ministry or business, don't despise the day of small, humble and seemingly insignificant beginnings. (I am preaching to myself now!) Involve Jesus and allow His provision of favor, wisdom and power to multiply and grow whatever little things are in your hands. See them as your very own “five loaves and two fish” even when people around you mock and belittle you. Learn to disregard such people and lay your little before Jesus. While you and I have no power to supernaturally multiply, Jesus certainly does!

Blessings to you!

If you are interested in joining Mercy Church on this journey, here is the info?

Sunday, June 7 - 10:00 am
16272 S. Lennox St. Olathe, KS 66062
(913) 390-1200

Mercy Church is Moving to Olathe

Mercy Church is moving back home to Olathe this summer (Our first Sunday in Olathe will be June 7, 2015), the city where it all began 13 years ago on January 5, 2003! Wow, 13 years ago... gesh, I am getting old!

I don't even know where to start this blog really, so I'll just start: We moved from Olathe down to Prairie Village back in February of 2010 with hopes and dreams of continuing to fulfill the vision and mission of "leading people to a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ" ... without being weird about it! And we have reached many wonderful people, many of whom will be a part of the move back to Olathe, but we never hit stride like we intended. There have been several people over the last 6 years who have said that, "Mercy Church restored my faith in God AND the church!" And because of that how can I have regrets for the work we did accomplish down in Prairie Village. There are people and relationships that have been forged that would have never happened had we not moved.

I have pondered, as anyone would, did we miss God moving from Olathe in the first place? I mean it was going so well, why the move? I can honestly say I do not feel we missed God. And for whatever purpose God lead us to move to Prairie Village, and now He is leading us back to Olathe. Until God visits me and gives me the "whys" to all that happens in life's journey, I just continue to follow Him the best I can.

I could get into all the reasons I feel we didn't ever thrive in Prairie Village like we had planned, or like we had in Olathe, but that's all water under the bridge now. There's no point or value in coulda-shoulda-wouldas! (I do believe there are great benefits in me and the team knowing the reasons, but for the sake of this blog post it's not important for me to share them. Though I will say if you are a church planter it's critically important to know your city, it's culture, it's vibe, and especially know all the demographics.)

The bottom line for me and Mercy Church is that we (7 Elders and 4 Staff) looked at where we were, and looked at our vision and felt that we needed to move to a community that we could reach our full potential as a church community. And as they say in the business world, "LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION are the three most important things" when looking for a place to launch a business (and this would include launching a church).

If you are interested in attending Mercy Church Olathe, or being a part of the launch team we are assembling, please email me directly and I will get you in touch with the right team member for whatever opportunities you are interested in here at Mercy:

I would like to conclude this blog post by saying I am sorry for those of you who are hurt that we are moving. I am sad, and do wish we could make everyone happy. I know it's not possible, but it is still my wish.

As we prepare for the official public launch date we are assembling a Dream Team ... if you are interested in helping plant a thriving church in Olathe with a vision of leading people to a healthy relationship with Jesus without being weird, please contact us!

Available Leadership Positions:
Worship Leader
Kid's Life Coordinator
Youth Pastor
Small Group Pastor

Rest for the Soul

I was speaking to someone the other day who used to be a pastor. He said he lost his family, his church and is driving a delivery truck now all because he didn't take time for himself and his family. He said, "I worked all the time, and I didn't know how to slow down or say no. I was trying to be the 'pastor' everyone wanted. I tried to be all things to all people all the time and I ended up losing myself and my family in the process."

I do not think this "busy thing" is unique to pastors. I think this is a problem we all face in culture today, especially with the use of all the wonderful technology, which is a blessing AND a curse. 24 hour connectivity is great for those who need to get a hold of you, but isn't good for the soul.

Take (1) day of rest, a sabbath - Exodus 20:8–11

It's important to have (1) day you cease from your work. Do what you love to do. On that day do only what refreshes you, builds you up, encourages you and makes you smile. Make sure to surround yourself with people who make you laugh, smile and feel good about life.

I must warn you, guard this day with your life! And invite close friends and family to hold you accountable to it. People will try to steal it from you, not intentionally of course, but it will happen. You are often the only one who can stand guard over your life, do it with all diligence! Your Soul will be glad!

I read an amazing book that touches on this topic even more, called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, and I did a review here!

Easter 2015 Reflection

I always enjoy Easter. It's when you can expect to see the whole church family on the same Sunday. It's like a huge "church reunion" of sorts. And this year was no different. The parking lot was full, the pews were packed, the energy was palatable, and most importantly the presence of God was powerful. Watch it HERE!

SPECIAL THANKS to all the wonderful, kind, compassionate and committed people at Mercy Church who served to make the day a success! You are the best!

Notes from Easter Message:

MEMORY VERSE: Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

MAIN TEXT: Luke 23:26-43

1) God hasn't FORGOTTEN you.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 “... anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. (NLT)

2) You are FORGIVEN.

Romans 3:23-24 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” (NLT)

3) God wants you to live FREE.

Romans 8:1-3 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.”

4) NEW life is available through JESUS.

Romans 6:4 “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

(All Scriptures are New International Version unless otherwise noted)

I See Problems, God Sees Answers

There are five kinds of people, as I see it, when it comes to dealing with problems.

1) Those who see problems and love to point them out. (Problem Finders)

2) Those who see problems and love to whine, grip and complain about them. (Problem Whiners)

3) Those who act as though there are no problems. (Where's Waldo Problems)

4) Those who see problems and want nothing to do with them so they run away. (Problem Chickens)

Then there is my personal favorite ...

5) Those who see problems and go straight to trying to find answers and fix them. (Problem Solvers)

The three most destructive behaviors are #2, #3, and #4 ... and to me the most destructive to an organization is #2, Problem Whiners. These are the people who spoil not only themselves, but everyone else around them. They are poisonous to any team attempting to accomplish a vision. Complaining is easy... it's a sign of laziness. Don't be that guy!

There are always going to be problems, in every family, in every church, in every work place, in every school, in every team, in every organization, absolutely everywhere. And this is because there are no perfect people.

My Challenge:

Be a problem solver in whatever church, team, organization, school, group you are in! Be the kind of person who when you see a problem you look to find answers and then ACT! Fix it! Rally people around you to help you fix it. Let people know TOGETHER WE CAN DO THIS!

Side note:  I believe in a Christian context that usually when we see a problem God is calling us to FIX IT! That is why the problem has been revealed to us, because we have the capacity to do something about it. This should give you a different perspective on "problems." They are revealed to you to do something about it, so be a person of courage and ACT!

2014 Easter Reflection

Wow, we did it! Another Easter successfully accomplished! Easter does stress me out a bit, not in a bad way, in a good way. It’s an exciting stress, if there is such a thing. For many it’s the one church service they will attend, and I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to preach the Gospel Message clearly so it’s not lost on the hearer.

Our church has a history of doubling on Easter. So whatever we run on a normal Sunday, double that number and that is our Easter! So, as you can imagine it’s a bit crazy getting ready for it. I am so proud of the Mercy Church community! Our Dream Team, those who volunteer, rose to the occasion and did a great job making sure everyone who attended feel welcomed and loved. I received several emails from first time Easter attendees, here is just one:

Pastor Timmy, 

I attended church Easter Sunday for the first time with my roommate XXXXX. I grew up Catholic & have lost my interest in church within the last few years. My roommate suggested I go with her & see what it was like. I enjoyed your service very much. I felt so welcomed & did not feel "lost" during the service at all. I really enjoyed the Church's freelance style while at the same time being organized. I had a great first time experience & want to thank you for that. It’s refreshing to attend a service that was about ME as an individual yet still centered around God. I really like what you guys have going on, & I will definitely attend in the future. 

Thank you!! - Emily 

Easter, to me, is a forecast of what is to come for our church. Or at least what is possible if we will be faithful with what God has already given us. It’s a glimpse of what could be or should be for Mercy Church if we will all rally together and cease the moment! I believe that every Sunday can be Easter!


For those who were at our Easter know that we had a power outage right as service was to begin (only on Easter, right!) and our Worship Team Member, Scott Nance played his violin marvelously to entertain the crowd while we scrambled to get the power back on. And thanks to Dustin Matzek, a Dream Team Member, we found the switch and got us back on! It was a interesting start to a service, but all ended well! 


Several people prayed a Prayer to dedicate and/or rededicate their lives to Christ on Easter, and that’s what it’s all about – getting people to commit their lives to Christ! Amen!

Sabbatical Reflections

I am on day 30 of a 48 day sabbatical.

What is a sabbatical? It’s a time for rest, reflection and recharging. What do you do on a sabbatical? Rest, reflect and re-charge primarily. J
It’s definitely not a vacation, even though I kicked off my sabbatical on the heals on my yearly vacation. So really the first 20 days were my family vacation, not sabbatical, but it just worked to do it all at the same time. The rest, reflect and re-charge is more the end goal… it’s what I am doing to accomplish those goals, i.e. Reading (7 books already) attending other churches (which I never get to do) and attending a church leadership workshop to help me be a better pastor and leader. So it’s not like I am sitting poolside or playing Angry Birds. Ha ha! I’m not much for games anyway; don’t even have a single game on my iPhone. It’s not really even time off, but rather time away to focus on filling up those places I’ve emptied out.

Don't Let Ministry Kill You

(This blog entry is for anyone considering being a pastor)

This month Mercy Church (formerly known as Olathe Life Fellowship) celebrates its 10th Anniversary. I almost wanted to say, “Mercy Church survives 10 years of ministry by the grace of God!” On some level that is totally true! Sometimes that’s just how ministry feels … almost like running a marathon. It’s extremely rewarding and euphoric at times, but also difficult and grueling. It’s been a wonderful 10 years, though my hope and prayer is that the next 10 are even more fruitful.

I am a part of a wonderful church planting organization called ARC (Association of Related Churches) based out of Birmingham, Alabama. Because of that relationship I get calls from young soon-to-be church planters/pastors asking me to share the wisdom from my experience of planting a church 10 years ago and we are still up and running.

I am not sure if what I have to share would be considered wisdom, but I have learned some things, though not all good, but it is my experience, my journey of planting a church. So here you go, a few things I’ve learned over the 10 years of being a pastor, church planter, teacher, leader, friend, counselor, wedding officiant, administrator, visionary, financial planner, strategist, and most importantly - husband, father and of course Christ-follower!

1)      It’s easy to lose your family in the maze of ministry!

Don’t! It’s just not worth it. Your family is more important! Please don’t forget that! Fortunately I have kept my marriage and my family, but it hasn’t been easy, and not without some battle wounds. You have heard it said a million times, “your #1 ministry is YOUR FAMILY!” Live like that is true, because it is.

2)      Try to keep your ego out of it.

Early on I really struggled with this one, actually I’m not really so sure I struggled with it; I just let my ego run wild. It’s hard to do and I’m not so sure I am doing so good at it now, but I know I am way beyond where I was years ago! Age and experience has a way of refining you, if you let it.

I believe that if you can keep your ego out of it you will see the success you dream about sooner than later.

3)      Be careful how you define success.

I come from a church culture that defines success in numbers. And for a church that is Attendance and Offering numbers. If those are up and growing, then you are a success, if not, than you are not a success.

And what sucks is that as much as we say, “I don’t care about the numbers!” We do care, and the line we always use to justify this obsession is, “numbers equal people and we care about people … plus there is an Old Testament Book of the Bible named Numbers!” Ha ha! On one hand I get it, and we count every Sunday both attendance and offering to see where we are, and that’s okay. We want to be good stewards! BUT if you get your value and sense of well-being from those numbers, something is seriously out of whack.

If you want to get Biblical about it, just look at various characters in the Bible who didn’t seem to have the “numbers” or the “success” but were following God’s perfect plan for their lives and ministry, i.e. Jeremiah is a good one.

Obviously, our churches should be pursuing growth, especially if it’s reaching people for Christ! But, in my humble opinion I believe that our success should be defined by three things:

                                           I.            Our personal relationship with God.

                                        II.            Our relationship with our spouse.

                                     III.            Our person relationship with others.

4)      You can’t make everyone happy.

I have tried, and it is the one thing in life that I have conceded is in fact impossible. It doesn’t matter what you do, you’ll never make everyone happy. If you do contemporary worship some will love it, some will not. (I know, hard to believe!) If you preach verse by verse some will love it, some will not. If you preach topical, some will love it, some will not. Some will like the new staff member, others will not. Some will like the church structure, others will not. On and on we go.

Bottom line, your church cannot make everyone happy, so don’t even try.

5)      Be who God called you to be.

Yet another area I struggled with early on in ministry. And frankly, I still wrestle with knowing just who I am. But early on I tried to be Rick Warren (although a skinnier version (I don’t mean that mean, it’s just what popped into my mind, so I typed it … lol!) I tried to be Andy Stanley, Bill Hybels, Joel Osteen, Timothy Keller, Chris Hodges, (add successful famous pastor’s name here) and it just didn’t work.
I did and do actually preach my own original sermons each week (maybe that’s the problem – lol!) so I never got in to preaching other pastors material, but I tried to be like them in other ways, and it just didn’t work. I am Timmy Gibson, a unique and special individual, just like you are unique and have that special something that only you have. Be you, and I promise you won’t have to try as hard!

6)      Love Jesus.

Thankfully this is one area that’s been easy for me, probably because of my strong Christian heritage. I love Jesus more today than ever. Unfortunately I have seen many pastors fall by the wayside for some reason or another. Usually sin. I don’t know how else to say it, but simply love Jesus a lot! Let it be the one thing that is constant about you and your life. People will appreciate it more than a lot of other things you could do for them.

And by “loving Jesus” I am talking about doing whatever it takes to maintain a close relationship with Him! You won’t regret it.

7)      Constantly ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”

And answer HONESTLY! Sometimes we do good things for the WRONG reasons. Be careful, it’s easy to do. Too many pastors do what they do more for their ego then they do for God or people. I know this because I’ve been there.

8)      Find community outside your church.

I’ve made friends in our church, and have lost friends in our church! Ouch! Ministry is painful. Everyone wants to be your friend (at least they think they do). But the reality is that most people can’t handle it, even in a culture like ours where who I am on Sunday is who I am during the week still doesn’t work to have close friends from the congregation. I have even had people seek my friendship and when they don’t get it leave the church. Ha ha! I’m not totally sure why friendships don’t work with those inside the church, it just doesn’t.

There are exceptions to the rule, I do have a couple friends who have been mature enough to be our friends and congregation members at the same time, but normally this never works out. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a relationship with someone in the church, but a close friendship is pretty impossible. Here is one reason; if and when they leave your church it is incredible difficult to not take it personal … especially when they have told you, “I would never leave you or your church … unless you killed someone, then I might leave.” And next thing you know, they leave.

So, be careful and look for friends outside your local church, and having other pastors as friends can be helpful too … only if they are awesome!

9)      To be a pastor you must be called to do it. 

      Don’t do it because you think it will be cool. Ha ha! First, it’s not cool! Secondly, you won’t last unless you are called to do it.

10)   Have fun!

Ministry should be enjoyable. I had fun the first several years, then as ministry got tough and people got difficult I stopped having fun. And what is sad is that I am normally a really fun guy who loves to laugh and have a good time. Ministry sucked that out of me. And I went through a season of funk that wasn’t fun. Not for me, my wife, my kids or those who worked with me. Actually the whole church culture began to shift from a from place to a not so fun place. That led to hiring some not-so-fun people that would’ve never been hired in our fun phase. Of course I had to fire them so we could begin getting our fun culture back. It’s taken a while, but we’re back, thank God!

Here’s the deal, just like most things in life there is a side of it (whatever “it” is) that we love and enjoy, then there is another side that isn’t so enjoyable. Not that it is bad in any way, there is just a fun part and a not so fun part. It’s life. It’s like a child; there are a lot of wonderful things about having children. But with that comes poopy diapers that need to be changed, dirty butts that need to be wiped, etc. It’s just part of it. Church is no different! There are things about it I absolutely love, and there is the other. What I have learned to do is to remember to focus on the things I love. You should too! And don’t allow anything to rip the fun out of ministry.

My prayers are with you!

How to Get a Full-Time Ministry Job

What does it take to get a full-time job?

That's a question I wrestled with right out of bible college, as I know many bible college graduates do. The principles I will share here apply to ANY college graduate who would like to do something they love full-time.

I’ve had several young college graduates over the years, fresh off the campus of some Bible College ask me about how to get into a full-time ministry job. And I actually do have some thoughts on that subject, being in ministry myself for over 22 years now, 15 of which have been full-time. I have a few pointers for young ministers who desire to be in the ever-so coveted ‘full-time ministry’ position.

And just a side note here, I completely understand desiring to be in full-time ministry; I really craved it like I crave food after missing several meals. It was all I could think about, and there were times I wondered, “Would I ever be in full-time ministry?” And it bothered me with each passing day that I wasn’t, because I really wanted to be doing my ‘calling’ full-time. Many nights I would fall asleep crying as I prayed for the opportunity. I really struggled while waiting tables at restaurants during those early years, knowing my heart was really in ministry, but I knew it was all part of the bigger picture, my life’s journey.


I am not going to state the obvious things that are necessary for ministry, i.e. a true heart for God, people skills, healthy spiritual disciplines, being a person of strong character, and integrity, etc. etc. You know this, or should!

1)  Be a great FOLLOWER.  

How well you follow another leader will determine how well you lead others, or if you get to lead others.

If all you really want is to be in the position of ‘leader’ you are missing the whole point of Jesus’ example of servant leadership in ministry. You do not influence people with a position or title, many young leaders miss this. They think they need the position to lead, but they don’t, they just need to be able to influence, then they’ll be the leader. This is why many would-be leaders don’t ever rise to leadership: They aren’t effective at influencing others.

“Leadership is influence” John Maxwell

Jesus came to serve, not be served and that is true leadership. If all you want is to be large and in charge, it’s not going to work out so well for you, especially in the church world. In the church world it’s all about humility and that’s something we all struggle with.

2)  Treat your volunteer position or part-time staff position like you would a FULL-TIME position.

I don’t mean put in crazy hours and sacrifice your life or the life of your family, but be diligent, committed, engaged, be organized, be a go-getter and model hard work and faithfulness.

I spent seven years as a volunteer in the local church before I was ever even considered for a ‘paid’ position. I worked my rear off FOR FREE! Not to mention many years I spent in a church that I wasn’t ever told “thank you” by any of the paid leadership, and that was okay, because I wasn’t doing it for them. I don’t regret one second of it! I was getting an education, and if I’m being honest here, maybe more of an education in ministry than I did even at Bible College. It was a hands-on education for sure.

I never felt ‘entitled’ like so many I see today do. I knew I had to earn my keep with blood, sweat and tears. I didn’t expect anything I didn’t earn. Just because I went to four years of Bible College didn’t mean jack crap in the real world, and I knew that. I had to prove myself by getting the job done, and done well. Everyone MUST prove themselves. Education is very important, but an education doesn’t supersede being able to get-r-done. I don’t care how many degrees you have -- if you can’t do the job, then what’s the point? Again, education is really important, but it is only part of the picture. Knowing HOW to do something is much different than actually being able to DO it.

The worst thing you could ever say to a pastor/boss/supervisor, “If I was full-time I could do a better job.” Ha ha! I actually had a young staff member say this to me years ago. And I said, “What you do as a part-timer is what we’ll get if we hire you full-time, just more of it!” And that wasn’t much, if anything.

My dad taught me to “work as unto the Lord, not unto men.” Which he said, “Son, even if you are volunteering for something, do it with all you got, as if your life depended on it. Do it better than everyone else, and you will be rewarded!”

We had a volunteer here at Mercy Church back several years -- we’ve actually had many wonderful volunteers -- but one sticks out to me because he went on to full-time ministry, and I knew he would. Why? Because he was AWESOME as a volunteer, far exceeded most all ‘paid staff’ at the church at that time. He never asked for anything, he just got it done, and got it done very well. He went on to Bible College, then on to work in youth ministry at a very large church in Arizona. And guess what? He is knocking it out of the park, of course, I knew he would, I saw it in him as a volunteer.

Proverbs 18:16 A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.

This is the very reason I was hired on at a mega-church down in Texas with no real prior “full-time” experience. The pastor called my VOLUNTEER REFERENCES and I received HIGH reviews. And any pastor knows that how you are as a volunteer so you are as a staff member.

A pastor sees that you knocked it out with no pay, and that tells him you’ve got a great work ethic, and that your motivation is in the right place. You are doing it for the love of God and ministry, not the money.

3)  Don’t treat your volunteer position or part-time position as a mere ‘stepping stone’ to great things.

There is one thing I have learned in ministry, and that is we are in the people business, and if you are not genuinely concerned about others, you’ll never make it in ministry. If you are doing ministry more for yourself, your own ego, it’s not going to go well at all.

I know this all too well, because that was me for many years. I wanted ministry more for my own ego than I did to really serve people and further the cause of Christ. Now of course I could, and did, know that right answer when people would ask, “Why I was in ministry,” but it wasn’t the truth. I was self-deceived. But I knew the truth down deep, I wanted ministry for me.

I stopped doing the volunteer opportunities like mere steppingstones and began really pouring myself into them. Truth be told, many times employers will look at the volunteer “experience” as real experience, so make it worth having on your resume!

4)  Be so good that they’ll have to hire you full-time.

I have told many part time staff over the years, make me hire you fulltime! Make me go get a side job to pay you. I have had some staff take my up on that over the years.

5)  Help grow the church, not just your ministry.

Be a team player!

6)  Never ever, ever make excuses.

The worst line I can ever hear from someone, “we can’t do that now because …” or, “If only we had more money we could do something cool …” excuses, excuses, excuses. My personal opinion is that leaders don’t make excuses. This doesn’t mean we ignore obstacles, but a real leader looks for ways to get under, over, or through any obstacle!

Side note: Yes there are times that you can’t do something because of some limitation, whether its lack of people or money, I get it. But that is when a real leader thinks of another way to do it. Don’t let some little limitation stop you from doing something great. Don’t sell out to excuses. Because if you do, you’ll have an excuse for why you haven’t done anything great in life.

A Story of overcoming an obstacle: Back when we started the church, we didn’t have a facility. We rented a school for Sunday service, so we didn’t have a cool place to hold our youth mid-week service. And we didn’t have money, didn’t have a live band, and not very many youth either. That didn’t stop the youth from coming up with an idea to hold service in my garage each week. They hung black sheets to cover the junk in my garage, and set up some chairs, printed cool little bulletins and set up a little sound system to play worship via CD. It wasn’t long before they packed out my garage with 30-40 students every Wednesday night. It was crazy.

Where there is a will, there is a way!

One of the churches I had the most success in was a lame church, with lame leadership, a lame vision, lame facilities (church was in a trailer home converted into a church,) lame doctrine, lame area, lame pay ($25 a month was my salary) and only a handful of kids. We took that little handful of teenage kids and grew it to 24 students in six months.

I treated that ‘lame’ position like it was a full-time position with a big salary, an attractive health insurance package and a 401(k)! The position deserved my full heart, it deserved my full effort … I was doing it for God. And I used that experience on my resume!

7)  Be loyal to the boss/pastor.

One of the things that I learned the hard way was how to be a loyal employee/staff member. It’s critical to the success of the organization as well as to the relationships within the organization.  All bosses require it, even if they don’t verbalize it, they expect it. And it should be given, even if the boss isn’t all that great. And if you are in a situation where the boss is legitimately bad, move on. Don’t cause strife and division, move on and find a boss you can support and be loyal to.

Q: What if I am at a church that that isn’t growing enough to offer a full-time job?

Great question, I recommend making an appointment with the pastor/leader/boss and saying, “Hey, I’d love to be full-time, is that a possibility here, and if not do you mind if I start searching?” and any loving good pastor would say, “Absolutely you can! I will help you, I have many contacts.”