Developing a Leadership Pipelinepodcaststrategy

Gene Jennings on Passing on the Church to the Next Generation


Hey, everybody, and welcome to this episode of the unSeminary podcast. I’m glad to have you join us today for our chat with Gene Jennings, associate pastor of True North Church.

True North Church was planted in 2004 in North Augusta, South Carolina and is one of the fastest growing churches in the country. True North is a casual church with a great kids’ ministry and a live band. Gene and his wife had left North Augusta years ago and thought they wouldn’t come back. But God led them back home and now Gene works to grow True North within the staff and congregation.

Gene is with us today to talk about developing the church itself and passing the torch to the next generation.

  • Step out in faith. // Starting a new church is a big dream, and it can be overwhelming to think about. But the biggest part is stepping out in faith and going forward where God leads you. Gene had a dream about starting a contemporary church like True North and so he took that leap of faith when lead pastor Steve Davis called and asked him to help start the church with him.
  • Attract the younger generation with new ideas. // It can be difficult to engage the next generation into serving and leading the church. True North is adding in an evening service with features that appeal to the younger generation, such as a coffee bar, food trucks, and fire pits. They are also working with training younger leaders through a ministry residency program.
  • Train the next generation within the church. // One of the special features of True North is the ministry residency program, which is a paid internship. These younger individuals work as part time staff, but they also receive reading assignments each month along with videos and teaching. They are part of the leadership team meetings in the church so that they can be involved in all events and ministries within the church throughout the year.
  • Develop leadership through trust among the staff. // The staff at True North is growing and they work like a family together. The staff is low key and laid back. Gene says the biggest part of working as a staff is working with trust. They hold each other accountable and develop their leadership program as a group. The staff read the book The Speed of Trust by Stephen M .R. Covey together, which Gene recommends as a great read for leadership, and discussed how to implement the ideas within it into their own team.
  • Remain humble. // Gene describes the pastor at True North Church as a very humble man. He doesn’t try to make himself the focus of the church or the ministry, instead he keeps the focus on the Lord. As Gene says, God will bless churches that keep the center of the ministry on God and he believes that is a big part of the success that True North has seen over the last thirteen years.

You can learn more about True North Church at their website

Thank You for Tuning In!

There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, but you chose unSeminary, and I’m grateful for that. If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons you see at the left hand side of this page. Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and you can bet that I read every single one of them personally!

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live! 

Lightning Round

Helpful Tech Tools // Slack, Evernote, Twitter

Ministries Following // Compassion International

Influential Book // Designed to Lead: The Church and Leadership Development by Eric Geiger

Inspiring Leader // George W. Bush

What does he do for fun // learn about the financial market, swing trade options

Contact //, @genejennings

Leave a Response

Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.