Leading When You’re Young & Starting During a Crisis with Brent Ingersoll
Welcome to this week’s unSeminary podcast. I’m really excited to talk with Brent Ingersoll, senior pastor of the multisite Kings Church in Canada.
Kings Church was planted in a suburb of St. John, New Brunswick over 30 years ago but then encountered a crisis in 2012 when there was a moral failure within the senior leadership. During this time the church experienced much upheaval and Brent ended up stepping into the senior pastor role at the age of 29. The good news is that redemption came from this crisis – the former senior leader found healing, it was a restart for the church, a lot of new people came in, and Kings Church is now one of the fastest growing churches in Canada.
Brent is with today to share about leading during a crisis, and what a gift it can ultimately be in shaping you and the church.
- Learn how to shepherd yourself. // When Brent took on the role as senior pastor at Kings Church in 2012, God showed him the connection between the state of his soul and the state of his leadership. He had to learn to shepherd himself before he could shepherd his community. If you lack internal health, when you find yourself in a crisis situation, the unhealthy parts of yourself will come out.
- Manage your influence. // When you’re in a crisis situation on top of being a young leader, it’s a double whammy because your people have uncertainty about the future as well as uncertainty about you. At 29 years old, Brent had to learn how to bring allies at the church along with him who had influence when he didn’t. He had to convince influential people within the church to come alongside him and believe in him. As a young leader, it’s important to surround yourself with people who have influence when you don’t, and who will offer support and guidance. Lean hard into the word of God, especially in preaching, because when you’re young you don’t have a wealth of life experiences to draw from.
- Crisis as a gift. // Over time Brent realized that crisis is a gift, and one that his leadership was born from. Because crisis times are painful, they can be what’s needed to force us to move. During times of crisis at your church, utilize the trauma to mobilize people to a common vision. This was true for Kings Church in 2012, and it can be true for the global Church today in light of the coronavirus crisis. In this COVID-19 season, ask what God is doing and how you can come into alignment with that. Remember that God’s kingdom isn’t shaking. The models that we’ve built or the dreams we had may be shaking and falling to the side, but the Kingdom of God is still advancing. He will use this season to those ends.
- Don’t go back to fishing. // At Kings Church, they are sensing this crisis season is an opportunity to reform. It’s a time to return to the Bible, look at the blueprint, make sure we have the foundational things right, and build back up from there. In the book of Acts, God mobilizes the early church largely through crisis. Pay attention to where God is moving next instead of clinging to what is familiar. Ask yourself: What happened in the early church? What rhythms are non-negotiables? What different shapes can things take?
- God is a giver. // God is not a taker, He is a giver. If God takes something away, He wants to give us something greater. If God is making us reinvent church on some level, it’s because He has something greater in mind. It can be hard to push into the uncertainty, but keep in mind that He is leading us. We need to live surrendered to Him or we will default to living in a self-preserving way. Whatever church will look like next for us, Jesus needs to get the glory. This sets us free from fear of things changing, or needing to be the hero in the current season.
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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Carey Nieuwhof
Surrounding yourself with other high capacity leaders is so important right now. When you’re well connected, you can put meaning to content and make well-informed decisions.
Carey Nieuwhof created The Leader’s Circle in March 2020, an inner circle of high capacity leaders who have direct access to him and to one another. If you want to stop leading alone and start leading together, apply now to join The Leader’s Circle.