Developing a Leadership Pipelinepodcast

Speaking Truth to the Hearts of Executive Pastors with Kevin Davis

Welcome back to this week’s unSeminary podcast. Today we’re talking with Kevin Davis from 2|42 Community Church in Michigan. Kevin is one of the executive pastors and focuses on small groups, culture, and leadership development.

What makes a good ministry leader? How can you learn to lead yourself well? How do you work through conflict with other church leaders and put the church first? Listen in as Kevin shares about what has impacted him the most in his own leadership development and how church leaders can best live out their ministry callings.

  • Church first; job second. // Being a campus pastor is a difficult job in the church world because you may feel responsible for everything but you don’t have the authority to change everything. Yet the role is very important. At 2|42 Community Church each of the campuses are in varying communities and it’s critical that each campus pastor has a voice in the decisions and direction of the church so that one campus doesn’t speak for the rest and miss capturing what’s needed. Campus pastors need to bleed and know the DNA of 2|42, but also adapt and make it contextual in the communities where they serve. What helps with this is that nearly all campus pastors have been hired from within and so 2|42 is their church first and their place of employment second.
  • Know your calling. // In order to deal with the tension between responsibility and authority, the campus pastor, or any other church leader, needs to have some good practices in place. Know your identity and where your worth comes from. You don’t always have to be right. If you know God has called you to this ministry, then you can stick with it knowing it’s where you’re supposed to be, even when things aren’t easy or there’s conflict. Develop relationships with other staff members and cultivate loyalty to hold on to the relationship side. Honor each other and work through your differences. Keep short accounts and always put the church ahead of yourselves.
  • Submission. // Kevin notes that submission has been the most formative aspect of his own development as a leader. Being a good follower of leaders is what prepares you to be a good leader. We are not called to be famous. When you’re in your 20s, focus on developing your character – this time is about who you will BE for the church. That way in your 30s, 40s and 50s it will be about what you DO for the church. The best thing a young person can do right now is to be in submission, be mentored, give people access to all their business, to let others challenge them and form and shape them into the character of the person God needs them to be in 10 years.
  • Learn to be a servant. // Don’t let culture (even church culture) define success for you. A large part of an executive pastor’s job is to discover the gifting and calling of the lead pastor and then fill in the gaps around that. This dynamic creates a collaborative power. Remember that all authority that is placed over us is from God and that submission is a form of chosen suffering. Your leadership structure and those in authority over you (regardless of how good or bad they are) can make you more holy as you learn to be obedient. Champion your boss, supporting him or her, and work to make them successful. Follow the leader over you in the way you would want to be followed.
  • Leadership development. // If you’d like to develop your own leadership, Kevin recommends a few different books including How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by Clay Scroggins as well as The Truest Thing about You: Identity, Desire, and Why It All Matters by David Lomas and also Anonymous: Jesus’ hidden years…and yours by Alicia Britt Chole.

You can learn more about 2|42 Community Church at and connect with Kevin via email. To learn more about NewThing visit

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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Chemistry Staffing

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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.