As we approach Spiritual Leadership Conference, I’ve asked a few of the conference speakers to participate in brief interviews regarding what is involved in launching out by faith. I believe you’ll find their perspectives both helpful and faith-building.
This interview is with Pastor Andrew Reed. Pastor Reed has served as the senior pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Cortez, Colorado, for the past six years. Brother Reed and his wife Angela are both graduates of West Coast Baptist College. I had the privilege of preaching his ordination last summer.
What is an area in the past five years in which you’ve launched out by faith, and how has God blessed?
About five years ago, our church was in a tough spot. I was a young pastor, and there were some difficulties I had inherited with the church. Particularly, some people were divided and resisting our leadership and vision.
My wife and I were discouraged. Sometimes we wondered if we could even help the people. We regularly considered giving up on the church, thinking they needed an older and more experienced pastor. Thankfully, instead of quitting, we decided to trust God, love the people, and preach the Word.
For us, launching out by faith was a commitment to stay in the deep water where God had called us. When we were uncertain about our future, we stayed, and we are so glad we did! Today the spirit of the church is better than it has ever been. Hardly a week goes by without someone being saved, baptized, or joining the church.
How have you seen Satan target leaders who launch out? What is your counsel to others to overcome those challenges?
I think that there are many ways that Satan attacks leaders who launch out by faith; however, I have noticed that, more times than not, it is through pride. Whenever a leader launches out by faith and begins to see God do something, that leader will be tempted to think that all of what has been accomplished is because of his ability and wisdom.
If Satan cannot keep great things from happening for God, he will convince the leader that he is the reason they are happening. Unfortunately, many great leaders have fallen victim to the attack of pride.
To overcome this challenge of being lifted up with pride, we must remember that everything that we accomplish of any value is because of Jesus living in and through us. When I trusted Christ and then answered God’s call to the ministry, I brought nothing to the table. Everything I am able to accomplish, I accomplish through the power of Christ!
What reoccurring obstacles do you face when you sense God calling you to launch out, and how do you overcome them?
It seems every time I sense God calling me to launch out I am faced with the obstacle of doubt. I tend to over analyze the situation and ask, “What if this doesn’t work?” or ”What will others think of this?” or “How will we pay for that?” or “What if I am wrong?”
Many times when God calls me to a decision of faith, He doesn’t make it clear where we are going and how we’re going to get there. He just tells me to launch out and follow His lead.
I have found that the best way to overcome my doubts is to remember past victories in which God has proven His faithfulness. I have also found that feeding on His Word and standing on His promises helps me overcome my questions. God always graciously answers my questions and always proves that He loves me and is faithful!
You have a session at the conference on “Growing in the Pastorate.” Would you provide a brief overview of this session and how it will be a help and challenge to pastors to launch out in faith?
I am familiar with this topic because when I became a pastor I had so much growing to do. I believe that it is imperative for a pastor, especially a young pastor, to establish a pattern of growth and to make a plan for growth early on in his ministry. In reality, all pastors must continue to grow if they desire to continue to see their ministry and influence grow.
In my session at the conference, I will be reflecting on my short time as a young pastor and looking at three truths about growing in the pastorate.
The first truth we will consider is the areas in which a pastor should be growing. These areas range from growing as a family man to growing in our study of God’s Word.
The second truth we will explore is the arenas in which a pastor is able to receive this growth. We see how growth comes from personal training as well as the many practical ministry experiences we get to be a part of.
Finally, we will explore those attitudes that a pastor must have to make sure he continues to grow. Our attitudes can either help or hinder our personal growth in the pastorate.
I believe that this session will help and challenge pastors to grow by inspiring them to not become complacent and satisfied. I hope to encourage pastors to establish a pattern of growth and a to make a plan for growth.
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