Ed Compean pastors Calvary Chapel Githurai, in Nairobi, Kenya. For more info, go to the church website at calvarygithurai.org.
Last week was Calvary Chapel Githurai’s seventh anniversary of our launch service. It was also the Sunday I announced I was moving on and the role of lead pastor was being transitioned to Murigi Kariuki. In the days leading up to our final meeting on details and working through how to communicate this change to the saints in Githurai, I contemplated some of my challenges as a pastor. From that time of contemplation I gave Murigi a list that I plan to share in three parts. It was not a list of what he should do, because he will eventually have his own list of challenges. It was a list of my challenges and hopefully a list that will help him. They are not given in any particular order, and I could probably fill many more posts, but these are the points I considered important to pass on to Murigi and hope they help others.
Unjam and Unhook
Too many times in the the early days of the church, ministry would come to a stand still as people in a minor role of ministry oversight did not feel equipped and lacked ability to see the bigger picture of what God was doing in His local church. They only could see that they were doing chai ministry (think coffee ministry) and did not see their service as a point of hospitality and entry into the church. Looking back I wish I had begun a School of Ministry, or similar, to unify the leaders in vision and purpose. The first SoM (using a “Kenyanized” version of the SoM manual on this site) graduated only six students, but most of them ended up being key leaders in the next season of the church plant. All the graduates had a unified vision of the church and became agents of change and could be trusted to take ministry forward.
Follow up on Delegation
I have been told I’m an encourager and I can confidently say God has allowed me to stir up gifts (2 Tim 1:6) in the servants I’m honored to serve with. I’ve also been told I have a tendency to put people and ministry into action and then never follow up. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time not only developing people and ministry, but systematically following up so they would not grow weary of doing good.
Identify and Disciple Young Leaders
Calvary in Githurai has surely been used of God to develop leaders, but I wish I had particularly invested more, into faithful young men who would be able to teach others. Here in Kenya, more than 50% of the population are considered youth, meaning post-circumcision, but pre-marriage (roughly 18 to 35-years), yet remain among the least reached and ministered to group. I identified too much with potential church planters and families, yet should have spent more time developing youth.
More points will come. My hope is that church planters, and those mentoring planters, will consider what they wish they would have done better. For Timothy types, who are called to stay and not move on to plant another work, I suggest considering how your list may be changed in 2014.