Relationships, adaptation crucial to ministry

0 Comment Wayne.Steffen
February 22, 2011

Making solid relationships and adapting to change can make or break ministry, the pastor of a church of 8,000 told more than 400 pastors, lay leaders and parachurch staff during Fresno Pacific University’s 2011 Central Valley Ministry Forum.

Larry Osborne, senior pastor at North Coast Church, Vista, California, was the speaker at the February 17 event in the Special Events Center on the main FPU campus. His title was “Ministry in a Hyperchange World: Staying Focused When Everything is a Blur.”

In his opening session, Osborne looked at a study of MBA graduates companies “fast-tracked” for major success. The study listed 12 reasons why some didn’t live up to their potential, but Osborne boiled it down to two.

  • Poor relationship skills. “In other words, they don’t play well with others in the sandbox,” he said.
  • The inability to adapt. “They were poor at what I like to call mid-course corrections,” he said.

Relating and adapting are Scriptural skills, according to Osborne, but they are not enough. The most important skill is to do God’s will in love. “A very simple recipe that very few people, and unfortunately very few churches, can get out of the oven,” he said.

North Coast has been named one of the 10 Most Influential Churches in America for pioneering video venues, leading the multi-site movement, sermon-based small groups, missonal community service and shared leadership. Osborne, who is also president of the North Coast Training Network, has written books including Sticky Teams, Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page—winner of Christianity Today’s Golden Canon 2010 Leadership Book Award—Sticky Church, Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe, A Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God, Spirituality for the Rest of Us and The Unity Factor.

Other Ministry Forum sponsors were Chick-fil-A, Spirit 88.9 radio, Growing Healthy Churches, Link Care Center, Dumont Printing and Mailing, Christian Business Men’s Connection, The Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, Fresno/Madera Youth for Christ, Uncle Harry’s Bagels, Producers Dairy, Wawona Foods and The Mennonite Brethren Foundation. 

Many people have requested to have access to the Ivan and Beth Paz video. You can watch the video below, or download it here. Or, if you're interested in the audio files, here you go! Session 1 Session 2 Session 3

About the author

Wayne Steffen is university editor at Fresno Pacific University, where he edits Pacific magazine. Before joining FPU in 1996, he was a writer and editor at several community newspapers and a college in the Midwest.

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