KS: If you have something on your heart, step forward and lead it.
What would you do differently, looking back?
MB: We put a lot of money into ads when we didn’t have a good church service. I would have waited till we had a good church service.
MB: Failures is what makes you appreciate what God is doing.
KS: You can change some things pretty quickly if you just focus on them. We used to have the worst world wide website. Then we found someone good, spent six weeks on it, and now people say we are amazing.
What do you do if people are overly friendly to the visitors till they feel like they are being sold something?
KS: Just be yourself. If folks feel they’re being sold something, it’s usually the pastor.
We have occasionally had single guys out there greeting because they want to meet the single women.
And we had one woman passing the plate without enough clothes on. (Giving went down or we might have continued that. I told the pastor in charge of that I was glad he was having to deal with that and not me.)
MB: Anonymity is important. Have shadows: places where people can hide within the service. But then tell them you want to meet them. Tell them you’ll be there and they can come meet you. You want to know their names.
MB: boundaries of the Holy Spirit on my pastoring
I only travel 30 days a year.
I won’t check work email on my day off.
I use all my vacation days.
What about Christian schools?
KS: My kids are in a great public school system here. Yes, if you are in a bad place, go to a private school.
MB: DC’s public schools are awful. Only school we could afford was a Catholic school. (Guess I won’t be invited back next year.) That has brought out lots of discussion. Our six year old Josiah knows we don’t pray to Mary. “I know Mary isn’t God, but she did appear to Juan Diego.” MB laughed. (ed. I actually know what that is all about. And, by the way, if I thought Mary would get Jesus to listen better, I’d be talking to her on a regular basis.)
What is your denominational background?
KS: I grew up Baptist. My dad was a Baptist preacher. My wife didn’t go to her senior prom because we had just started dating and she knew I didn’t believe in dancing. (Really I just didn’t know how to dance.) I have found that a denominational label is a barrier and we are trying to remove barriers from the church.
Btw, we have lots of Catholics coming here. They’ll go to mass on Saturday and then come to church on Sunday. “Father Kerry, I really enjoy mass here.”
MB: I’m a denominational mutt. I am trying my best to teach the full counsel of God. We need lots of different churches because there are lots of different people.
KS: Every day I see people from our staff who have come to Christ through this church. There was Anthony. I ddin’t have faith to pray for him to come to Jesus, I just asked God to take him out. … Anthony i snow our facilities director and started our Spanish services.
MB: Keep a folder of testimonies. Keeps me going.
Last week I got an email, “For the first time ever I am looking forward to going to church.”
MB: There is a cosmic celebration, rejoicing in Heaven every hour, over people coming to Christ. I can’t believe we get to do this!
KS: The stakes are high. If just one person comes to Jesus through your ministry, it was worth doing.