If I was a YOUNG Lead Pastor again … 3 things I’d do VERY differently

Posted: April 30, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Ann and I before the move to Jerusalem

Ann and I before the move to Jerusalem

Ann and I have pastored in Jerusalem for 30 years. We co-founded King of Kings in 1983, and five years later I became the lead pastor, at age 35. You can do the math.

If I could live it over again, I’d do some things VERY differently…

1. I wouldn’t be so hung up on my biological age

For some strange reason I thought I was too young to be the lead guy. I was no spring chicken, but in my head, I was 21. I would actually get external feedback to confirm my illusion; many thought I was ten years younger (and still do).

As long as you feel too young to lead you’re going to be tentative — in casting vision, and tentative about persuading others to join you on the journey, especially when they’re older than you.

I was that guy.

25 years later I shout our vision from the housetops and actively recruit others to join the team.

Today I’m older in body and more self-aware. And lately, I’ve reflected back and wondering why I didn’t take the scriptures more seriously — and follow in the footsteps of young leaders who knew their God and did exploits.

I think of young adults who were probably much younger than me that God chose for leadership responsibilities bigger than mine — David, Esther, Daniel, to name a few. And then there’s King Josiah who ascends to the throne at age 8!

I identify with Timothy. Paul writes to this ‘young’ lead pastor: “Let no one despise your youth.” (1 Timothy 4:12).

Most scholars think Timothy was already in his 30’s or 40’s. But my sense is, Timothy had a warped concept of age, like I did.

Timothy’s hangup about his youth was probably a major cause for his lack of boldness in leadership. Paul, sensing Timothy’s timidity, exhorts him saying, “I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear….” (1 Timothy 1:1-3).


“The fear of man brings a snare.” (Proverbs 29:25) To be honest, my hangup about my youth snared me. And it’s taken me many years to break free and take bolder steps in leadership.

O, if I only I could do it all over again….

My next blog post? The second thing I’d do very differently … Delegate More!

Did you ever have a hangup about your age? Did it hold you back from reaching your full potential as a leader? Have you found ways to break free? Tell me about it. I’m sure your experience will be an encouragement to me and many others.  

  1. Rory McDonald says:

    You’re what age!!! Can’t believe it Wayne. I’ve sent the link to my homechurch in Dublin but when in Israel you will always be my Pastor (always ready to wash your feet)….

    • Ana Willis says:

      Rory we’re with you! Pr. Wayne will always be our pastor and we’re always ready to wash his feet! 🙂 When we were serving at KKCJ I always thought of myself as seating at my rabbi’s feet, my husband and I could never get enough of learning from Pr. Wayne, what a blessing! He truly makes disciples!

      • Ana, so kind of you to say. BTW, nice pictures with Hilda. I was with Faytene today in Jakarta, Indonesia. She told me all about the march. Greetings to Ryan!

  2. Hey Rory, You’re missed in Jerusalem. Come see us!

  3. Mike says:

    I remember meeting that young man at a breakfast in the King David Hotel in 83 and spending some time on the beach at the Galilee. Yep time does fly when your having fun and change comes to all of us as we grow from strength to strength, faith to faith and glory to glory.

    • Mike, wow, the time has flown. I also remember that breakfast. It was a defining moment for me. Could have gone another direction but He sustained me through the years. And for both of us, the best is yet to come!

  4. david ripley says:

    Wayne, if I could do it all over again. I would not get caught up in the numbers game and secondly, I would not loose so much sleep when someone left the church. God brings some in and takes some out. Its the spiritual cycle of church life.

    • David…right on. These are things that I’ve had to wean myself from over the years as well. It’s still a challenge, but I think I’m doing better. I’m really grateful for your input. Blessings

  5. corykilgus says:

    Hi Wayne, my name is Cory Kilgus and I am 27 years old and have been a Christian for a little under 4 years. I have been part of the same church for my entire walk, and now I believe the Lord is calling me to South America as a missionary and Bible College Student. My senior Pastor is behind me, the pastors in Peru and CHile I know are also very supportive, and we have a team set up of faithful brothers and sisters to pray for us and encourage us. Yet, I get very tentative to open up about my plans because I feel yound and inexperienced just like Soloman did. I also take great comfort in 1 Timothy 4:12, So, thanks for the story and the encouragement. My wife and I are hoping and praying to head to South America in August where we will attend Bible College, and then trek from Cajamarca, Peru to Talcahuano, Chile and back in conjunction with our friends in Santiago, Chile ministering to people in several towns who need Jesus and need to hear the Word of God.

    • Cory… great to hear about your vision. When you know the will of God you can lead with confidence — not confidence in yourself, but confidence in God. Would love to get updates on how things develop in your leadership. Blessings.

  6. Reblogged this on danchappell1028 and commented:
    You get to tell it to the next generation and thank God it’s not just theory but life. I don’t think anything is lost. We are what we know to be at the time. The treasure we receive now is wisdom by looking back. More valuable than gold. Good word Wayne bless you and your wife. Since reading your blog I have been encouraged to pray for you.

  7. Bruce says:

    Well. it is fun to visit the past occasionally, eh. But happily we don’t live there because there is too much to do today and the days ahead. You guys are an inspiration and will always be very much in the now. Keep truckin’ and leading and inspiring. The best days are ahead!

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