By Gene Appel
Others tell me that I’m a visionary pastor whose personal leadership style is collaborative, empowering, and team-oriented. I love to get the right people and right systems working right. I believe that with God’s touch, great things can happen. Several years ago a leadership consultant studied me and defined me as a “catalyzing leader.” I am motivated by problems and love to build teams, cast vision, and solve problems that have kingdom implications.
I like to pull key leaders and influencers together to prayerfully dream and consider what God is calling our church to do and be. I genuinely want it to be our shared vision, rather than just my vision. There are many opportunities to lead and cast vision through preaching, which I try to do regularly by attaching a high challenge factor to my preaching and teaching. However, the majority of my leadership is expressed through establishing big-picture vision with our elder board; then doing long-range strategic planning with our leadership team based on that vision; which leads to ministry plans for our entire church, with goals measured in six-month increments. I continually recognize the need to be developing the leaders around me through regular communication and taking advantage of growth opportunities together. In addition to this kind of organizational leadership, I try to personally model the vision and values of the church in my personal life and relationships.
Gene Appel is senior pastor of Eastside Christian Church, Fullerton, California.