OK, we’re actually flying, so technically it’s not a road trip — although there will be driving involved.
Along with Jim and Rick (our senior and executive pastors), I will be traveling to Tulsa and then to Joplin, Missouri, to meet with candidates for staff positions at Mountainview Church. I’ve only been to Tulsa one time, back in 1988 or 1989. I had traveled there with some college buddies to attend a week-long conference. My only lasting memory of Tulsa was driving by the Will Rogers Methodist Church. Having grown up in a denomination that usually named her churches after either the street they were on or the town they were in, this church caught my eye. Also, I happen to be fond of quotes from Will Rogers. A few samples …
- “Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what’s going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?”
- “Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.”
- “I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they do today.”
Enough about Will Rogers.
The closest I’ve ever been to Joplin was when mom and dad took me to Branson, Missouri, back when I was in the sixth grade. That was back before Branson had grown into what it is today. We went to see the Baldknobbers Jamboree Show, not surprising since Hee-Haw was a big hit on television. One of my cousins from Springfield, MO, went with us. And then we went to Silver Dollar City.
I’m looking forward to this trip for several reasons. It will be the first time we have traveled together as a pastoral leadership team and we should have ample hours to talk and dream together. This is part of what I love about working in a staff environment. Having a team that operates on the principles of the 3 C’s (character, chemistry, and competence) is important to me. Life’s too short and the mission too critical to waste time. I’m anticipating many good conversations. To retain some of the mystery, we wisely booked separate hotel rooms.
I’m also looking forward to meeting with potential new staff members. Mountainview is on the upswing again after a few years in the desert and we are returning to our vision of reaching 35,000 people and planting 100 churches. We need staff people who can get on board with our vision and push it forward. No maintainers need apply! We need high capacity leaders who can lead high capacity people. That’s also why I’m excited about this trip — having the opportunity to talk with people who are like that.
So, if I have a chance, I’ll snap a picture of the Will Rogers Methodist Church. Stay tuned!