Mike says the success at Ginghamsburg Church it’s a combination of vision, outreach, and a commitment to stay in the same position for more than 30 years.
It’s an unlikely story, that a 27-year-old Methodist pastor could take a tiny country church, turn it into a Methodist mega church, and transform countless lives. But as you’ll see in this interview, Mike is a down to earth guy with a deep faith that believes God can do anything.
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Mike Slaughter says when others saw a 2-room country church, he saw a vibrant, committed, self-sacrificing congregation of thousands of people actively doing the work of God. His story of vision and courage has much to teach us. Here are my notes from the interview:
Get a Clear Vision
Mike is convinced that vision-casting: naming God’s preferred future to the people – is the most important role of the pastor. He recommends clergy go to whatever means necessary to articulate a clear vision.
Long Term Pastorates Are the Ticket
Mike says a big reason he’s been able to do everything at Ginghamsburg is because he’s committed to the people and the area. His work in community development and civic partnerships are rooted in his commitment to staying put, which, he says, more clergy need to do.
Pay Attention to Your Home Life
This is Mike’s biggest regret, and a lesson that nearly lost him his marriage. It’s no secret that many clergy are workaholics – and Mike says finding that balance can only help congregational and home life.
About Mike Slaughter
Mike Slaughter titles himself as the Chief Dreamer at Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio, where he has been for more than 30 years. Under Mike’s leadership, Ginghamsburg Church has become known as an early innovator of small group ministry, the Church “media reformation” and cyberministry, with the Ginghamsburg website averaging 50,000 visits monthly from around the world. Since initiating The Sudan Project in January 2005, Ginghamsburg has invested over $5 million into humanitarian relief in Darfur. The resultant agricultural project, child development program and safe water initiative are expanding to reach a quarter of a million Sudanese refugees and villagers. As a mentor, Mike travels globally to speak and use his “gift of irritation” to equip ministry leaders to minimize brick and maximize mission so that they may fully deploy the mission of Jesus into the world. Mike is an ordained Elder within the United Methodist Church and holds a Doctorate of Ministry. He was named the Foundation for Evangelism’s “Distinguished Evangelist” in 2003. In 2007, Olivet Nazarene University granted Mike the Reed Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, given in recognition of outstanding leadership. Mike is also the author of multiple books for church leaders including, Unlearning Church, Change the World, and Christmas is Not Your Birthday.