7 Questions with Michelle Stevens
Name: Michelle Stevens
Current title: Exec Pastor
Current organisation: Clovercrest Baptist Church
Michelle is married to Mike and they have 3 kids: Ella, Ben and Lucy. Michelle has been Pastoring at Clovercrest for 6 years and finds real joy in sharing Jesus with people in everyday life! Michelle loves working as part of a dynamic team, developing others and seeing them grow into all God has for them.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
There are many challenges, but one of the hardest is leaving work at work. Previously working as a Physio - the client load stayed at work. In Ministry there are always things to do and bring home, so I am constantly learning to give it to God, let it go and live with the tension of an incomplete to-do list.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Stepping into church leadership was a real call of God. Previously I worked as a Physiotherapist for 10 years. However when we moved interstate with 3 preschoolers I felt a prompting from God to study at Bible College. I completed my Grad Dip in Divinity and following this, God opened a door to step into ministry here at Clovie. Although it has had its ups and downs, I am confident I am where God wants me to be.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I begin my day sitting with God - reading the bible, prayer or journaling. My mornings are busy as I get three kids ready for school, drop them off and get to the office. Our team starts each day with a 5 min standing prayer time. Then the variety begins - meetings, pastoral care, sermon prep, mentoring, planning - whatever the day holds!
After school is where work goes on hold and I spend time with my kids. Dinner time is important to us as we all stop together to eat and talk and laugh. Evenings are a mixture of meetings when needed and wind down time. I look to balance work and family as best I can, knowing I don’t get a second shot at helping my kids grow up.
4. What one book had the most profound impact on your church leadership? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I love the book Integrity by Henry Cloud. I read this during my time at Arrow and found it to be so significant in teaching me to live an integrated life. It has impacted how I approach my day and who I want to become.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Recently during COVID I have been learning about finding my joy in the Lord and this being my strength. Joy cannot be dependent on circumstances, but rather on our God and His goodness. I am learning in this season to find joy in each day in the small things and the presence of God.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
At our church we do a number of things to develop others. From mentors and 1:1 catch ups, to huddles and leadership nights, to apprentice opportunities and feedback as new skills are taught and developed. As we develop leaders we look to follow Jesus' example of information - teaching and equipping, and imitation - doing life together.
7. If you had to pick just one story, what would be the most meaningful story from your time as a church leader so far?
There are so many meaningful times - praying with people, celebrating and grieving with people, seeing lives transformed. One major highlight was just last year when our 14 year old daughter was baptised. Hearing her share her testimony and seeing her follow Jesus for herself is what we long for all people, but even more significant that I get to walk with her as her mum.