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7 Questions with Bronwyn Monk
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Bronwyn Monk
Name: Bronwyn Monk
Current title: Worship Pastor
Current organisation: The Hub Baptist Church Tweed Heads
I am married to Michael, a builder, and together we have 4 beautiful kids with us and 1 in heaven. Michael and I met when we were just 14 years old, began dating at 16 and married at 22.
We firmly believe that God has uniquely equipped and called us as a family to be light in the darkness; to journey together to be Christ's ambassadors, making disciples and living lives fully yielded to God and His ways.
I currently serve God as the Worship Pastor at The Hub Baptist Church in Tweed Heads. I am passionate about raising and equipping people to live out the call God has placed on their life and encouraging people to live every breath in worship.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
I think the most challenging thing for me is coming to grips with the fact that pretty much everything God asks me to do I am completely unequipped for. I often wonder why God has asked me to do some of the things he does... why me? I am unable.
I am learning to live 2 Corinthians 12:9
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so the Christ's power may rest on me. God doesn't ask us to be able - he simply asks us to be obedient. I am continuing to learn that as I walk in loving obedience, He does the work.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was raised in a Christian home - my parents are pastors so I grew up in the church and in continuing relationship with God. I am so thankful for this.
I remember sitting in church when I was 14 and, very clearly, I knew that God was asking me to pursue music ministry. At the time, there wasn't quite the same emphasis on musical worship as there is these days, so as I continued to grow and become equipped, it was unclear how this was ever going to happen.
God continued to make ways for me to serve on worship teams and then lead them. I studied music ministry at uni, and simply grew into roles in the churches God lead us to. I can see as I look back over my life, how each season and each church community we have served in has been a steeping stone God has used to continue to equip me for the next season.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am not a particularly structured person, so this is always a little tricky for me to answer. I am also an extreme extravert, so I find it difficult to concentrate if I am on my own (I know that sounds crazy).
My mind doesn't switch off very much, so I find most of my waking time - when I am not in conversations with other people - I am in some kind of conversation With God.
# I often start my day with exercise - I love to walk/work out to worship music - this helps get my head in the right space.
# I have 4 kids to get ready for school so that is a crazy time first thing in the morning.
# I head straight into church from school drop off and then my work day often involves people. Staff meetings, ministry meetings, pastoral care, prayer. Much of my time is spent walking the journey of life with others.
# There is plenty of admin to do so I will try and do some (although I don't love this so I will always make an excuse to talk to people if I can)
# As any one in ministry would know, there is a lot of so called "after hours" stuff that happens. Being an unstructured person can actually be helpful when needs arise and other people need someone, I love this kind of stuff.
# Being unstructured also means that I don't have an allocated time in my day where I emerge myself in God's word or spend time in prayer. Not that this is not a priority - it's just that it changes from day to day. One thing I know - I cannot live without an awareness of God's presence with me each moment. He sustains me; equips me; gives me wisdom and insight.
4. What's one book apart from the Bible that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The Revival We Need – Oswald J Smith.
Our church has a "Training Hub" that offers a leadership course of sorts. (That's a little hard to try and explain)
Last year, one of the things we worked through was this book. It is an incredibly challenging book which basically asks hard questions around whether church pastors/leaders are actually doing the job God has called us to. It challenges us to really pray desperately - asking God to use every word out of our mouth; measuring "success" not by how many people we have in pews each week, or how popular we may be - but how many souls have been one to Christ through our ministry and leadership?
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I'm not sure I am ever fully passed learning any lesson. Just when I think I "get" something, God has a way of going further and deeper.
Right now - the prominent lesson is one of Trust. When things don't make sense - when I can't work out the why's or how's - when my timing and God's timing don't seem to align - do I truly trust God? Am I able to rest in His presence, knowing that His ways are perfect and He has the answers and will continue to lead me in right paths? I am learning that when I am confused about what God may be doing, when I feel stuck, when I am hurting or frustrated, that I can be sure He is working.
"Even when I don't see it you're working
Even when I don't feel it you're working
You never stop, you never stop working
You never stop, you never stop working". (Way Maker - Osinachi Okoro)
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Healthy, Christ Centred Relationships.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
We often hear the phrase "flourish where you're planted" or "be faithful with what is in your hand." Both these phrases for me speak about not looking too far ahead and wishing you were doing something else, or had more people or more resources. The point of them is to simply be where God has called you to be - doing what He has called you to do.
For me, that has meant I have been called into a church that has had limited resources - particularly people. It's really difficult to build a team when there are so few people. I found myself a couple of years ago trying to build a worship team with a beautiful group of older servants who wanted to continue to sing, and a group of very very young teenagers (11-14 at the time) who were very keen but lacked skill. Through God's incredible grace, time, hard work and some very passionate kids, we have been able to develop a beautiful worship team. As these young people are growing in their skill and their faith, they are also growing in understanding of serving God through the gifts He has given them. It has been an incredible honour to be part of that journey - watching these kids grow in skill, in passion, in their faith and in their understanding of worship. Watching our older generations embrace and encourage them in their journey. Being able to bring multiple generations together in one team. Being faithful with what God has placed in your hand can be daunting and sometimes a little bit crazy - but when God does the work, it is incredibly beautiful, rewarding and humbling.