7 Questions with Craig Anderson
Name: Craig Anderson
Current title: Pastor
Current organisation: Infinity Church in Melbourne, Australia
Born in Sydney I transferred to Brisbane when I was five and my dad passed when I was seven. My disabled sister had to go into care so my mother could go out to work. I did primary school and high school in Brisbane and right throughout my childhood our family had no religious experience or Christian input.
At university when I was studying electrical engineering some people witnessed to me and invited me to come to church, which I attended at Christian Outreach Centre in West End in 1977. The second week I went along with my then girlfriend, Chris, who later became my wife I gave my life to Jesus and had a very real and meaningful experience at that time. Chris gave her heart to Christ at about the same time and with her we got involved in kids ministry then youth ministry and Chris ended up on the staff of the school as a teacher and I ended up on the staff of the church as a youth leader after only three years from the time of salvation.
I served in that church for 14 years in many roles and then came to Melbourne to plant a church in 1994. This local church has been effective in our area and meeting Community needs and planting several other churches. Chris and I have four sons who are all Christians and three of them are serving in some kind of ministry roles. I am nearing the end of my ministry career and focusing more on mentoring the next generation.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
The big killer is comparison. Any time a pastor really compares themself or the church or their ministry with somebody else they are making a very big mistake. This can happen so easily because most ministry people are accountable in some way for not only their character but also their work in the ministry. The reality is that a church leader or Pastor is not an employee but he’s called by God and whilst being accountable to key leaders around them is ultimately accountable to God for the outworking of that call.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
As above see bio
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I arise at 5 am every day and spend two hours in prayer and Bible study. At the present time in Victoria we are in lockdown stage four and so working from home is the requirement. Much of my day is involved in creating online content and meeting with people online through zoom platforms, Google hangouts and FaceTime calls.
I have several roles that I am involved in at present. Church leadership, police chaplaincy, I am a Mediator, I am a mentor to several pastors of smaller churches, and I do Christian weddings as well. So most days are reasonably busy and several nights of the week also involved in working with people on those Zoom platforms and calls. Chris and I have a day off a week on Fridays and Saturdays are normally a mixture of work and personal times depending on the Saturday.
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?
The Bible is the obvious choice however looking at books apart from the Bible, a book called The Leadership Challenge by Kouzers and Pozner is a leadership classic and has some tremendous value in terms of giving leaders a lot of well researched understanding and keys about what works in leadership and what doesn’t on a worldwide perspective.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Leaning on the sovereignty of God means that even though we are passionate and understand that hard work is a value ultimately all results are a product of God at work in me and through me and it is fruitless to try to determine success and failure on any kind of worldly basis. All God requires of me is to listen to him and obey him and let him take care of the results. After that my role is to rejoice and enjoy working with Jesus.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Learning to empower people is a must. And each pastor will have his key leaders around him into whom he pours that love, care and empowerment. These people then must be empowered to invest into other leaders under them, and so multiplication goes beyond them as well. Discipleship is relationship. And developing and mentoring leaders in a pipeline is not a classroom project but it is a discipling project. Every good leader will multiply themselves.
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?
For me it’s raising up a band of young leaders who have a passion to lead and an authentic relationship with God. Their confidence in God and themselves and their keen eyed perspective on current needs and how the church should function will be a great resource for the church in the coming years.