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7 Questions with David Anderson
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with David Anderson
Name: David Anderson
Current title: Apostle/Senior Pastor
Current organisation: Red Gone White Church
I have been a Christian for 36 years and a pastor for over 20 years and married to the same woman now for 34 years. I am also a portrait artist and a singer/songwriter of nearly 400 original songs.
My gift and passion has always been ministry building. I’ve built many ministries and ventures and business endeavors inside and outside of the church model.
Currently I am building an online church that will exist and do ministry in cyberspace. However it also houses and oversees ministry in many countries around the world. I have teams and ambassadors right now in six countries and my ministry was launched 2 1/2 years ago. I am building schools and churches and orphanages and bringing an end times message.
In the short time since the launch of my ministry I have preached on the ground 65 times in Africa.
I am excited for what God has shown me that He will do in and through and despite me. These are exciting days in which we live.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
For me it has been balance. I have an amazing and supportive wife of over 34 years of marriage. She is uniquely gifted and called to be my wife. It is a very rare woman who could take a second seat to God and to “the other woman” of the ministry for so long. I am blessed to have her love, support and prayers. But it is also a tremendous balancing act on my end to keep the ministry moving forward while keeping our marriage alive, thriving and well.
I have always been a ministry builder. It is in my DNA. I have nearly lost track of the ministries, models, or ventures I have created from scratch and built into something branded and viable. But every one is a labor of love. And every one requires time, energy, money, and resources that could be instead used to bless my wife or our lifestyle.
God always blesses those sacrifices. However, balance is always the goal and always the most vulnerable element in my life.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have always been a very creative person. I need to be building, envisioning, designing, establishing, organizing, implementing, and so on. I can’t remember when I have not been doing these things. I was never content to just fill a pew. So if there was work to be done in the church, I was doing it. I have volunteered in every imaginable role, job or committee that a local church offers. It was never enough for me.
Eventually I started looking outside of the walls of my church. I co-led a prison ministry team to our state prison for about two years just before I was called into pastoral training and leadership. I have also built significant ministries within the local church model over the years since then. But eventually looked outside of those four walls again. Over a three-year window, I built a ministry called “Straight Street Outreach” that eventually became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with over 50 volunteers from over seven area churches and from outside the church, and we were ministering to the homeless and transient and marginalized members of our downtown community.
I handed the leadership of that ministry off as I was being called to start what would eventually become Red Gone White Church.
So the short version of the answer to your question is… I served wherever I could serve within the local church model. When God gave me vision or calling or opportunity to serve outside of that model, I accepted.
Eventually, somehow I found myself leading very many people. But it was not my desire nor my motivation to do what I do.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Every day I wake up 90 minutes earlier than I “need” to. I know I “should” be sleeping. However, I immediately drink an energy drink to awaken my mind. From there I go to my couch in my living room and quite literally go to my knees. I will spend from 20 to 40 minutes every single morning in prayer. From there I have three pages of scripture and affirmations that I read every day. That takes about 10 minutes.
From there I am primarily studying the Bible cover to cover. So I take one to two chapters every day and really try to take them in and read all of the commentaries and notes and make my own notes directly in the Bible and/or in a journal I keep for that purpose.
After that I put together a daily inspirational post and share it to about seven social media platforms. That takes another 20 to 30 minutes. That accounts for the additional 90 minutes. From there every day I make breakfast for me and my wife and set up her food for the day. I’ll take care of any dishes or laundry to be cleaned. And then I’m ready to focus on “my stuff”.
I spend a lot of time communicating with leaders and partners and ministry prospects and potential donors etc. throughout the day. I do any errands that need to be done. I go to my full-time job and/or my additional part-time job. I come home and check on my wife (since it is normally quite late), decompress and get ready to do it again.
As I have days off for whatever reason or holes in my work schedule, I keep a list of priority creative activities to advance the ministry and I attack it with my best effort.
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?
‘An Enemy Called Average’ by John Mason. I came across this book nearly 35 years ago. Besides the Bible, it is the only book I read three times or more. John showed me that you can be a pastor but also be relevant. This book is filled with fantastic nuggets of wisdom about living a life of excellence, standing out and standing up, how to prosper in relationships and finances, understanding who you are in Christ but also in this world.
It has greatly impacted even how I teach and lead. The book is written like modern day proverbs with anecdotal stories and illustrations as well as some scripture mixed in there too. I am a very direct, bold and bottomline kind of man. Not in a harsh or rude way, but in that I don’t waste time or words getting to what I want to say. I can see so much of my leadership style rooting back to this very small but profound book-‘An Enemy Called Average.’
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
What I have learned in the last three years is that God greatly blesses whenever I commit to consistently (every single day) taking time in prayer and His Word.
But more specifically, doing this at the very beginning of my day. It seems rooted in the spiritual principles found in Matthew 6:33. By seeking God, His righteousness, and His kingdom ways, FIRST, everything else gets added to me.
When I commit to and follow through on these disciplines for weeks at a time, tremendous acceleration always is quickly on the heels of those efforts.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
I believe it starts with having a healthy leader at the top. If you take care of yourself spiritually, physically, financially, and emotionally, you will become exemplary. Why would people want to follow anything less?
From there be willing to do anything you’re asking others to help you to do. Don’t be above any task. When the load becomes too much for you, others will rise up to take it from you. But you will have set the tone and the expectations already for them to follow. When you encounter challenges or work that is beyond your ability or skillset, pray for God to bring like-minded and right-hearted and highly skilled people to you. And He does.
Once people are in place below you but with you, always show appreciation. Cast vision often. Make sure they know they are part of a team and valued and loved and uniquely gifted to do what God has assigned them to do.
Finally, what I believe is that every once in a while you will get a true and anointed leader drawn to you and your team. My philosophy is this… “Leaders let leaders lead”.
Make your goals and result expectations very clear, but beyond that, let your “leader” determine how they will get there. Let them own that part of your ministry. But make it clear that honest communication and transparent accountability are still paramount and expected.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
This story goes back to my first year in ministry in my official role as a pastor. This was over 20 years ago. I was on assignment to a small church of about 20 people. I was a new commissioned minister with my denomination at that time.
Even then I was particularly drawn to those unwanted by the so-called leaders. There was a particular boyfriend/girlfriend couple who were dirty, smelly, dim witted, poor, etc. The elders and upper crust of this church were always embarrassed by them. I loved them and I was drawn to them. I made myself very available for them. Eventually the woman grew enough that I knew she was ready to be baptized and to commit to making positive changes in her life. (Fast forward...I did baptize her and she did completely transform for the better not long after that.)
Back to the story…
One day a spokesperson Friend’s the official om the leadership approached mebasically confronted me. They thought I was wrong to baptize her and started listing all of the issues against her. I finally cut in and informed her that “I do not work for you and I am accountable to God Himself. You can stand there and judge her and me all you want, but I will be baptizing her whether you are present or approving or not.” She was not present and the woman to get baptized, saved and changed for the glory of God.
I learned there and then who I really work for and to not be intimidated by people’s personal agendas or expectations on me. My only concern is what does God say to and think about me.