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7 Questions with Eric
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7 Questions with Eric
Current title: Creative Arts Pastor
Current organisation: Christian.Life Church
Eric Kidwell is the Creative Arts Pastor of Christian.Life Church in Illinois. He creates atmospheres of worship at Christian.Life and also creates designs, websites, products, brands through his Creative Agency called "And Studio".
Eric is passionate about helping leaders grow in creativity and helping creatives grow in leadership through creativeleader.com. Eric has been married to his bride, Kara for 12 years and they have 3 children together: Christian, Charity, and Chase.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
As a church leader, my biggest challenge has been realizing that I need God every single day to help me breakthrough stress with peace.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I came to Jesus when I was 8 years old but didn't get serious until I was 17. I reached out to my local church to join their worship team and the worship pastor took me under his wing and discipled me.
After going to a Christian College, I went into the business world and was called by a pastor of Christian.Life to meet about a worship leader position at his church.
During that time, I was also trying out for American Idol and made it through 3 rounds of cuts from 12,000+ to 50, but God closed that door and opened the door at Christian.Life. Since then, I was given the opportunity to teach myself graphic design, web design, video editing and other creative endeavors while building a creative community in my local area.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
How do I structure my working days from waking up to going to sleep:
- Priming Time - as stated earlier, by biggest breakthrough in my time in ministry has been really understanding how to seek God first through prayer and worship. My Priming Time is filled with 2 hours of getting ready for the day of worship, prayer, meditating on God's word, exercising, journaling, grooming, and getting ready.
- 8:30 - 4:30 (Sunday - Thursday): Serve at Christian.Life pushing the boundaries of what our creative community and volunteers can do in our area
- Friday: Business Day
- Saturday: Day of rest and family time
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 On Purpose Person
This is a book that brings you through a process of completing the sentence: "I exist to serve by _______ _______"
The On Purpose Person guides you to craft your personal vision/purpose statement.
My personal purpose statement: I exist to serve by being a leading creator. (to create leaders, create atmospheres of worship, to be a top creator of design and business, to be a creative leader, etc)
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
The most recent significant leadership lessons I've learned has been every person and organization is like a vehicle.
This vehicle has 4 potential people in the car: Vision, Relationships, Management, and Programs.
Individuals and organizations are best driven by Vision with Relationships in the passenger seat.
But everyone must beware that sometimes vision get's tired and Management loves to take over with an iron grip and Programs loves to then take over the passenger seat to drive the vehicle forward, but then vision and relationships suffer.
Vision is the better driver.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
The way I develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church is through creating a clear pathway for people to grow in influence.
We are currently working on a 4 step process of leadership development to have the same language in our church of:
1. Team Members (lead self)
2. Team Leaders (lead others)
3. Team Coaches (lead leaders)
4. Team Directors (lead department/ministry)
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
One meaningful story that comes to mind is how the Holy Spirit is not limited by proximity.
Our church has seen God move in miracles and people healed physically and emotionally in our building, but recently someone gave a testimony that while they were at home, we were about to start worship.
We encouraged everyone at home to stand up and get ready for worship. This person had been dealing with back pain but as soon as they stood up in faith, they weren't even asking for healing for their back yet, but God healed their back pain as they stood up to worship God at home.