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7 Questions with Jordan Dawson
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7 Questions with Jordan Dawson
Name: Jordan Dawson
Current title: Lead Pastor
Current organisation: Church Alive
Lead Pastor of Church Alive in Edmond, OK, Business Broker helping people buy and sell businesses, and Co-Owner of Lemonade House Grille Restaurant. Married my hometown sweetheart for now over 20 years. We have four kids. Originally from Port Charlotte, Florida my wife and I started in ministry in 2006 after I completed my six year commitment to the U.S. Navy where I was a Naval Aircrewman. While in ministry I maintained a fulltime job in Oil & Gas as a management executive. Here I built the largest geological service company in North America and the sixth largest globally with over 500 employees.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Church Growth during COVID and starting online services
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
It started in 2006 when I accepted an offer to become a Youth Pastor on staff. From there I have been an Adult Pastor, Associate Pastor, Evangelist, and now a Lead Pastor.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
1. List on paper the top three items that I need to focus on and complete that day (I include how I will complete them.
2. Then I list seven additional items that I would like to focus on and complete as well, but they don't have time constraints.
3. Meet with staff to do devotional, go over everyone's top 10 list, and then pray for guidance and support in reference to the tasks of the day. Team offers each other ideas, assistance, and guidance with their list.
4. Then I spend an hour on my other leadership roles outside the church with emails and phone calls.
5. Time spent on focusing on my list
6. End of the day we meet to go over what we completed and what obstacles or struggles were met. Team discusses how to overcome those and I leave them with a thought to think of for the next day.
7. At the end of the day I go to my office and spend time thinking about each department, their ideas, and struggles. I then write their name and one thing I can do to inspire them the following day.
8. Then I brainstorm on a blank piece of paper and list items I can work on the following day/ week.
9. Prior to leaving I spend another 30-60 minutes on emails and phone calls
10. I spend private time in prayer over the church, our direction and for the following day.
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?
Book: Advanced Strategic Planning
By: Aubrey Malphurs
This book helps explain the issues in churches that fail to strategically plan. Then it provides tools and resources to build a strategic plan to help your church grow internally and externally. The resources that Aubrey provides come from his extensive experience in organizations helping them successfully build their strategic plan.
This has helped my leadership by providing my leadership team with a vision, mission and plan to build upon. They understand the direction we are going in and expand their strategic plan for their ministry department that will relate with the overall church strategic plan.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Inspiring staff. Keeping them inspired and focused on the mission of our ministry is vital for all leaders. Often as leaders we fail to inspire and motivate our leaders under our leadership. This failure most likely will lead to our staff losing focus, feeling burnt out, not appreciated, and to the ultimate point of giving up or quitting.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Holding meetings and understanding the teams action items and needs. Listening and asking for input prior to giving my opinion. Often when senior leaders give their opinion, the team will follow by similar thoughts that starves true innovations and limits out of the box thinking. Leaders who listen will learn how to become a better leader for their team.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
In 2019 I took over a church that was 35 years in the making. I gathered the leadership meeting and held a strategic planning meeting that lasted four hours. To my surprise all of them have not been in a strategic planning meeting in church and 80% of them have never been in a strategic planning meeting at all. I think most of them thought prior to the first meeting that this would be a waste of time. I had this thought due to their comments, facial expressions and even one came out and said it to me in private. However, at the conclusion of the first meeting every single person did a 180. Their thoughts, ideas, and the group exercises brought them inspiration and motivation to be a part of these important strategic sessions. Prior to meeting with them none of them knew the direction we as the church were going in and all ministries did not have a strategic plan.