7 Questions with Jordan Whilden
Name: Jordan Whilden
Current title: Global Connections Pastor
Current organisation: newhope Church
I've had the privilege of being in full time ministry for 8 years. I currently serve as the discipleship pastor at newhope church and am also the founder of ChurchJobs.com.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Loving the church even when it's far from perfect. For me, it has been tough in some seasons to remember that I'm called to love the church simply because it's God's bride and not base my commitment to the church on the actions of imperfect people.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Growing up I felt that God was leading me towards full time church ministry. Though I felt this pull on my heart, ministry was not a career I particularly wanted to pursue! Over time, thanks to great mentors and Christian leaders, I began to catch a vision for leading in the church and ultimately chose to surrender my desired path to what I felt was God's call.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Early mornings are spent with God and my wife and, on my better days, working out.
Work hours are typically divided up into intentional blocks of time to tackle various ministry projects...I try to outline my key tasks each week and have them tied to clear chunks of time in my calendar. I am an avid user of Evernote to keep all my ministry and personal tasks organized.
Evenings are spent relaxing and working on personal projects.
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?
Wow this is tough! Probably The Inner Experience: Notes On Contemplation by Thomas Merton.
Merton has significantly shaped my understanding of ministry and has helped me build healthy soul-care rhythms. His monastic writings have been a good antidote to the often fast-paced, event-driven world in which I typically operate.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Humble integrity is at the core of lasting, pastoral strength.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Refuse to make perfection the bar for leadership. If someone is willing and teachable and can do something with 70% success - empower them to do it!
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?
In one of my early ministry jobs I served as a High School Pastor. In that ministry I had a student who I saw a lot of potential in, but who was disengaged, apathetic and rather self-destructive. Over the years of serving at that church I had the joy of mentoring him and seeing something change in him - his school grades went up, he began to serve on our student leadership team, and he started to invest in other students. Now, years later, he's finishing up school to pursue full-time ministry.