7 Questions with Kim Hammond
Name: Kim Hammond
Current title: pastor
Current organisation: Citylife Church
Kim Hammond been married to Maria for 25 years and has three boys (16, 18 and 20) He is the lead pastor at CityLife Church Casey (Melbourne) and the Multisite and Church planting Champion, He is the President of the Global Board for The Forge Mission Training Network and the New Thing Catalyst (Australia) Kim was a church planter in his 20s and spent 5 years at Dave Fergusons church, Community, in Chicago as the Director of Missional Imagination. He founded Forge America and continues to train and equip church planters and missionaries around the globe. He has worked for Forge for 18 years in Australia, America and Scotland. He co-authored the book Sentness. The Six postures of a missional Christian, (IVP 2014)
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
The Church in its purest calling is a covenantal community of Christ Followers. Consumerism is the most challenging problem for churches in the west. When we are a selling church versus a sending church we harm the people of God. When we compete with each other and when people treat the church like a shopping centre is the most frustrating thing as a church leader.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
When I was 13 I was mentored extremely well by our youth pastor. I volunteered for him in youth ministry and high school outreach until I was 18. I came on staff, part time, when I was 18. We planted a church together when I was 25 and today, Steve at 70 is still a mentor and a leader in my church. I learnt to preach and lead under Steve, back when I was 13 years old.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Non covid times, Monday is my sabbath day off. Tuesday I spent with the Casey local staff team, Weekly staff meeting and one on ones. Wednesday is all day at head office in Senior leadership meetings or Heads of Ministries meetings. It is traditionally a central day. Thursday I try to go to a local cafe in my neighbourhood, normally this is a mixed day of local meetings, (other pastors) New Thing and church planting meetings. Friday I try to keep for planning and preparation. (sermon prep and meeting prep)
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?
Alan Hirsch's book "The Forgotten Ways." is a seminal book for how the church joins god at work and how movements are organised. This book has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and is a significant book on missional leadership. Having worked for the Forge Mission Training Network, I have seen this book help shape the missional conversation, especially in churches in the west.It is still being used significantly, I was recently in a leadership group made up of significant national denominational leaders who discussed this group as a framework for unlearning old paradigms and rethinking church planting as movement.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Dave Ferguson is an outstanding leader and wrote a book called Hero Maker. (I worked for Dave for 5 years in Chicago) The leadership lesson of making room at the table for others and calling out the potential. in then and creating an action/reflection feedback cycle is vitally important. Dave calls it "I see in you (ICNU)." At a leadership level we call it a leadership pipeline. It's takes incredible intentionality and given lots of attention. I find this so fulfilling and one of my favourite things in the world, seeing leaders, that I love, grow in influence and experience.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
It has to be part of your culture. Every level of leadership needs to think reproducing and apprenticeship. You need to be aware of giving the next generation a chance to risk take and have a chance to make mistakes and call out great things in them. You need to open you life and expose them to your friends and mentors and give them every opportunity to grow and learn.
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?
I am so proud of our church. Citylife is a 53 year old independent Pentecostal large attractional church. It has significantly leant into developing missional practices and habits. We are sending people, as missionaries back into the neighbourhoods and work places (where they live work and play). Seeing people love their neighbours in unprecedented ways is so inspiring. We are about to enter a new chapter of church planting both at a macro (large sites) and a micro movement of missional communities who will reach thousands of people who wouldn't normally come in the front doors of a church building. So many of our congregation have reached out to others in creative and Holy Spirit lead ways. We are entering a new chapter of movement and helping to inspire and cheering on church planting in Australia.