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7 Questions with Larry Van Etten
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7 Questions with Larry Van Etten
Name: Larry Van Etten
Current title: Business Manager
Current organisation: Christian Fellowship Church of New Holland, PA
A retired business professional working in various roles for several billion dollar companies. Married, 4 children, 2 grandchildren. Have a Masters Degree in Religious Education from Liberty. Have worked in several para-church organizations as President, Chairman, or Director. Have been a Bible teacher for over 40 years.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Knowing my role Business Manager and staying within my responsibilities.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was asked to write a job description for a new Business Manager position. I was then asked to consider applying for the job. I have now been here two years.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
2. Shower, dress, have breakfast.
3. Take mail out to mailbox (I have a small collectibles business.
4. Leave for work.
5. Work - usually four hours. Have lunch at work.
6. Go home.
7. Work on collectibles business.
8. Have dinner with my wife.
9. Walk the dog.
10. Spend the evening with my wife; tv, home projects, etc.
11. Work on collectibles business.
12. Go to bed.
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?
Dave Thomas, Wendy's Founder, Well Done...The Common Guys Guide to Everyday Success. The book shared examples of how honesty and integrity at work would be not only a good example but blessed by God. I read the book over 20 years ago and it still has an impact.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Stay in my lane. Don't try to do the jobs of others or try to influence them on how to do their jobs. Let them come to me when then they are ready.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Communication and clear roles. Weekly staff meetings for communications, status check of the previous week, and assignments. Use KISS for review. What to KEEP, what to IMPROVE, what to STOP, and what to START.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
When COVID was first becoming a story, a staff member was convinced that it would go away without impacting the church. When I asked if we should prepare for a shutdown, I was told that would never happen. Soon afterwards, on March 15, the church was closed over COVID concerns and state mandates. Fortunately, the church was able to move to an online service the next Sunday, March 22. A main reason for that was planning ahead for more bandwidth being required by the church. We had changed providers and with a phone call had our bandwidth increased for the broadcast. Had the shutdown happened only a few months earlier, we would not have been able to broadcast the service. As the Business Manager it is important in my role to make sure that the church is in a position to succeed regardless of the circumstances. I thank God for the wisdom that was need to be prepared for something that we did not know was coming.