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7 Questions with Lee Eden
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7 Questions with Lee Eden
Name: lee eden
Current title: Senior Pastor
Current organisation: Gateway Church Geelong
My name is Lee Eden, I was born in Adelaide and now I proudly live in Geelong, Victora. I am married to Naomi, have 3 boys who are all in high school, I have been the Senior Pastor at Gateway Church Geelong since March 2015 and on the staff team since 2004 in various roles. Gateway has been our home church since 2003.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
The most challenging thing has been journeying people and the church through healthy change. Everyone wants change until it feels uncomfortable.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I started in youth ministry as a helper at what is now Influencers Church in Adelaide. Serving in small groups, youth, music teams, young adults. Moving to Geelong in Victoria Naomi and I became youth leaders. Doing bible college through Alpha Crucis. My time in church leadership has been an incremental journey of serving in most areas of the church. I find this to be a huge benefit now as a Senior Pastor. I am also studying Psychological sciences at Deakin University.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Most of my work days are at the church. The day starts with help to get our three kids ready for the their school busses. After all this is done I head to the church building. I find it easy to work at church. The distractions are fewer. The aim from the beginning of my day is to read a bible plan and spend some time in prayer. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are preparation days. Thursdays and Fridays are open to practical things with the team and Pastoral counsel with church members at the church. Every work day I aim to be home before 5:30pm to cook dinner for the family.
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 biggest impacting book for me has been "The emotionally healthy church" by Pete Scazzero. The whole premise of the book is to begin to outwork emotionally and spiritually healthy people. Not just healthy leaders, but a healthy church. Most of the issues that we deal with as Pastors is based in dysfunction and emotional challenges of either ourselves, other people or both. Embracing functional relationships and healthy practice is a game-changer for a church community.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
That even when you try and do everything right. People are still going to find an issue with you or the church. I was sure that I have learned this lesson multiple times before! But every time I go through it, I find myself learning something new about myself or humanity in general. Rather than pointing fingers or feeling hard done by, there is always a lesson.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
For us, spending time with leadership both in discipleship and community is key. We have had many different seasons of what this looks like. But the key in every season is spending quality time. Practically the pipeline starts with having really good frame works around teams, departments, and the church. All of our serving team members go through an initial training course and are given inductions into their serving role. People know what they are doing in their area of involvement rather than trying to figure it out as they go. Twice every quarter we get all of our serving team together to encourage them, teach them and translate where we are going as a team. I could write more, but the short version is, being intentional and aiming to be authentic and available.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
The biggest stories for me are seeing individuals come from receiving salvation and then journeying through to full health and wholeness in every area of their lives. It doesn't mean they get it right all the time. But seeing one young couple in our church come from no faith over 10 years ago, to find Christ, to go through the challenges of following Jesus. Now to have seen them take journeys of understanding their spiritual call and the healing that God has had for them as individuals. When you witness marriages starting where yours was after 12 years of marriage, it is so encouraging.
It's those wins that you see in others as they become more Christ-like because they are making the hard choices of humility and honesty.