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7 Questions with Max Randall
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7 Questions with Max Randall
Name: Max Randall
Current title: Pastor
Current organisation: Endeavour Christian Gathering
Follower of Jesus, husband to a wonderful wife, father to four children, (new) grandfather, teaching pastor of a vibrant church family in Perth, Western Australia.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
I've always found "people problems" the most draining in ministry. I'm in the ministry to serve people with the gospel and that's the greatest joy. But at the same time, people can also cause the most anxiety. Strange, isn't it?
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I felt that God was calling me to be a preacher in my teen years and while in Bible college I began serving at a small rural church. Two churches later, I have been preaching and pastoring churches for over thirty years. I suppose I wasn't much of a "leader" in my early twenties. But I always focussed on expounding Scripture and applying it to peoples' lives. Many years later and hopefully a little wiser, I still believe that the Word is the only true source of my leadership. But one's teaching must always be backed up by a godly life or it's all for naught.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I start fairly early in the mornings organising my day/week, doing correspondence etc. and setting up my meetings and visits with church members. I spend a few hours every day working on my message for the coming Sunday. I have regular mentoring meetings (sometimes lunch, sometimes a cuppa) with Christian brothers and other pastors where we read Scripture together, talk and pray. Depending on the day, there will be prep for my small group Bible study and prep for other church meetings (e.g. missions committee or elders meetings). I set aside family time and time with my wife. Day off on Fridays when my wife is also off work. I try not to have more than three evening meetings per week, but sometimes that is unavoidable. I set time aside to read. I believe pastors should read a lot, not only theology, but everything. Bed between 10 and 11.
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?
I would probably say that John Piper's books have had the greatest impact on me personally, starting with "The Pleasures of God"and "Desiring God". They were pretty paradigm-shifting for me. It gave me a more joyful vision of what it means to be a Christian and glorify God. Practically, I have appreciated Graham Goldsworthy's books, which helped me a great deal hermeneutically. I wish I had read his books earlier in life. Pastorally, I have always appreciated the writings of the Puritans (like Thomas Watson and Richard Baxter). They have helped me with my care of the flock that God has placed me with.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Don't give up. Most good things take time and perseverance. If there are problems, keep plugging away and you will usually "outlive" them. Fruit takes time and the real fruit may not appear until years later.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Discipleship and mentoring one-on-one. Meeting together, praying, reading Scripture, sharing life together. To be a good leader you must have good character (humility, godliness, purity, holiness, love, etc.) These things are infinitely more important than flashy leadership "gifts". So, equip and develop these things in your people. Godly leaders will be "discovered" through this process.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
Not my story, but one that I would hope would be reflected in my life. In conversation with a friend a few years ago, he related to me how when he was a young Christian, he had been greatly influenced by the simply, godly ministry of a young pastor and his wife . This pastor and his wife had a huge impact on him as a young man. I understood that it was nothing radical. Just the steady love and service of a couple who loved the Lord and His people. I asked my friend for the name of that pastor and was so tickled to realize that I know that couple. I had no idea that they had served in this particular church so many years ago and I didn't know that they knew this friend of mine. I had the wonderful joy of meeting up with this couple a few months later. They're now quite elderly and were so encouraged to hear about the impact they had on my friend all those years before and how he's still strongly walking with the Lord. So, you may never know how the Lord uses you. Very encouraging.