7 Questions with Michael Jensen

Name: Michael Jensen

Current title: Rector

Current organisation: St Mark's Darling Point Anglican Church

Michael Jensen is the Rector of St Mark's Anglican Church Darling Point in Sydney. Before that he was a lecturer in Doctrine at Moore College. He has his doctorate from Oxford University, and has published several books including 'Theological Anthropology and the Great Literary Genres'.

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1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?

Leading a team and managing the complexity of those relationships.

2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

When I was at school I was struck by the unsurpassable grace of God and couldn't really imagine doing anything else. Then I had a lot of friends at university who were keen on going into ministry... a bit of peer pressure helps!

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I wake up around 5am and write my daily devotional email which is sent to about 860 people. Then I exercise, or go to the beach to hang out with some friends. My days are then pretty variable. I try to do at my desk thinking work in the morning and visiting and meeting with people in the afternoon. Evenings can mean going to a Connect Group or a Council meeting. I try to get in bed by 9pm.

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?

Maybe Bonhoeffer's Life Together. I just love his realism: God hates visionary dreamers! This is profound because of the potential for church leaders to use church as a form of egotism. I really don't want to be that!

5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Be present for people. People don't want answers; they want to be noticed. And that opens them up to hear the Word of God.

6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?

I wish we did! As with most churches, we improvise all the time. We fill holes. We're just trying to keep afloat. I wish we were better at doing this.

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 think the death of Rebecca aged 49 a few years back from pancreatic cancer. Her non-Christian family were truly moved by the love that her Connect Group showed her during her dying days. It was awful and traumatic and yet it was the grace of God.