7 Questions with Mike Mobley
Name: Mike Mobley
Current title: Executive Pastor
Current organisation: Austin Life Church
I am first and foremost a child of God and look to always glorify Him in everything I do. Of course I rarely get that right, which only shows me more of my need for Jesus as the cross gets bigger for me, each day. I am married to my beautiful bride, Joelle, and have a loving daughter Peyton & a wonderful son Matthew.
I want to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me (Acts 20:24) while loving others because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
I haven't been a church leader very long (only about 10 years now) and I can say that one of the most challenging things for me personally is the ability to just be "present" as a follower of Jesus myself and not get distracted, always thinking I have to be "on" with people.
That my ability to just be a faithful follower of Jesus first and foremost will make me the most effective church leader I can be.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I didn't grow up in the church and came to Jesus in my lower 20's. It was at that point I heard the Gospel at Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA that I realized that all of my sins could be forgiven and I could believe in Jesus, so I said yes! Got baptized! And everything changed starting there for me.
A couple of years later I ended up back in TX where I was raised and a friend invited me to 121 Community Church in Grapevine, TX and it felt just like Cornerstone Church so I knew this was the place for me. And I sensed God tell me I would be there for a long time and actually work there.
A part-time job opened up (I've never taken a part-time job since I was 15) but I knew I just had to. And then that position evolved over the years into full time ministry. All in all I was on staff there for about 8 years and had many roles which looking back now, God was preparing me to be an Executive Pastor, now here in Austin, TX.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I've had to learn to get better at this from the many mistakes I've made in my past on not stewarding my time well.
So Monday-Friday I wake up, help my wife (a teacher) and the kids get off to school, then have time with God and workout in the morning (these workouts are really important for me physically but especially mentally). Then I work until being off around 5:30pm ish and prepare my mind for my "2nd shift" heading home to be fully present there.
After that, spend time with family and some nights have meetings with people, have our Community Group, and get to bed early with my wife so we can get sleep. Saturdays I take off and we put devices away as part of our sabbath.
And Sundays, early AM time with God, then our Sunday service and everything, break in the afternoon, then work until the early evening and rest with family and prepare for the week.
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?
It's going to be hard for me to just say one so I'm going to cheat here and say these books:
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Designed to Lead by Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck
The Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
Humility by C.J. Mahaney
Crazy Love, The Cross Centered Life, and Humility have helped me stay humble and not "move on" from the Gospel, which I think is the most important thing I can do.
And with designed to lead, it's helped keep me intentional about how I steward my time and resources and to have intentionality with everyone God puts in front of me.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
That it is ridiculous that I get to do what I get to do.
What I mean by that is that it's incredible I am saved to begin with. And on top of that, God would have me lead in any capacity and get to serve Him in that way? What a honor it is!
If I can remember that in my day to day leadership, I think that will keep me humble and honest in how I treat others, serve others, outdo one another in showing honor to them, and genuinely seek to glorify God in what I do. It allows me to remember this isn't about me and I don't have to do everything. In fact, the more I remember this and just equip saints for the work of ministry, I get to just "be a part" of the overall body of Christ and see all the members working together.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
I'm not the expert at this by any means, but I'd say to be intentional with people, to spend time with people, and track good systems and notes to remember to keep everything taking their next step of obedience.
If everyone is taking a step forward, then we'll be healthy as a church and with our leaders because we'll be obedient.
That'd be my first focus and while this is going on, seek out the Lord to give me wisdom on exactly how to develop who we have and give them opportunities to lead and grow in Christ.
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?
About 5 years into ministry, I had someone approach me in the lobby of our church and out of nowhere tell me "Hey, I've been watching you over the past year and I'm really encouraged by the way you've been following Jesus and modeling your marriage and serving in the church."
The reason this was meaningful (and a bit scary and intimidating for me) is that it reminded me that people are watching. Whether or not we take notice, people are watching our lives and it matters yes how we teach and what we say, but so much is "caught" and not always "taught" in our lives. So sometimes when I ask God if what is going on in my life is even worth it or not, I remind myself that people are watching and more things are going on "behind the scenes" than I ever realize.
God doesn't waste a single ounce of time and He is intentional in everything He does with every single person. We have to remember this and trust this as we continue to follow Jesus one day at a time.