7 Questions with Nick Scott

Name: Nick Scott

Current title: Senior Pastor

Current organisation: Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Australia

Nick Scott is the Senior Pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, a large, thriving church in the inner southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. He and his wife Margie have been happily married for over 30 years and they are blessed with two wonderful adult children, Ashleigh and Jason, and a new little granddaughter. Nick has a great love for the Word of God and enjoys preaching. He also has a pastoral heart and loves to see people growing in faith, and in their relationship with the Lord.
One of Nick’s great passions is for unity across the full spectrum of the Body of Christ. He is actively involved in various networks across the city of Perth, which encourage prayer and unity between pastors and leaders, breaking down barriers between denominations. Nationally he is also part of the Movement Network, a group which pursues the same goals on a national basis. Nick loves to travel, and also enjoys spending time with family and friends over a meal, good coffee or a glass of wine. An avid AFL fan, he enjoys seeing the Adelaide Crows have a win!

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

There are many challenges, all the time. For me at the moment the most challenging thing is balancing the various responsibilities of local church ministry and family, along with external ministry opportunities that arise. In the midst of all that, the Lord's call is for me to walk closely with him, and to prioritize prayer and time in the Word. I need to model a healthy, sustainable spirituality. That's a challenge!

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

In 1996 the Lord called me clearly from Adelaide to a leadership role at Mount Pleasant Baptist in Perth. The role was initially in the areas of Worship and Pastoral Care, followed by a Community Ministries role. In 2010 I somewhat reluctantly took on the Senior Pastor role, where I still serve today.

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

I've never been one for strongly fixed routines and therefore love the fact that every day is different in ministry, and you never know quite what the day will bring. Generally my first appointment/commitment for the day is anywhere between 7.00am and 9.00am, and I like to be home by about 5.30pm. I minimize evening meetings as much as possible and guard my weekly 'Monday off' very carefully. Having a staff of nearly 50 people means that a lot of my time is spent with key staff ministry leaders and addressing staff issues. Therefore my diary is quite full and my days are quite structured.

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?

I'd have trouble picking one from just about any of Eugene Peterson's books, but if I had to pick one it would be "The Pastor." It's an ongoing reminder that my job is not primarily to 'run the church' or to 'grow the church,' but rather to walk closely with Jesus. All effective leadership will flow from that.

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

Yesterday morning I spoke at a large Pentecostal Prayer Summit here in our city - perhaps a surprising opportunity for a Baptist Pastor. I learned afresh that there is so much we can learn from one another across the Body of Christ. The church is wonderfully rich and diverse and it does us the world of good to move outside our regular denominational comfort zones so that we might learn from one another.

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

I suspect that many contemporary churches have a much stronger focus on leadership than Jesus ever did! Leadership is important, but not as important as the plethora of available Christian leadership books might suggest. My belief is that God's geometry is circles, not pyramids, so leadership must be highly collaborative with a strong modelling of humility and servant-heartedness.

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?

Many years ago, one Sunday morning I shared with our church a vision that the Lord had given me in the form of a picture of what God wanted to do in our church and city. As I finished sharing the vision, I asked the church, "Do you see it?" A lady at the front with cerebral palsy responded in a surprisingly clear, loud voice: "YES!!" After the service a wealthy businessman approached me to tell me he couldn't see what I was describing and gently advised me to pull my head in! It was a wonderful reminder to me of the truth that God's ways are not our ways, and that he delights in choosing the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Cor 1:27)