7 Questions with Peter Englert
Name: Peter Englert
Current title: Adult Ministries Director
Current organisation: Browncroft Community Church
Peter Englert serves as the Adult Ministries Director at Browncroft Community Church in Rochester, NY. He is married to his wife Robyn. They have a daughter, Hayley, and one daughter on the way. He loves the New York Yankees, New York Jets, Brooklyn Nets, and Buffalo Sabres. You can find Peter reading a good book or enjoying a great cup of coffee. He has a passion for seeing small groups experiencing the gospel in everyday life.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Navigating change consistently challenges church leaders. During this season of a pandemic, the necessity of change has become even more apparent. We find ourselves preaching a gospel that has not changed but finding new ways to connect to a new generation of people. As a leader, I feel open to change, but the path of bringing people along with you continues to get more complicated. We face the tensions of digital and in-person. We celebrate the past while innovating for the future. We prayerfully plan while knowing that the Holy Spirit can move in an instance. Learning to navigate change has become a life-long growth area.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I felt called to become a pastor in junior high. Leaders took time to invest in me by giving me opportunities to go on hospital visits, preach, and serve behind the scenes. After graduating from the University of Valley Forge with a B.A. in Pastoral Ministries, I served as an Admissions Counselor. In some sense, I gave up the idea of pastoring. I met my wife in that season, and I moved to Rochester, NY, to marry her. Soon, God opened the door for me to serve at Browncroft Community Church. He rekindled my love for serving Upstate New York, where I grew up.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
An older pastor taught me about scheduling three parts of the day — morning, afternoon, and night. He advised working two out of the three parts of the day. I tend to have my best thinking in the morning to create content, respond to emails, and process through administrative issues. I schedule appointments in the afternoons and end most days working out. My wife has encouraged me to shut off at night. We eat dinner as a family and try to have fun. Usually, I'm up by 5:30 am to have quiet time to frame the day, and I go to bed around 9:30-10 pm.
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 came across the Enneagram a few years ago. Beatrice Chestnut wrote, The Nine Types of Leadership: Mastering the Art of People in the 21st Century Workplace. Often, we assume people think and are motivated just as we are. I find myself trying to ask more questions and learning how to relate to others in a way that celebrates their gifts and challenges them to grow. I've also had come face to face with my own internal motivations of pride as an Enneagram 2. A healthy understanding of the Enneagram provides language to bring you out of the box you have placed yourself as opposed to putting you in a box.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Currently, a leadership coach has challenged me to become more clear at inspiring vision. It takes discipline to paint the picture of the future with repeated conversations. It requires slowing down in communication and zeroing in on what matters the most.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
At Browncroft, we are walking through a process of strengthening leadership development. Consistently, I have encounter critical junctures in raising up leaders. First, you need to create time to get to know people on an individuals basis. Secondly, short-term projects benefit you from getting to know a potential leader along with the individual getting to know you. Thirdly, it's vital to paint the picture of how God might be working in their life. Often, leaders in process of developing are the last to see the gifts God has given them and blindspots to grow.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
A retired principal and social work supervisor have taken the role of key leaders in Browncroft's Small Group Ministry. We meet every Monday morning. They have far more experience in administration, strategic planning, crisis management, and so much more. Recently, I thought I failed to communicate a presentation over ZOOM. They immediately called me with encouragement and acknowledging we were headed in the right direction. At times, they challenge my assumptions and provide insightful feedback. I cherish working with leaders who bring their best to the table and have a deep sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.