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7 Questions with Renier van der Klashorst
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7 Questions with Renier van der Klashorst
Name: Renier van der Klashorst
Current title: Lead Pastor
Current organisation: Thornlie Church of Christ
Husband of my beautiful bride Marguerite, blessed with three children and a small dog. I am lead pastor at Thornlie Church of Christ. I am passionate about equipping believers to experience the intimacy of God's presence in their lives through prayer.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
My greatest challenge as a new church leader in an established church was developing credibility and trust. Unless people trust your heart (and therefore your motives), they will only follow you as far as they can see you benefit their fears and desires.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I knew I was I called to become a pastor when I was about four or fiver years old. The reason that notion came about was because I figured that the only way to stay awake and not woken by my mom during the 2nd service was to be the one speaking. This call remained on my life till today. Surrendering towards this call has not been an easy process as I was not always obedient towards this calling of God in my life, but looking back I can see how He got me to the point of desiring nothing else but serve him as church leader. All glory be to His grace and mercy along the way.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Firstly, I structure my week around the Sabbath principle of scheduling a weekly rest away from church, phone calls and other related work. I turn my phone off and do not check my emails or social media. Secondly I structure every day to begin and end with God. God is my first and last thought every day. I start every morning with my Secret Spaces. This is the most important part of my day where I spend time in secret with him. Then, I say a short prayer before I go to bed.
I prioritise regular time with my family. Meal time is critically important. With our kids being older, we have a Monday night meal together as family, and then during the week as possible.
I prioritise two weekly prayer gatherings with two pastors fraternals in our region.
I structure my work days to a set pattern to incorporate admin days, team meetings, mentoring and discipling meetings and to have sufficient time to prepare for messages. To assist our teaching team's planning we have an annual preaching plan. I have two "long days" every week. These long days are dedicated to include prayer, boards, mission and worship meetings. This allows me freedom to have sufficient time with my family. I incorporate sufficient buffer time between meetings.
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?
WikiChurch by Steve Murrell. This tells the story of Steve Murrell's approach to discipleship that saw his church grew consistently in the Philippines. This is not about numbers, but the consistency in his process. This book's 4 E's (Engage, Establish, Equip and Empower) has been significant to me over the past ten years. The most significant impact is about process. It also helped me focus on equipping, empowering and releasing young leaders.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Be present. This is my all-time leadership lesson. Being present is the greatest gift I can give
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Let people have a go. You won't know unless you have a go. We do not focus on mistakes. We see it as opportunities to learn of and grow from. We are very intentional to let people in our teams not connect their perceived failure to their identity.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
My first ministry was in a marginalised part of my hometown. I met a family at one of the soup kitchens I visited in the area. Both the husband and wife were without work. They had twins. The two young girls were extremely shy and embarrassed about their current situation. We managed to make room in a small flat on the church's property. Through connecting different networks we found work for both the husband and the wife. What make this story significant was to see the impact in the lives of the girls. They both went on to finish their tertiary study and are both mothers themselves. God is an inter-generational God and it gives me great joy to see how our small contribution made a lasting impact.