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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading 
7 Questions with Shirley Sykes
helps you in your leadership.
Jonno White
7 Questions with Shirley Sykes

Name: Shirley Sykes

Current title: Pastor of Community Care

Current organisation: King’s Community Care

Originating from Invercargill, NZ - the ‘ends of the earth’ Shirley moved to the Gold Coast in 1982 and has remained faithful to Jesus, her husband, Brendan, her church and her family. Working in many areas at King’s.

7 Questions with Shirley Sykes


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

Navigating the demands of pastoral/leadership gifting while remaining faithful to Him who called me and balancing the home/ministry balance.

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

From my early days at King’s my Pastors entrusted me to run small groups, assist with events. Later taking on leading roles in admin, women’s, marriage courses, small groups, Pastoral and Community Care.

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

Upon waking I move to my ‘chair’ and spent around 30mins in quiet devotion. Most days I arrive to work by 7.30am where I get our daily checks underway for our food program, and assist the Op Shop team to get ready for opening. We usually take a few moments to pray as a team prior to the busyness of the day. The morning often includes meetings, training or just pitching in to help wherever I am needed, a sit down lunch is rare but on occasions I will meet with one of our campus pastors to discuss their community needs. Afternoons are busy with pack down, clean up, paperwork and I assist with shop close where possible. I may shop for goods/resources on the way home around 4pm. By 5pm it’s dinner prep, day debriefing with Brendan and dinner by 6pm. We may look at the evening news, read, catch up on chores, emails etc. and most nights bed by 9-9.30pm.

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?

One of the earliest books I can remember reading as a teen, is still the one with the most relevant impact: ‘I’m Out To Change My World’ by Anne Kiemel. That a teen like myself was doing her best everyday to ‘love’ people to Jesus by simple acts of kindness was, and still is, profoundly moving.

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

EW Kenyon in his book on Identification says “The vital side of redemption is what the Holy Spirit, through the word, is doing in us now.” That same spirit with all His power lives in us - powerful stuff, mighty power, explosive power!!

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

Have clearly defined roles, tiers of leadership, pathways to leadership and good accountability.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?

We always ask our Lord Jesus for our needs so with our team I had been praying for a couple of years that our organisation would become debt free. In the strangest of times this prayer was answered, we were so amazed even knowing how good our God is we were surprised.

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