7 Questions with Terry Nightingale
Name: Terry Nightingale
Current title: Pastor
Current organisation: Southern River Church of Christ
Terry is a pastor serving in the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, having previously worked in education both in the UK and Perth. Terry has been involved in Christian ministry in a variety of ways over the years from teaching to evangelism, from music ministry to pastoral care.
Terry and Sue moved to Australia in 2003 from the UK. Today they have two grown-up children both married, and two grandchildren. They enjoy walking and watching Science Fiction movies.
Terry has just published his first book, 'Looking back to move forward', available from Kharis Publishing.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Keeping the most important things the most important thing - prayer, evangelism, study of God's Word, authentic fellowship etc
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have always felt a call to serve God in pastoral ministry, and I had several leadership roles over the years, but I 'fell into' working as a pastor about 15 years ago when my own pastor resigned and no-one else wanted to do the job! After serving there for about 3 years, I realised I needed to receive some formal training, so I enrolled as an undergraduate at Vose Seminary. Several years later, I emerged with an M.Div and a passion to build multicultural churches that love the lost! I am still learning - big time!
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I usually wake up at 5 am (my body just does that!) and I do a few pieces of admin to wake me up. I try to be in God's Word and prayer early on so that I am covering the day in prayer before doing anything else.
I always have a list of things I want to achieve in the day, but I am learning to be flexible too if the Lord brings an interruption.
Typically my days consist of meetings, pastoral care, sermon prep and administrative tasks as well as overseeing our Outreach ministry to the many in our community who are relatively new to the country and live far away from home.
I am usually finished by about 5 pm unless I have an evening meeting to attend.
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 read 'Wikichurch' by Steve Murrell a while back and that has inspired me to go back to the basics of sharing the Gospel and seek to raise disciples who will, in turn, raise up other disciples. I believe that a healthy church engages in the wider community, preaches the word, loves the lost and raises disciples. We are not there yet, but this book inspires me towards that.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Every day, every week.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Start with strong, honest and healthy relationships in the top tier of leaders/elders and go from there!
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
In our Outreach ministry to those learning the English language, some have attended a 'Just Looking' Course as an introduction to the Christian faith. We have been praying that those attending will receive Christ and experience God in their prayers and in their search.
Talking to one or two recently, I realised that simple kindness shown to them by members of the church was just as powerful to them as an answer to prayer or something we might describe as an encounter with God. The New Testament often reminds us to show love and be patient with one another etc, I didn't realise until recently how powerful these things are to those outside of the kingdom but searching.