Life Lessons from Pastor Tim Greseth
“It is in small groups that people can get close enough to know each other, to care and share, to challenge and support, to confide and confess, to forgive and be forgiven, to laugh and weep together, to be accountable to each other, to watch over each other, and to grow together. Personal growth does not happen in isolation. It is the result of interactive relationships. Small groups are God’s gift to foster changes in character and spiritual growth.” (Comeback Churches, Stetzer and Dodson, pp 152)
“46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church[h] daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47 NIV
Pastor Tim Greseth comes across as a pastor who is “straight to the point,” and calls things as he sees it.
He is the Senior Pastor of Hope Central. This church stated as a youth group that eventually blossomed into a church plant in Mililani. The pastor that originally planted the church was eventually called to plant another church in Japan, and Pastor Tim, who was a youth pastor at Hope Chapel Kaneohe at the time, went out to lead Hope Central.
After serving several years in the ministry as a Senior Pastor, some personal family issues led Pastor Tim to depart from the ministry and return to a secular workforce. Three years after his departure, the Senior Pastor who stepped in to lead following Pastor Tim’s departure was ready to move on.
Pastor Tim was called to return to the church and pastor the congregation once again. Pastor Tim entered the ministry again, this time, as a single father with 4 children.
Here is what he stated were his three most important lessons learned while serving in the ministry.
1. Seek vision from God for the church through fasting and prayer.
Pastor Tim started by mentioning that pastors and leaders in the church need to live a life of integrity and be an example by seeking God through both fasting and prayer. Pastor Tim recognizes that an important past of the vision that the Lord has given him for Hope Central is to strengthen the church through the development of mini-church or small groups.
“Mini church (or small groups) are the strength of the church,” according to Pastor Tim. He shares that he would like to see his fellowship be a church of small groups rather than a church with small groups.
Pastor Tim observed that when the small groups in the church are strong and healthy, the church as a whole tends to be stronger and healthier. When small groups diminish, the church overall tends to decrease in strength.
God calls men to do many things, but He has not called us to “play it safe.”
2. Equip the people. Spend majority of time with movers.
Build great leaders and delegate. Give vision get feedback. Tear down roadblocks. Be aware of current events. Hurts and needs of people are important to hit. Tell the hard truths.
Pastor Tim is invested into developing leaders through the development of small group ministries and through spending time with the “movers”.
I have learned not to give in to tickling of the ears. “Do not water down the Gospels,” Pastor Tim says, “despite what others tell you.” There is a strong draw for ministers to speak of their favorite topics or scriptures, and to share what pleases the crowds. The calling of the preacher is to preach the Gospel. Expositional or topical.
3. Enjoy the journey. Ministry is a marathon not a sprint.
Pastor Tim recognizes his next most important lesson from the ministry as learning the importance of prioritizing. God comes first. Next comes caring for ones’ family. Lastly comes the overseeing of the church. If a relationship with God is neglected and if the family is not healthy, one is unable to effectively oversee the church of Jesus Christ.
“Ministry can suck you dry if you let it.” Pastor Tim advised me. He says that he has learned to enjoy the journey since service in the ministry is meant to be more of a marathon than a sprint. In order to continue running the race well, Pastor Tim recognizes that the pastor must take the time to enjoy the journey.
If you could do one thing differently, what would that be?
After some thought Pastor Tim advised me that if he could do one thing differently, he stated that he would CONTINUALLY work toward raising young (or new) leaders and mini church leaders. As he reflected back on his ministry, Pastor Tim recognized some seasons of his ministry when more time was spent on leadership development and other times when time was spent on other investments.
“I needed to spend more time raising other pastors.” The church grows with small groups. He closed with this, “Only God grows the church but I need to grow the leaders.”
Pastor Tim reminds me that I must always be working to develop leaders for Christ. Given the demands of the ministry and multiple tasks that need to be accomplished, there are times that it is easy to lose focus of the development of leadership around me.
Pastor Tim reminds me of the critical importance of continually taking time developing and raising people to be fully committed disciples of Christ whether in season or out. Jesus always had Peter, James, and John, along with the other 12 to develop. I need to be more strategic and methodical in developing others around me.
For more information on Pastor Tim and Hope Central, check their website at:
Thank You Jesus for my friend Pastor Tim Greseth and for his ministry. Thank You Jesus for the reminder he gives me to be strategic in developing leaders around me through small groups. Lord teach me to steward my time well in order that I may be effective as a Kingdom builder for You. Amen.