Show Notes – Episode 20

Shaped by the Gospel

Johnny Hunt has been the pastor of First Baptist Church, Woodstock, GA for over 30 years; and he is now joining the leadership of North American Mission Board.

How have you retained authenticity?

I have settled into my identity and roles, and I have two main goals in my ministry:
1. To take as many folks to heaven with me as I can
2. To develop as many committed followers of Jesus as I can

Why do you choose to invest in younger leaders?

I want to know that I have poured myself into a younger generation that will then pass the baton on to another.
If God gives me influence, it is not for me.
Discipleship is best accomplished through time.

What does the term “gospel-shaped leadership” mean to you?

Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 2 that pastoral leadership should mimic that of a mother.
Tolerance of Imperfection—a mother loves her children regardless of performance.
If a pastor only ministers to people who have their act together, he will be greatly limited.

We need to be patient and persevere with those that we lead.

What are some of your best decisions?

1. Great staff hiring decisions

God has blessed FBC Woodstock with a great longevity on the leadership team. The number-one thing I look for is working with someone that I like working with.

2. Married well
Janet has been nothing but a blessing in my life and ministry. If I have to pick one person to do anything with, it will always be my wife.

What advice do you have for healthy pastoral ministry?

It takes about five years to really become the pastor, and by that time they will begin to take on your personality and spirit.

If you want a generous church, be generous.

If you want engaged worship, engage in worship.

There is a lot of talk about creating culture. I think it’s more of an issue of God working in the leader.

Importance of Rest—
I always know when my next break is.

What encourages or concerns you about the next generation of leaders?

Their teachable spirit encourages me.
At times, this generation is choosing their peers as heroes. We need to look to those ahead of us!

Personal Questions:

1. Who are you choosing to invest yourself in?
2. Does your pastoral leadership look like mothering?
3. Is margin available in my life and leadership?

Team Questions:

  1. What are some of the decisions that our team has made that God has blessed?
  2. Do we have a healthy church culture? Are our pastors healthy?

Helpful Resources:

Demolishing Strongholds by Johnny Hunt