Welcome back to the Monday Morning Church Podcast. Today our guest is Jeremy Hyde who is coming to us from The Point Church in North Carolina. Hi Jeremy, how are you today?
I am doing great. How are you, Neil?
Excellent. I am excited to hear about your experience – where you’ve come from? So why don’t you just start there, kind of give us a background of who you are, how you got to this church in North Carolina and how you got to be the executive pastor there?
Yeah it’s kind of a funny story. I grew up in a pretty small traditional church. I am never even heard of an executive pastor, but so like the Lord was calling me in the ministry went to ooze our Christian College and got exposed to church planting. And then as I graduated, some connections I had in the church planting world connected me to some church planters here in North Carolina, one of which was the lead pastor of The Point Church, Chris Hankins, and I was looking to do some sort of residency. So I shot some emails out to these pastors in North Carolina and Chris replied, I think within five minutes. He said, “If you are looking to do a leadership residency, we have space for you. You are going to have to raise your support, but we will invest in you and help you become a better leader and help you explore your fit in church planting.” So that sounded like a good idea for me and my wife. So over the course of some exploring and different things, we made our way out here pretty quickly. And I jumped in and really did a lot of different things over the first couple of years here at The Point. But it was through that process and through the leadership development process here at The Point that we figured out that my best fit I think in the church planning world was in some sort of number two role like an executive pastor. And it was when we got to our third campus that Chris, our lead pastor again, he approached me and said, “I want you to start praying and thinking about becoming our executive pastor.” And like I said, I had a vague idea of what that meant by this time. So I started meeting with some executive pastors and found out that it really came down to your relationship with the lead pastor and it came down to your gifts and it came down to what the church needed. And because of that I felt like this was the perfect fit for me, the perfect fit for what our church needed at that time. And I said, “Yes, let’s do it.” And it’s just been awesome. It’s been a great way for me to grow, to serving our church and that’s where we are. So I’ve been in this role now for just over three years, and we have now almost eight campuses. So a lot has happened.
Wow, so you guys are pretty committed to a multi-site model, right?
Yeah, our vision for reaching the triangle area here in North Carolina is the plan – 30 churches and 15 years, which no better way to say that is 30 churches by 2025. And we feel like by having these local campuses in each community, a major community of the triangle, it’s going to be the most effective way to reach the triangle. And so that’s been our vision from the very beginning which really – obviously your vision shapes how you do things and has definitely made us committed to multiplying, raising our church planters and being a reproducing church.
Alright, so you are talking about 30 churches by 2025. That sounds great but I know from an administrative angle, some people are like their heads are spinning thing like how in the world can that work. Talk about the challenges of being especially that executive pastor role when you are going to these different stages of growing and building in new things, what’s your plan for how to manage all those churches?
Well, the plan in some ways is a moving target. It’s changing all the time. One of the things I would say we are constantly developing is our communication structures because every time you add a new campus and you add a new team, you are adding another layer of communication complexity. So it’s a constant administration challenge that we are dealing with. Another thing that just never ends is the systems and processes that have to be built. And I think because we were adding campuses so early, we were forced to build systems and processes very early on in the life of our church, which is I think a good thing and built structure for the long haul. And so we were forced within the first couple of years of our church to build out things that were reproducible because we were thinking how will we do guest services what we call front line at the next campus? How will we do hit-point at the next campuses? And so we were building things in a way, getting things that were intrinsic to how we were doing it the first campus; extrinsic so that it could be reproduced at the next one. And so it’s that kind of shaped how we do things, it’s forced us to write a lot of things down in the handbooks and manuals and that kind of thing. As far as administrative, it’s made church management software really important. It’s just made all of those policies and procedures really really vital, especially as now we are getting to seven and eight. You can kind of sit around a table when you are two or three campuses and still talk things out but now we are so spread out it has to be written down, it has to be communicated through forms instead of email all the time. So it just continues to get more complex.
Yeah, we had Jim Tomberlin on the show before and he is a big multi-site guy, he is talking about how a lot of churches can get to that three-campus level, but that transition to four or five is a big one. Did you find that in your experience like there is that big difference between just a few campuses and then when you really have to expand out a lot?
Yeah I think for us there were several things that happened. One is as three – well, from three to four we shifted basically our meeting structure like who was in what meetings changed because the decision making had to change. So for example, at that point we basically had a staff meeting and what we called the lead team meeting. But when we got to three, we shifted to what was an all staff meeting, campus team meetings, and then what we call our executive team meetings which is made up of our lead pastor and myself and our campus pastors. And so that helped started getting the right people together at the right time to discuss the right things. And then we also like I kind of hinted this before but we started shifting from – now send an email to so and so, send an email to so and so – to we shifted to fill out this form. So for example, to get an announcement on Sunday morning or to get an announcement in the program, we made an announcement request form which is something you would probably see at a several thousand person church. But we had that when we were just a few hundred people at each campus because it simplified administrative tasks. We were able to ensure that that request always got to the right person. And that was a little bit hard for some of our people that had been here for a long time but it was an essential shift that had to happen to get over the hump from three to four, then from four to five to six. And a lot of the things that we did at that transition from three to four or three to five, really built the foundation to get all the way to where we are now because they are kind of a scaffolding that can support several more campuses.
Yeah yeah, absolutely. Now when you think about going to 30, again now you are talking about your that executive team meeting of 32 people instead of six or seven people are so to repeat that – what’s your plan for how you are going to get there?
Yeah, so there is a lot of layers to that. One of the things we like to say – so we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves or too caught up in the scaling processes, we’ve been saying a lot of act our size. So we really are able to say, this is where we are now. And so we want to not get too far off ourselves but we are really thinking about those things. So I don’t know that we’ve settled on how we think that will shake out. A lot of times we are building the plane as we fly it. So there are several ways we could see that – one is moving to our campuses being structured into networks and so that executive team level being network leaders; another way is shifting to a centralized director, I guess a director team. So you would have like an executive director of ministries who oversees what would be our life groups, core groups and our serve groups, which basically would be like guest services set up, turned down those kinds of things. And then also like an executive director of same ministry, executive director of operations and those sorts of things – get all of those executive directors together as our new executive team, and then you could have someone in there that was the executive director of the campuses. So basically, I think we have two streams that were kind of exploring – which would we take? One is still going with that kind of campus representation because one of the big shifts I didn’t mention is that when you get past three or four, you really have to shift to the authority flowing through the campuses instead of flowing through your central ministry teams. So that’s where the one stream we could take is having our executive team be made up of the campus leadership. And then the other shift is we could go to those ministry representation who are affecting the content culture and ministry – I’ll use a loose term like kind of vibe of the church that’s implemented to each campus.
Yeah yeah, absolutely. It’s a big challenge I think about how to see those structures. Other people I’ve talked with have mentioned this kind of trend towards, right – we have several executive pastors of different things that go through, but also bringing that unique culture and vibe like you talked about of the different campuses is great. Alright, you mentioned a little bit of technology already about some things that you rely on, but give us a walkthrough of what’s your essential thing? You are going into a new thing, what can you not live without day to day when it comes to managing this kind of network?
I live and breathe Google apps. We use Google apps for our church email and we probably have an excessive amount of Google docs created. And so it’s a baptism by fire for anybody who comes into our staff team to get acquainted with the Google calendar, Google apps, Google drive and all of those things. But then as far as church management software, we use CCB and we have most of our assimilation processes and everything like event registration, all that kind of stuff built into CCB – financial records, all of that stuff, building the CCB. And then I guess the third one that we really live and die with is pointing the centre. That’s mostly for service planning and volunteer scheduling. Those three are kind of the essentials and one that we’ve been exploring for volunteer training but I would say we haven’t fully committed to yet. It’s trained up, and I really like the potential there but I don’t think we’ve committed hard enough to it to really find out if it will be a successful alternative to in-person training.
Yeah, we just had somebody that mentioned that as a tool they used too. So that’s encouraging to know, that’s a good resource. Good, so you’ve been at this role for about, you said three-four years something like that. What is something that you’ve encountered as a challenge that you maybe didn’t expect to face when you first started your role? What’s one of those big challenges that kind of sprung up at you?
Yeah, I would say for me, one of the earliest challenges I remember is, and it may be partly due to our structure was just a necessity to over-communicate. I think it’s partially a general leadership principle but due to our structure and due to the number of people that an executive pastor has to keep going in the same direction, communication is just vital – over communicating every decision and keeping all of your ministry staff and leaders moving in the same direction and keeping them bought into the vision and direction of the church. Especially in our – we are a fast moving organization as you can tell, it’s just helping everyone to see what’s next, how we are going to execute it and what are all of the little steps to that process. It requires constant communication. So I feel like, even today, I feel like not represented my job it’s just communication, whether that’s one on one or group communication.
Yeah. So Jeremy, you are a fairly young guy going into this role, which in many ways is dominated by older men that are there. What do you find to be the ways that you learn the most about? Do you feel like your youth is an advantage in that way or do you feel like you need to go to other people to get mentorship or what – websites, what other podcasts, what do you go to get that experience, that information?
Yeah, I read blogs and listen to podcast daily. So that would be, I would say one of the primary ways. I am reading Tony Morgan all the time, listening to Carey Neuhoff all the time and reading a lot of it – just the primitive school blogosphere and podcast world stuff, and trying to just see what trends and what advice good leaders have to say. And the second thing, I have a handful of executive pastors who are more seasons than I that I go to – probably not so much for formal mentorship but for specific issues. So if we are doing a capital campaign, I go to them about what that will look like or if I have a specific volunteer issue, I go to them for advice for that or a staff issue. I go to them for that. And I feel like that has been really effective or really helpful. And there is a couple guys that I have who I respect the way that they have a great, they are able to manage that ministry and family balance really well. So I talk to them. That’s been very helpful. So I think those two things have probably been between the blogs and podcasts, and then having specific executive pastors to go to. It’s been really really helpful.
Excellent, great. Well, Jeremy why don’t you close us out with a little bit of encouragement you would like to give to other executive pastors who are there listening in?
Yeah, I mean I think in my limited experience, just from what I’ve seen with the role of the executive pastor – I have been so encouraged because our lead pastor is a great encourager and we both have talked over and over again about how neither one of us could do what we are able to do for God’s kingdom without the other one. And if your lead pastor doesn’t say that to you, I want to encourage you that that’s true for you too. The impact that you are able to have in your church for the kingdom and with your lead pastor is only possible because you are in that role. And I am really, I think that this is such a unique role, and God has definitely gifted executive pastors and wired you for this. And I think Satan wants to sometimes cause you to doubt that, but I want you to know that God has definitely put you in the church you are in, in this position for this purpose. And so I am grateful for you and excited for what you are there to do.
Excellent. Thanks Jeremy. I really appreciate your insights and what you are doing there. I think what you guys are accomplishing at The Point Church is something that’s – will be able to write up some case studies on later on and figure out how you guys made it to a 30 by 2025. That will be exciting to see.
I hope so, but it’s – as always we say we are here to point people to Jesus. So it’s all for Him.
Excellent. Well, have a great day Jeremy. Thank you.
Thank you Neil.