CNLP 110: Jeff Brodie, Carey Nieuwhof and Jeff Henderson on Navigating a Successful Transition: Stepping Out of And Into the Lead Pastor’s Chair

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In late 2015, Carey Nieuwhof stepped out of the Lead Pastor role at Connexus Church (the only role he’d ever had) and assumed a new role as Founding and Teaching Pastor, while Jeff Brodie became the new Lead Pastor. A year into the transition, by all accounts, the move has been a success.

Jeff Henderson—Lead Pastor of Gwinnett Church near Atlanta— interviews Carey and Jeff about why they made the change, how they did it, what worked and where the tension has been.

Welcome to Episode 110 of the Podcast.

Launch Youniversity

The Launch Youniversity Podcast

Gwinnett Church

Jeff Brodie

Connexus Church

Jeff Henderson on Twitter

Carey on Twitter

Jeff Brodie on Twitter

Connexus Church on Facebook

Connexus Barrie on Twitter

Injoy Stewardship Solutions


Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track – and Keeping It There by Les Mckeown

Andy Stanley; Episode 1

Casey Graham; Episode 104

3 Things from This Episode

What are you doing as a leader now to preserve the future of the mission? Leaders do not do well when the future is dimmer than the past. It’s one thing to have a church that grows with you, but it’s another to have a church that grows without you. Carey and Jeff Brodie talk about what’s happened over the past year since Jeff took over as lead pastor at Connexus.

  1. Keep the focus on the mission. The forefront of a leadership transition is preserving the mission. Changes were being made so that the talents of Carey and Jeff Brodie were being leveraged to reach as many people as possible. You are not the mission. Jesus is the mission.
  2. Find alignment with your staff and your elders. As responsibilities change within a transition, you have to maintain boundaries and help others understand the new protocols for your operations. Re-direct your team when they want to revert to an old process. It will take patience, but show grace and remain consistent.
  3. Don’t hang on to a title. Look for a role and look at what you can give to a team. When a new position becomes available to you, think about the mission first and see if it matches your passion. Pray about it. As God opens the doors, you’ll see positions differently.

Quotes from this Episode

You are not the mission. Jesus is the mission. Click To Tweet Don't let what starts with you, end with you. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet Leaders do not do well when the future is dimmer than the past. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet Won’t you be better if you hand over a vibrant church instead of one that’s weak? @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet Keeping the mission central makes every transition better. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet I had to look at the role Jesus played in my leadership. I couldn’t just look to Carey. @jeffbrodie Click To Tweet Don’t make it about the position you want. Make it about the mission you serve. @jeffbrodie Click To Tweet Whatever is possible, I know it’s something I can’t do on my own. @jeffbrodie Click To Tweet

Lead With Confidence and Clarity. Grow Your Church.

As leaders, we tend to see the challenges and roadblocks before other people do.

We've all been there before...

  • You need to refresh your vision for the future but know that change will be an issue for that person.
  • You're overstaffed (or missing a key role) and can't find the right person to fill the role.
  • You aren't reaching enough new people even though you've tried everything that's working for other churches.
  • You can see the issue but aren't confident in what to do about it.

And with another Sunday morning coming up, it'll just have to wait until next week when you have a few minutes to figure it out.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.