I was in San Diego a couple of weeks ago to attend the Harbor Presbyterian MultiSite 3.0 conference. It is not a big conference, but I was impressed with the depth and breadth of the wisdom and counsel offered to the attendees, most of whom were planters or multisite campus pastors.
My friend, Dick Kaufmann, is the founding pastor of Harbor Presbyterian. He was Executive Pastor of Redeemer Church in New York before leaving for San Diego a little over ten years ago to begin Harbor Presbyterian. Today, they are a thriving multi-site church reaching San Diego for the Kingdom in a meaningful way. Dick is one of those guys who doesn’t say much, but when he does, you probably ought to pay attention.
The last session of the two days was an open forum Q & A. It seemed to me that a proverbial tsunami of information had been shared, so I asked the question — “Among everything that has been shared, are there any 1 or 2 factors that rank above everything else in establishing a viable, gospel centered church plant?” Dick was the first one to respond and here is what he said.
“To me, there is one indispensable ingredient. It is the personal holiness of the senior leader. Churches do not fail because of the lack of giftedness, bad preaching, poor location, wrong strategy, though these factors can have an impact. However, if the senior leader is not committed to a lifestyle of gospel-centered personal holiness and that leader has a moral or integrity failure, the collateral damage is huge. So, to me, that is the indispensable ingredient.”
Yep, that’s it. Dick nailed it.
The one indispensable ingredient — personal holiness.
Everything else is a distant second.
Thanks, Dick, for reminding us how important this is.