Greg Atkinson is the Campus Pastor at Transformational Church's Rock Hill Campus. He is an international speaker and author and a leadership guru. Greg is a good friend of mine and someone I truly respect. Here are 3 questions I recently I asked Greg:
In the past year you transitioned into a new role at Transformation Church. I have been following the church's growth for a couple of years and it's unbelievable! Can you share what your experience has been and what makes Transformation Church different from other churches you have either served at or been around?
The past year has been a whirlwind. You've heard of the expression "drinking from a firehose." That's what it's been like. I stopped blogging because I had nothing to say. I've been unlearning 21 years of ministry experience and learning the Transformation Church way.
There are two things that stand out to me that are different about Transformation Church than other churches I've served at. First, the senior leadership and Pastor Derwin actually care about my health and heart. There is a weekly tremendous focus given to soul care. They want their staff to be healthy physically, spiritually and emotionally. We say Upward, Inward and Outward. Inward is loving yourself correctly.
The second thing that stands out to me is the vision. We are a multiethnic, multigenerational, mission-shaped community. Everything we say and do is based out of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. This is different because I'm not following a senior pastor's vision that may change from year to year. We follow Jesus' vision as laid out in the New Testament and it never changes. I would also add that Pastor Derwin is an amazing vision caster. He oozes vision and is laser-focused. That's been really refreshing as I've served other leaders that were vague about the vision.
I loved having you in New York City recently! It is always interesting hearing first impressions of the city, can you share yours?
Crowded and iconic. Those are my impressions. I was in NYC and then Boston in back-to-back days. I could easily walk around Boston. It was 20 times more crowded in NYC. I couldn't get over how populated it was. Secondly, the iconic landmarks were awesome to take in. I had my son with me and we took in a bunch of tourist sites. You were a great tour guide and we really enjoyed walking around with you. Seeing TobyMac live in Times Square is something I'll never forget!
As a student of the church and a leader in a local church, what do you see developing in the future of the American church? What do you get excited about and where do you have concerns?
I see three things on the rise and hear a lot of buzz about it. First, I think the most innovative and effective churches in the future will be multiethnic. Pastor Derwin has a new book called "The High-Definition Leader" that goes into great detail on this and I encourage you to read it for more on that.
Second, I see a huge emphasis on leadership development. My favorite champion for this is my friend, Mac Lake. He is a genius when it comes to developing leaders. I encourage everyone to catch his daily Periscope updates.
Third, as I mentioned earlier, I think soul care is huge now. Craig Groeschel once said we have too many full-time pastors that are part-time disciples. With all the scandals, moral failures and issues happening in the Church right now, soul care has never mattered more. John Ortberg wrote a book entitled "Soul Keeping." I've read it and recommend it. I'm currently reading Pete Scazzero's "The Emotionally Healthy Leader." We are going to read it all together as a staff at TC after we read Pastor Derwin's new book. I highly recommend "The Emotionally Healthy Leader" and "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality."
For more great insights by Greg, check out his website. Not only is Greg great at recommending books- he's also written quite a few! Check them out below and be sure to buy a copy- I highly recommend them!