This past weekend we celebrated 25 years as a church at Community Bible Church. It was an incredible weekend looking back on all that God has done and all that we believe God is going to do in the future. While I have only been a part of this church community for 5 years, I feel so deeply connected to the community which has shaped me as a man, husband, father and leader more than I can describe.
As I celebrate CBC, I’m drawn to celebrate its leader. Robert Emmitt was the founding pastor 25 years ago and has led the church with great boldness, passion and humility for all of those years. In fact, as we prepared to celebrate our anniversary he made it very clear that this celebration was to be about the congregation and not its leader. He's right, that’s what it should have been about and was about. God has transformed thousands of lives through the years and has grown this church plant to 25,000 members with more than 12,000 in weekly attendance on campus and 12,000 more each week online. We aren’t celebrating the numbers, but rather each and every individual life that has been changed through the church over the past 25 years.
So we celebrated what God has done in and through our congregation this weekend. This is my personal blog though, and with this post, I want to celebrate our leader, Robert Emmitt.
I first heard Robert preach about 12 years ago and was immediately captivated by his down to earth preaching style and creative illustrations that brought the Bible to life. I first met Robert at a lunch meeting 5 years ago where he cast a vision for Online Church and asked if I wanted to help turn that vision into a reality. Within a week I joined the staff of Community Bible Church and have had the privilege to call Robert my pastor, leader, mentor and friend.
As I celebrate Robert publicly, I thought it would be best to share 3 Leadership Lessons that will benefit you that I have learned from serving under his leadership:
1. Read the Bible and do what it says. This sounds simple and in many ways it is, yet most pastors and leaders don’t do it. The first thing that Robert turns to in any situation or decision that needs to be made is the Bible. Leadership books are great, but nothing compares to the Word of God.
2. Move fast and adjust quickly. Those who know Robert will chuckle, but the way he has led CBC with such speed and agility has been a big part of the success of the church. When Robert has a clear direction from God, he has pursued it with great passion and drive. When something isn’t working he doesn’t wait around to make an adjustment, but quickly makes a decision and moves forward. Before going to CBC I got in trouble many times for moving too fast and often had to ask forgiveness. I have only asked forgiveness for moving too slow at CBC. I think the lesson to be learned is that even as your organization grows larger and ages, never lose your necessary agility.
3. Never make it about you. Community Bible Church is not about Robert Emmitt, it’s about Jesus Christ and the community of believers who have come together to study the Bible and live it out together in community. You won’t find Robert’s name or picture on the outside of our church building or even on the homepage of our website. That’s intentional. Robert’s humility as a leader is second to none and I believe so many leaders could learn such valuable lessons from watching Robert lead in the most humble way possible.
This past weekend Robert shared his dream to launch 1,000 churches. That might sound crazy to many of you who don’t know Robert. For those of us who know Robert, know that while somewhat “crazy” to most people it’s a God kind of crazy with a vision that God has put on his heart. I believe with all my heart that Robert will see this dream become a reality in his lifetime and I pray that I get to be a part of planting every single one of these new churches alongside Robert!
Robert, thank you for your humble, passionate and bold leadership; and thank you for letting me join you for this incredible ride.