Bill Wolfson has been a Pastor from the year 1979. He met up with the Lord in 1977, while in Chicago at a law school after which he right away followed his ministry call. He has served at Church for All Nations (CFAN), since 1989. The pastor, who was born in a Jewish home, grew up in Chicago, on the South side. He is married to Marj and they are blessed with five children, who are referred to as Jewmenites. The pastor’s passion is when he sees people coming to know Christ, with his number one priority being discipleship. According to him, God has not called him in order for him to make decisions, but he has called him so that he can make him more disciples. His strategy of the scripture is non-religious and fresh, which charms his audience. He believes firmly that humor is an aesthetic that the Holy Spirit employs in order for him to do a surgical procedure. From the interview I had with him I wanted to know how he came by to be such an influential leader as well as how he felt to be a leader of such a huge congregation, and the methods he uses in order to keep his congregation in the right track, as a leader.
Summary of the Interview
According to Bill Wolfson, leadership is not about making decisions, but making disciples. He believes that his style of preaching is not a motivational one, but his assurance is that the lazy must be motivated. His attitude and core-value is that when people have real confidence which they believe is significant dying for, they do not require being inspired in order for them to do the correct thing. When he is preaching, he focuses primarily on compelling people to have soft hearts, as hard hearts tend to disconnect people from divinity and from one another. He thinks that soft hearts permit people to accomplish their God-given vocation.
In terms of strengths, the pastor considered influential worship, genuine word and association to be the major key players. According to him and his church, relationships are barely the one thing that people will take with them to eternity. In his preaching, he just doesn’t teach his audience how to make use of the fundamental principles, but he makes sure that every follower of his church understands who Christ is, what his word says, and how they should apply it in their life. He says that when one takes Jesus out of every message that he preaches, that makes his preaching to be valueless. The pastor also said that he had weaknesses just like everyone else. He said that he did not preach religiously because he believed that only the lazy needed to be taken word for word in order for them to know what is right and what is wrong.
The pastor considered his greatest influence as a leader as his style of preaching since it makes his audience more attracted to him. He said that he used the non-religious and fresh approach, and to him it made his audience to be more charmed. In addition, to him, humor is a painkiller that makes it easier for the Holy Spirit to penetrate and conduct his work. He is a speaker, an author and a personal life coach whose words are meant to inspire, encourage and challenge people to be converted into the very best that the Lord has called them to be.
The pastor, as well, said that he believed that leaders should make other people feel strong and increase confidence. He added that in order to make others feel better and confident about themselves, a good leader should empower them. This is by enabling them to acquire possession of, and the accountability of their group’s victory by enhancing their proficiency and their self-confidence in their skills, by paying attention to their thoughts and taking action on them, by involving them in vital conclusions, and by recognizing and giving praise for their contributions. He added that a good leader should encourage his team members to embrace their duties, which in return makes them to become leaders by themselves. He said that he did this by ministering to each member and ensuring each of the members to become a minister. He also said that mission of his church is to generate healthy, lively and reproducing affiliates of God’s Empire in a Bible-based and culturally noteworthy way. He says his words are meant to inspire, encourage and challenge those who are in dire need of salvation to be the best what God created them to be.
In addition, the pastor said that he thought that delegating was important. This, he said, was because a leader cannot achieve the mission of his set goals alone, and hence needs to trust other people to do what he could have done in an efficient way. The pastor considers that the actions that are essential for all leaders in order to enable others to be successful are inspiring, encouraging and challenging them to be better than their leaders are. Concerning relationships and trust, the pastor considers building relationships to be a major part of success of any given organization. According to him, togetherness makes people to endure hardship, but if not it is easy to break separately and become a group of individuals. He considers relationships so essential that they are the only thing people will take with them to eternity. As for trust, he said that one had to learn how to trust since doubts would develop into hard hearts, which were not aligned with his preaching.
The pastor considers his style of leadership as the servant style as he allows all his members to make decisions. He says that the values of his members matter most and so have to be placed in the first position. Hence, he makes them decide on what is good for them as individuals and as a team. Concerning his core values the pastor considers people with real convictions, which they believe are important dying for, do not call for motivation in order for them to do right. He says that he practices them as a leader by making sure that principles are followed. According to him, in his church, in everything they do there is a “why” that follows. This forms their core-values basis cornerstone, of whom they actually are.
The pastor believes that, in order to facilitate improvement, to manage the change and deal with mistakes in his group, first, he ensures that his members are inspired and motivated, as well as let them decide on what is good for them. Then he plans thoughtfully and ensures implementation is done sensitively. He makes sure that he consults his members and involves them in every step. He added that the only way one can deal with mistakes is by facing them and taking accountability. Being responsible for ones mistake can make a solution to be found easily. Lastly, concerning managing a conflict in his group, the pastor said that conflicts helped in building a team, but when there was no action taken, they could lead to antagonism. He says that in order to deal with it, one has to handle it sooner because later it might be too late; one should ask in a nice way in order to get an answer, if that does not work a meeting should be called for the both teams alone, whereby giraffe language is recommended. Giraffe language is where one criticizes but in a nice way. If they cannot solve the problem alone, mediation is recommended, whereby the mediator does not show any bias, that is, does not show any favors to any of the fighting teams.
From the interview I had with the pastor, I noted that he had good leadership skills, in other words, his strengths overpower the weaknesses. This is because he has applied Kouzes and Posner model. The pastor challenges the process as it is; he seeks opportunities which are challenging and require being changed, grown, innovated and improved. He is also a risk taker, who learns from his mistakes. He also inspires a shared vision in them; this is not only by rewarding them, but also through giving them the ideas which confine their thoughts. This should be done with passion, interest and sentiment. In addition, he enables them to act by supporting them and their ideas, by ensuring collaboration and fostering relationships. Moreover, he models the way for them by being their example and implementing what he asks them to implement. Furthermore, he encourages their hearts by recognizing contributions of every individual and celebrating accomplishments achieved by teams on a regular basis. This way his followers feel more acknowledged and therefore, they do as it is accepted by them. The pastor, who is also their coach and mentor, is an outstanding leader whom the entire congregation wants to emulate. Though he uses the non-religious approach, it is what attracts the congregation to him.
I believe the pastor has made a good leader to his congregation and that is why his church has continued to blossom In the Pacific West, giving him prosperity of a practical viewpoint. However, the pastor uses the non-religious approach method alone in spreading his scripture. I would recommend for the pastor to try both ways,both religious and non-religious. Maybe by using both ways, he could end up winning a huger congregation than he already has. In addition, the pastor does not focus on motivational preaching and this puts a lot of danger on those people who have to be motivated now and then, for them to perform. Hence, I would recommend the pastor to check on this since he might be losing some of the sheep along the way without noticing it.
Furthermore, the pastor’s approach of spreading the gospel is one way that is, the only questions his scripture answers to are: who is Christ, what does his word say, how people apply it in their lives. By answering these questions alone, there are other important details that he does not talk about, which are important in everyday lives. Therefore, I would like to recommend him to use many other ways of preaching in order to attend to every spiritual need of the congregation. Lastly, he says that when Jesus is removed from his preaching, it becomes valueless. I would like to say that not in every scripture that Jesus is mentioned. There are other teachings that touch other areas where Jesus is not mentioned and hence that does not make the preaching any less important.