disagreeing well

I learned almost everything I know about ministry during my time working at Cornerstone Church in Chandler, AZ.

I walked into my first church service there an unbeliever. I would end up working there for almost seven years. I was a hotel supervisor for a few years before that, but I had zero ministry experience before Cornerstone.

I ended up at Calvary because I spent the past few years developing some passions, convictions, and priorities that weren’t necessarily at the top of Cornerstone’s list. That’s not an insult in any way towards Cornerstone. I just felt myself moving in a direction that they weren’t planning on going. The bottom line is that my vision didn’t match up with the church’s vision. And that’s ok!

I always had a close relationship with Cornerstone’s senior pastor Linn Winters. He took me under his wing and supported me big-time. As I learned the ropes at Cornerstone he was really patient with me. For example, he would let me come into his office, shut the door, and say whatever I wanted. I could go in there and say ANYTHING that I wanted to say, and he would listen and respond. As years went by, I found myself in there a little more often (this wasn’t a regular thing, maybe a handful of times a year). We would usually leave those meetings seeing eye to eye, but sometimes we didn’t. But here’s what I loved about our relationship:

I could say anything I wanted to Linn in his office, but when I left that office I was on his team. He knew that no matter what we had just talked about, I would leave his office and support his vision. He knew he could trust me to lead my team in a way that honored him and the vision of the church. We were able to disagree very well.

One day we both knew that I couldn’t support the vision any more, so I had to go. He knew I couldn’t leave his office and lead my ministry in the same direction, so the right thing to do was part ways. That’s never easy, but I still appreciate the leadership principle I’m talking about so much. I learned it from him and the other pastors on the team.

I want to be someone who disagrees well. But more than that, I want to have an office like Linn’s.

(Calvary readers, I haven’t had any meetings with Dave, Michael, Eric or Josh… but I’m sure they would handle it the same way!)

9 thoughts on “disagreeing well”

  1. great thoughts. my office is always an open door too! πŸ™‚ it is a very unique place in the team at Cornerstone. i think it’s shocking for new people to know that Linn has that kind of desire. cool stuff. good post Ry.

  2. If your office wasn’t 115 degrees I would totally go in there and share my thoughts with you. πŸ™‚ J/k. I’ve felt safe about you and your office from day one. Thanks Ryan.

  3. BW, I loved your office the most… you had a couch.

    Eric, you would.

    Tyler, I guess the bad news is that people should leave where they are if they can’t have dialogue like this. I’m sure that’s not ALWAYS the best answer, but definitely if its a recurring problem. Eh?

    Melissa, you aren’t allowed to disagree with me.

  4. I think that says a lot about your character Ryan. The 2 churches I’ve left were for the reason of my passions no longer matching the vision of the church for the ministries I was leading. In those situations you have to either give up on your passions or leave. How you leave is up to the person? I love your take on this!

  5. Thanks Pat! It’s no fun to see anyone give up their passions to keep their job. I’d rather work the graveyard shift for minimum wage at a place I love than work somewhere I wasn’t excited about.

    And 2xjms (how do you pronounce that?), I’ve had a couple of meetings with those guys, just not meetings like the ones I’m talking about πŸ™‚

  6. And even from the small ones who were just the attenders…you are missed…and thru great friends with children of the age bracket you taught-the were crushed, and not wanting to go back, as for they missed you so. You made an impact. But times change, and I know in God’s plan…amazing things will happen! God Bless you and your wife! Hope you have a good office… πŸ™‚
    In His Grip,
    Heather Siebens

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