Outcome Stories

Economics and Fights - Part 2

Todd Salzwedel’s Journey to Ministry and Participation in the Entrepreneurial Pastors Group (Part 2) Read Part 1

For leaders like Rev. Todd Salzwedel, Pastor of FUMC Odessa, his experience in TMF’s Entrepreneurial Pastors Group was transformative. “TMF is on the cutting edge of creating incubator groups for leadership development,” Todd noted. “Through this group, I have been given opportunities to be resourced for success and had the chance to network with other leaders who have helped me grow.” 

Over the last couple of years, TMF has invested in leaders like Todd, who can ardently articulate exactly what they have learned from this group and how it has made a difference in their ministries.    

 In his own words, Todd shares a sampling of what he has learned in the Entrepreneurial Pastors Group and how he has implemented these learnings:

  • Adaptive Leadership – We talk about case studies as a group regularly and these case studies are vital in how we approach struggles in our own contexts. There are so many issues today and there is no blueprint for addressing these challenges, so case studies give us a practical lens to discuss issues. We focus on what it looks like to live out being a risk taker, how to encourage risk taking, and how to encourage adaptive leadership. An example of implementing a learning from this group is how I changed my delegation style and began empowering other people to be good leaders. Now I don’t manage more than 5 people and no one else in the church does, either. We are no longer permission giving agents; instead, we are empowerment giving agents. Another example is a Club Card case study. The Membership Retention Manager spoke with us about how the church has influenced their own membership practices. They look at how we connect with people, how we look after the needs of members, and how we follow up with people who are missing. That presentation changed the way I view membership, because in 2018 membership really looks like the following: (1) I am a member, so what do I get? (2) I don’t care about being a member; what do you offer? (3) Why do I have value here and how will membership make me grow? Based on these concepts, I reshaped our membership practices. 
  • Family Systems – By learning more about family systems in the Entrepreneurial Pastors Group, I have been able to pass that knowledge on to staff who work with children and youth. Together, we think through different challenges based on the reality that we are not just pastoring the child in our ministry, but the entire family. 
  • Mentorship - David McNitzky completely reframed my understanding of mentorship. I imagined mentors as experts, but he taught me mentorship was collaborative and this shapes how I mentor others. 
  • Role of Pastor as Spiritual Leader – There has been a real shift in the work of pastoral leadership over time. We are no longer spiritual leaders for the congregation alone; we are spiritual leaders at the community level, so now we have to have greater intentionality about how we serve the mission field and how we act as spiritual leaders for the entire community. 

Todd believes he has developed many new leadership skills that have made him more effective as a direct result of participating in this group. Accordingly, he also believes TMF is investing in the present and the future of the church through its Leadership Ministry.  

“We all want to leave a legacy,” Todd shared. “We all want to shape leaders who will impact the future in positive ways. Developing other leaders in the church is my most vital role as a pastor and TMF is influencing how effectively I do this. What better investment could you make in the church, than investing in current leaders who will have the capacity to shape the next generation?”

 

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