Jeff Iorg: Pastor, author, teacher, leader
Dr. Iorg teaches leadership, preaching, and church ministry courses at Gateway Seminary. He speaks frequently on these subjects in conferences and other venues, including college campuses and leadership seminars. His publications include seven books: The Painful Side of Leadership, The Character of Leadership, Is God Calling Me?, The Case for Antioch, Seasons of a Leader’s Life, Unscripted, Ministry in the New Marriage Culture, and his latest, Leading Major Change in Your Ministry. Iorg has also written dozens of articles and curriculum materials.
Iorg is a graduate of Hardin Simmons University (B.A.), Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (D.Min.). He is married to Ann, has three adult children, and four grandchildren. His hobbies include reading fiction, cheering on the Oregon Ducks, and searching for the world’s best barbeque restaurant.
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This past weekend, our church hosted its annual leadership development conference and volunteer appreciation luncheon. I missed it because I was speaking at another church’s leadership training conference and appreciation dinner. Both of these churches recognize the importance of leadership development and volunteer appreciation. They do so for at least two reasons.
Over the end-of-year holidays each year, I usually take a media fast for a few days - meaning I disconnect from news sources and ignore most of what’s happening in the world. Frankly, it’s usually no great loss. Preening politicians, narcissistic celebrities, and overpaid athletes carried on without me and never missed me. I didn’t miss them either.
The longer you serve as a Christian leader, typically the less connected you are with unbelievers. That’s one of the dirty little secrets of Christian leadership. We are supposedly on mission to unbelievers, yet our job requirements isolate us in the Christian community. Being a Christian leader requires personal discipline to avoid the trap of spiritual isolation leading to ghetto mentality – trying to create an alternative community to the secular where we live every day.