By Warren Bird
Leadership Network has built a team of high-capacity leaders who serve churches in powerful ways. These leaders are field-tested as innovation catalysts in their ministry areas, and they bring unique backgrounds and experiences to their pursuits with church leaders in North America.
In this edition of a regular blog to introduce those leaders, you’ll meet Jeff Kossack, a long-time pastor and kingdom leader who is pouring himself into the Next Generation Pastors Leader Group.
What background qualifications do you bring to your leadership of Next Generation pastors?
I have served twenty years in pastoral ministry, including eight as a lead pastor and three in a denominational leadership role with the Assemblies of God. I am trained as a StratOp facilitator with the Paterson Center, and a certified coach with Intentional Churches. I have spent two years serving as a group facilitator with Leadership Network in the areas of Generosity and Multisite.
Why are you excited about working with Next Generation church leaders? What difference do you hope to make?
I love that we are making effective churches even more effective. I get to serve some of the most innovative and high-impact leaders in the Kingdom today. Through their involvement with our Next Generation Pastor Leader Groups, I’ve seen church after church go to the next level in their growth and ministry impact. Another huge benefit is that we focus on the pastor’s personal and family life to help them develop the right tools and safeguards to avoid ministry burnout.
What’s the biggest challenge you want to help Next Gen churches/leaders work through? And the biggest opportunity to help them seize?
It’s tough for some of the younger pastors who are growing so rapidly to find others in their same situation. These young leaders often fly under the radar and it can be challenging for them to find other leaders who are wrestling through the same issues. One recent participant in our program said this to me when asked what his biggest takeaway from the meeting had been: “My biggest takeaway? I’m not alone.”
How are you helping church leaders through your Next Gen groups?
Every ministry leader has a moment when they realize they don’t have all the answers—that their church’s growth has, in some areas, outpaced their leadership capacity. Our network of mentor pastors helps “unlock” the potential in these high-capacity leaders and allows their church to push through any real or perceived growth barriers. The growth we see in our Next Generation Pastors alumni is incredible.
What can leaders expect to experience from being with you and each other?
Participants in our leader groups can expect real, honest conversations about life and ministry with people who are wrestling through the same issues they are. They also get hours of time with our mentor pastors—some of the leading pastors in the church world today—where they can ask specific questions and get answers targeted to their ministry setting. The mentor pastors will also share relevant teaching from their areas of expertise to stimulate group discussion and challenge the participants to think about their realities differently.
What do you do for fun?
Although it can be challenging while pastoring a church and serving in my role at Leadership Network, I try to spend as much time as I can with my wife Melissa and our six kids (14, 12, 10, 8, 5, and 10 months). When I’m not going to their baseball games or getting beat at Wii Sports by them, I’m living my coffee obsession. I roast coffee out of my garage and love finding new and better ways to brew the different coffees I roast.
How are you involved with your local church?
I recently planted Trilogy Community Church on the far north side of the Dallas metroplex. We just celebrated our one-year anniversary as a church. Following is a link to a recent article written about our church (specifically designed to encourage and thank the donors to our matching fund program for church plants): http://penews.org/news/new-church-fills-void-in-north-dallas
“Of all the kingdom ministries I invest my time and energy into, the Next Gen Pastor’s Cohorts have perhaps the greatest return on investment. The combination of seasoned mentors, powerful peer-learning, and Jeff Kossack’s skilled facilitating consistently produces dynamic ministry and life-changing results.”