10Q with Kerry Shook of Fellowship of The Woodlands

Kent Shaffer —  January 7, 2008

10Q with Kerry Shook

Kerry Shook is the senior pastor of Fellowship of The Woodlands, a Texas multi-site church with 2 campuses located in The Woodlands and Atascocita. Kerry and his wife, Chris, are also the authors of One Month To Live.

ABOUT FELLOWSHIP OF THE WOODLANDS

Year Began: 1993
Locations: 2
Weekend Services: 8 (5 contemporary, 1 emergent, 1 traditional, & 1 Spanish)
Attendance: 15,600
Staff: 140 (100 full-time & 40 part-time) :: 1/111 attendees
Volunteers: 4,000+ :: 1/4 attendees
Primary Audiences/Lifestyles Reached: A consistent message is delivered in all services with the praise and worship varying to attract different age/cultural groups. Contemporary services are creative and seeker sensitive to reach all ages. The emergent venue is aimed at those in their 20’s. The traditional venue includes choir-based hymns that appeal to those middle-aged and older.

10Q WITH KERRY SHOOK

1Q = What values and beliefs unify Fellowship of The Woodlands’ staff and drive their performance?

Our mission statement is to help people experience Christ – rather than man’s creation of religion – so they can take the Christ Experience back to the community and the world. Our staff and church is driven by “life change.”

2Q = What is Fellowship of The Woodlands’ chain of command from the senior pastor to the church volunteers?

Senior Pastor shares his vision with our Pastoral Management Team (PMT), which is led by our Senior Executive Pastor. Members of the PMT work through associate pastors to enlist Volunteer Leaders and Volunteers. Small Groups are very important to our church — these are organized into Divisions with a Small Group Division Leader, who directs Small Group Leaders.

3Q = For big decisions, what is Fellowship of The Woodlands’ decision making process?

Senior Pastor and PMT pray and come to a consensus regarding how God is leading the church.

4Q = How does Fellowship of The Woodlands market itself?

TV commercials, direct mail, newspaper ads, Internet, websites, and word of mouth.

5Q = What is the most effective thing Fellowship of The Woodlands has done to reach people?

We provide an atmosphere of acceptance and recognize the difference between acceptance and approval. Based on this, regardless of who a person is or what they may have done, they feel the love of God and experience Christ from the moment they step on campus.

The Christ Experience is huge for us in all we do from the worship experience to the parking lot. Creative elements in each service communicate the truths of God’s Word in a fun way to penetrate the hearts and minds of those who attend or view.

6Q = What is your leadership style?

Purposeful and compassionate.

7Q = Who has influenced you the most as a leader?

My dad, Damon Shook, who has been a pastor all my life, has had the greatest influence. In addition, I have learned a great deal from Rick Warren and Bill Hybels.

8Q = What resources have had the biggest impact on how you do ministry?

Many years ago, Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church Conference helped me envision how church could be done differently and effectively to reach the unchurched. Based on this, Chris and I formed the initial vision for Fellowship of The Woodlands. Since then, we have refined the vision through a lot of reading and studying and most of all through continued prayer.

9Q = What is the greatest ministry lesson you have learned?

To always give away the ministry but never give away the leadership God has called me to.

10Q = What is the best advice you have for church leaders?

Paul’s advice to the Ephesians Elders in Acts 20:28 issues a constant challenge for me to balance my personal life, family life and church life with all the demands of ministry.

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers…” The priority, as self-serving as it sounds, is to focus on my heart first, to guard my heart for out of it flows all the issues of life. If I do this daily, most of the other things take care of themselves without too much stress.

Be sure to check out Church Relevance’s “10Q” category to read previous 10Q interviews.

Kent Shaffer

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I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.