Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"Seven Questions with Pastor Ben Arment"


1. In a day where there seems to be little vision and leadership in the local church, what has been the key to your success as a leader?


The key for me has been building a team of gifted leaders around me. While leadership is a strong spiritual gift for me, I struggle to shepherd and counsel people. The great news is I’ve got several godly men in our church who round-out my shortcomings. It’s all about team, which is all about humility.

2. Current statistics show that pastors have a hard time of managing their time and therefore their devotional time suffers. Please share your method or habit of daily devotional time.

Any struggle I had with prayer has been resolved by taking long, daily walks away from the distractions of my office. I limit my computer time to the hours between 9:00 AM and 12:00 noon everyday. Outside of this window, I rarely check e-mail, blog, or even do sermon prep on a computer (I refused a laptop). The temptation to waste time on the Internet is too great for me.

3. You and your wife planted History Church. When and how did God plant the vision for church planting in your heart?

This vision was born out of my frustration with the church’s ineffectiveness at reaching unbelievers. Six years ago, I was on staff at a large Southern Baptist Church in Virginia Beach and realized that I would have to create a “new wineskin” in order to reach people unlike us. I liken this experience to Nehemiah’s, as he served King Artaxerxes with a burden for rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls. My heart ached for the opportunity to plant a new church.

4. What were some of the risks you had to be willing to take to plant History Church and would you give some examples of how God provided?

I was 28 and rather naïve when we started History Church, so the risks weren’t as great as they would be now that I have children. But we took a big step of faith in trying to plant a church in a “parachute drop approach” (that is, not knowing a single person in our target area). God brought two “persons of peace” who connected us with their network of friends. It was a ready made launch team for a new church. Even to this day, I can trace most of the relational connections in our church back to these two individuals, who have since moved out of the area.

5. What is your greatest passion?

My greatest passion is making disciples who can make disciples of Jesus Christ in the context of the local church. Church planting is the natural embodiment of this process.

6. If you could tell a person beginning a new pastorate one key to a successful ministry, what would that be?

My realm is church planting, so I would advise any would-be church planter to invite a mentor into his life, an experienced pastor who can provide feedback on his ideas. My biggest mistake early-on was carrying out my plans without running them through a filter of experience and wisdom. Most church planters are idealistic and head-strong by their very nature, but if they can muster some teachability early-on, they’ll avoid making costly mistakes.

7. What are some things that you hope to accomplish over the next year and how can my readers be praying for you?

Our church is considering the prospect of starting a second church campus beginning in the fall of 2007. We have always wanted to plant other churches, but realize that the most effective way to do this might be through a multi-site approach. This way, we can build on the name recognition of our church, our resources, and our people… without starting from scratch. Thank you for your prayers!

Ben Arment, is pastor at History Church which he and his wife planted four years ago. For more information visit his blog at History in the Making.

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