5 Questions With Tod Bolsinger

Tod Bolsinger will be with us in a few short weeks to lead a special Sunday evening event for elders, deacons, and pastors, as well as a two-day pastor retreat. Our Director of Presbytery Advancement, Beth Creekpaum recently spoke with Tod about his ministry and his plans for the May weekend.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’ve been a pastor of Presbyterian congregations for 27 years.  For the past 10 years, I have been a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary.  I also have a little consulting firm where I coach, consult, and speak.  I basically get up every single day getting to work with leaders, helping faith leaders thrive as change leaders.  It’s a great, great gift.

How did you go from pastoring a church to helping other leaders figure out how to lead?

Early on in my ministry, when I was 23, at Hollywood Presbyterian they asked me to be on their staff as the pastor for the college students.  Lloyd Ogilvie, my pastor, literally said, “Tod, I believe that you are called to train up the leaders for the next generation of the church.” And it became this really powerful call in my life so that all throughout my ministry, whenever I was pastoring or teaching, I was always doing leadership formation.  I love working with the session.  I love working with the staff.  I love developing leaders.

What is so important about this work that you’ve literally given your life to it and you’re flying out to see us?

So, it’s two things really.  One is, we live in a dramatically changed world and for those of us who were trained by institutions and seminaries, we were trained for a Christendom world that was more stable.  So, the disruption means that the places of our development as leaders that has been more disrupted has been around leadership development.  Somebody said, “Seminary didn’t prepare me for the world I’m in today.”  I really do believe that leadership formation is really important, in that it’s about the way in which God is continually at work forming us to be able to take people through change in a healthy way.

What should people expect when they come either to the all-leaders Sunday event or the pastor retreat?

We’re going to do a set of material that I do in a lot of places called, “How Not to Waste a Crisis”, and what is really is about is that when we hit crises, or inflection points, or disruption, it’s actually a moment to develop our capacity to lead better.  We’ll talk about the practices and principles of adaptive change and about the way in which we can learn to become leaders who can actually faithfully navigate change, holding on to what’s the most important and being prepared to learn and let go of what we need to.  What we’ve discovered is what’s really hard for most people is that dynamic.  When I get the pastors all together at the retreat, we’re going to talk about sabotage and resilience because what happens when you start leading people through change is they resist you and that’s really hard.

Shenango is affectionately known as “The Pie Presbytery”.  What is your favorite pie?

I LOVE pie. Boysenberry, warmed with ice cream. But truth is that I love every pie (except Coconut Cream).

If you would like to hear more of this interview, click here for the video.

Click here to register for the Lay Leader Seminar on May 7th from 3-5:30 PM at Northminster Presbyterian Church, New Castle. Cost is just $10 per person, BUT a church can bring 5 or more leaders for just $50. If cost is an issue for your congregation, please contact Beth.

Click here to register for the Pastor Retreat on May 8-9 at Villa Maria Conference Center.

Published by shenangopresby

The Presbytery of Shenango serves 49 churches in Mercer and Lawrence Counties of western Pennsylvania.

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