My hometown of Woodstock, GA is a better place to live because Dr. Johnny Hunt has been the senior pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock (FBCW) for the last 30 years. He has been our city’s most recognizable person for a generation. Pastor Johnny is also Woodstock’s most influential person because he has stewarded his leadership with love, mercy, dignity, generosity and grace. He has been a picture of Jesus and FBCW has seen thousands of lives transformed with the power of the Gospel.
On November 6th, FBCW honored Pastor Johnny for his 30 years of faithful service and 40 years of marriage to his wife Janet. Part of celebration included the video above.
As I watched their story being told, I gleaned the following 35 Leadership Lessons From Pastor Johnny Hunt’s 30th Anniversary At First Baptist Woodstock. These lessons will make you a better pastor, leader, man and Christian. First is the lesson followed by a quote from the video.
- Great Pastors Love And Unapologetically Preach The Bible – “unapologetic about here’s the Word of God”
- Great Pastors Have Great Influence In The Lives Of Others – “Johnny Hunt has influenced my life more than any other person on the face of the Earth.”
- Great Pastors Are Continual Learners – “Whatever Johnny decided to do in life he had a knack for picking it up real quick.”
- Great Pastors Passionately Give God And Their Churches Everything They’ve Got – “He doesn’t do anything 30, 60, or 90 percent. It’s usually 100 all the time.”
- Great Pastors Are On A Great Mission – “He’s a real man on a real mission making an impact for eternity’s sake.”
- Great Pastors Never Despise Small Beginnings – “My first Sunday here there was 200 (in attendance).”
- Great Pastors Are Great Servants – “Johnny demonstrated real quickly his desire to serve (after getting saved) because he started cleaning everyone’s windows.”
- Great Pastors Must Also Be Discipled – “So when I came to Christ and then Alfred Joyner began to pour into me and disciple me and a lot of men began to influence me but no one as deeply as he did.”
- Great Pastors Have A Heart For Lost People – “The first thing he wanted to do was go visit some of his friends that were lost.”
- Great Pastors Are Broken – “‘I want to tell you about what Jesus has done in my life.’ He came in, sat down, and began to weep and just shared with me about how the Lord has just changed his life.”
- Great Pastors Have A Great Love For Their Church – “Lavonia Baptist Church was a great place to cut my spiritual teeth. 35 the first Sunday. In three years we probably consistently had 105, 110. And really were heartbroken when we left there.”
- Great Pastors Do Significant But Difficult Work – “I led people to the Lord who became pastors. It was a significant but difficult work (in his 2nd church.)”
- Great Pastors Often See Great Growth – “When Johnny came (to Long Leaf Baptist Church, the church he got saved in) we saw tremendous growth.”
- Getting A Message From Lord Is Necessary To Being A Great Pastor – “You knew you were going to get a message from the Lord. Something was going to happen. You never knew what.”
- Great Calamity Offers Pastors Great Opportunity – “We had lost our pastor and some of the staff…The members of the church needed a lot of healing. There was a lot of hurt feelings, a lot of anger that needed to go away.”
- Great Pastors Have Great Obedience To God – “They went to bed one night thinking there was no way they’re coming here. The next morning they woke up and God had somehow changed their mind in the middle of night.”
- Great Pastors Meet You Where You Are – “I think I know where you are. And I will come down to where you are but I will not go down to where you are and stay.”
- Great Pastors Have A Great Vision For Their Church And City – “Johnny came down with a challenging mentality and a challenging vision to the church.”
- Great Pastors Have Great Optimism – “I think we can go from 200 to 500 in a couple of three years.”
- Great Pastors Are Great Leaders – “Johnny led out front. He was always out front.”
- Great Pastors Draw The Best Out Of You – “He drew the best out of you. He caused you to want to be the best you possibly could be and all for the right reasons.”
- Great Pastors Are Always In Process And Never Arrive – “To see where we’ve come from to where we are and know we’re still in process. We’ve not yet arrived.”
- Great Pastors Have Experienced Defining Moments – “If you knew every mission trip I’ve been on, they’ve all been significant at some level. But the first one I went on I’ll never forget.”
- Great Pastors Have Experienced Great Doubt – “He said, ‘Morgan, do you ever think we’ll fill this building up?” We were in three services in less than a month or two.”
- Great Pastors Rescue Hurting People – “I don’t know where I’d be today if it wasn’t for you. That was one and now there’s been hundreds (in the City of Refuge – a ministry to hurting pastors).”
- Great Pastors Go Through A Time Of Great Preparation – “A call to ministry is a call to prepare.”
- Great Pastors Never Give Up On People – “28 years and 9 months is a long time (to accept Jesus after the first time Pastor Johnny witnessed to him). I’m so thankful Johnny never gave up.”
- Great Pastors Pray Great Prayers – “I’ve never forgotten week and week, long before he ever knocked on my door, he prayed for me.”
- Great Pastors Take Their People On A Great Journey – “It’s been a great journey. I’m looking forward to however long it keeps running.”
- Great Pastors Are Great Friends – “It’s been a joy not just to call him my pastor but my friend.”
- Great Pastors Show Great Generosity – “He’s the most generous, loving, kind, understanding pastor I’ve ever had in my life.”
- Great Pastors Make Great Dreams Come True – “I’ve lived my life, and thanks to him, realized my dream.”
- Great Pastors Have A Great Wife – “It’s been a real joy these for last 30 years, to be in a place where Johnny can be fulfilled, to do what God’s called him to do with great joy. And then just the freedom that the church has given Johnny to be able to do all these different things even outside Woodstock as he represents the people of Woodstock, is a great blessing and joy to me.” – Mrs. Janet Hunt
- Churches Must Understand How To Leverage The Influence Of Great Pastors – “There’s not one church in a 1,000 that would free their pastor up to say, ‘Let King Jesus lead you by the Spirit of God to embrace a Kingdom living, not a First Baptist Church Woodstock living, not just our church as a kingdom, but the greater world of ministry.”
- Great Pastors And Their Churches Experience Great Joy – “Woodstock has been 30 years of joy. Not 29. It’s been 30 years of joy.”
Thank you Pastor Johnny and Mrs. Janet for your faithful service. Our city and individual lives are better because you. God bless.
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