Welcome back to the third and final installment of my interview with Mike Pierson, the senior pastor of Providence Church in Bethel Park, Pennyslvania. You can read part one here
and part two here
Mike, what single bit of counsel has made the most significant difference in your effective use of time?
I’m a procrastinator who is trying, by God’s grace, to stop procrastinating. This quote, which I got from your blog C.J., now hangs on my wall and I read it regularly.
No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it.
What single bit of counsel has made the most significant difference in your leadership?
-Alexander MacLaren (1826–1910), Scottish preacher
The Gospel would not be good news if it did not reveal the glory of Christ for us to see and savor. It is the glory of Christ that finally satisfies our soul. We are made for Christ, and Christ died so that every obstacle would be removed that keeps us from seeing and savoring the most satisfying TREASURE in the universe—namely, Christ, who is the image of God.
-John Piper, God is the Gospel, p. 62.
Quotes like this from John Piper have shaped every aspect of my leadership; preaching, counseling, leadership development, etc.
Where in ministry are you most regularly tempted to discouragement?
If I am not very purposeful, I can become discouraged when people leave the church. I usually wonder what I as a pastor, or we as a church, could have done differently to minister to them.
Do you exercise? If so, what do you do? If not, why not? (Please be specific.)
I am a sporadic exerciser. I have both a weight machine and a stair climber that I use sometimes regularly and sometimes not. I much prefer a sport to just exercising.
Currently, what sport do you like to play and/or watch?
If there is a ball, I love it. Baseball was my favorite growing up, but I have really become a fan of football and college basketball. My oldest son Andrew just completed a “dream” High School football season where his team made it all the way to the State Championship before losing their only game of the year (in overtime). Our family and friends had more fun than ought to be allowed tailgating and cheering him on. My other children play baseball, volleyball, and basketball and I love watching, and even coaching at times. Watching my children compete is a pure joy.
I love the Steelers (Super Bowl Champs), the Pirates (will they ever win again?) and the UNC Tar Heels (NCAA basketball champs).
I get to enjoy the occasional game of basketball or ultimate Frisbee and I like to golf. In our basement I play basketball against my sons Caleb and Mitchell. I play on my knees to even out the height advantage. I usually lose.
If possible, I would engage in some athletic competition almost every day.
What do you do for leisure?
Any and all sports above but mostly watching my children play.
Anything with Carla, my wife. It doesn’t matter if we sit at Starbucks, dine at a nice restaurant, or take a walk together. I just love talking with her and looking into her eyes.
If you were not in ministry, what occupational path would you have chosen?
I so desperately wanted to be a professional baseball player. I lived it, I dreamed it, and I gave much to it. However, I was a long way from it. I have been both a Social Worker specializing in children and teens and an insurance agent in my father’s business. I could have been happy doing either had I not been called into the ministry.
My friend, I’m grateful to God that you were called into the ministry. Thanks for your time, Mike!