development training

Development Training Pastor Austin Taylor Interview

What is your position with Life.Church Online?

My role is Development Training Pastor, which means that I oversee the initial training process new Church Online volunteers go through when they join the team, as well as their ongoing leadership development throughout their time serving with us. I love supporting our amazing team!

How long have you been a Development Training Pastor?

I’ve been on the Church Online staff team for 6 1/2 years. But I’ve been in this specific role for about a year and a half. I’m so grateful to work for a church that places such a high value on equipping people. So they can do what God has called them to do.

Can you describe to me a typical workday as a Development Training Pastor?

This is kind of an impossible question, haha! Ministry is so dynamic and every day can look totally different. It all depends on the needs of the team and our community. In a typical work week, I have meetings with the rest of the Church Online staff team to review the previous week’s stories and metrics, track our team’s progress toward annual goals and strategize for the upcoming message week; write content for our weekly “Tuesday Talk” [Facebook Live training video for our volunteers], then meet with the other pastors to rehearse and film it; plan logistics for upcoming international travels for our team; connect with volunteers, leaders, and givers in our community; and review our existing bank of volunteer training to identify where we need updates or new resources.

A couple of other projects I’m working on at the moment are researching current Learning & Development best practices to find learning we can apply from the business world into our team and interviewing job applicants for open roles within Digerati [Life.Church’s digital missions department, which includes teams like Church Online and YouVersion.

Share a funny story as a Development Training Pastor.

Here’s one of my favorites: A few years ago, my work laptop was downloading a software update that was going to take 8 minutes or so. I couldn’t really do any more work until it finished, so I decided to take a quick power nap at my desk while it was downloading. When I woke up, I lifted my head and realized I wasn’t looking into my laptop screen, but my team leaders.

She had Skyped the entire rest of our team on a group video call, and they were all laughing and taking pictures of me sleeping. When I realized what was happening, we all started cracking up! I love working with a team that works hard—and pranks hard—together.

What is most challenging in your job?

Our Church Online volunteer team currently includes 630 people serving from over 50 countries. They represent every kind of cultural and church background you can imagine, and most of them have never stepped foot in a Life.Church location. We absolutely love the diversity of our global and remote team, but from a training perspective, it does present the unique challenge of making sure everyone is fully aligned as they serve. We’re constantly reevaluating our volunteer training and communication to make sure that we’re consistently reinforcing our mission, core beliefs, and DNA in everything we do. As Patrick Lencioni would say, we need to be the “CROs” (Chief Reminding Officers) of Life.Church’s vision.

Can you share an inspirational story?

Yes—I could share 1,000 if you’d let me! We hear so many incredible stories of lives being changed each and every week at Life.Church Online.

Here’s one of my favorites: A few months ago, I was in a Church Online service at and got to connect with Moussa from—get this—Timbuktu! It’s a real place in Mali, a predominantly Muslim country in West Africa. He had just gotten off work and told us that it was his first time attending with us. I believe it was quite possibly his first church service ever. He stayed for the entire service and asked several questions along the way.

How amazing is it that our church is able to reach people like Moussa in places like Timbuktu?!

What is one piece of wisdom you would like to share with my audience?

If you love Jesus, have the heart to reach the nations, and have internet [which I know you do, if you’re reading this!], God can use you and your gifts to impact people all over the globe through Church Online. We want to equip you to become a digital missionary—all without leaving your home. All you have to do is say yes! Come join us and be part of a global movement that’s taking the Gospel to every corner of the world.

As our Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel said recently, serving always changes lives—and the first one to change is always your own. Learn more here:

How do you navigate family life and ministry?

This is another area I could write volumes on because it’s so important for any leader. To keep it brief, here are a few key principles I try to stick to:

1) God first, family second, ministry third. My priorities have to remain in that order.

2) Be 100% present at work and 100% present at home. Both deserve my full attention and energy.

3) Find mental stopping points. At the end of each workday, I take a few minutes to wrap up whatever I’m working on, recap and assess my work from that day, quickly glance over my calendar to prep for the next day, and mentally transition out of work mode so I can be fully engaged at home.

4) Understand seasons. There will always be short-term seasons when my work life or home life will require a little more of me than usual, and it’s up to me to communicate about them to my family and team leader.

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outside sources

Life Church Online Church Room

Life Church Online website

YouTube Streaming

Life Church Life Group on Facebook

Pastor Steven Roberts on Facebook

Open Network Life Church Free Resources

YouVersion Bible App

Austin Taylor

Learn to become a pastor

Pastor/Leadership Development

Broken but still useful, still productive – but – time for a new computer!


                                  broken computer

The front of my computer looks sad right now. For two or three months, the case for the computer has been cracked, due to a heavy object that sat on it. The wide tape was holding things together pretty good until yesterday when a piece broke off the other side and exposed the inner framework of the computer.

The crazy thing is, the computer still works. You see, the inside is still useful and productive. There is nothing wrong with the “heart” of the computer. It is just the shell that is broken. And so it is for us as we get older.

Our body may be stressed, fractured, or even broken, but our core, our inner man, our very heart is not broken. It is whole. Let us remember that our heart is where Jesus is. His resurrection power is in us. We are safe and secure and empowered as we rest in His unchanging hands. Does our heart get wounded, injured, and even broken? It can, but Jesus is always there to mend it, to heal it, to call it back to life and wholeness. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit of God living in our inner man, our heart, our soul.

The body may bring us down, and often does, but there is an unending power source in our heart, and His name is Jesus. To Him, we give the glory!

“Lord, we lay our lives before You right now – body, mind, and soul. We ask that you bring healing, comfort, and peace to all of the above. Sustain us in our broken state, and let Your grace win the day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

What to Do When You are Broken

When a bone breaks, it can usually be fixed with a cast, splint, or pins. If the mind breaks, there is medication, therapy, and counseling. These things help when there is something broken in the mind. Emotionally, we can be broken as well. Long term stress or trauma can break our spirits, and we can lose hope. As we reflect on that, we realize that God is our refuge, our strength, our protector. We know that He will bring us through. All of us have been broken, or will be. We don’t want it. We don’t like it. We want God to remove that burden from us.

But what do we do when we are broken, when we are shattered into a million pieces. This can happen to any of us, and it can seem like it will last forever. When it does, we question why. One way to look at it is that God is refining us to get rid of impurities, to get us to the point where He can completely transform us. He is getting us back to dust. A painful process, but part of transformation.

But dust is valuable. We were created from dust, yet God calls us valuable.
“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7, NIV). In John 9:5-6, Jesus uses dust to restore a man’s sight. “… After saying this, He spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.” Then the man could see. All because God used something common to make something beautiful and to restore that which was broken.

Finally, dust, when mixed with water, becomes clay. And in the potter’s hands, clay can become something beautiful, new, and fresh – and useful again. Our brokeness can bring us down and defeat us (which the enemy of our soul would love), or we can put it all in God’s hands and let Him make it into something valuable, useful, and productive. God sees the beauty and the value within us, and He wants to refine us through our brokenness, in order to bring that beauty out. He knows what we are going through, and He will continually see us through. Brokenness is a common thing, and God can use that for good.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Ps. 34:18 – NIV).

This writing’s content is inspired by the writing of Lisa Terkurest, from her upboming book, “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way”, and from the article, “Shattered Beyond Repair” (link below)