Through the Eyes of … The Senior Pastor, Part 2
Posted by: Jessica Cornelius
With a contagious zest for life, Bobbie Houston passionately believes in the potential of all people and is devoted to the Cause of Christ. Her and Brian’s all consuming desire is to place value on humanity. To that end they labor to see healthy men, women and youth emerge across the landscape of the Church.
She is a wife, mother, grammy, friend, pastor, creative visionary, communicator, author, role model and mentor. Her life reflects the message that she teaches-that people have incredible God-given potential waiting to be unleashed. It is this message that has defined her life. Bobbie has a desire to see value placed on womanhood, a passion that underpins the annual Colour Your World Women’s Conference, which she and the Hillsong team host in Sydney, London and Kiev annually. Since 1997, Colour, has been bringing a message of value, work, and dignity to women from around the world, encouraging and inspiring them to be all God has created them to be. Colour has also been a catalyst for mobilizing thousands of women, moved with compassion and a heart for justice, to help poor and marginalized children and women in developing nations. Bobbie has been married to Brian for over 30 years and they have three grown children; Joel, Ben and Laura. Together, they have an ever-growing family (including three beautiful granddaughters).
1. How do you create an environment for those on your staff to flourish? By allowing them to dream, carry the vision, and find expression in the calling upon their lives. My husband says that “everyone is entitled to a vision”-and even when they are working with you and serving the vision of the house they are planted in, they can still fulfill what is personally upon their lives.
2. How do you expand your capacity for ministry? Take the stretch. Stretching is the only way to expand capacity.
3. What do your children say they love the most about church? I think they love the atmosphere, the can-do spirit, the adventure…and a genuine passion for Jesus and His salvation plan for the earth.
4. What local, national, or global issues grieve you the most? Injustice in any form. Anything that devalues individual personhood upsets me. Also with the birth of the Colour conference and the Sisterhood movement, we live with a strong concern and passion about womanhood and anything that undermines or attacks it.
5. Besides getting a front row seat to seeing all of the changed lives in your ministry, what else do you love about the ministry? Honestly ministry is not complicated for me. I fell in love with Jesus, I love His Church and consider it an honor to be involved at any level of serving what He laid His life down for. I LOVE IT ALL.
6. When do you get stressed out? Sometimes the pressure of preparing a message stresses me. Only because I want to get it right and I can be so slowwwww at getting my thoughts on paper. And preparing for Colour because I recognize the weightiness of all it represents.
7. In what area of ministry do you serve? And what is your most creative idea you’ve done in the last year? My husband and I are the Senior pastors of Hillsong around the world. We watch over the greater vision, the “heart and soul” of this house and those who have been entrusted to carry it with us. It is a 24/7 love affair and calling. The Colour conference is also my baby and I run that in four continents each year. As for my most creative idea, maybe hearing God’s Spirit tell me (at the close of Colour this year) to “simply tell the women to go home and FLOURISH”. But then again, every good and bright idea really comes down to us from above. So I can’t take credit. It’s His idea that we flourish! 🙂
8. How do you cope with the hurts and betrayals that come in leadership? Ya just learn to move on quickly and not let it sit in or on your spirit. True leadership doesn’t have the luxury of wallowing in the mud for very long.
9. How do you balance family, work, friends, ministry, and life? They are all important. So just roll your sleeves up and learn to manage much. Listen to your family and be wise to the various seasons in “their” lives. And remember God has grace for every inch of the journey.
10. How do you handle the expectations of being a Pastor’s Wife or Woman in Ministry?Conquered that many years ago. Just be true to yourself. Know who you are, be comfortable in your own skin, and be gracious if you encounter archaic mindsets about this. Being a woman in God’s kingdom today is fantastic. There’s room for fabulous involvement, influential contribution and wonderful adventure!
How do you handle the expectations of being a pastor’s wife or woman in ministry?