Rod Light | July 25, 2017

Nagging regrets from Brian Goodell’s college days haunted him and after 25 years, he decided to something about it.

By: Rod Light

Brian Goodell, a third-generation Foursquare pastor, has a great family and leads a growing congregation – the very things that should make a leader feel successful. Still, nagging regrets from his college days lurked beneath the surface reminding him about important life steps left undone. After 25 years, he decided to do something about it.

When Brian was a junior at Life Pacific College, his gifting in worship and music performance garnered him a recording contract and he moved to Nashville. He soon discovered the “business” side of the music business had little to do with worship. When he sat with his producers and record executives to plan his second album, Brian realized the problem.

“Let’s just say, today’s worship music industry has come a long way,” Brian says, noting that there wasn’t much ministry in the industry at that time. The chasm was huge and Brian saw no way to bridge the gap. He left the potentially lucrative career in professional Christian music to follow God’s original call on his life: He became a pastor.

Fast-forward a quarter century. Brian, his wife Cynthia, and their family enjoy the kind of fruitfulness any pastor hopes for. They serve a thriving church in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brian is divisional superintendent of 19 other Foursquare churches. Still, Brian felt stuck, even a little stagnant. He knew it was more him than the ministry but he was not sure how to get “unstuck.”

Friends nudged him to reengage formal education through the Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership program. “I was scared to death,” Brian says. “I could write as many sermons in a week as necessary, but writing a college paper again after all these years seemed completely different.” He wondered if he could do it, if he would be good enough, and if he might finally graduate from college. Brian got many questions answered during the required residency week in San Dimas. Driving home at the end of the week, Brian says he was excited. “I felt alive and could feel the wind fill my sails.”

“My leadership is forever changed,” Brian says. The old paradigm is gone and something new and fresh now energizes him. The church he leads is growing because he is growing and applying what he learned about self-management, self-care, and releasing others in ministry. “Now, I want to give back what I have learned to enrich the lives of other leaders.”

With the support of friends, family, and his team at church, Brian sailed through the program and 25 years after starting his college education, he walked across the stage at Angelus Temple to receive his master’s degree. Imagine his surprise when his name was called for honors recognition during the commencement ceremony. “I didn’t even hear my name called,” Brian recalls. “My friend said, ‘B, it’s you!’”

Brian’s leadership at church is completely different than before. “I am more collaborative now,” he says. “Instead of fearing innovation and change, I welcome it as a risk-taker.” Rather than preach all 52 Sundays each year – 53, if you count leap years – Brian now preaches half that much. He says the church loves hearing from other pastors who serve with Brian more as collaborators than as underlings.

“My leadership is forever changed,” Brian says. The old paradigm is gone and something new and fresh now energizes him. The church he leads is growing because he is growing and applying what he learned about self-management, self-care, and releasing others in ministry. “Now, I want to give back what I have learned to enrich the lives of other leaders.”

“The MASL program is one of the things in life I am most thankful for,” Brian says. It was worth the time, the cost, and the sacrifice and he regularly presses others to join the program. “It will change your life.”

Using the resources from the LPC MASL program, Brian created “Essential Leadership 1.0” and invited leaders from his congregation and divisional churches to weekly classes where he shared the material with them. “Our maximum was 25 people, although I didn’t think we would get that many.” They had to turn away some but hope to accommodate more when Brian launches “Essential Leadership 2.0” in January.

“The MASL program is one of the things in life I am most thankful for,” Brian says. It was worth the time, the cost, and the sacrifice and he regularly presses others to join the program. “It will change your life.”

 

To learn more about the Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership (MASL) program, click here or APPLY NOW.

Masters in Strategic Leadership Program from Life Pacific College on Vimeo.