Missions Leadership Team Introduction:
Vineyard Missions recently subjected our newest member of the Missional Leaders’ Team to his obligatory get-to-know-you interview so that we can get more personally acquainted with Craig as we might over a coffee chat. Let’s just say, he blew the “unusual talents” question out of the water!
VM: Craig, thank you for taking the time to let us get to know you and your new role a little bit today. So what is your missional leadership team responsibility?
CRAIG: My title is Coordinator for Leadership Development and Strategic Initiatives. Sounds like a mouthful and a bit overwhelming in my humble opinion. I love the movie, “What About Bob” with Bill Murray. It’s where I learned the phrase “baby steps” which is how I’m approaching this position. I know I can’t make a huge change in a short period of time. It’s like turning an Navy Aircraft Carrier. You can’t turn those things on a dime. So my intention is to bring small positive changes to help people become better at being intentional in their leadership. What I do is assist Mark (Fields), the Missional Leadership Team, and the Regional and Partnership Leaders in reaching their strategic and leadership goals. I also assist where needed in leadership training, mentoring, strategic planning, change management, strategic vision and planning development, including developing and implementing plans that will help enable them to accomplish their visions.
VM: Nice, so you help people get stuff done! I like it! What else do you do in the Vineyard?
CRAIG: Isn’t that enough? Ha! just kidding. I am involved in doing a variety of things to assist pastors and leaders grow to help them become the leaders God has intended.
VM: We really appreciate that too! So, when did you jump in to Vineyard Movement?
CRAIG: In the late 80s. I began pastoring in the early 90s in Southern California, then served as the Western Regional Overseer and a member of the AVC USA National Leadership Board.
VM: So you’ve been around the Vineyard Movement a good while, and we could say you have a “tiny bit” of leadership experience. *smile* What is a prayer that you pray daily?
CRAIG: I pray that I, my family, and those God continues to bring into my life to mentor, will have a rich life of joy and power, abundant with supernatural results with a constant and clear vision of everlasting life in the Kingdom of God and our everlasting significance of our work day by day. And I pray one of John Wesley’s prayers - Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can and finally - to live my life as Jesus would live my life if he were I.
VM: So can I sign up to get you to pray that “for the mentee” prayer over me? Wow! That is so significant. As you think back, can you recall your favorite memory with Jesus?
CRAIG: *thoughtful pause* I have so many. But my most recent one is walking the Camino de Santiago with him.
VM: What is the Camino de Santiago? I can translate it as the Way of Saint-something, (with my 4 years of studying a language I still don’t speak!). It sounds personal, but can you explain its significance in general or to you specifically?
CRAIG: Sure, it’s been a Christian Pilgrimage for well over 1000 years. The remains of Saint James, the brother of John and the two Zebedee brothers who were the first two disciples Jesus called to follow him, are interred in the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. The Camino de Santiago starts in Saint Jean Pied de Port, France which is located in southern France on the north side of the Pyrenees mountains and goes straight west 500 miles to Santiago, Spain. I made the journey with two of my very good and long time Vineyard pastor friends I’ve known for 25+ years. What a great joy it was to walk the Camino together with them. It took us 34 days to walk it which is roughly about 15 miles a day.
I’d never had that much free time in my life, ever, but I did this year. So I decided to do it. What an incredible experience it was for me. Lots of solitude and plenty of silence as I walked through Spain’s beautiful countryside. I’ve learned to love solitude more now than ever before. Both C.S. Lewis and Eugene Peterson have said, “Only lazy people are busy.” I understand that more now than ever. Solitude has a way of bringing everything in life together for me. The more I do it the more it changes me… in a good way of course and my journey on the Camino really helped to establish solitude as a foundation in my life more than ever.
VM: Thanks for sharing that, Craig. It’s beautiful. Moving into your responsibilities in Vineyard Missions, what would you say is your highest priority for your area of influence this year?
CRAIG: To mentor our VM leaders to become more intentional in both their spiritual formation and their leadership as they serve those they lead and live out my prayer for them. I believe that a person’s spiritual life and their growth as a disciple and follower of Jesus is the most important aspect of their ability to lead people and organizations. They go hand in hand. Eternal living in the Kingdom of God is the vision Jesus has called us to and out of that will come a person’s ability to lead.
VM: That sounds like a lot of really good work! How do you unwind on your Sabbath day?
CRAIG: The three R’s: Relax, Recreate and Read... and social gatherings with friends and family. Taking one day off a week to rest and relax is so important and necessary for our well being.
VM: That does sound Refreshing! What is the Lord teaching you this week?
CRAIG: So many things and I’m very excited about what he is showing me. One for sure is learning to live without being hurried. The other is ensuring I have balance in my life in order for me to exercise the spiritual disciplines with regularity.
VM: That was an awfully quick answer for not hurrying
VM: What do you recommend to challenge leaders to the next level?
CRAIG: Solitude... doing nothing on a regular basis... it’s one of the most important things one can do to grow as a servant and leader.
VM: I agree, that alone time is so important! Any book recommendations that might help with challenging leaders?
CRAIG: Of course. They’ve been around for a while now but they are my go-to books for leadership... two Dallas Willard books which go hand in hand. The Divine Conspiracy and The Spirit of the Disciplines. There are so many good leadership books out there today, but in my opinion, the fundamental key to leadership is being a disciple of Jesus first and foremost and learning to live as His servant day by day in the Kingdom of God, period.
VM: Love some Dallas Willard! Do you have a favorite book of the Bible and why?
CRAIG: Yes, I love the gospels… It goes right along with your last question. I love the gospels because of Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom of God and how to live as one who belongs in it. He is the Master Teacher of humanity, and he can teach and show us how to be fully human the way God created us to be. We might as well get used to living that way now so that when we make the transition it will be as seamless as possible. I also need to mention 1 Corinthians 13. It’s the foundation of leadership.
VM: *Nodding in agreement* There is no teacher like The Teacher! Do you have a favorite new technology or app that you could recommend? How does it help you?
CRAIG: I like technology and use it as much as anyone, but I’m truly working on “less is more” on that front. And that’s what I would recommend: “Put it down.” In other words, set aside certain times of the day to check your devices. We’re so attached to these things and to social media apps that we may miss what God is doing around us. He has called us to be salt and light in every moment of the day and once these moments are gone so is our chance of being salt and light to people. Bottom line is balance and not having our devices or apps drive us.
VM: That is definitely a challenge these days. I’m getting the impression you are not one to stand down or shy away from a challenge. The bigger the better. Is that accurate?
CRAIG: Yes, I suppose so. When I was younger that was very true which is why I have the bio that I do. I have done and accomplished a lot, but as I look back on all of the “challenges” that I’ve accomplished, I would say clearly the most important challenges I have today are only two. First, growing spiritually and becoming the disciple Jesus wants me to be, and second, spending time with my family, friends, and those I’m mentoring. In other words “being” for me more than “doing” (challenges) is the kind of challenge that I look for and make as a priority.
VM: So some quick back-and-forth favorites of yours: Futbol or Football
CRAIG: can you say World Cup? But I’m always game for watching football with friends and family.
VM: Steak, chicken, or fish
CRAIG: Whatever is put in front of me with a few exceptions... I like food from all over the world.
VM: Sweet or salty food splurge
CRAIG: Both, but I tend to err on the sweet side of the equation... those closest to me know my weaknesses and they are many in the food category.
VM: Favorite attribute of God
CRAIG: His love.
VM: Do you have any unusual talents?
CRAIG: Depends what you mean by unusual. *slowly drawing it out* Does flying a Navy fighter airplane off and onto an Aircraft Carrier qualify? Ok please allow me as we end this to quote one line from one of my favorite movies, “Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.” Top Gun, what a great movie!
Pick it up again.
VM: Yep, I suppose that would be an unusual talent that takes nerves of steel! Thanks so much for your service in the Navy, and again for sharing your heart and letting us in on a little bit of who Craig Goodman is and what you do in Vineyard Missions. We look forward to working together as God furthers His Kingdom!