86993783_10162783979115618_8799876415949373440_n

Hi, I’m Brandon Shaffer.

Brandon, FL

Phone Number

(813) 460-7782

Email

Brandon.B.Shaffer@gmail.com

Experience

Bell Shoals Baptist Church
Pastor of Young Adults

Education

Wright State University
BA in Organizational Leadership
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
MDiv

Church Affiliation

SBC

Years In Ministry

10 years

Personality

ENFP

Skills

Teaching/preaching, leadership development, visionary, team building, writing sermon-based small group guides, counseling, administration, creative, strategic planning

Tools & Software

ChurchTeams, Planning Center Online, ProPresenter

Personal

Married to Lindsey for 11 years
Kids: Josiah (9) and Isaac (7) - adopted from Haiti
Ordained to Ministry

Top 3 Strengths

Connectedness0%

Leadership0%

Authentic0%

Discipleship Questionnaire Responses
Personal Info
Please share briefly how you became a Christian.
I accepted Christ at a young age through the influence of my parents right before bed during family prayer. I firmly believe that because I was born into a family with two parents who love Jesus my testimony has been one of preservation. I believe Christ preserved me from what I would have become.
How would you describe yourself?
  • Fun
  • Motivational
  • Flexible
  • Inspirational
  • Loving
Personality Type
ENFP
Tell me about some people (i.e. authors, mentors, and ministry leaders) that have had a big impact on you.
Counseling – Paul Tripp, Brad Hambrick, Heath Lambert, David Powlison, Jay Adams. Preaching/Teaching – Howard Hendricks, Tim Keller, J.D. Greear, Heschel York, Matt Chandler, John Piper, Allistair Begg, Matt Carter. Communicating – Andy Stanley Leadership – John Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni, Carey Nieuwhof.
Discipleship
How do you plan to engage and inform your church about your ministry objectives and progress?
  • I use a multiple forms of communication in order to engage and inform church about ministry objectives. I believe it is important that we use intentional language that communicates what we are trying to accomplish. This starts in our large group gatherings from the pulpit where the person speaking is clearly communicating the vision and direction, we believe God is leading us, showing how and why we arrived at a particular objectives using biblical support. Another primary source is through training whether it be online or in person, where leaders are equipped and trained to be successful. Creating and choosing materials for leaders that help accomplish these objectives. Building relationships with lay leaderships through one-on-one discussions, lunches, coffee, spending time together outside the normal “church” schedule to build trust and unity is vitally important to communicating objectives. Supporting the primary ways of communication would be through social media, short videos, newsletters and the like.
  • To communicate progress and growth you have celebrate the wins hard. Filming real-life testimonial videos of the way in which someone’s life was changed and challenged through a ministry objective gives hope and builds excitement to others. Also filming outreach events showing the impact the church is having in the community is vitally important.
Tell me about a time when you developed a new small group strategy. What did you do?
  • In Texas I took our small groups and asked them to live on mission by identifying a community organization that they could serve on a regular basis. We served schools, pregnancy centers, food banks, youth centers and many times individual families that were in need and served them.
  • In Florida I created discipleship groups which are same-sex group of 4 to 5 people that met on regular basis, on their own time outside of the church in a place of their choosing for accountability, bible study, and to practice sharing their faith. I am also in the process of moving some of our groups off campus to meet in homes during the week.
How would you alleviate confusion when you are communicating with someone and it becomes apparent that they don’t understand what you’re saying or vice versa?
I would meet with them one on one over coffee or lunch and allow them to ask additional questions as needed. I would walk them through the vision and objectives and the process by which we are trying to accomplish our goals. I would also try to give additional training if needed to help them better understand. I try to be open to constructive criticism, listening to lay-leaders to hear their thoughts and feedback on what is working and what is not working and why. I would also try to give additional training if needed to help them better understand. Most importantly I want them to know they are being heard and have had a chance to ask questions.
Spiritual Growth
Once someone accepts Christ as their Savior, how do you begin discipling them?
I would create discipleship groups, either one on one or a group of 4 to 5 people where the objective was to learn and understand the basics of the faith through doctrine and also how to pray, study the bible, share your faith, and the importance of serving others. Upon completing that or during, I would encourage them to be a part of small group that met in homes or on campus depending on the culture of the church. I would also encourage them to continue in a discipleship group for accountability.
As the spiritual leader of your ministry, how are you going to help small group leaders grow in their faith?
I like to stay in regular communication with my leaders whether it be through social media, a newsletter, and/or creating a video encouraging them. Offering regular training and equipping to help them grow as leaders by reading a book together then discussing it, reading a blog, listening to a sermon, in person training, and/or an online study. I meet with leaders one on one regularly for coffee, or lunch just to discuss life and ministry. I also want to build relationships by spending time together with our families, having them over for dinner, or choosing an activity our kids can do together. It is important to deep, authentic, transparent, and intimate relationships with leaders. They have to know that you care about them above and beyond what they do as leaders in the church so there can be a high level of trust. If we want to help small group leaders grow in their faith then we have to earn the right to speak into peoples lives.
Ministry Growth
What is your philosophy of ministry?
a. Gather – We gather in large group settings centered around the preaching of the word of God and worship through music and the observance of the ordinances.
b. Grow – We grow through small groups and discipleship groups that meet on campus or in homes or another location for fellowship, accountability, bible study, and encouragement.
c. Go – We go and serve our communities, our state, our nation, and the world through local outreach events, mission’s trips, and service projects. This could take place church wide or through the small groups. The goal is to help meet a physical need in order to meet a spiritual need.
d. Give – We give of our time, talent, and treasures to accomplish the mission of the church.
Share with me how you deal with a fast-paced, always changing environment. Have you had this experience in a previous position?
In environments like this I am constantly evaluating throughout the process of planning and implementing, making adjustments as we go. I actually find it energizes me to work in a fast-paced environment. I currently work in an always changing fast-paced environment. We have recently had a large turnover in staff including the senior pastor with that has come changes in direction, vision, and facilities.. When a decision is made the expectation is that it changes immediately or as soon as possibly. We are not afraid to say something didn’t work and change it. Even If it is effective and accomplishing what we want there is always room for improvement.
How would you evaluate systems and structures to see if there could be improvement?
I evaluate systems and structures against the goals and the objectives that are set for the ministry. Depending on what we are trying to accomplish and how we are trying to accomplish it evaluation make take a longer period of time. It is always important to get feedback from lay-leadership to help evaluate what went well and what can be improved upon. There is always something to be improved upon, whether it be in communication, training, implementation, or even the need to start from scratch. In order to properly evaluate systems and structures there has to be clear objectives and goals that are implemented with proper communication and training.
What was the most creative idea you introduced in your last ministry role? What steps did you take to implement that idea?
When I came into my current ministry role the previous pastor was teaching without any graphics or powerpoint presentations. The worship was being led by a volunteer who sang and played the guitar typically with one other person. The logo and branding was dated. There was very little online presence through social media and the uploading of messages. I took on a rebranding of the ministry by changing the name from 1828 to Bell Shoals College and Career. I had a new logo created. I implemented the use of powerpoint through pro-presenter. I updated our social media accounts on facebook and Instagram and use them regularly for communication. I moved budget around to hire a worship leader and we now have a full worship set on most weeks. I created a youtube account and I am currently working to be able to record and upload messages.
How has COVID changed your approach on how to create community with the church members and nonbelievers?
I think it has become important to create community in smaller groups especially as gathering continue to be limited. I have always tried to use small groups (8 to 12 people) and discipleship groups (4 or 5 people) that meet off-campus or in homes in order to create community and with the current COVID situation that is becoming more vital. COVID has also helped me see the need for connecting through online streaming services and platforms such as zoom so that those who are shut-in or at high risk can still participate and have community. COVID has helped emphasize the need to keep groups under a certain number of participants and to be thinking about multiplying as the groups grow. COVID also gives groups opportunities to experience community by serving those who are shut-in with meals, providing financial assistance for those laid off, and other issue that arise because of the effects of COVID. COVID creates a lot of opportunity to create community in unique and creative ways especially by serving those who may never set foot in small group or church. In the next 5 years I don’t expect in person gatherings to experience pre-covid numbers but there will be a rise in smaller groups and groups meeting in online platforms.
What is your experience with creating an online weekend experience via live stream?
I do not have any experience with live stream. All the streaming I have done has come through IGTV and facebook.
What goals have you set in the past for your ministry area. Did you accomplish them and if so, how did you accomplish them?
The goals I primarily set were to see growth in participation in the ministries of the church and along a discipleship pathway. For instance if a person comes to an outreach event, moving them into the large group gathering, if they come on Sundays to large group gatherings, moving them into a small group, if they come to small group then moving them to serve during an outreach event in the community or within a another church ministry. Each ministry should be an onramp into a discipleship pathway. Another goal is numerical growth and opportunities for influence. I look at numbers of participants week over week and month over month and year over year to see if we are creating opportunities for influence in groups, outreach, large group gatherings, if people are not coming, why not? I also look for stories of life change and spiritual growth. These stories typically include someone who was served by another person taking the time to listen and love them tangibly in a time of need.
What would it take to grow a successful discipleship program?
A successful discipleship takes clearly communicated goals, objectives and expectations through intentional equipping and training. There needs to be a clear discipleship pathway so people know where they are heading and what we are trying to accomplish. It also takes by-in from the whole staff of the church which leads to by from church members. When must use intentional language to communicate what we are trying to accomplish through preaching, social media, physical materials and curriculum. It also takes building excitement among the staff and lay leaders so that it spreads into the rest of the church. It takes celebrating wins, through video testimonies of people in the church whose lives are being changed through discipleship. It takes building authentic, transparent relationships where the people of God are taking responsibility for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. There are 59 “one another” statements in the NT and most of them are in the form of commands on who the body of Christ is supposed to interact with one another. When these commands are being followed we know that disciples are being made with “love one another” being the foundation. The church is a gift and we were not meant to go through life alone. We need each other to grow in our relationship with Christ.
Your members/guests come to church with specialized needs, different learning styles, and family stresses. Do you have a strategy to provide significant ministry to meet these needs?
I would provide small groups that are specifically designed to meet the needs of those with different backgrounds, experiences, and needs. It may be addiction recovery, those dealing with abuse, parents of children with special needs, grief share for those who have lost a loved one just to name a few. It is important that we meet people where they are at with the gospel.
Describe the diversity of some of the ministries with which you’ve worked. How did you go about learning and educating yourself in order to effectively reach your community?
a. In past positions and in my current position we have had a lot of people from different ethnic backgrounds, primarily white, black, and Hispanic, and then some with an Asian background. A church I served in outside of DC had 30+ nationalities represented in it. Having a mix family now with our adoption I have reached out to some of my black pastor friends to help me with questions from how to do their hair to having a conversation about racism and what they will face in the future as they get older. I educate myself first and foremost through the word of God and what it says about people. I also have friends who are minorities and followers of Christ and I speak to them about their experiences both in everyday world but also within the church. I try to understand how they perceive things and how they are being communicated versus what a white person would perceive or say is being communicated. I also read blogs, books, and listen to sermons written by minority pastors and Christian leaders to better understand the issues they are facing in and outside of the church.
Is there a process that you go through when choosing a platform for curriculum choices?
I typically look for curriculum that first and foremost is biblically based. Curriculum choices are based on the needs and life stage of the group Is it offering hope through Christ for people to grow, heal, or overcome sin through their relationship with Christ. I also look for recommendations from others in similar positions, blogs, pastors, or other Christian leaders whether it be curriculum, books, or online group studies.
What have you done in the past to ensure your church has a safe environment, including emergency procedures.
Everyone in leadership, especially those who are serving with children, need to pass a background check. In large group gatherings we have always had a security team that is trained to respond to emergencies whether it be medical, violence, or others. It is also important to communicate and train leaders with how to respond should someone come to them with an accusation of abuse, rape or the like. Making sure the proper authorities are contacted and the person being abused is safe and can be followed up with by leadership for additional help and counseling.
How would you describe the ideal relationship between senior/lead pastor and discipleship pastor?
Ideally I want to serve alongside someone who I consider a friend and a brother in Christ. A person who desires to pour into my life and to be poured into. I would want the relationship to be one where we spent time outside of the office and the walls of the church with our families. Someone who is willing to lovingly hold me accountable in my personal, professional, and spiritual life. The discipleship and senior pastor need to be unified and on the same page even if they do not always agree on everything. I believe the Word calls us to deep, intimate, authentic relationships and church staff and leaders are not exempt from that.

References

Dr. Corey Abney || (813) 689-4229 || PastorCorey@BellShoals.com
Bobby Roberts || (615) 883-5034 || RRoberts@Hermitagehills.com
Mark Lydecker || (516) 752-1979 || mlydecker@lfcc.org
Shawn Acrey || (937) 430-2155 || Shawn@thisisthejourney.org

Favorite Bible Story

The story of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem

Favorite Scripture

Romans 12:1-2