Rich Jones, youth pastor of 20 years, and current lead pastor of Element church in Pittsburgh, was the guest speaker of the week. Rich seems to be very down to earth and certainly has a committed heart for the ministry. His journey as a VFCC graduate throughout various churches was close to my heart. It is encouraging to see someone dedicated to both God’s mission and his family. One of his stories that impacted me was the one where he remained homeless for two weeks and slept in his car. Instead of begging for a home or asking to live in the church, he moved his wife back home and remained in his car.
After the journey of church searching Rich developed a heart for church planting. Once this desire was solidified he planted Element church where he remains as head pastor today. This new church is heavily involved within the community in an area that is surrounded by mostly low-income families. Currently they are holding service at Mr. Smalls Theatre, a club where local concerts are held. Taken what he was given, Rich Jones has seen his ministry continue to grow and is surrounded by a team that he couldn’t work without. To close, I wanted to mention Rich’s circular leadership plan. Opposed to a hierarchy system, the circular system allows for an equal balance of roles within the church. It is a lot less corporate and a lot more relationship based. I really enjoyed that concept and was honored to be able to see an experienced minister who didn’t quit, and who is now in his sweet spot.