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Bro. Laida: My Interview with a 92 Year Old Pastor, Part 2

This is part two of my interview with Dr. John David Laida — or as I call him — Brother Laida. When he “supposedly” retired once, he never quit working.

If you missed the introductory video, catch it HERE.

In this segment, Dr. Laida addresses:

  • Where he learned to lead a church
  • Delegation
  • How he handles church conflict

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Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • jimpemberton says:

    I like his thoughts on handling church conflict. You can't wait until you have conflict to decide what to do, but decide how to handle church conflict ahead of time and let everyone know what it's going to be before you see it happen. His tactic is good and contains three key elements that I notice off the top:

    1. Make it understood that causing conflict is wrong. You don't necessarily have to get into the details. For example, there are people who stir up conflict and them blame someone else for causing the conflict. That kind of stuff can get complex. If it's explicitly and publicly understood that conflict is wrong, and what conflict is, then whoever truly started it will be quickly identified by everyone.

    2. Let them know how you will handle it. Also, that how you will handle it will transcend the problem in some significant way and that you won't back down from your stated course of action. That consistency will provide stability, attract people who would resolve conflict, and discourage those who would seek to be contentious.

    3. It also helps that you aren't afraid to put your own position on the line. Some people would bring conflict into the church by holding the pastor's status over his head by using some technicality in the bylaws or something. When doing what is right is more important than either holding the status quo or protecting your own self-interests, then trust that God has your back and don't budge on what's right. After all, you are intent on following God and he's the one who gave you your calling the first place. Do right by him and no matter what happens, you won't lose.

  • John Callister says:

    Great wisdom! Love how he learned to delegate and empower others, rather than, "we get the idea we know everything about everything" Also the bit about making it clear that he doesn't intend to take sides and become involved in a fight – that's priceless. Well done for recording this.

  • Tyler

    Along the same lines, earlier today I stumbled across
    Some great perspectives on life from those who have lived 100+ years of it.
    Also a neat interview with the guy behind the project here:… (starting at the 11 minute mark)

  • Stephen says:

    He comes across as such a gentle man…makes me *want* to listen to him. You were wise to recognize the richness of what he was saying and pass it along. Thanks!

  • Melissa says:

    Delegating and peacemaker….interesting that those 2 suggestions take away from the "me" idea of things. His method of leadership was not about Brother Laida, but about working as a team.

    Dead-end disagreements(lack of peaceful solutions) and disorganization (often taking too much on for oneself) of tasks don't get it done for the Glory of God. It seems like Brother Laida realized both of those early on and choosing solutions that reflected in his leadership.