Chris Yaw Interviews Rebekah Maul: Giving Permission Grows the Church

Taken with permission from

A sleepy, suburban parish has been awakened.

Pastor Rebekah Maul, at First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, Florida, arrived 16 years ago to what she describes as a congregation that had trouble believing in itself - then she began giving permission.

In this interview, Rev. Maul describes how this liberation has transformed First Pres, bringing out the joy and love of Christ that has led to all kinds of growth. Be inspired by Rebekah's energy, passion, and enthusiasm.


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Giving permission, unleashing joy, and training leaders are the big gains Rev. Maul talks about in this interview. Here are my notes:

Bring Back the Joy

Rebekah describes how she seeks to model a playful, joyful atmosphere at First Pres - and says it's helped her overcome all sorts of challenges.

Bring Back the Relevance

Is relevance a bad word at your church? Rebekah strives to make sure every prayer, invitation, and sermon breathes relevance, pointing out that traditional liturgies need not be boring, but reformed to make way for newness.

Training Leaders is Job #1

Rebekah invests loads in training her leaders, then allows them to do the ministry. She holds 2 retreats annually, and has new church board members attend an 8-week leadership class so they'll feel up to the task.

About Rebekah Maul

Rebekah Mail been pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, Florida since 1996, arriving after 14 years as Associate Pastor for program development at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Pensacola, Florida.  Since then, the church has redeveloped itself, growing from approx. 350 members to 550 very active members. She holds degrees from Stetson University in Florida and Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia. Her primary responsibilities have been to assist believers to discover and acknowledge their God given gifts, to claim them, and to utilize them in strengthening the Body of Christ and reaching out to introduce others to Christ. She is married to Derek, with whom she has two children and one grandson.

Books Rev. Maul Recommends

Good to Great - Jim Collins

Celebration of Discipline - Richard Foster

The Jesus I Never Knew - Phillip Yancy