Chris Yaw Interviews David Emery: Celebrating Transformation Grows the Church


David Emery serves the 100+ year old congregation at Middletown Christian Church which, ten years ago, had half the people on Sunday mornings that it has today.

David says the old church ran by more of a 'membership model' than a 'transformation model' - which emphasizes the changed hearts and lives of its members.

David says that emphasizing God's transformative work in peoples' lives has led to a transformed church. Heed the words of this gifted and devoted pastor.


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A decade ago, when the Middletown Christian Church board identified the qualities of 'spirit-led and passionate' for its next pastor, it got David Emery - who's stressed the life-changing power of God, and has seen the congregation flourish. Here are my notes from the interview:

Emphasize Individual Transformation

If Christ's presence in our lives does not make a notable difference, what's the point? David regularly lifts this question before his congregation - and is regularly met with tremendously inspiring responses.

Also, an Emphasis on Community Transformation

If the greater community is no better off with Middletown Christian Church in the community, what's the point? Emphasizing connection and service to the community is the mission that draws people to the congregation.

Change the Leader, Change the Church

This doesn't simply mean to fire the leader, but to embrace transformation - of an ongoing sort - that Christ's transformation in others might be known.

About David Emery

David was called to the Senior Minister's position at Middletown Christian Church in March, 2003. He came to MCC from The Woodlands Christian Church near Houston, Texas. He's a graduate of Texas Christian University and Vanderbilt Divinity School.  Ordained in 1987, David has led three congregations in very different settings through dramatic change. He is best described as spirit-led and passionate leader who is believes the church is at its best when it's externally focused and empowering disciples to be the Kingdom now. David and his wife, Teresa, have two children: Rebecca and Alex and one grand-daughter.  David enjoys running, reading, and coffee at Starbucks.

Books David Recommends

Leadership on the Line - Ron Heifetz

Church Unique - Will Mancini

Falling Upward - Richard Rohr

Taken with permission from