Chris Yaw Interviews Pen Peery: Building on Your Strengths Grows the Church

Taken with permission from


Just a few months into his new position at First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte, NC, Pendelton (Pen) Peery is doing a lot of listening.


This dynamic pastor, and leader of the PCUSA renewal movement called Next Church, Pen has learned to listen for the unique gifts his new congregation possesses, with plans to first begin building upon them.


In this interview, Pen talks about the importance of getting assistance when moving to a bigger church, and the importance of peer groups in staying healthy.


Watch the Full Program BELOW.

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Pen Peery is a young, passionate minister who's seeking to build upon the vibrancy of his congregation, hear how he's doing it.

Pay Attention

With 800 churches in Charlotte, no one's going to get everyone - and they're not supposed to. Instead, Pen is trying to pay attention to the ways his flock can contribute and participate in God's mission that's already happening around them.

Next Church

Their 2013 national meeting is being hosted at Pen's church. Find out more about how this mainline is doing renewal work by clicking here.

Don't Be Afraid to Get Help

When Pen came to serve the largest congregation he's ever pastored, his leadership was well aware of the new skill set he would have to hone. A leadership coach and consultants are helping him make the transition: in what ways might outside help assist you in your leadership?

About Pen Peery

Pen Peery is a rarity: a native Charlottean. Perhaps even rarer, he is a sixth-generation Presbyterian minister, the son of two ministers, the husband of a minister, and the brother of a minister. As a teenager he went door to door by his father's side in evangelism.  Pen is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary and is working toward his Doctorate of Ministry at Columbia. He has served as associate pastor at Second Presbyterian Church of Richmond, Va., and as senior pastor and head of staff at First Presbyterian Church of Shreveport, La.  Pen is a member of the strategy team of NEXT Church, a nationwide conversation about the future of the PC(USA) that is focused on how congregations within the denomination might respond to what God is calling the church to become.

Books Pen Recommends

When Moses Meets Aaron: Staffing and Supervision in Large Congregations

Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership