Right from the outset, our lives could not have been more different. I was born into a pastor’s home in Empress, Alberta, Canada. Life for me, revolved around a small, rural village, situated on the sprawling prairies in south-eastern Alberta. According to government records, Empress, at the time of my birth, boasted a population of 468, not including prairie dogs and antelope. Cowboys, country music and trucks were not mantras, they were a way of life. Amitabh, on-the-other-hand, was born into a businessman’s home in Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal, India. Life for Amitabh, revolved around a sprawling metropolitan city of eastern India, steeped in a rich tapestry of spirituality consisting of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and Buddhists. According to estimates by the United Nations, Calcutta, at the time of Amitabh’s birth, boasted a population of 6,876,000. Mantras were not the substance of catchy slogans, but the meditations of the mystical, spiritual and enlightened. I stated this earlier but it bears repeating; right from the outset our lives could not have been more different. Separated by a distance of 11,636 km (7,230 miles), our worlds were polar opposites, but God had a destiny that would bring us together.

Fast forward to 2013. I was in my thirteenth year serving as the Senior Pastor of PORTICO Community Church in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Life was far-removed from my early childhood years. I was blessed with the privilege of leading a dynamic, growing, multi-cultural suburban church that represented more than seventy nations of the world. Learning the new complexities of leadership and adapting to the rapid pace of change was my new normal. The church’s new reality, however, required new expertise; a skillset which I didn’t have, and yet one that was indispensable to the church’s future. I needed an Executive Pastor. Not just someone who was capable of managing the rigors of administration. I needed an Executive Pastor who was called and gifted in Administration, just as I was called to Leadership. Therein lies God’s destiny for our paths to cross. Amitabh’s work had necessitated a move to Canada and, together with his family, they relocated to Mississauga. Would you venture to take a guess as to which church they chose to attend? Although my introductory coffee conversation with Amitabh at the local Starbucks, was that of a pastor connecting with a new attendee, I recall sharing with my wife, Laura, later that afternoon, that I had just met my new Executive Pastor. Later that same year I invited Amitabh to join our pastoral staff, to serve as our Executive Pastor.

Jesus once said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.” (Matthew 13:44) Looking back on those first days of working together, I readily admit that I had no idea of the magnitude of the treasure that God had brought to our church. Amitabh’s administrative gifting, coupled with his passion and experience proved to be priceless. Amitabh Singh’s book is a treasure of equal value. Page after page dispenses practical, relevant, scalable solutions designed to fit churches of every size, context and budget. This book was forged in the cauldron of day-to-day situational realities that church leaders are forced to address. Having worked side-by-side with Amitabh for nearly ten years, I can personally attest to this fact. Under Amitabh’s expertise and guidance as Executive Pastor, PORTICO became a working laboratory where the insights and principles presented in this book were tried, tweaked, improved and proven. The New Normal of Leadership is the consummate guide on effectively blending leadership, administration, technology and innovation for the singular cause of helping people find their way back to God.

Leadership in the local church is not for the faint of heart. My father was a pastor, I am a pastor and I know from first-hand experience that effective leaders must learn to master the complexities of leadership and administration. The New Normal of Leadership will help you bridge these two worlds together as you lead in this new era of Church 4.0. The works is hard, but the rewards are unrivaled.

Douglas Rhind
Teaching Pastor at PORTICO Community Church
Mississauga 2021

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