Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Interview with Dave Jacobs

A few years ago I became acquainted with Dave Jacobs, founder of Small Church Pastor. He has been an inspiration to me these many years. I recently interviewed him about a new book he has written and wanted to share that interview on today's blog post.

Terry: Dave, you have been in ministry for 36 years. You have served as a pastor in a local church, but have also ministered to pastors in a unique way. Can you tell us about the current ministry you are involved in and how you got involved?

Dave: I entered into the full time ministry at the age of 19 at which time I was ordained in an non-denominational church in San Jose, California. At 21 Ellen and I were sent out to plant our first church in southern California. Over the following 28 years I pastored in five different churches, three of which we planted. At the end of 2006 I retired from pastoring and founded Small Church Pastor. I tell people that my ministry now provides encouragement, resources, and coaching to pastors of smaller churches.  We live now out in the country of beautiful southern Oregon and I spend my days talking to pastors across our nation and from every denomination you could imagine. It’s a great job. I love it.

Terry: In this ministry you speak to a lot pastors. Tells us 2-3 key things you have learned about pastors in your conversations with them.

Dave: That’s a great question. People are surprised to hear me say that pastors are pretty much all the same. Regardless of the size of their church or which denomination they belong to, regardless of their age or gender, pastors tend to deal with the same challenges both professionally and personally. I recently wrote a blog on this ( that those of you reading this interview might find interesting.

Terry: Thanks for the link Dave, I hope my readers will check it out. Tell us more.

Dave: Most pastors struggle with discouragement revolving around how hard it is to pastor a church and how difficult it is to attract and keep new people. Pastors worry about the negative effect the ministry might be having on their marriage and family. Pastors want to talk about managing their time and often want to know how to be more focused and productive. But one of the most troubling thing I’ve learned over the past 8 years of coaching is how spiritually dry most pastors feel. Notice I used the word ‘most.’ This is not an exaggeration.

Terry: As you have learned these things from pastors, you started writing a book. Tell us about the book.

Dave: I started Mile Wide, Inch Deep about five years ago. I put it on hold to begin writing another book. I then put that book on the shelf and came back to Mile Wide, Inch Deep. Actually the pastor of a small church in New Jersey who I was coaching at the time planted the seed in my brain to write this book. When coaching pastors I always manage to come around to the subject of the condition of their souls, or personal soul-care. For me, soul-care is defined as the means by which we insure that our relationship with Jesus is vibrant and growing. So coming back to this small church pastor in Jersey, one day at the end of our call he said, “Dave, you need to write a book on soul-care. You could call it ‘Soul-Care For Busy Pastors’.” 

Terry: Is the book just for pastors? Why or why not?

Dave: The subtitle of the book is Experiencing God Beyond the Shallows, Soul Care for Busy Pastors and the Rest of Us. The book is obviously written from a pastor to pastors. I understand the world of the small church pastor and can speak to the unique challenges to soul-care that pastors face. However, I wanted to write a book that would also speak to leaders and laymen in smaller churches. I’ve spoken to a number of ‘non-pastors’ who’ve told me that they found it very helpful. 

Terry: What is the main thing you would like people to walk away with after reading your book?

Dave: Well for the pastors who read the book I hope that they can discover some encouragement, inspiration, and ideas about how to take better care of their souls. Experiencing God is possible for us all...even for busy pastors.

Terry: If you could offer one piece of advice to pastors and the churches they serve, what would it be?

Dave: Wow, that’s a hard one. I would bring up something that seems so elementary but is easy to let slip. Priorities. Your first priority is your personal relationship with Jesus. Your second priority is your spouse. Your third priority is your children. Your fourth priority is your church. Church is fourth. Whenever these priorities get mixed up the pastor will eventually get mixed up.

Terry: Dave, I want to thank you for taking the time to be interviewed. I hope my readers will pick up a copy of Mile Wide, Inch Deep and find a blessing in reading it. The best link for buying a copy of the book is:


  1. Thanks for the interview, Doc. Looks like Dave's book will be a blessing to many.

    1. I am praying for Dave's book to help many go deeper in their faith and to encourage the hearts of the weary.