A Letter from Pastor Rusty

Pastor Rusty Maple shares the focus of his new temporary role as pastoral coach at The Journey.

In the year 1990, from a lectern in his home country of Australia, Peter J. Daniels was recorded as he articulated his wisdom concerning “attitudes that motivate to win.” Mr. Daniels had read 1,500 biographies tracking their strengths and weaknesses. This recording, informed by his massive effort, would become transformative in my life. It was concerning personal leadership development.

He concluded with these powerful words: Success is: one’s willingness to bear pain.

Kim and I will soon be sailing away from our familiar shoreline of St. Louis as home and The Journey as a place of ministry/church family into a new season of retirement. If the Lord wills, our next journey will take us to Florida. 

With the completion of transitioning the lead pastor position to Pastor Carlos at Hanley Road, I am grateful to assume a new temporary role as a pastoral coach at The Journey.  In this role, my focus is two-fold:

  • Personal leadership development with staff
  • Training and coaching service hosts and pastors


Personal Leadership Development

A top priority within our strategic plan is staff health. My hope is to be an effective resource aimed at this noble goal. I’ve loved Proverb 16:32 as a high bar for personal life leadership: “He who rules his own spirit is better than he who controls a city.” Through my experiences of pastoring, buying, selling, and starting five small businesses, I have to concur that leading enterprise is difficult, but gaining self-control, self-denial, and mastery over procrastination and sin is on its own level of adversity. 

He who rules himself is better than he who rules a city! 

I would love the opportunity to serve you in the area of personal leadership development. I am persuaded that personal flourishing requires wisdom, attention, creativity, and objectives set against these vital areas of life:

Spiritual. Physical. Financial. Relational. Vocational. Mental. 

I want to hear life stories and share some life lessons as we work together to create new paths forward in these vital areas demanding personal leadership. 

My availability to you as a resource in these areas begins now and is intended to be accessible to each staff team, staff member, and extended to hosts and pastors leading publicly in services and ceremonies. I am currently reaching out to lead pastors and ministry leaders to schedule initial meetings with their teams. After these initial meetings, I will be pleased to meet personally with you to discuss where I can be of help.

I will do my best to get you thinking and planning with special emphasis for a healthy spiritual and financial future!

Training and Coaching Service Hosts and Pastors

I am arrested by Romans 15:7, “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” An essential element in creating a welcoming environment in our services is through the effective, winsome communication of greeting, announcement, offering, and benedictions. I look forward to working alongside our service hosts (many of who are new) leading in these public communication roles. 

As a pastor, I have tasted the challenge, pressure, and beauty of publically leading child dedications, baptisms, weddings, funerals, and communion. I am eager to share experiences with service pastors and officiants.

Success is one’s willingness to bear pain. Peter J. Daniels taught me valuable principles distilled from the Bible, from experience, and from accumulated knowledge.  

Hopefully, in some small way, I can transfer some of what I have learned as we together press on in our personal leadership development.

Pastor Rusty