LIFE & LEADERSHIP LESSONS WITH MIKE NEGLIA
Name: Mike Neglia
Family: Rachel (wife of 12 years) Eoin (10 years old) and Rosie (1 year old)
Years born again: 16 years
Years in ministry: 12 years
Ministry experience: After graduating Bible college in Siegen, Germany in the summer of 2002, I flew to London, then hitchhiked across the UK and over to Ireland and finished up in the city of Cork. I helped out with Calvary Chapel Cork for a few weeks of summer outreaches and intended on leaving, but the pastor asked me to stay on “for a little bit longer.” I stayed in Cork as a full-time missionary youth outreach coordinator/assistant for more than two years. In 2005 the pastor felt called by the Lord to go elsewhere (New Zealand) and asked if my wife, Rachel, and I would consider staying on and taking over the church. My first Sunday morning was October 18, 2005, preaching to a congregation of four people.
Current ministry role & location of local church: Lead pastor of Calvary Cork, Cork, Ireland
Church website & social media contact information: www.CalvaryCork.org, CalvaryCork on Twitter, CalvaryCork on Instagram, CalvaryCorcaigh on Youtube , Calvary Cork on Facebook.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST LIFE LESSON THE LORD HAS TAUGHT YOU RECENTLY?
The Lord is continually teaching me the same two lessons over and over again. First, that I am a great sinner, that my nature, my proclivities, my preferences are all tainted by sin. As an earlier confession of faith puts it, even my good deeds are “accompanied by many weaknesses and imperfections.” This is something that I must be reminded about regularly since I am so quick to pat myself on the back or to take pride in a season of fruitfulness or outward success.
The second life lesson that the Lord continually teaches me is that He is a great Savior. He loved me when I was His enemy and He went on a costly rescue mission to bring me to Himself. He has forgiven me of ALL of my sins, fully, freely and forever. He has sent His own Holy Spirit to dwell in me and He leads me in paths of righteousness. His love for me is total, constant and completely unmerited.
I know these are “basic” truths that we are all familiar with already, but for me I find myself being reminded of them afresh all the time.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST MINISTRY LESSON THE LORD HAS TAUGHT YOU RECENTLY?
The importance of doing ministry as a team has recently been emphasized in my own heart. We recently ordained two new elders to join our senior leadership team and it is a reminder to me of the benefits of a diverse team of qualified leaders, each bringing his own strengths and perspectives to the table, and each one committed to bringing the needs of the church before the Lord in prayer. I’m painfully aware of my own inadequacies and to be joined by others who are strong in areas where I am weak is a real blessing.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST AT THE CC MISSIONS CONFERENCE?
To be honest, I am looking forward to sunshine and a bit of dry weather! Januarys in Ireland are notoriously cold and damp!
But in addition to meteorological blessings, I am anticipating rubbing shoulders with some modern-day heroes of the faith—missionaries who have gone far and deep into unreached communities, bringing the light of Christ into some of the darkest places on earth. I can’t wait to meet them!
WHAT TOPIC ARE YOU TEACHING ON AT THE CONFERENCE?
I’m doing a main session entitled “The Great Omission, ” speaking about the importance of declaring the whole gospel to the people that God brings into our lives. We face many temptations to hold back certain elements of the Christian message for fear of giving offense or causing discomfort. I hope to encourage people to firmly believe and boldly proclaim this life-giving message to the nations.
I’m also leading a workshop entitled “Friendship and Loneliness on the Mission Field.” Moving 5,000 miles away from home was definitely a crucible for my existing friendships. Over the twelve years that I’ve lived abroad, there were definitely some seasons and experiences of profound loneliness, but the Lord has brought some incredibly meaningful friendships into my life, both at home in the States and in Europe.
I’ll be talking about God’s heart for the lonely and the gift of meaningful friendships that He gives to us. I hope to encourage people to take their friends seriously and to invest in these life-giving relationships. I will also encourage sending churches on how they can care for overseas missionaries who are potentially dealing with a sense of loneliness and isolation.