Name: Philip Kircher
Relationship Status: Married
Education: High school graduate, Teaching Degree
1. What are your talents and strengths?
I can easily and quickly connect with people. In addition, I can express myself well and easily. I’m excited about people and am positive and loyal. I am trustworthy, passionate, and have a high energy level when it is necessary. In addition, I can easily distress, if the workload happens to be bigger.
2. What career plan did you have before you became a believer? What were your passions?
Since I was very young when I became a Christian, I didn’t have a career plan. However, after graduating from high school I wanted to become a teacher, which is why I completed my teaching degree. The passion to build the Kingdom of Heaven and to reach the hearts of people was only partly met by the possibilities present in teaching.
3. In what ways were you shaped by your parents and your home environment?
My parents gave their lives to God shortly before my birth, so I grew up in a Christian family. One of the things that shaped me was our protocol for fighting. We always discussed the things causing strife and never allowed a fight to cause a rift. In addition, I always received unconditional support from my parents, which is an absolute privilege for me.
4. When and how did you become a believer? How did your change of heart to become a pastor come about? Was there a specific situation that acted as a catalyst?
I gave my life to God approximately in the year 2005, at a Royal Ranger Camp. When I had a change of heart to become a pastor there was no blinding light-type event. I always knew that I didn’t want to become a teacher who goes to school Monday through Friday, watches soccer on Saturdays, and passively sits in church on Sundays.
When Gabriel told me about THS and what my career would look like afterwards, my heart was immediately caught.
It was the right seed in ground that had already been prepared.
5. Aren’t you worried that a pastor’s life can be boring and stressful? Sacrifices, high moral requirements, continual interactions with annoying people or even unemployment?
I find the wording of this question to be very pessimistic. I would rather ask: Are you filled with joy at the prospect of living an exciting and intense life as a pastor? I whole-heartedly feel joy. Of course, contact with people, especially in the context of the church, is not always easy. However, the goal is not to find 200 new friends, but to lead 200 people (closer) to Jesus. It is clear that this work comes with a certain amount of risk. If I were looking for a high level of worldly prosperity, I would be in the wrong place. Our riches are kept in heaven, where they are not fleeting.
6. Couldn’t you build the Kingdom of Heaven just as effectively as an entrepreneur or politician?
I believe that God can’t use only people that fit a certain pattern.
Each person who says, “Here I am God; use me,” is ready to build the Kingdom of Heaven – no matter the place, the job, or the responsibility.
A pastor can do this with more intensity and be more able to build a “home.”
7. Through THS-Academy you receive realistic insights into the everyday life of a pastor – what does it look like? What do you especially like about this, and what don’t you like?
The everyday life of a pastor is thrilling. I love the orientation towards God, and knowing that my work is relevant. Without disparaging other jobs!
My everyday life starts by orienting myself towards God.
After that there are meetings, office work, team meetings or one-on-one meetings, and of course events and everything that goes with that.
I love the independence: as a whole, to be able to schedule my own time. In addition, there is a high level of creativity. One has a high level of freedom in design: how I promote teams, how I lead people, how I continue my education is all up to me.
This also contains the danger of getting lost in the work and not to being able to set boundaries.
8. What must a developing pastor absolutely learn?
First and foremost, a developing pastor should be able to lead himself. Healthy habits build a stable and healthy personality.
9. Many pastors dream of great breakthroughs and church growth and are ultimately disappointed. Some leave. Why do you think this is?
I think there can be many factors. On the one hand, I believe that battles are won in prayer. The pastor of today can’t see himself as a tattooed hipster with a Mac book. A healthy spiritual life is the foundation for success.
However, that alone is not enough. A church is like a company; purely spiritual leadership is not enough. Conflict resolution, overcoming crises, developing strategies and not following the times. I believe those are just a few central points
10. Why did you decide to undertake your studies through THS-Academy, rather than through another theological college?
Part of why I decided on THS was that it is convenient and the connection between my church and THS was easy. However, I was also convinced by the concept of a connection between theory and practice.
11. So far, what have you learned most? How have you changed through this program?
What I learned most is to regularly and holistically reflect on my life.
I’m in the process of changing, as I become steadier and lead myself into a healthier lifestyle.
12. When you imagine a typical week in 10 years – you can dream big – what does it look like?
A typical week would consist of prayer, meetings with people, coordinating with the campus-leader, writing sermons, greater thanksgiving and family.