5 minutes with Marty Collier

Marty Collier became lead pastor of Arlington’s Rush Creek Church in 2019, following Russ Barksdale’s 25-year tenure. Collier was no stranger to the multi-campus Rush Creek, which he has served for two decades, beginning as a student minister and then as pastor of the church’s second campus for 15 years. Collier and his wife, Stephanie, have three children: Anna-Kate, 20; Cole, 18; and Davis, 16.

What is something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?

In 2022, we baptized more people than we have ever baptized in a one-year period. Rush Creek has been in existence since 1984. To come out of 2020 and 2021 and break our yearly record … was just a real encouragement to my heart and to our church, reminding us that God is still at work.

What have been some of the biggest challenges in your ministry lately?

I would have to say that after the pandemic, the culture of staffing has changed so drastically that it has taken me a little while to figure it out. … So many staff have wanted to go part time or work from home that it changes the vibe and the culture of your staff and affects how we lead. Before, I could walk down the hall of our campus and talk to any one of our staff any time all day, every day. That’s just not the case anymore. Now we have staff who work part time from home or are present on campus a few days a week. That forces leaders to become more intentional in their communication. 

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?

One that I’ve learned over and over and that I keep reminding myself of is that there is no such thing as over-communicating vision. This is where it bleeds into the previous question. I have had to become a lot more intentional with making sure everyone knows why we are doing what we are doing. You cannot let off the gas and just coast. With people attending church less often, and more staff working remotely or part time, you have to be creative and consistent in making sure everyone is on the same page.

What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this year?

To increase our prayer culture. We are incorporating more times of intentional prayer and fasting and have seen God do some amazing things in the lives of our people. I’d like to see increased prayer at Rush Creek at all of our campuses.  

How can the other SBTC churches be praying for you?

I would love for the SBTC to pray that I—as a leader, pastor, husband, and father—would stay hungry and humble: hungry for God’s Word and the vision He’s put in my heart, and humble, never thinking that what He’s doing is about me.

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