Seven Questions with Anthony Dockery – California Southern Baptist Convention
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7 Questions with Anthony Dockery

Anthony Dockery
Senior Pastor of St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church in La Puente and Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the SBC
If you’ve been paying any attention to the National Convention a few weeks back, then you have undoubtedly heard the name Anthony Dockery. Anthony, (or Tony), serves as the Senior Pastor of St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church in La Puente and was most recently elected as the Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the SBC. By all appearances, Anthony seems steady and stoic. Yet in reality, he’s as a bit of a thrill seeker. His love of sports, fast cars, and riding motorcycles comes as no surprise since he served in 4 different major wars as a Commissioned Officer Major in the United States Airforce. Upon his retirement from military service, he began to pursue a career as a commercial pilot, but the Lord, and his Pastor, pressed on his heart that he should pick up the mantle at St. Stephen. And we are all so glad he did.

What book are you currently reading?

I’m reading two books right now “Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How it Changes Us,” by Ryan Klaas. It talks about whether people are inherently corrupt ~or corruptible, ~ Or does the power bring out the corrupt? Or is the system corrupt? It talks a lot about power and how it changes us. I’m also reading “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World,” by David Epstein. “Range” is about training and how effective leadership happens when it’s generalized and less specific. Leaders can do more when they are not specialized in one thing. The generalist’s practices may have more benefits when it comes to range and capacity as people.

What biblical character (other than Jesus) would you want to meet, and why?

Joshua – primarily because of his tutelage and teachability, as well as the pattern of transition. I came behind a legacy paster. I appreciate how Joshua was quiet when he needed to be quiet, and verbal when he needed to talk…assertive, passive, and passionate. Joshua models the full sphere of leadership where you have to exercise followship, make the transition, and then forge ahead with success.

In-N-Out or Chick-fil-A?

Neither…. I’m from Detroit. We didn’t have In-N-Out and Chick-fil-A didn’t exist…. If I have to choose, I prefer White Castle. It’s horrible food… but it’s great food.

What has been an evangelistic tactic that has worked best for you?

There are two acrostics that we use at St. Stephen … the first is “GETEM” which stands for “Go Evangelize to Every mortal.” We have a Get ’Em ministry. The other is “IFF” which we put on T-shirts. “IFF” stands for “Identify Friend/Foe.” We are encouraging our people to have casual Christian conversations. We recently went to the LA country fair in our shirts and people came to church that next Sunday following the fair. We went to Huntington Beach and had our Bible study book club, wearing our shirts and again striking up casual conversations. We’ve done FAITH, Contagious…every tool out there, but it wasn’t the lack of knowledge, it was the lack of comfortability. The people weren’t sharing because there was so much to remember with the faith outline. But all we need to do is have casual conversation to talk about what God has done for you and it’s transformative. It’s not complicated. In our services we actually do a mock walk-through (during both services). We carve out time to model it. It’s THAT important. What we are doing right now has been the most effective way to create a culture of evangelism in our church.

What is your favorite bible verse or what is a bible verse you are currently meditating over?

My favorite Bible verse is my life passage. It guides me and keeps me on track. 1 Corinthians 9:19. “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more”…Regardless of what’s going on, remembering what Jesus said, I didn’t come to be served, I came to serve…. I’m a servant.

What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

For sure, it would be to pace myself. I was moving too quickly trying to climb the ladders and not smelling the roses, not spending time with my bride, not paying attention to her…Slow down and don’t try to get it all done in 22 seconds.

When you think through all the names of Christ, what name resonates with you right now, and why?

Prince of Peace…. For me what’s priceless in all things is the peace that passes all understanding. How do you have peace when you’re in bereavement? When members are getting divorced, or when they have cancer…? How do you have peace when all of these things are happening? Serving in 4 wars, I saw peace that comes from God…. Now I choose to always be standing before God’s people having peace.

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