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S1 | Ep5 UNSCRIPTED with Dino Rizzo, Jimmy Rollins, & Stephen Chandler

4 min read By October 10, 2022February 16th, 2024No Comments

“You don’t want to get to the top of the summit and take a selfie. You want to get to the top of the summit and take a group pic.” – Dino Rizzo

When Pastors Jimmy and Irene Rollins along with Pastors Stephen and Zai Chandler decided to merge their individual churches in Baltimore, it was uncharted territory. The humility, transparency, vulnerability, and trust required to make this joining of forces successful was (and continues to be) immeasurable.
“When you’re an insecure leader, you don’t have relationships.” Jimmy admitted that the size and fast growth of his church, i5, only amplified his feelings of insecurity and loneliness. As the pressures of the pandemic leveled the playing field among local pastors, he saw a coming together and a sharing in resources like never before.
“The ones that were isolated weren’t bouncing back…your support system shortens your tragedies.” Stephen recounted the mood among pastors and how connection became their lifeline.
It was in this backdrop of pain, burnout, and disconnection that a selfless drive for divine partnerships arose, and Union Church was born. A risky step of faith to multiply Kingdom impact.

In this episode of “Unscripted: Conversations with Dino Rizzo,” Jimmy and Stephen openly discuss their firsthand experiences as their churches merged. They share more about:

  • Putting the kingdom above selfish ambition
  • Recognizing your gifting and being honest if pastoring is the right fit
  • Making decisions carefully with counsel, not in crisis
  • Being open to change and losing control
  • Dealing with egos and emotions and CHOOSING humility
  • Not letting others sow seeds of mistrust or paranoia

They also dig into some merger must-haves, including:

  • Relational divine flow
  • Shared agreement that both parties are better together than separate
  • Making a decision from a place of strength, not defeat
  • Transparency and honesty
  • Having difficult conversations upfront
  • Navigating change in an unfiltered, honest, and patient way

Whether you are leading through big change or needing a boost of encouragement, you’ll be inspired to hear this story of leadership and friendship.


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