June 20, 2018 | Mikayla Heldt
In just five years, Pastors Adam and Kristy Starling have seen their church grow from a congregation of 200 people to roughly 3,800 people.
In January of 2013, the Starlings launched Victory Family Church with members from another church in Norman, Oklahoma. Since then, the church has expanded and is now on its fourth building project.
The church staff is comprised of 35 people and Adam serves as the lead pastor with Kristy serving as an executive pastor and worship leader.
Though the Starlings are excited that their ministry is growing, they have been presented with new challenges due to the church growing at a rate of 20 to 30 percent a year.
“One of the challenges of fast-paced growth is keeping the culture the way that you want it,” Adam Starling says.
The Starlings strive to instill the same “family” feel that the church was built on and preserve the charismatic roots of the church. With a larger church, they emphasize that sense of unity and family into their training with the church staff.
“Whatever we do with the staff usually trickles down to the church as well,” he says.
Adam attributes much of their success in ministry as a direct result of the preparation he received as a student at Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU).
Adam graduated from SAGU in 2004 with a Church Ministry degree with a specialization in Youth. He credits Professor Dr. Garland Owensby for helping to prepare him for ministry. He also mentions that Dr. Dan Langston’s teaching and personal investment in his life impacted his college years and still continues to impact him today.
“Just the way he communicated God’s Word in such a relevant way,…I always thought, ‘I want to be able to communicate God’s Word like that,” He says.
Last fall, Victory Family Church also began a partnership with SAGU by starting a leadership college with three tracks: worship/production, pastoral, and kids’ ministry. Students take online classes with SAGU in the mornings, and intern at the church in the afternoon.
“We know SAGU is going to give them an incredible, biblical and practical foundation, so we just want to give them as much hands-on ministry experience as well.”
Adam feels that integrating SAGU classes into the school will be very beneficial, and will help train up the future of ministers.
“I think partnering together, we can really prepare students to jump in at twenty-two or twenty-three years old and be highly successful in ministry,” he says.
The Starlings also have big plans for the future of the ministry, including the launch of a Victory Family Campus in Newcastle, Oklahoma, and their call to plant 50 churches over the next fifteen years. Though this seems like a tall order, the Starlings want to be obedient to God’s call on their lives. They believe that Jesus must remain the cornerstone, but also every brick in the structure.
“Jesus has to be the foundation, the center of everything we do,” said Adam.
To learn more about Victory Family Church, click here .