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Staff Spotlight: Cory Gregory

HOMETOWN: Bloomington, MN
HOBBIES: Golfing, local eateries
FAVORITE BOOK: Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen
GUILTY PLEASURE: Coke with grenadine
FUN FACT: Just bought a house in Richfield
The Masters at Augusta

How did you first become a part of community at CPC?

My senior year of high school some friends invited me to CPC. That summer I was invited to be a leader on the youth group trip, Summit. I had no idea what I was getting into. I would have called myself a Christian, but I wasn’t truly walking with Jesus. That trip ruined my life in the best possible way! The relationships I formed made me realize I wanted to be like these people—they were doing this Jesus thing in a really authentic way. During my sophomore year in college, I started working in the Student Ministries office. I was writing and giving talks, writing curriculum, and doing relational things with leaders, students, and parents. It was one of those times when people see something in us that we don’t see in ourselves.

Tell us a little bit about your work history.

I started working at CPC literally the day after I graduated college and eventually became the Director of Student Ministries. I was here for about 8 ½ years before I felt like God was calling me to try something new. It was a hard choice because things were going well at CPC. I took a job in the corporate world, and then the non-profit world, and then realized I wanted to get back to ministry. Even while working at another church I still felt a tie to CPC. The relationships felt like family. CPC still felt like home. In 2019 the idea of coming back was exciting because of this return to something familiar, but also something new and fresh, with great new leadership and a specific job (Director of Connections) that felt like a great fit for my wiring and skills. I felt like I could thrive in this role and bring value to CPC.

What are you excited about in your new role?

As the Senior Director of Engagement, I’m super grateful to work closely with Mara and Petey on the Lead Team. I think there’s this really good balance of honoring our past and also this excitement about the future. A big part of my role is thinking about who isn’t here yet and figuring out how to draw those people in. Culture is changing, and Christianity within culture is changing. That presents huge opportunities to share the love and hope of Jesus with a world that desperately needs it. I’m excited to help our church move forward—empowering lay leaders and staff—in fulfilling our mission statement of inviting people to Jesus.

When it comes to engagement at CPC, what are some of your goals?

As a Lead Team we’re acknowledging that worship isn’t just for existing Christians to be fed, but it is also for welcoming people who aren’t familiar with church and faith into our family. We’re asking the question, how do we both lower the bar to entry and raise the bar on discipleship? If we treat evangelism and growth as completely separate things, we’ll miss the boat. So we’re really looking to answer the question: “How do we minister to our people whether they’ve been here 5 years, 30 years, or they haven’t walked through our door yet?”

Why does Jesus matter in your life?

He’s the hope of the world, and the light of the world—and that’s a felt experience for me. I think the older I get, the more I realize that while there are other ways to live your life, there’s no better option than to walk in this world the way Jesus did. In my life this has been continually proven; whether I’m following it well or not, I’ve seen that living His way is how things were intended to be.

What’s God been inviting you into lately?

I think I’m on the cusp of learning to slow down. I’ve sensed an actual invitation from the Spirit to take that seriously. Doing things for God is very different than being with God. My tendency is to run past God . . . do all the things, work hard, be the right things. So I’m learning to slow down, invite God in, and just be with God.

As a follower of Jesus, what does it mean to you that He came to serve?

I know I’m selfish by nature. But when I’m walking with Jesus and following His servant model, then my life isn’t about me anymore. It’s about God and the people He’s put around me. I have a kingdom mission, a gospel mission. It takes me out of the center of my world and instead makes me a conduit to bring good news, hope, love, and point to Jesus.

Cory serves as Senior Director of Engagement.