About Gabe Kolstad

Gabe is the Lead Pastor at Westside Community Church in the Portland, Oregon area where he serves with his best friends. He has had the privilege of leading Westside through a number of exciting changes, from turnaround to relocation to multi-site. Gabe has a dream for seeing new churches planted, and a passion for connecting with leaders to make a difference in Portland and the Northwest. He is a trainer, a coach to pastors. Gabe is married to his Jr. High sweetheart, Melissa, and they have 3 children: Dawson, Caitlin, and Caleb. They love great food, traveling and finding new adventures together.

Is It Time For a Change? How To Tell If Your Timing is on Target

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Timing is a beast. As a leader, it’s one of the most important things you can master, but it’s also one of the most elusive. Jim Morrison once said, “I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown, which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments.”


By |2018-06-22T12:44:52-04:00May 30th, 2018|Leadership|0 Comments

Leading Scared

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Leading change in the church can be terrifying.

No amount of advice, pep talks or planning can prepare you for the feeling that you’ve just jumped off of a cliff. That’s because you know you’re trading safety & security for the dream of something bigger. You’re trading something tangible for something possible. And the scary part is – none of it belongs to you. The weight of stewardship in these situations is staggering.


By |2018-01-22T23:04:20-05:00January 23rd, 2018|Leadership|0 Comments

Why Creativity Matters in the Church

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A lot of people are talking about creativity in the church right now, and it’s raising some tension in me (and maybe in you too?). We’ve been haggled on both ends of the creativity spectrum over the years. On the one hand, we’ve bought into the rationale that says, “God hasn’t called you to be creative. He’s called you to be effective.” Therefore, copy & paste at will. On the other hand, we resonate with the thinking that says, “All ministry is local.” Therefore, creative contextualization is the only way to impact a locality. It’s a tough balance to strike, really. And if you add the complexity that multisite churches bring to the table, this can be a serious monkey on our backs as leaders.


By |2017-06-12T22:47:24-04:00June 13th, 2017|Communications, Strategy|2 Comments