Lester Zimmerman, the founder and previous senior pastor of Petra Church, reflects on his inner-city ministry days and the vision that led him to plant a church. In this episode of the Larry Kreider Leadership Podcast, Lester and Larry Kreider discuss the importance of self-care and recognizing energy zappers in addition to Lester’s own experience with leadership succession.

Lester Zimmerman and his wife, Erma, live in New Holland, Pennsylvania. Together, they founded Petra Church in 1983, which is a part of the Hopewell Network of Churches. Today, Lester serves as the apostolic leader of the Hopewell Network, which consists of 17 churches in the US and six international networks.

Quotable Quotes:

  • “Watch the gauge on your gas tank.”


  • Be willing to be taken out of your comfort zone.
  • Do not make hasty decisions when hiring team members.
  • When transitioning out of your leadership role, receive help from a person outside of your ministry.
  • Learn how to recognize the difference between energy zappers and those with genuine needs.

Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Related Resources:

For more information about Larry Kreider, his books, daily devotionals, small group resources, or other teachings, visit larrykreider.com.