4 Habits for Healthy, Long-term Ministry : Dave Ferguson
Jason Daye | Church Leaders, Culture, FrontStage BackStage, Mental Health, Pastors, Podcast, Soul Care
What are some of the practices that we can embrace as ministry leaders that will help sustain our joy through both the highs and lows of ministry? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by pastor, best-selling author, Kingdom collaborator, and movement-maker Dave Ferguson for a candid backstage discussion, highlighting some habits and some practices that we all can embrace to help us serve for the long haul and finish well.
Looking to dig more deeply into this topic and conversation? Every week we go the extra mile and create a free toolkit so you and your ministry team can dive deeper into the topic that is discussed. Find your Weekly Toolkit below… Love well, Live well, Lead well!
- Video links to this week’s episode – easily share with the ministry leaders in your church
- Audio links to this week’s episode – easily share with the ministry leaders in your church
- Additional resource links from this week’s conversation – so you and your team can easily find what is mentioned or referenced
- Ministry Leaders Growth Guide – key insights and concepts from this week’s conversation as well as engaging questions for you and your team to consider and process
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Additional Resource Links
BLESS: 5 Everyday Ways to Love Your Neighbor and Change the World by Dave Ferguson – Dave refers to this book several times in our conversation, including how he practices BLESS in his own life. Learn more here >> https://www.bless-book.org/
Community Christian Church – The church Dave planted in Chicagoland and where Dave serves as Lead Pastor
NewThing – The church planting movement Dave helped found that focuses on creating reproducing, multiplying churches
Exponential – Dave is the co-founder of this movement and serves as the CEO. Exponential is a growing community of leaders committed to accelerating the multiplication of healthy, reproducing faith communities. We equip movement makers with actionable principles, ideas, and solutions. We are passionate about accelerating multiplication through movement makers!
Connect with Dave Ferguson – Twitter
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Complimentary 1-hour Coaching Session for Pastors http://PastorServe.org/freesession
Ministry Leaders Growth Guide
Key Insights and Concepts
- Maintaining an appreciation for the privilege one has to serve in ministry and a sense of gratitude about the opportunities that God provides helps pastors experience joy and sustain their ministry over time
- Regular self-assessment, especially around the areas of Relational health, Physical health, Mental health, and Spiritual health, is vital for all ministry leaders and contributes to a well-balanced life and ministry
- Perhaps the most important leadership you have is self-leadership
- In ministry, you are going to disappoint someone… try to make sure it’s not your kids
- As you are intentional about building great relationships with your spouse and your children, not only are you experiencing the blessings of those relationships, but you are modeling for your church and others what it looks like to be a good spouse and parent
- As leaders, we reproduce who we are
- As a leader you need to make space for your team and your people to grieve losses, realizing that, the majority of the time, you have already had time to process those losses
- Ministry leaders must be living out the practices that they are encouraging everyone else to embrace
- Pastors and ministry leaders must be modeling Jesus well on a very practical, day-to-day basis while also looking at the bigger picture and seizing opportunities to mentor movement-makers
Questions for Reflection
- How grateful am I that I have the privilege of serving as a minister? Do I express my gratitude and appreciation regularly?
- What is my personal practice of self-assessment? If I do not have a regular practice, what will I do to create one?
- What does “self-leadership” look like in my life?
- How am I doing when it comes to being a spouse and parent? If I am not married or do not have children, how am I doing with my strong, personal relationships?
- How am I modeling healthy relationships to others?
- If I am producing what I am as a leader, what am I producing? Am I being intentional in what I am modeling?
- Am I making space for our team and our church to grieve when we experience loss?
- How am I living out the practices that I am preaching and teaching about?
- Who are the future movement-makers in my midst? How can I invest in their lives? What does that look like?
What are some of the practices that we can embrace as ministry leaders that will help sustain our joy through both the highs and lows of ministry?
What are some of the practices that we can embrace as ministry leaders that will help sustain our joy through both the highs and lows of ministry? In this conversation, I’m joined by pastor, best-selling author, Kingdom collaborator, and movement-maker Dave Ferguson for a candid backstage discussion, highlighting some habits and some practices that we all can embrace to help us serve for the long haul and finish well. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Hello, friends, and welcome to a another episode of FrontStage BackStage. Every single week, we come and bring you a conversation that helps you embrace, as a pastor, as a ministry leader, this idea of healthy leadership, well-balanced, sustainable leadership, in both life and ministry. I’m your host, Jason Daye and we are blessed to be a part of the PastorServe network. And you can dig in more deeply to the conversation we’re diving in today by visiting PastorServe.org/network. There you’ll find key insights, you’ll find questions that you can go over for your own life, or even with your staff, your ministry leaders to dig in to this topic. Now super excited. If you’re joining us on YouTube, give us a like and drop your name, the name of your church in the comments below. We love to get to know our audience better. We’ll be praying for you and for your church. And whether you’re joining us on YouTube or on your favorite podcast platform, be sure to subscribe and follow so you do not miss out on great conversations like the one we have for you today. Very excited to be joined on the show today by Dave Ferguson. So Dave, welcome to the show.
What’s up, Jason? Good to be here.
Yeah, it’s good to have you. It’s funny, Dave, whenever I you know, I mention to someone I am sitting down with Dave today, Dave Ferguson, they’re like, Oh, yeah. Dave Ferguson, he helped found Exponential, right? Or Dave Ferguson, he pastors Community Christian, or Dave Ferguson, you know, he wrote BLESS, right? He’s the guy who wrote BLESS or, or wait, he’s the guy, from New Thing. There are so many things you’re involved in, Dave, so many ways you’re contributing to the kingdom. And I certainly appreciate you carving out the time just to hang out with some pastors and ministry leaders today and really share a bit of your heart. I reached out to you, because I’ve admired you from afar. And I’ve had the opportunity to, you know, be involved and engaged with Exponential over the years and just see how God has used you, and your heart and just an amazing team that you’ve built around you, which is just fascinating, to really impact the world for the cause of Jesus Christ. And as we kind of step back and think I thought, who would be a great pastor to bring in that could kind of talk to us a little bit about what does it mean really, to embrace the calling of a pastor for the long haul? And what are some things, you know, we don’t have to look far unfortunately, Dave to see, you know, scandal in the church or failure and fallings and it’s heartbreaking oftentimes, and it gets a lot of media. But as you well know, there are lots of pastors who are faithfully serving week in and week out, and we want to do that in a sustainable way. And so, brother there are great rewards when it comes to pastoring, there are incredible disappointments and challenges we know that. It can really be an emotional roller coaster, right? And that roller coaster isn’t just for us, you know, who are the pastors but also impacts our families and so I’d love to kind of start this conversation because so many of us you know, have such a heart for our spouse, our kids, as well as a heart for Christ and His Church and that can be a challenge, right, because of all the emotions and all the ups and all the downs. So over the years, Dave, how have you really sustained joy in ministry throughout the highs, throughout the lows, throughout the kind of emotional roller coaster of life and ministry
Well, first of all your kind to assume that I’ve sustained that because, I mean, let’s keep it real. I mean, yeah, I would say most days I really love it. I mean, and part of that is temperament because I mean, I mean, our gifting, kind of. I am like on Strength Finders, positivity is one of my top strengths and I’m almost a futurist, so I always think, hey, even if things aren’t good today, they’re gonna be better tomorrow. But, ya know, there’s definitely been struggles, but I’d say over, how do I maintain the joy? Um, I remember when I, when I first decided to plant a church, I was so jacked, so pumped, because like, this was gonna be my job. As a kid, like, I mean, nobody loves basketball more than me. And, you know, a 5′ 11″, you know, guy doesn’t go far in the NBA, so I never. And but the idea that you could, that someone would actually pay you to play a game that you love. And then when I decided to plant a church, and people decided they would support me, and then it got to the size where it’s self sustaining, and I, they’re gonna pay me to be the lead pastor. I mean, I really thought of it the same way. And so there is a part of me is going, where it’s not wasted on me. It’s like, this is this is what I get to do that people are paying me to do this. I mean, there’s. And so I think that that’s a part of it, that brings me joy and along the way, too, I mean, I’ve gotten involved in a lot of a lot of cool things so far. And I’d like to think that’s not been wasted on me that I mean, I genuinely feel I feel grateful that I’ve got to be a part of Community Christian Church. It’s, it’s, it’s been remarkable and continues to be a remarkable place. What New Thing is doing, like you mentioned, I mean, we’ve helped plant over 5000 churches globally. And it’s like, wow, I mean, and Exponential. I mean, it’s and you’re right, we got a great team, I get to be a part of that. So all those kinds of things I don’t, I think I genuinely feel grateful, too. And I think both those things kind of like, wow, I get paid to do this, and feeling grateful of the opportunities God’s given me. I think the combination of those two things kind of sustain you and yeah, and get you through some of the days of Yeah, you know what? This one kind of sucked. But overall, no, I’d say, I’d say most of the time. Yeah, I feel pretty joyful and delighted that I get that I get to do this.
Yeah, that’s good. And I think temperament does have a lot to do with it. You know, say to, to plant a church, you have to be, you know, a pretty positive person or a little crazy, or maybe a little both, right? Yes, definitely. So, so Dave, what would you say if, if you find yourself on one of those days that just, you know, just doesn’t come together? Or you’re in a situation where things are just kind of, you know, just rough and those challenges. Are there are certain things or practices that you have found have been helpful for you to kind of return to this, this remembrance of the grateful, you know, you’re talking about being grateful for this opportunity, which I think is amazing to think that God, the Creator of all things, invites us to participate in his mission, right? He could do it a million ways. But he invites us, which is incredible. So when things are like really, you know, crunch time, things did not go well? Are there certain things you turn to that help help you kind of buoy your spirits and where you are in that gratefulness?
I mean, at some level, there’s there’s some things that some some practices I’ve done for, man, probably 15 years now, that helped make sure I’m pointing the right direction. And I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about this, but one of the things I do in my journal, and you know what, hang on, I’m gonna grab my journal. Okay, perfect. Yeah. So, like, one of the things I do have, I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about it, I do this thing called RPMS.
No, I don’t think we’ve chatted.
Alright, so. So like, here you go, Oh, gosh, I don’t know what secret thing. Like, you can see how sloppy this but in my journal, I’ll write these four letters at the top of my journal, I do this almost every day. I mean, again, there’s some days I miss journaling. But for the most part, this is like a daily thing. And these are kind of some fundamental things that keep me pointed in the right direction. Because you’re right, you’re gonna have good days, and you’re gonna have bad days, you’re gonna have days where you’re crushing it, and days where like, it feels like the whole worlds caving in on you. And what I’ve, what I’ve seen, and what you even kind of alluded to is a lot of leaders, I think they just drift. And they don’t do it on purpose. You know what I mean, you don’t all of a sudden end up 50 pounds overweight, you just, it’s kind of like one pound at a time. Or you don’t all of a sudden go like, wow, my marriage is brutal, there’s no intimacy. It’s kind of like one day at a time over several years or, you know, suddenly, you know, end up with no money. You know, I mean, all those kinds, it usually happens one day at a time. So this is something that I’ll go back to everyday and I kind of makes me say okay, yeah, you’re you’re doing the basic things to keep you playing the right direction, which I think keeps me hopefully both healthier and holier, I don’t know, we’ll see what you think. So I put RPMS –relational, physical, mental, spiritual– I just write these, there we go, at the top of my journal. Cool. And then I actually give myself a score, which is a little neurotic, but that’s kind of the way I’m wired. And I’ll give myself, the scores have a score on a scale of like 1 to 10. And so like today on relational was 5.7, it’s like the same as yesterday, because I didn’t there wasn’t anything I did particularly good or bad than last week to kind of drift. Physical, same thing I, I actually was doing some, some better, some better eating, but then I also didn’t run so I just gave myself, stayed the same. Mentally, I felt like I was I was I was because there have been some things that have been anxious about and I felt like my focus was better, so I gave myself a little uptick there and spiritually, I journaled yesterday and did some basic things, that stayed about the same and so my scores like a 4.9 overall. Does that make sense? Yeah, yeah. It’s not so much the score. But I mean, this I’d kind of take this, you know, talks about Jesus grew in wisdom, statue, a favor and God and man, same thing, relational, physical, mental, spiritual, and, and actually doing this on a daily basis, and just reflecting, Okay, how are you doing relationally? You know, my marriage with Sue, my relationship with my kids? How are you doing physically? You know, are you exercising? Are you watching what you eat? How you doing mentally? I mean, are you are you feeling anxious? Are you feeling fatigue? Are you you know, what’s going on, you know, as far as your mental health? And then spiritually. And just by asking the question every day, It’s not foolproof, okay, because this doesn’t keep you out of sin. But what it does do is I think at least it helps you reflect every day going, like, okay, let’s tell the truth about how I’m doing. And this this has been, I think, to your question, this has been a huge help, help to me.
Yeah, that’s awesome. And I love the intentionality about it. Because, as you said, Dave, you know, we drift over time, right? And so this is that anchor point. And there’s the intention behind it, to help you kind of, you know, again, you know, stick some stakes in the ground, assess, reflect, see if things are up, things are down, and then, just that awareness, I’ve had so many conversations probably in the last two months, about, just as we in ministry, and just sometimes we lack self awareness, and we don’t even realize it right, until someone else points it out, or until, you know, something blows up. And I think that practice, Dave is is really, you know, just trying to be aware of where I am today. Where was I yesterday? Am I up? Am I down? And when we know when we’re aware, then we can course correct? Right?
Right. And I think a couple things. I mean, one is, I mean, I think perhaps the most important leadership we have is self leadership, right? And so this is kind of like telling the truth about myself. And what I love about this is literally like I did this morning at Starbucks before I started my day, whatever time and that that little exercise. I mean, it probably took me two or three minutes. So think about that: two or three minutes out of your day. And this is for all the all the pastors listening, if you’ll do something, do this or something like that, just right there in your journal, RPMS. Okay, how am I doing? Relationally with the most important, you know, my wife, my kids, my friends, how am I doing Physically my doing something to take care of my body? Because that is a part of my leadership and a part of my, a part of my call, and how am I doing Mentally? You know, especially I think over the last several years, a lot of us, it’s been harder and harder to be a pastor. And then of course, Spiritually what’s going on between me and God? And it’s, it has, it’s been a big a big help for me.
Yes, awesome. I love that. It’s a great tool. It’s a great tool. I imagine lots who are watching along are going to be jotting that down. And like you said, simple, doesn’t take a lot of time. But again, it goes back to that intentionality.
And Jason, too, listen in. I mean, you can, I’ll just give it, my email address is DaveFerguson@communitychristian.org. And if you shoot me an email, we have a few tools, even on our websites, and some other stuff that because we kind of trained some of our leaders at Community to use this. And I’d be glad to set them up with that.
That’s awesome. We’ll definitely include that in the show notes. We’ll have it available in the toolkit for this episode. So appreciate that. Awesome, brother. Now, this kind of segues into another piece I want to talk to you about and that is you kind of talked about the R, the relationship piece. And as pastors, our families are obviously impacted by our role, impacted by our ministry. So can you share with us Dave, how you as a husband, as a father, how have you over the years in ministry maybe sort of protected your family or encouraged your family or you know, because unfortunately, we see, you know, that relationship, familial relationships, unfortunately, under a lot of pressure and stress. So, so what have you done? What have you and Sue done and your family done to kind of protect that, or encourage that, and build into that.
Yeah. And, and again, I mean, let’s, I mean, I know because we do it when you do a podcast you do workshop, you talk about all the places where you got it right. So I know also, I mean, it’d be it would be nice if we had my kids on here because they can give a rebuttal, you know? But having, you know, understanding No, we have not always got everything right and the marriage isn’t perfect. I think one of the best pieces of advice as soon I got this was probably early on when we were when we first were starting Community, we had a mentor, tell us in leadership or in ministry, you’re going to disappoint someone. Try to make sure it’s not your kids. Hmm. And we took that to heart. That’s solid. Yeah, it was super helpful. And so you know what, so when we had to pick between, Hey, am I going to do a wedding for somebody? Or am I going to show up my kids game? You know, I was like, okay, you know, what, not disappoint my kids. And we can I think we, there’s places where we would do some things differently. But but that part, I look back, because my kids are now young adults. And I feel like we got that part, right. I mean, so like, I was able to like, when my daughter first started going to kindergarten, we started going out for like, every week, we would go out and have like a daddy daughter date. And at first we used to go to Dunkin Donuts. And then I think we went to Caribou Coffee. And then later when she was in high school, we started going to Starbucks because she had numbers and we got a discount, which was nice. And but I mean, like, we like we did the whole run. And I mean, I could get teary eyed talking about but I remember the like the last time we went out, you know, to Starbucks when she was a senior in high school after, you know, almost every week we would do that. And here’s the weird thing. The weird thing is we didn’t I don’t I don’t remember, like any single conversation that was this profound, you know, moment. But it we have a great relationship still. And I think that builds a quality by every week, you know, we were do that. We got to run the Chicago Marathon together a couple years ago. Last year, she ran the New York Marathon, we went out there and cheered for her. So like, we’re gonna run July 4th together, we’ll do a race together. So and with my boys, too, my boys we had I’d do the same kind of thing with them. But they were real involved in sports, so I’d coach their teams and I, I went to great lengths to rearrange my schedule to make sure I could be… Oftentimes I wouldn’t be like the manager, but I’d be like one of the assistant managers, all the administration stuff, but you get to hang out with the kids and stuff. And I mean, those are some of the best times. I would, so, and I said no to a lot of different things then, but I don’t have a single regret, in fact, on that one. I mean, we were just up, we had a family, our family vacation. We were all up in northern Wisconsin, we got a little place Dora County, I’ve never heard that. And it’s it’s pretty awesome. And, you know, and they, they still want to hang out with us. It’s, I mean, it’s like my favorite thing of the whole year. That’s awesome. Yeah. So I that piece of advice. You know, you’re gonna disappoint someone, just make sure it’s not your kids is, I think is is really and here’s the thing too. As a leader what I found it was funny, like I told you, I’d like I start aiming, I started going out like for like a daddy daughter date for breakfast for school, when I started noticing is that as a church grew, and I got to be a pretty good sized church, I would see other dads because I put it on Facebook, you know, here we are doughnuts or something like that, but I’d see other dads, they’re doing the same thing with their kids. And sometimes what we forget is, as leaders, we reproduce who we are. And so you’re not only, if you do that, you know, take annual vacations, invest in your kids with, you know, some kind of rhythm like that. You’re not only doing, you’re not only building a relationship with them, but you are also this great, I think, example to other dads will start doing the same kind of thing. And fundamentally, I mean, when it comes to leading the church and being a pastor, I mean, your family is the first expression of that church. So part of it too, I think, like, I probably accidentally get right because I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where I’m like, I’m gonna go have dinner with my mom and dad tonight. And they’ve been married. Gosh, I don’t know what 60-some years, you know, they love Jesus. I can remember, my dad was a pastor, I remember as a little dude going in his office. And he worked hard a lot. Okay, but I can I remember he had like a schedule that he had taped to one of his file cabinets. And on the on the schedule there had everything he would do throughout the day, you know, whether it was meetings and sermon prep, or like, it’s something that it’s at 4:30 it said, go home and play catch with the boys. Yeah. So I mean, there’s, and he was always at my, you know, he was a my games. So. So I guess I would say this to pastors listening, too, if you can get it, I mean, you’re not gonna get it 100% right. And even now, I mean, if you’re, if my daughter Amy was on here, she rolled her eyes a little bit. And she said, she’d give me a pat on the back. And she’s like, he did the best he could. Yeah. Which I did. Yeah. But like, like my dad, I think, because he did that kind of things. I there’s some of it. I just, oh, that’s how you’re that. Right. Right. And so take that into mind, too, if you do this with your kids. I mean, your kids might do that with your grandkids. Right? I mean, it’s so it’s, it’s a, it’s a really big deal.
Yeah, that’s good. I love a couple of things in there. Dave, one was just the consistency. Going back to that consistency, you know, you being present your kids lives, you making that a priority, you know, on a regular consistent basis, I think it’s huge. But then also, you talked both when it comes to other fathers, and men in your church, seeing that example, but then also, you know, kind of the legacy piece of it, you know, the example that your father set for you that you’re setting for your kids. It’s that ripple, that ripple effect. And sometimes this is what I love about this conversation is because so many times we think is the really big things, the really profound things that make the biggest impact. But just literally in this conversation, Dave, whether it’s you doing the the little consistent journaling and checking in, or you doing the small consistent things to be present around your kids, it’s so often those little consistent things that in reality, have the biggest impact. And anyone, in any setting, can lean into those things. It doesn’t matter if you’re in, you know, a big city with, you know, a million people or if you’re out in a rural community with 1000 people, you know, it doesn’t matter what context, everyone can do those those small, consistent things that honor God, that honor the people around us, and that have that ripple effect, right.
I mean, I mean, you probably, you know me well enough, think about how much I talked about movement making or multiplication. I mean, right. That’s what we’re talking about there. Yeah. You know, and it’s not through a church planning conference. No, it’s your family and your kids and the hopefully the next generation generation.
Yeah, I love that. I love it. Okay, real quick, I want to ask you, all of us have these these markers in our ministry journey, these times we look back on where we experienced, you know, deep growth as a pastor or a leader. And oftentimes, you know, we grow the most in times that are challenging for us. And so Dave, I was wondering if you could share with us, because I’ve appreciated your honesty, thus far. So could you share with us, you know, a time in your ministry that might have been especially challenging really sucked? Yeah, exactly. Something that was really rough, that you personally faced, and how did that impact your ministry moving forward? How did it shape maybe you know, who you are today and how you pastor today and how you live today?
Let me think… which… Here’s part of the problem with that question, too. Because Because I am a futurist and and, and, and positivity, like I barely remember stuff. Right. But it’s a good question. Um, oh, I mean, a couple things come to mind. I mean, one at a very practical level. I mean, probably for the first 15 years of the life for our church, I mean, as we this is just real practical. As we brought money in we spent it. I mean, there I mean, we it was like, you know, you got to keep that money moving and keep it you know, moving for the for the sake of the mission, that kind of stuff. And what is this “save” money? I mean, why would you do that, you know, there’s gonna help people find their way back to God, we had to plant churches. And then it was like, 2007 2008 came and all of a sudden, it was like, Oh my gosh, and we found ourselves like a half million dollars behind budget. And that was a big, big number. And part of it, I think growing up in a pastor’s home, my mom and dad, I was taught, you know, you tithe of course. But there really wasn’t any conversation about saving money. And I learned at home with my personal and that was kind of way Sue and I did it early on, too, we didn’t go into debt but we didn’t have any savings. We ran the church kind of that way. And I yeah, I mean, that came to an abrupt halt. And it was, there was a painful season there where we had to let some people go. And in a very real way, I learned, okay, hold it. You know, what, I’ve got to grow up. financially. This is this, that that was stupid. And I realized. I would say more recently, this, this is maybe a little more personal growth, that’s kind of more of a leadership kind of thing, right to learn, like, Okay, now, you know what, having a little bit in the bank, and you don’t want to go crazy, but add a little bit there. Okay, it buys you time to make decisions. It allows some, you know, for some rainy days, but I’d say more recently, coming out of, coming out of COVID, we were pretty fortunate as a church, as Community Christian. And we’ve got good momentum now. But we had to, we had to close one of our city locations. And we also had to let a few of our full-time people go as we kind of reorganized things, which was just a different way of doing church. That was hard. And here, here’s the thing that was this. So this isn’t that old. Part of my wiring is, again, like I’ve already hit this too many times, the future and positive. But it was really important, I think, for our staff team to be sad and like, lament. And so one of the people who’s on our, our leadership commission, like our elders, she’s done a lot of work and trauma, and she kind of coached me up she said, hey, you know what, this is a really hard thing that the whole staff team is going through. And you need, you got to spend some time really, with just implementing, just let them be sad and talk about it. Which, again, is I’m sure there’s a deficit in me, because that’s just like torture, almost. Right? Right. And part of the to honestly, and some of you some of the pastors will relate to this, some of you won’t, for me, when I made the decision, I was sad. Alright, and then there’s, then you actually have to announce the decision, execute the decision, and then everybody else finds about it, you know, how many weeks later. And so, by the time it actually happened, I’m already over my sad part of the dynamic, which is weird. We like to coach on it, we, we spent like a whole staff meeting, just talking about it, being sad about it, letting people process it, cry, and it was a really smart, it was a really smart thing to do. And so I think that’s one of those areas where I have to I’ve had to grow there, still, and just go like, you know, what, you need to make space for those kinds of emotions, too. And, and I have to be careful, because if, if I’m not, I mean, I’m gonna put a spin on it, like, oh, you know, this is everything’s awesome, you know. And most of the time had has been, but no, it’s not always. And this is what times it’s not awesome. And, and to be okay with that. So that’s something more recently for me.
Yeah, I love that. I appreciate that. As we’re wrapping up, kind of one more question I’d love you to kind of touch on for us, and that is: what are you really focusing on today, Dave, so you can continue to run the race well, and ultimately, finish well?
Well, I, I kind of gave you one of those tools that the RPM, I mean, that’s not that I don’t, I don’t see changing that except maybe continue to add to it and tweak that as it helps me. And that’s going to help me continue to lead well, hopefully, ultimately finish well, it’s one of those things. I think maybe there’s, there’s two focuses, one is on modeling and the other is on multiplication or movement-making. At one level, I’m over here, like I really want to model what it means to be a follower of Jesus. So when I wrote the BLESS book, right, and andhere’s five everyday practices, you know, love your neighbor and maybe change the world. If you would have looked on my journal, too, I’m an I also here. There we go. I mean, I got there’s eight names there –here it is right there– of people in my neighborhood that I’m praying for, that I wrote BLESS and those are people I’m praying for. So I don’t want to be like so over here on the movement-making/multiplication side of things that I’m not actually modeling what it means, the stuff that I’m telling everybody else to do. Does that makes sense? I want to be living the BLESS practices, I lead a small group on Tuesday nights of people that are just my friends, it’s not an elite group, these just these are, you know, people in our church. And one of the one of the, one of the couples one of their kids got baptized Sunday, and it was awesome, you know, so awesome. So I want to do that. But the one is make sense. But then on the other hand, I feel like God’s continuing to give me more influence, and so I am I’m looking for, okay, who are like, network leaders, and who are potential kind of movement or movement leaders, or we might call apostolic people of peace, that I can invest in to help them really scale what they’re doing. And there might be a whole bunch of stuff in between, I’m not doing. But I think I want to, I want to kind of live on both ends of it kind of grounded, and actually living as a Christ follower and doing the stuff that I’m telling everybody else to do. You know, like right now, like right now, is it like I wrote HeroMaker, right? And the whole thing is about at every level, you just have an apprentice. Okay, now keeping it real, right now, I don’t have an apprentice leader in my small group. And it’s making me crazy, which, again, if you look in my journal, I write the question Hero or HeroMaker, and I made myself circle the word Hero. Because it’s kind of like, Hey, if you don’t have an apprentice, dude, what are you doing. But I want to have one, okay, I’m gonna get it. So I want to be doing those things but on the other hand, I also want to be making the most of these opportunities, I have to influence young network leaders, not only in the United States now, but also around the world through New Thing, and also Exponential, which is just a blast.
Yeah, I love that. I love that. And that’s, I think, such a good healthy balance, because we can get caught up in kind of the minutiae and caught up in the small pieces, not that people relationships are small, but we can get caught up in that and just kind of put her head down and focus there. Or we can kind of dismiss that and get caught up in these bigger things, and then we’ve lost touch with, with, you know, life-on-life reality, right. And so now we’re up here and all this lofty stuff. But but, I mean, I love how you’re thinking through that. And I’m trying to incorporate that in your life that there’s touch points on each end. And you’re looking for God in both.
Well I’m talking to people, and let’s say, you know, you’re at Exponential and, and I think probably this next year, we’ll probably talk, I may get a chance to talk about the BLESS practices, I want to actually be doing it. I don’t want it to be a good idea for everybody else. And I mean, our hero maker, I don’t want to just like, send everybody else, I want to actually be doing this stuff. I think there’s a whole bunch of stuff in between that I don’t have to do. And that stuff, and then taking advantage these bigger opportunities God’s given me.
Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. Oh, brother, as as wrapping up, you’ve got the ears, and the eyes of pastors and ministry leaders right now. Any final thoughts that you’d you’d like to leave with them?
I think if there was one thing, I just remind them all of, it’d be you will reproduce who you are or you will reproduce what you do. And I mean, so be intentional about that. Be really intentional about that. Because that’s what’s that’s, that’s what’s gonna… So who, like that’s part of my motivation, one of the BLESS practices, that’s part of the reason I want to have an apprentice leader, is because I know, either explicitly or implicitly, because that’s the way culture works, I’m going to reproduce that throughout Community and throughout New Thing. And so I would just encourage pastors, remember that you’re going to reproduce who you are. So love your wife, love your kids. You know, make disciples do all that kind of stuff. And guess what? They’ll start doing it too.
Yeah. I love that. Love it, brother. Dave, thank you so much for taking time to hang out with us today for sharing your heart. And we certainly appreciate you giving us a little little, you know, peek behind the scenes and the backstage of your life encourages us as we’re out there serving as well. So thank you.
All right. God bless you, brother. Now, before you go, I want to remind you of an incredible free resource that our team puts together every single week to help you and your team dig more deeply and maximize the conversation that we just had. This is the weekly toolkit that we provide. And we understand that it’s one thing to listen or watch an episode, but it’s something entirely different to actually take what you’ve heard, what you’ve watched, what you’ve seen, and apply it to your life and to your ministry. You see, FrontStage BackStage is more than just a podcast or YouTube show about ministry leadership, we are a complete resource to help train you and your entire ministry team as you seek to grow and develop in life in ministry. Every single week, we provide a weekly toolkit which has all types of tools in it to help you do just that. Now you can find this at PastorServe.org/network. That’s PastorServe.org/network. And there you will find all of our shows, all of our episodes and all of our weekly toolkits. Now inside the toolkit are several tools including video links and audio links for you to share with your team. There are resource links to different resources and tools that were mentioned in the conversation, and several other tools, but the greatest thing is the ministry leaders growth guide. Our team pulls key insights and concepts from every conversation with our amazing guests. And then we also create engaging questions for you and your team to consider and process, providing space for you to reflect on how that episode’s topic relates to your unique context, at your local church, in your ministry and in your life. Now you can use these questions in your regular staff meetings to guide your conversation as you invest in the growth of your ministry leaders. You can find the weekly toolkit at PastorServe.org/network We encourage you to check out that free resource. Until next time, I’m Jason Daye encouraging you to love well, live well, and lead well. God bless.
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