Facing Regret & Hurt in Ministry : Scott Sauls

Facing Regret & Hurt in Ministry - Scott Sauls - 45 - FrontStage BackStage with Jason Daye

As pastors and ministry leaders, how do we address in a healthy way, our own feelings of regret, pain, shame, even our feelings of being a hypocrite, because we know where we fall short, while others are placing us on a pedestal? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Scott Sauls, pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Scott has written six books, including his latest, Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen. Together, Scott and Jason look at our tendency to emphasize the positive while minimizing the pain and suffering in our own lives and ministry, even though it’s in those places where God does His most transformative work. Scott also shares some of his personal struggles with anxiety and depression as a pastor, and what God has taught him through those experiences.

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

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Audio Links

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Additional Resource Links

Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen – Scott’s latest book, where he shares from his own battles with anxiety and depression, how he knows personally what it’s like to be unfinished and on the mend under Jesus’ merciful, mighty healing hand.

Scott’s Blog – Articles, insights, and encouragement for following Christ and serving the Kingdom

Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN – Where Scott serves as the Senior Pastor

Connect with PastorServe – LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook 

Feeling overwhelmed, burned out, or just want to talk?  Complimentary Coaching Session for Pastors http://PastorServe.org/freesession

Ministry Leaders Growth Guide

Key Insights and Concepts

  • God meets us in the low places and provides hope
  • Hope cannot be sustained on the basis of temporary and circumstantial things. Hope happens as we embrace the promises and character of God.
  • We must not gloss over the pain and the difficulty and only share the highlights of our lives and ministry. It is in the challenges where God does some of his most transformative work.
  • Anchoring ourselves in God’s Word, especially by praying through the Psalms and the variety of emotions and experiences we find there, helps us appreciate the full experience, both the highs and the lows, of our journey with God
  • Engaging and looking head-on into the distress that has been imposed on us and the distress that has been caused by us as we have sinned against God and others helps us receive the mercy that God has for us. This is a challenge for prideful people and we all have pride in us.
  • We live in a bit of a paradox as we witness the beauty and majesty of Christ and his Kingdom in the midst of a broken world
  • Ministry has some unique stresses and strains that can lead to loneliness and isolation
  • “The job that we’ve been called to do is one that assumes we’re going to be under attack at all times, because the enemy of our soul is also the enemy of what we’re trying to do, as we participate in the work of Jesus on the front lines of ministry” – Scott Sauls
  • Pastors can experience anxiety and depression as a result of some of the challenges that ministering presents. God can meet us in these struggles and see us through the challenges.
  • Going through seasons of suffering, facing anxiety and depression, can make you more humble and gentle, more compassionate and empathetic toward people who are suffering all kinds of things
  • Healthy practices for soul care include engaging in community. One type of community is the voices we find in books. Another type of community is life-on-life with other pastors and trusted friends.
  • A valuable relationship is with a professional therapist or coach who can provide some guidance and perspective. For pastors, it is very helpful to have a professional safe space where you can show up and the arrangement is understood by everybody that you are actually the weakest person in the room and are there to be ministered to, rather than doing the ministering.
  • Isolating ourselves is the worst thing we can do when we are struggling, but it is also the thing we are most tempted to do. We often feel shame because we know we do not have it all together and we want to hide. This is why community is so vital.
  • As ministry leaders we can often feel like hypocrites because we are aware of our own shortcomings. We must remember that we are all hypocrites, we have all fallen short, we call need Jesus.
  • Admitting our weaknesses and our need is part of the pathway to becoming better human beings in Christ
  • Every pastor and ministry leader is expendable. God does not need them, but God chooses to use them for a time. At some point, that time will expire, and somebody else is going to take the mantle. Understanding and accepting this truth is healthy and freeing for everyone in ministry.
  • Getting anxious over our church or ministry takes a lot of emotional energy. Jesus is reminding us that he is the one who triumphs over everything, so we do not have to. We can rest in him as we faithfully serve the Kingdom.
  • 21st-century cancel culture doesn’t allow pastors to fail, but God does. And God is ready and willing to redeem our failures. Scripture is full of redemption stories.

Questions for Reflection

  • What am I basing my hope on right now? Am I focusing on the circumstances more than I am focusing on Christ?
  • How am I allowing the pain and challenges I have experienced to impact the way I minister?
  • What practices am I engaging in on a regular basis that are keeping me anchored in Christ?
  • What regrets do I have from my ministry experiences? What wounds have I received? How am I processing through these?
  • Where have I seen the healing work of Christ in my life and ministry? What are some of my personal redemption stories?
  • What are some of the stresses and strains I am experiencing in ministry right now?
  • Am I prone to isolation? Am I feeling lonely? Am I avoiding true community? Am I hiding anything?
  • Describe examples of community in my life. What? Who? When?
  • Where are the safe spaces and relationships in my life that allow me to be ministered to? If I do not have any, what steps will I take to create them? (One place to start is with a complimentary coaching session from PastorServe http://PastorServe.org/freesession)
  • Do I feel like a hypocrite? How am I processing these feelings? What do they say about me? About God?
  • How do I feel about the statement that I am expendable? What does that mean for me? Is it freeing? Is it frustrating?
  • Do I find myself getting anxious over ministry? If so, why do I think I am feeling this way? What can i do with these feelings?

Full-Text Transcript

As a pastor, and as a church, how do you get the most out of a sabbatical?

Jason Daye
As pastors and ministry leaders, how do we address in a healthy way, our own feelings of regret, pain, shame, even our feelings of being a hypocrite, because we know where we fall short, while others are placing us on a pedestal? In this episode, I’m joined by Scott Sauls, pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Scott has written six books, including his latest, Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen. Together, Scott and I look at our tendency to emphasize the positive while minimizing the pain and suffering in our own lives and ministry, even though it’s in those places where God does His most transformative work. Scott also shares some of his personal struggles with anxiety and depression as a pastor, and what God has taught him through that. Are you ready? Let’s go.

Jason Daye
Hello, friends, and welcome to another exciting episode of FrontStage BackStage. I’m your host, Jason Daye, and it is a privilege and a pleasure to join you every single week and to sit down with a trusted ministry leader, and really dive into a topic, have a conversation, in an effort to help you and pastors and ministry leaders just like you embrace a healthy, sustainable rhythm in both life and ministry. And our team at PastorServe, we do more than just produce this show. We also create a whole toolkit around this, so that you and your ministry team at your local church can dive more deeply into what we’ve discussed. You can find that at PastorServe.org/network. There you’ll find links to video and audio, some additional resources, but also our Ministry Leaders Growth Guide, which includes insights, and then key questions for you to reflect upon, so that you can grow, so you can dig more deeply into this topic. And so lots of churches, lots of pastors, use this growth guide with with their church staff every single week, they invite them to watch the video or listen to the audio, and then they go through the questions. So be sure to avail yourself of that resource. Again, that’s at PastorServe.org/network. Now our coaches at PastorServe, we’d love to bless you as a pastor or ministry leader with a complimentary coaching session. So if you’d like to sit down and have a conversation with one of our coaches, and maybe get some progress, or maybe some new perspective on some challenges that you might be facing in ministry or life, we encourage you to check out PastorServe.org/freesession and avail yourself of this opportunity for a free coaching session. Now, if you’re joining us on YouTube, give us a thumbs up and take a moment, just drop in the comments below your name, the name of your church. We love to get to know our audience better. And whether you’re following us on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform, please be sure to subscribe and follow us so you do not miss out on any of these great conversations. And I’m very excited about the conversation that we’re having today. And I’d like to welcome Scott Sauls to FrontStage BackStage. Scott, welcome.

Scott Sauls
Hey, thanks, Jason.

Jason Daye
Yeah, so good to have you with us. I so appreciate, Scott, really the honest manner in which you share your life as one who is not only following Jesus, but also serving his Church as a pastor. And in your latest book, Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen, Scott, you really are open, you’re vulnerable. You invite us, the reader, to kind of peek into the backstage of your life. You reveal some of your heartache, some of your regrets, some of your fears, even how you’ve personally wrestled with depression, with anxiety, some and I just, first and foremost as we start this conversation, I just want to thank you for being so authentic. And I know that the word authentic gets overused these days. But really, just your honesty and how open you’ve been, I just appreciate it. It’s very refreshing.

Scott Sauls
Thank you, Jason. I appreciate that.

Jason Daye
Yeah, brother. As pastors and ministry leaders, we sometimes tend to focus on kind of the highlight reels, right? And personally, I believe we do that, for the most part, not because we’re attempting to cover anything up necessarily, but because we really want to magnify the goodness, right? We want to point to the glory. We like the idea of hope, and often equate hope to good positive things. And so we tend to put out, you know, all the highlights. Scott, I would love to hear your perspective and your thoughts, really, on how our tendency to elevate only maybe the good stuff might actually hinder us from sharing the breadth of the greatness of God.

Scott Sauls
Yeah, I mean, speaking of the word hope, the one scripture that comes to mind right now, in terms of how to get to a place of hope, starts with suffering. In Romans chapter five, where Paul says, We rejoice in our sufferings, because suffering produces perseverance, which produces character, which produces hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God is poured out in our hearts in Christ Jesus. And I mean, it’s, it’s all over the Bible, the way to become exalted is to humble yourself, the way to get healed is to get on the ground at the hem of Jesus’ garment, the way to get healed is to confess your sins, one to another, and also to the Lord. You know, over and over and over again, in the Bible, it is the low place where where God meets us, and provides hope. The kind of hope that you’re describing, Jason, that a lot of us, I think, attach our, our hearts to, is a hope that’s based on circumstances. And the hope that, that the Bible points us to is a hope that’s based on the character of God, a hope that’s based on, you know, the confidence that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus, and the hope that ultimately Jesus is going to return and make everything new, including us. And so, you know, the, the trick for a Christian is to divorce ourselves from this idea that hope could ever be sustained on the basis of temporary things, and circumstantial things and then transition to, you know, the belief that hope happens when we are resting in the promises and the character of God, period, full stop. You know, the apostle Paul talks about his joy in Philippians. And it’s interesting that he writes from from a prison where he was incarcerated for unjust reasons on the basis of false testimony about him and about his character. And and, you know, from there, we get the letter of joy. And one of the things he says in there is, I’ve learned the secret of contentment, whether living in plenty or unwell, which is interesting, because, you know, he’s saying that contentment doesn’t just happen, you know, something we need to seek when we’re living in want, it’s also something that’s not guaranteed when we’re living in plenty, and the book of Ecclesiastes proves that. And so again, but we got to anchor ourselves in promises, and that’s harder to do in the more affluent parts of the world where, where, you know, we’re just not accustomed to suffering, like, as, as a day to day thing, like, people are in other parts of the world. And so it’s a, it’s a challenging adjustment to make, especially when we’re so used to purchasing most of what we want.

Jason Daye
Right, right, Scott. So let’s look at that from the perspective of a pastor or ministry leader, right? Because, again, you know, here in the Western world, here in the US, we are in a period, in a time, we have affluence around us, we don’t have a ton of needs. And so the challenge can be, as a pastor, as a ministry leader, that we again, we’re wanting to kind of, kind of present the best of everything, right? So sometimes we hesitate when it comes to talking about the pain, talking about the suffering, even our own personal pain and suffering, you know, and being open and sharing that with others. So talk to us, Scott, a little bit, as a pastor, how do you, you know, what discipline do you use in your life to help you stay grounded and kind of practice this idea of not glossing over the pain, not glossing over the struggle?

Scott Sauls
Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, part of that is just staying in the Scriptures. And especially for me, Jason, praying every day through the Psalms, through one or two Psalms. The Psalms are incredibly real, about, you know, the pain of the human experience. It’s all in there. Betrayal, disappointment, sadness, guilt, shame, fear. It’s all in there, gladness. It’s all in there and you know, there’s a certain, I think, responsibility and privilege that every Christian has to not only form our minds with what’s true, but also, you know, seeking God to form our emotional lives and, and to form just how we process life internally, by being formed with the prayers that He’s given us. If he wants us to pray, like the Psalms pray, which we have to assume that he does, because he put all 150 of them in there, you know, we get a window into what, what health looks like, you know, in terms of the life that we live before the face of God and in the world. And what I see in the Psalms is this, you know, humble, receptive, sometimes really gutsy disposition toward God and toward the way that things don’t tend to work in the world, the way that we wish they would. You know, there’s this bold honesty and deep pessimism about how broken and hard things are, including us. And right along with it, there’s this, this incredible hope that God somehow breaks through all of the mess and the wreckage, and makes good on his promises, and will ultimately make everything new. And so, you know, there’s just there’s so many songs like, How long Oh, Lord, will you forget me forever, is how the Psalm 13 starts and then it ends with, yet I will trust in your unfailing love. And so, you know, I think engaging and looking head-on into the distress that has been imposed on us and the distress that has been caused by us as we’ve sinned against other people and against God. If we look head on into it, instead of denying it like the scribes and Pharisees did, if we’re more like a tax collector, you know, God have mercy on me the sinner, that sets us up to receive the mercy that God has for us, but it’s hard to get there for prideful people, and we’ve all got that pride in us.

Jason Daye
Yeah, I would agree, Scott. And oftentimes, when we’re in a position of, you know, kind of spiritual leadership, we are a pastor or ministry leader, sometimes we’re, you know, we’re hesitant to really opening up and really kind of being honest, you know, honest with ourselves, first and foremost, honest with God, let alone honest with our people, our congregations, the people God’s entrusted to us. And one of the things as you were talking, I was thinking through the idea of, you know, redemption, and the greatness of God is seen in the fact that God is a redeemer God, you know, God redeems. But you don’t see redemption if you don’t first see the brokenness, right. Resurrection would not be the resurrection if it weren’t for the cross. And so as pastors and ministry leaders, how do we not gravitate to one extreme or the other? So not overly positive, you know, like, everything is fine, everything’s wonderful and kind of ignore the, you know, issues, the problems, the pains of the world, but neither move to the extreme where everything is, you know, horrible, everything is awful, everything is depraved. So how do we kind of live in the tension of those two things in an honest way that helps our own souls as we are seeking to honor God, but also helps our people see the beauty of God?

Scott Sauls
Yeah, I mean, it it’s a tension that God calls us into, you know. Theologians call it the already and the not yet, right. You know, things are not yet what what they’re meant to be. We’re kind of caught right now, in the in the place of God’s story where we’re in between the Garden of Eden and the new heaven and the new earth, we come from a perfect place, and we’re headed to an even more perfect place, and our hearts are fixed in that home. That’s where our hearts are home. You know, the Bible calls us aliens and strangers. We don’t feel at home in our skin. In a world where where work is cursed, where relationships are cursed, where our our worship is cursed, like everything is under a curse right now. There’s this gray cloud over every part of life. And it feels unnatural to us not because there’s something wrong with us but because there’s something right with us. We get frustrated and angry and upset and sad because there’s something right with us. But But, but that world is coming and I’m, You know, this goes to the already part, that world has already infiltrated the world in which we live in the coming of Jesus, in the sending of the Holy Spirit, in the formation of the local church, and in the mission of the local church, into, you know, cities and communities and the world, right, God is already at work. You know, you know, like that wonderful hymn at Christmas time says, making his blessings flow as far as the curse is found. And so every time you know, we see a beautiful work of art, or our, you know, have our breath taken away by the Grand Canyon or an ocean or, you know, the beauty of a tree or the increased intricacies of a leaf or whatever, the birth of a baby, that’s an invitation to wonder, and that’s an invitation to savor, the goodness of God, even in a broken fallen world. Right. You know, even Jesus for the joy that was set before Him, He endured. And so it’s a paradox that we’re called to live inside of for now.

Jason Daye
Yeah, that’s good Scott. Now, as a pastor, as I said, in Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen, you are very open and honest and reveal, like, man, you’ve wrestled with your own things. You’ve had fears, you’ve had worries, you’ve had anxieties. Scott, can you help us, speaking to other pastors, other ministry leaders, kind of talk to us a little bit about how fear, worry, and anxiety kind of personally impacted you as a pastor? And what have you been learning from God in these areas of life?

Scott Sauls
Yeah, I mean, it’s part of my story I’ve had I’ve had seasons of anxiety and depression, and it’s usually been related somehow to the stresses and strains of ministry and the loneliness and isolation that that I think only pastors really understand fully, you know, that come along with being a pastor. You know, I mean, the latest Barna statistics are proof positive, I think now, they’re, they’re saying over 50% of pastors are, are actively, you know, looking at, are open to getting out of the ministry and doing something else. You know, that’s a crisis. I don’t think that statistic exists for accountants, or for construction workers or for educators like, like they do for pastors. And that’s not you know, that’s not a self pity statement, that’s just a reality statement that the job that we’ve been called to do is one that assumes we’re going to be under attack at all times, because the enemy of our soul is also the enemy of what we’re trying to do, as we participate in the work of Jesus on the front lines of ministry, and so, you know, for me, that’s manifest in things like anxiety and depression from time, from time to time, but it’s been, you know, it’s been out of those depths that, that the Lord has done his best, you know, formational work on my heart and on, on how I show up, you know, it tends to, going through seasons like that tend to make you more humble and gentle, tend to make you more compassionate and empathetic toward people who are suffering all kinds of things. You know, whether it’s, you know, people suffering anxiety and depression or something else, like, I’ve never had cancer, but I’m able, I think, to show up better for people who are suffering from cancer, because I’ve suffered anxiety and depression. And you know, I think anybody who’s suffered, can can point to those things in their own lives as well.

Jason Daye
Yeah, Scott., so as a pastor, kind of processing through these things, and working through, you know, our fears, I think all of us as ministry leaders, we’d say, hey, there have been times where we’ve, you know, had fears, there have been times when we have regrets, things didn’t work out the way we had hoped. What are some ways that you have found to be helpful, really kind of working and processing through those that have been healthy for your soul as a Christ follower?

Scott Sauls
In terms of practices?

Jason Daye
Yeah, practices and just how you’ve kind of processed through that, you know, in community with others, or, you know, what has God kind of shown you through those times?

Scott Sauls
I mean, you know, there are all kinds of companions that we can draw on in books. You know, Charles Haddon Spurgeon dealt with anxiety and depression. There’s plenty out there on his story. You know, Viktor Frankl talks about, you know, surviving the Holocaust in Man’s Search for Meaning, and just how he found meaning and purpose in those, you know, tragic devastating places. All kinds of books written by wonderful, you know, people with the gift of counseling and therapy and so on. But for me, it’s that combined with having regular counseling myself with with a really skilled therapist who understands my story. I’m, I’m a childhood trauma and abuse survivor, and so I need a certain kind of person, specialist, to work with, you know, with those sorts of things. For other people that might be some other form of stress or distress. But I highly recommend, you know, a professional safe space where you don’t have to be the pro. That’s the challenge for pastors is, wherever we show up, you know, you can’t blame people, but they, they look at us, you know, they expect us to be the most grown up person in the room, and the most together person in the room, even when we’re kind of falling apart and, and on the inside. And so we need a place where we can show up and the arrangement is understood by everybody that we are actually the weakest person in the room and, and need tending and ministering ministering to. And unfortunately, a lot of that time, a lot of the time, you have to pay for that kind of care and friendship, but But it’s, you know, it’s, it’s worth it. It’s a valuable thing. And I you know, and I do think it’s important to have other friends, you know, that you can confide in even just two or three, you know, friends, ideally of your same gender, and maybe fellow pastors, if you’re a pastor ,who walk in the same kinds of shoes that you do. There’s got to be solidarity and community. The worst thing we can do when we’re in a funk is isolate, and that’s also the thing we’re most tempted to do, because of the shame that goes along with, you know, not having our act together, and how we want to go into hiding. And but you know, just, I think forcing ourselves into community. And, you know, for me, also just having a really good marriage, where, you know, my wife and I can talk openly about these things. And we, we’ve both had these struggles, and so we know how to show up for each other. And thankfully, we’ve never had these struggles at the same time. And so, you know, we’ve been able to be there for each other so far in 29 years of marriage.

Jason Daye
Yeah, that’s awesome, Scott. And that’s very helpful, the whole idea of community, and what like you said, whether it’s community that you get through books, but just really the life-on-life community, because we’ve seen isolation, as you said, isolation can be so dangerous, and oftentimes, that’s what we want to do, we want to kind of pull back. So you kind of just mentioned there, this idea of shame. And so I kind of want to dive into this, you know, it’s not the most exciting subject, but it’s a real subject, and that’s the idea of hypocrites, right. And as pastors and ministry leaders, we spend so much time studying and teaching and sharing about the life of Jesus, and we’re on our own journey toward Christ’s likeness, oftentimes, it seems that we can sort of magnify our own feelings of being a hypocrite because we recognize kind of the gap there, that we don’t measure up, and we’re on this journey, right? And yet, we have this responsibility, we have the weight of being a spiritual shepherd to our congregations. And so we’ve got this kind of tension, there’s this, you know, shame, maybe this heaviness. And sometimes we’re like, you know, who am I to preach this message to to our church today? Or if someone really knew some of the doubts that I was wrestling with, or someone heard the way I snapped at my kids yesterday, you know, what would they really think of me? So Scott, can you help us think through because I loved what you shared in your book about some of these hypocritical thoughts?

Scott Sauls
Yeah, I mean, to be a Christian is to be a hypocrite, like the very first, the very first thing you have to do to enter the kingdom of God is to admit that you live inconsistently with what you believe. I am a sinner in the sight of God. Full stop. And because of that, I need everything that Jesus came to bring. And you know, I need the life that he lived on my behalf that I could never live on my own. I need the death that He died on my behalf so that I can experience forgiveness and newness of life. I need his initiative to adopt me as His beloved son and to promise me you know, life with him now and forever and you don’t get there without admitting your hypocrisy, I mean, being a hypocrite, you know, that’s an old word that they used to use for stage actors, right? Back in the day that Jesus used the word, you know that the word hypocrite was the stage actor. You know, and a stage actor back then put on a mask and, and for a couple of hours, for a short season of time, forgot who they really were, and pretended they were someone else. And that’s what we do. When we when we walk outside of God’s will we temporarily forget who we are, and put on a mask and, and pretend to be someone else. And you know, the scribes and Pharisees were were excoriated for that by Jesus, but it’s in all of us. And so, you know, again, it goes back to confession, it goes back to admitting that we are not fully what we are meant to be yet. And, you know, being able to own that, and, you know, come out, you know, openly with with the admission of our weakness and our need is actually part of the pathway to becoming better human beings.

Jason Daye
Yeah, I love that super helpful. Scott, as as we’re kind of winding down here, you have the eyes and ears of brothers and sisters who are serving, colleagues, fellow colleagues who are serving the Church in ministry, watching or listening along. Scott, what words of encouragement would you like to leave with those who are watching?

Scott Sauls
I think for me, Jason, maybe this is part, this is because I’m in my mid 50s. Now, and it might be depressing to your listeners who are in their 20s and just, and 30s, and just getting started. The thought of myself being expendable, is an incredibly comforting thought. That God does not need me, and he chooses to use me for a time, but at some point, I’m going to expire, and somebody else is going to take the mantle. And, and that’s all okay. You know, Anne Lamott has this, you know, famous quote, where she’s, you know, she’s asked her, it’s really just an answer to a question, she’s asked the question, what do you think the world’s gonna be like 100 years from now? And her answer was: all new people. And that just, I don’t know, that that has a real grounding effect for me. You know, the Bible, in the book of Acts, it talks about how David, King David, you know, fulfilled his purpose, you know, in his day, and then he died. Next subject. There’s something freeing about that, you know, we can we can panic about, you know, whether or not our church is going to completely come back from, you know, the pandemic bruise that we all experienced, we can panic about, you know, people in our churches that are, you know, resisting us and, you know, gossiping about us or, you know, undermining what we’re trying to do. We can, we can, we can bemoan the fact that our, you know, our church compared to that church over there is, you know, not measuring up. Like, we can do all that, it just, it takes a lot of emotional energy to do that stuff. When all the while Jesus just sits here and says, Look, I’m the Eternal One, so you don’t have to be, you know. I’m the I’m the one who triumphs over over everything all the time, so you don’t have to be. And, you know, I’m still fighting for, for that, you know, for myself, well into, you know, decades of being a Christian and being a pastor. And so I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is necessary to see yourself as unnecessary… when we can understand ourselves as being unnecessary, then it becomes, ministry becomes more like a playground, as opposed to a chore because the pressure’s off. And so that’s what I would say is, you know, the pressure’s off because the Gospel is true. Your future is bright, your best days are always ahead of you and never behind you. And nothing can ever change that.

Jason Daye
Yeah, I love that. Saul… Saul? I love that Scott. Yeah, appreciate that. Those words, good stuff. And, you know, it’s the idea that there’s something to be said about just that faithfulness, right? There’s freedom, like you said, it’s like a playground. There’s freedom in just being faithful and not trying to be more than God’s calling you to be. And oftentimes, that’s what we put on ourselves, right? We put on ourselves, Scott, like, more than than what God has put on us. And, and so we absolutely love that. Absolutely. There’s also

Scott Sauls
There’s also freedom in failing, you know. 21st-century cancel culture doesn’t allow pastors to fail, but the Bible does. I mean I wonder how long, you know, King David would have lasted in the current climate. Yeah. I wonder if there would have been any possibility of redemption of His ministry. And, you know, yet, here we are, we’ve got, we’ve got half of the Psalms written by him and Jesus referring to himself as the son of David, you know, reigning on David’s throne forever. So I don’t know. Just camp out on that, I guess.

Jason Daye
Yeah, no, that’s good. There’s something to be said about redemption. And that’s something that we need to cling to and look to. Beautiful stuff, Scott? Well, brother, as we’re running out, if people want to connect with you, what’s the best way that they can connect with you.

Scott Sauls
So I just switched my blog over to substack. So they can find me and my stuff there, substack. ScottSauls.substack.com and Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, which can be easily found with a Google search.

Jason Daye
Awesome, brother, and we’ll be sure to have that information, as well as a link to your book, Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen in the in the toolkit for this episode, and you can find that at PastorServe.org/network. Well, Scott, man it has been an absolute pleasure to have you with us. Thanks for making the time to hang out with us today. And certainly appreciate your heart for Christ, your heart for His Church, your heart for the kingdom, brother.

Scott Sauls
Thank you, Jason.

Jason Daye
All right. God bless you.

Scott Sauls
You too.

Jason Daye
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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