God’s Grace in Our Ministry Struggles : Max Lucado

God’s Grace in Our Ministry Struggles - Max Lucado - 74 - FrontStage BackStage with Jason Daye

What do we do when we struggle in ministry, when we face disappointments when we don’t always get it right as we lead? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Max Lucado, a passionate pastor, incredible ministry leader, and best-selling author. With more than 145 million books in print around the world, Max’s latest book is entitled God Never Gives Up On You. In this conversation, Max reflects on the life of Jacob in Scripture, and shares from his personal experiences how we can navigate some of those challenges that we face in ministry, and how we can accept God’s love, grace, and mercy in the midst of those struggles. Now, for those of you watching the video on YouTube, you will notice that near the end of our conversation Max does encounter some technical difficulties and his camera freezes. However, we were able to capture all of the audio and encourage you to listen through to the very end because Max offers some of the most heartfelt encouragement and guidance for pastors and ministry leaders.

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!

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Additional Resource Links

www.maxlucado.com – Discover the wealth of valuable resources waiting for you on Max’s website today. From his books, podcasts, and videos to a variety of indispensable tools, all designed to enrich your personal life and offer guidance on your journey in ministry.

God Never Gives Up on You: What Jacob’s Story Teaches Us About Grace, Mercy, and God’s Relentless Love – Ever wonder if you’ve had one too many stumbles for God to use someone like you? If you could benefit from a tale of God’s unending, unbending, unswerving love and devotion, let bestselling author and pastor Max Lucado show you how God’s grace will transform your life.

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Ministry Leaders Growth Guide

Key Insights and Concepts

  • Encountering disappointment with God sometimes results from trying to negotiate with Him rather than submitting to Him.
  • Evaluating a minister’s faithfulness should always be based on obedience, not outcomes or fruit. Sometimes God blesses faithfulness with a large harvest and sometimes He blesses with a small harvest.
  • Placing trust in God’s righteousness and provision, allows His faithfulness to shine through our obedience.
  • Revisiting the promises of God demonstrates faith as one relies on His goodness amid life’s challenges.
  • One’s ministry may be shaped by tough times, but it does not have to be defined by tough times. Challenges can be used to move forward because God is a God of second chances.
  • The narrative of Jacob wrestling with God reflects both the human instinct to try and negotiate with God as well as God’s power at work in every situation.
  • Transactional theology oversimplifies God, attempting to bargain with the God who created the entire universe. Authentic faith honors God’s omnipotence and holiness, surrendering to His divine plans and purposes.
  • Engaging with culture requires caution because every culture has the potential to become toxic and harmful to Christians.
  • God’s touch serves as a humbling reminder of our dependence, especially when we begin believing we are in control.
  • God keeps His covenants to His people and will use both good and hard circumstances to fulfill His promises.
  • Obedience leads to blessing, even though it may not look the way we expect it to.
  • Pastors and ministry leaders should seek God for blessings in their ministry with a heart of humility, recognizing that God will ultimately do with their ministry that which fulfills His purposes.

Questions for Reflection

  • How have I found myself trying to negotiate with God instead of fully submitting to His will? What might this tell me about my trust in His plan? What changes, if any, do I need to make in this area of my life and ministry?
  • Can I think of instances where I’ve evaluated my faithfulness based on outcomes rather than obedience? How does a focus on outcomes make me feel? How might focusing on obedience change my perspective?
  • Reflecting on times when I’ve placed trust in God’s goodness and provision, how has His faithfulness been evident through my obedience? What did I experience?
  • When facing life’s challenges, how often do I revisit God’s promises to sustain me? How can I better strengthen my reliance on Him during such times?
  • How can I view tough times as opportunities for growth and redirection in alignment with God’s future purposes, rather than allowing them to negatively define my ministry?
  • In what areas of my life do I instinctively try to negotiate with God? Why do I think I do this? What can I learn from the narrative of Jacob wrestling with God to help me surrender more fully to His control?
  • How would I explain transactional theology? Reflecting on my understanding of God, how might I have inadvertently oversimplified Him through transactional theology? How can I cultivate a deeper and more authentic faith with a full view of God’s character and magnitude?
  • What are some cultural influences that I engage with regularly? How can I approach cultural engagement with caution while maintaining my Christian values?
  • Can I recall moments when I felt a sense of control only to be humbled by God’s touch? What occurred? How can these experiences shape my perspective on dependence and humility?
  • How have both good and challenging circumstances in my life revealed God’s commitment to His covenants and promises? Describe a difficult time that God redeemed in an unexpected way. How can I remain steadfast in my trust in God?
  • In our local church, what are some challenging seasons we have experienced where God showed up in powerful ways? What have we learned from those times?
  • In what ways have I seen unexpected blessings resulting from my obedience, even if they didn’t match my initial expectations? How can I continue to embrace this truth?
  • As a pastor or ministry leader, how can I balance seeking God’s blessings for my ministry while humbly yielding to His purposes and plans?

Full-Text Transcript

What do we do when we struggle in ministry, when we face disappointments when we don’t always get it right as we lead?

Jason Daye 
In this episode, I’m joined by Max Lucado, a passionate pastor, incredible ministry leader, and best-selling author. With more than 145 million books in print around the world, Max’s latest book is entitled God Never Gives Up On You. In this conversation, Max reflects on the life of Jacob in Scripture, and shares from his personal experiences how we can navigate some of those challenges that we face in ministry, and how we can accept God’s love, grace, and mercy in the midst of those struggles. Now, for those of you watching the video on YouTube, you will notice that near the end of our conversation Max does encounter some technical difficulties and his camera freezes. However, we were able to capture all of the audio and encourage you to listen through to the very end because Max offers some of the most heartfelt encouragement and guidance for pastors and ministry leaders. Are you ready? Let’s go.

Jason Daye 
Hello, friends, and welcome to another amazing episode of FrontStage BackStage. I’m very, very excited about our conversation today. We sit down each and every week with a trusted ministry leader and tackle a topic all in an effort to help you and pastors and ministry leaders just like you embrace a healthy sustainable rhythm for both life and ministry. We’re proud to be a part of the Pastor Serve Network. And along with every single episode, our team creates a toolkit that you can use, you can use personally, you can also use it with your church staff, or the ministry leaders at your local church to really dive more deeply into the conversation. You can find that toolkit at PastorServe.org/network. There you will find additional resources, including a Ministry Leader’s Growth Guide, again, to really just help you dig in more deeply. Now at Pastor Serve, we love coming alongside of pastors and ministry leaders. And we are offering a complimentary coaching session. And if you’d like to learn more about that, we encourage you to check out PastorServe.org/freesession. Now, if you’re joining us on YouTube please give us a thumbs up and take a moment to drop your name and the name of your church in the comments below. We love to get to know our audience better, our team will be praying for you and for your ministry. And whether you’re following us on YouTube, or your favorite podcast platform, whatever that might be, please be sure to subscribe or to follow so you do not miss out on these great conversations. And as I said, today, we have a wonderful conversation. At this time, I’d like to welcome Max Lucado to FrontStage BackStage. Max, welcome to the show!

Max Lucado 
Thank you, my friend. It’s great to hear your voice, great to see your face!

Jason Daye 
Yeah, brother, it’s good to have you back on the show. Always appreciate our conversations. Now, Max, you’ve spent a lot of time recently immersed in the life of Jacob for your new book God Never Gives Up On You. And we all know that Jacob’s story is fascinating, very interesting. And God used Jacob in some amazing ways. But Jacob didn’t always get it right. We see this time and again, in his story and in his life. He was a bit of a character, which obviously gives us all a little bit of hope, Max. Yet, as pastors and ministry leaders, we often feel that we need to be super saints, right? We often are in this mode where we feel like we need to put on that cape and to be perfect. We can’t make mistakes, no wrong decisions, we have to always get it right as we lead. And, Max, I think cognitively, we all know that we’re not perfect. But somehow, we often feel like we have to operate as if we are. And so Max, I would love to hear from you, brother, about what God has taught you over the years in ministry about a pastor’s struggle with being a super saint.

Max Lucado 
Well, first of all, thank you for letting me be on the program. And then second, as you characterize Jacob’s life as one who struggled, you’re being generous to him. And then thirdly, the idea that we’re super saints is a lie that comes from the devil and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. And the more quickly we can disavow ourselves and unburden ourselves of that expectation, the happier we’ll be and I truly think the more fruitful our ministry will be. One of the most extraordinary things about all the stories in the Bible is the candor, the honesty, with which they’re told. Had you put me in charge of writing the Bible, I don’t think I would have ever told you that Peter betrayed Jesus. I wouldn’t have told you that before Paul was Paul the church-builder, he was Saul the church persecutor. I probably wouldn’t have told you about the time that Abraham lied in Egypt to save his neck. I probably wouldn’t have told you about how Moses had to be convinced by God that He was the person for the story. I don’t know what I would have done with Jonah running away from God. There are some stories in which the character seems to be sterling silver. Daniel comes to mind. I think Joseph comes to mind. But then there are other characters like the one we’re talking about today, Jacob, in which you make a list of the things he did right and you make a list of the things he did wrong. And that second list far outweighs the first list. And yet God still presents himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Jacob, Jacob. And Jacob still, his name is changed to Israel. So every time we say the name Israel, we are nodding, casting a reference to this extraordinary character in the Bible, Jacob. I think his story is truly a passage, a story for pastors, for leaders, because we are reminded that in the end, we have this treasure in earthen vessels because the power belongs not to us, but to God. And that’s the story of Jacob. He was broken. He was a broken man. And yet God used him, the greatly broken, to achieve his purposes. His story is entertaining, perplexing, and bewildering, but inspiring. And I think that’s a story for our day.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, no, no, I definitely agree. And as we look at the life of Jacob, and as we reflect on our own lives, Max, we’ve all experienced times in our lives, in our ministries, where things really do not turn out the way that we think they should, right? I mean, that’s just part of it. And in those seasons, we may look up to God and say, Hey, listen, I did my part. Where were you? You know, where were you? Why didn’t you show up? And we can almost get in this mindset, I think, where we want to pull God down onto a level playing field with us and try to work it out, right? Try to broker a deal, try to negotiate. And we see this in Jacob’s life. And you write about this in the book, Max, as he attempts to really bargain with God. So, Max, I’m curious, what can we discern from this? How can we grow in our understanding of God during these times in our ministries where we will find some disappointment and will be tempted to want to negotiate with God or pull Him onto our level?

Max Lucado 
Well, the context for what you’re describing, is the story of Jacob in the wilderness, a fugitive from his own family because he cheated Esau, his brother, out of the birthright, and he swindled his father. And Esau was so mad at him, he pulled out the dagger, he was going to kill his brother. And so Rebecca, the mother, tells Jacob to hightail it, to hide out in the land of Laban. The uncle, Laban, would be a great part of this story as well. Already with just those few introductory sentences, Jason, we say, this is no typical hero of Scripture, right? A guy who cheats, who lies, who’s running for his life. But there he is in the desert, near a village in the village is called Luz, L-U-Z. We’re not told why he doesn’t go into the village. But he does sleep that night on the barren floor. Remember, Abraham was wealthy, Isaac was wealthy. He came from a family of abundance, and yet he doesn’t even have a pillow for his head. He has to put his head on a rock. And that’s the night that he has the vision of God, angels descending and ascending on a ladder from heaven. A beautiful picture of God meeting him in that terrible heartbreaking time. God met him there to encourage him. But then. There’s always a but then story in the life of Jacob. But then he prays. Now, he starts out as a person of faith, initially, but eventually, he falls back into the old Jacob. Initially, he creates an altar, he anointed with oil, he consecrates the place,  and he worships. But then he prays, and he says, God, if you will, then I will. It’s a negotiated prayer. If you will take care of me, if you’ll watch over me, if you’ll make it certain I get back home eventually, someday to Bethel, then I will call you my God. And I will give you a 10th of everything that I own, which by the way, he doesn’t own anything. It’s a negotiated prayer. Transactional theology might be the word for it. This is a potential pitfall for all of us. I remember, and I mentioned this in the book, my second assignment in ministry was in Brazil. And my father had been diagnosed with ALS. I offered to my dad that I won’t go but my dad really wanted me to go. So I went. I got called back several times on emergency trips because he nearly died and eventually he did. On one of those trips I had just left the emergency room and we drove out to the West Texas oilfield, where my dad made his living and raised his family. And in the middle of the night, a dark night, I was marching back and forth on the desert floor of my own life. And I was telling God, God, I did this, I did this. I went to Brazil, I gave up my time with my family. I’m raising my kids in South America. Don’t you think you could heal my father? I did this, don’t you think you could do that? Of course, the sky was silent. The prayer was unanswered. Because God doesn’t have to answer that prayer. He doesn’t have to answer to that prayer. Now, theologically, and in our training, as pastors, we know that God is never going to be reduced to our level. But even as pastors, we can forget that. We can say, Okay, I’m going to step out in faith. And I’m going to build this church building, and I’m going to expect you to give me the money to do it. Well, either that’s faith or could be presumption, you know? Or God, I’m going to start a church in the inner city, and I’m going to be so sacrificial, and I know you’ll bless it. I know you will. Well, maybe he will. Or maybe that blessing will come in a way that we’re not privy to, you know? Maybe it’ll be a small blessing, a small harvest, instead of a great one. So we’ve got to be careful. We’ve got to guard ourselves against disappointment with God that comes out of our attempted efforts at negotiating with God. We’ve all talked to people who said, I asked God to give me this and he didn’t do it so there must not be a good God in heaven. And they’ve made their relationship or their perception of God contingent upon a certain answered prayer. That’s called transactional theology. That’s quid pro quo. That’s tit for tat. That’s when we’re bringing God down to our size. And we dare not do that, that borders on heresy. We must let God be God. Yes, we make our requests. Yes, we ask God to heal our father. Yes, we ask God to bless our church. But yes, yes, yes, we trust God, to respond in the right way. And we humbly submit ourselves to that and never think for a moment that we can reduce him to our size and negotiate with him like Jacob.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, Max, I think in ministry, as you share, I think we’ve all had these experiences where we think, Well, why wouldn’t God bless this? You know, we have good intentions, we’re trying to make an impact for the Kingdom. I mean, it’s kind of that, like, why wouldn’t it all just come together? Max, how have you navigated those internal discussions? And what have you found helpful to keep you coming back to the goodness of God, in that he’s kind of beyond us, so our perception isn’t his perception? But that’s not always easy in the moment, right?

Max Lucado 
Yeah. Man, that’s such a relevant question to those of us in ministry, isn’t it? You know, I have only been a part of three churches in my ministry, one in Miami, Florida, one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and one in San Antonio, Texas. And I have, through these years since 1979, had years of great harvest, and then years of perplexing barrenness. Which, quite honestly, I’m thinking now, when I did this before three or four years ago, there seemed to be a wonderful response. However you measure that. And now I’m doing it and it seems like the church has no pulse rate. Do you hear what I’m saying? I mean, I can give example after example. I can recall the very first time that we, as a church, purchased property and built a building and the result was astounding. We almost paid for it in a year. It was just, Okay, this is great. We got God’s favor. Then a few years later, it was time to add on. I think we needed some educational space. I thought, Okay, this is gonna happen again. People just gave me these glassy-eyed stares, like, why are we doing this? And I couldn’t get people enthused about it. So I’m not answering your question as much as I am commiserating with it.

Jason Daye 
Sometimes that’s what we need. Yeah, that’s helpful, too.

Max Lucado 
But you know, okay, here is my counsel. Just do your best to measure faithfulness in obedience, and not the abundance of fruit. Just do your best. That’s not easy. Right? You know, I’ve written some books. And I would think, Okay, this can be a bestseller. This can be a great book and it’s just flatlined. And then I wrote a book on anxiety, by God’s providence, right before COVID. And they can hardly keep it on the shelves, right? I don’t take any credit for that, none of it. That was all God’s providence. And so we just don’t know. We just don’t know what the future holds. All we can do is do our best to measure our own faithfulness in obedience. And sometimes you’re in season, sometimes you’re not. Sometimes the church explodes. Sometimes the church goes through a flat time. And it could be the church needed that flat time to kind of regroup and catch up. And so far be it for me to have a simple answer for that. But that would be my takeaway.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, no, I appreciate that. I think it’s very helpful. And it is honestly good to remind ourselves that we’re not in it alone. Like, as individual pastors or ministry, this isn’t a unique experience to any one of us as individuals, right? We all face these things. And I think even knowing that it’s just a reminder that we’re not navigating this whole thing alone, you know? It’s not isolated, although we do sometimes isolate ourselves, which isn’t healthy. This isn’t an isolated experience. And I think it’s important for us to remember that.

Max Lucado 
Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s certainly important. And if we ever forget that, then we’re gonna be in trouble.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, definitely. Now, Max, I want to dive a little bit into the deep end with Jacob and head to Shechem. And I was thinking about this, as I was reading through the book, I was thinking back in the heyday of kids’ Sunday school, I don’t think they had a flannel board, laying out the story of Shechem, right, as one of the highlights? This, as you say, doesn’t make for a fuzzy feel-good sermon. One of the things that I find interesting is you describe Shechem as a toxic culture, right,? And that Jacob and his family were impacted by that toxic culture. And there’s lots of discussion about a toxic culture today, they’re present today. Sometimes, it even takes a while for us to recognize that we’re in a toxic culture. Max, as pastors and ministry leaders, what can we glean from this period of Jacob’s life?

Max Lucado 
Well, as much as I hate to, I’ll tell the context of the story. Because it is not a happy story is it? And it could very well be that ministers are trying to recall, or church leaders are trying to recall, what was that story about Shechem? Because it’s not one that’s often preached about. I have never heard a sermon on Shechem. I’ve preached a couple or one. I’ve just preached one, actually. Anyway, here it is. It’s toward the end of Jacob’s life. We’ve followed him all the way from betraying his brother to moving in with Laban to having now two wives, two handmaidens, and a dozen kids who are always squabbling with one another. He’s passed through the river Jabbok. He’s wrestled with God. He’s been reunited with Esau and God has told him to go back to Bethel, where it all started. Yet about 20 Miles shy of Bethel is this settlement called Shechem. Apparently, it was a dwelling of some 1000, maybe 1500 people, obviously the Shechemites. And Jacob, instead of going on to Bethel, kind of fell in good with the Shechemites and he began dealing with them in business. And at one point, the son of the mayor, or the king, or the prince of Shechem, whose son’s name was Shechem, so the story gets a little confusing. But Shechem rapes Jacob’s only daughter. Jacob did nothing about it. He didn’t retaliate. But boy, the brothers of Dinah did retaliate. And it was a bloodbath. They slaughtered all the men, they took everything captive. It was a dark, dark time. In that passage, or in that story, God is never mentioned. He will be mentioned again in the next story when Jacob is back. Not that God was absent, but that God was not consulted. What I think happened is that Jacob had bought into this toxic culture, this culture of rewarding might over meekness. Rewarding power, over servanthood. This toxic culture of dealing with issues by brute force and anger, instead of dealing with them by faith, you know what I mean, right? It was a tough thing that Jacob did, he had engaged the culture in a way that he had become like the culture. So how is that relevant to our day today? Well, every subculture has the potential to become toxic. A family, a church, a college, or a business, has the potential of becoming this place where the marginalized are pushed out and the strong run the day. In those times, we have to be those people who pursue God. We have to be those people who do not forget that our God is a God of grace and mercy. And we have to be those people who do not link arms, who do not partner, with the society that awards bravado and forgets they’re broken. In those times, we need to do what Jacob eventually did. He pulled up stakes and went to Bethel. He got out of Shechem, which he had to do, he was right to do so. And so let’s be careful. Let’s just be careful in our lives, that we don’t get sucked into these rules of society that are based on muscle, and not based on mercy. That can happen. It can happen in a church, it can happen in society, and our country can even get to that way. And in those times, we have to be careful and get out of there. Go to Bethel. Go back to the place of promise and trust God to provide what you need.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, that’s good. And I think it’s interesting that Jacob when he returns to Bethel, literally kind of buries the Shechem experience, right? And you point out that sometimes in our lives, we need to, when we move through those experiences, we need to be willing to bury them in a healthy way, right?

Max Lucado 
Yeah, moving on, is a part of life. Moving on, you know, putting those bad seasons, those terrible chapters in life in the rearview mirror and moving on. You know, as a pastor, I think back over my 35 years at this church, and I guess 40-plus years in ministry. There have been some seasons in which our church staff struggled and we would not have a healthy culture in our staff. We might be one tick south of toxic. You’ve got to lean into God during those seasons. And when you move on, when you get out of that, don’t beat yourself up. Don’t beat yourself up. The Apostle said One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and pressing forward to what lies ahead. There’s so much truth in that. We have to do that. We cannot allow those tough times to define our ministry. Odds are I’m talking to some pastor who may have been released from a church because of bad decisions. Maybe moved on from a church because of the way the church treated his family. Maybe you were a bit cocky, and you deserved to be urged out the door. Hey, okay, you did it. It’s in the past. Ask God for forgiveness, learn from the mistakes, but move on. You’re too valuable to allow yourself to be anchored in your past. The reason the past is in the past is because it’s not in your future. God has a new future for you. And what you’re always telling people is what you need to tell yourself. Our God is the God is second chances. And Jacob moved on. His story ended not in Shechem, but in Bethel. Really, his story ended in Egypt with Joseph, but he made it to Bethel. And he celebrated God and God blessed him there and in Bethel, God restated the vow, the promise he had given to Jacob early in his life. So move on, and let God restate over You His promise, you are no longer who you were, you are a new creation. And anyone who is in Christ is a new creature.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, I love that. That’s so encouraging. And I kind of want to stay in this kind of mode of encouragement if we could, Max, for a little bit. And want to give you some time to speak to pastors, ministry leaders, brothers, and sisters who are on the frontlines in the trenches, and share a little encouragement, if you will, specifically around these elements that we see so prevalent in God’s interaction with Jacob. The grace, the mercy, and that relentless love. Could you just provide some encouragement to pastors and ministry leaders today who are serving?

Max Lucado 
Yeah, well, thank you for that opportunity. Maybe the moment that we, ministry leaders and pastors can relate to most is that mysterious event in which Jacob wrestled with the stranger, as he’s called, in the mud of Jabbok. Seems clear to me he was wrestling with God because later on, he said, I have met God, I’ve wrestled with God. And every time I read that story, Jason, I walk away with a different idea about it. It’s that mysterious. But it’s on the eve of the encounter he’s about to have with Esau, he hadn’t seen Esau since he cheated Esau. He has no idea if he’s going to come with a sword or come with forgiveness. And so he’s already sent his family across the river and he spent the night on the river, you can almost hear the wind howling, you can hear the river rushing and from out of nowhere comes this person, and wrestles with Jacob all night long, back and forth, up and down, their bodies slippery with sweat and mud, one’s on top then the other’s on top. And eventually, Jacob says I’m not gonna let you go until you bless me. And you get the impression that Jacob thinks he’s wrestled with God and he has brought God to submission. But then God reaches out and touches him on the hip, and boom, just like that, Jacob is brought to his knees. So there’s this image thing, that God allows us to wrestle with him until we dare think that we’re in control. And then with just a touch, we are brought to our knees. But just before Jacob can get despondent, God changes His name from Jacob to Israel to affirm him. So that’s a picture of those moments in which we’re wrestling with God. We’re asking God, can you do this? Or God, won’t you do this? And we’re saying, God, why don’t you do that? That’s okay. Those wrestlings with God are invited by God. But let’s be careful, and never allow ourselves to get to the point where we think we can tell God what to do. And I think that’s where the frustration in ministry comes. These unmet expectations that we expected if we do this, God has to do that. But our God doesn’t operate by recipe. He operates by divine providence. He’s made covenants, he’s going to keep those covenants and he will use us and he doesn’t have to use us. And we don’t have the ability or the audacity to expect him to do what we want when we want it. And so be careful. Or you may find yourself walking with a limp. But even if you find yourself walking with a limp, you’re going to be blessed with a new name. Jacob was now Israel. Oh, and we can wrestle with that name for a long time. I love the interpretation that says Israel means God fights. God fights. He’s the God who fights. Jacob fought with God, but also God fought for Jacob. So for the rest of his life, Jacob could introduce himself as Israel. And the listener would hear God fights, as if to say, God fought for me. And, my friend, God has fought for you, too. He has fought for you, too. Your ministry is valuable, but not essential. You are important. But God doesn’t have to have you. You’re not indispensable. So keep yourself in that posture of humility. Make your requests, present your needs, and ask God to bless the ministry, but trust that He will bless your obedience always. Will he bless it in exactly the way you want? Maybe. He may exceed your expectations, then again, he may honor you with the service to a few. And that’s okay. That’s okay. Just let your faithfulness be measured in obedience and trust God to do what is right.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, brother, I love that. What an encouraging word. What a rich word from you, my friend. Max, the book God Never Gives Up On You is an absolutely incredible peek into the life of Jacob. We’ve just touched on a few little pieces here in this conversation. I really want to encourage those of you who are watching or listening in to pick the book up. It’s an encouragement for us, I think, as ministry leaders, there’s a lot that speaks to us. It’ll be an incredible encouragement for those that God has entrusted to you, for your people. Great opportunity, a very accessible book. It really brings a story that, as you mentioned, Max, we skip over a lot of the pieces of Jacob’s story. Typically, we don’t preach a lot of all of it, because it’s got some very intriguing, interesting segments there. And so you really helped bring those to life and really help us walk with God deeply and experience that grace that God pours out upon Jacob. So thank you for that, brother. I certainly appreciate it.

Max Lucado 
Well, thank you. It’s a tremendous honor to talk to you.

Jason Daye 
Yes, thank you. God bless you, my friend.

Max Lucado 
God bless you.

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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