How the Holy Spirit Empowers Your Life and Ministry : Max Lucado
Jason Daye | Church Leaders, Culture, FrontStage BackStage, Leadership, Mental Health, Pastors, Podcast, Soul Care
What are some practical ways that the Holy Spirit engages our lives and empowers our ministries, and how can we experience more of that blessing? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by dedicated pastor, best-selling author, and devoted Christ-follower, Max Lucado, as they explore the amazing power, strength, purpose, and blessing of the Holy Spirit.
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 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
Help Is Here by Max Lucado – Max’s latest book focuses on the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This book reminds us that God doesn’t just feed us; he leads us. He does more than correct us; he directs us. God keeps us on track–and best of all, he’s commissioned the Holy Spirit to guide us down the winding roads of life, wherever they may lead us.
Max Lucado – Max’s main site where you can subscribe to his daily devotionals, learn more about his life, ministry, books, resources, and more.
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Complimentary 1-hour Coaching Session for Pastors http://PastorServe.org/freesession
Ministry Leaders Growth Guide
Key Insights and Concepts
- We must never forget the life-changing power of God’s grace
- The Holy Spirit is our paraclete, or comforter, the one who comes alongside to counsel us, to help us, to strengthen us
- Many pastors and ministry leaders are working out of our own strength, as opposed to working out of God’s strength
- It is incredibly difficult to try to lead out of our own strength
- Although it can be challenging to learn how to truly depend upon the Holy Spirit, it is a better challenge to tackle than the difficulty of trying to pastor a church out of your own strength
- To experience the fullness of all God has for our lives and our ministries, we must learn to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, little-by-little, day-by-day, increasingly
- Growing our dependence and reliance upon the Holy Spirit is similar in some ways as growing into a deep relationship with a spouse or close friend
- We must be intentional in developing and deepening our relationship with the Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit is present and available to us, we just need to learn to walk in community and harmony with Him
- If we focus on making our primary job walking in step with the Holy Spirit, everything else will begin to fall in place as we learn to respond to life as the Spirit guides and empowers
- Growing in our walk with the Holy Spirit is incredibly healthy for our souls as it reminds us to avoid self-salvation, (trying to do more, be more, accomplish more,) rather than enjoy our relationship with God
- Striving in our own efforts is extremely exhausting and unhealthy for our souls
- As we learn to trust and depend upon the Holy Spirit more, we can become less anxious, less worried, less stressed
- The fact that you are leaning on the Holy Spirit is no excuse not to work. It’s just the assurance that your work will be blessed as you trust Him.
- When you are studying to preach, the work of the Holy Spirit guiding and directing you in your time of preparation is every bit as real and powerful as when the Spirit directs you to move in a different direction when you stand before your people to preach
- The Holy Spirit is at work leading up to the moment as much as he is at work in the moment
- To walk in harmony with the Spirit we need to examine our hearts to be sure we are not doing anything that is quenching the Spirit, like walking in disobedience, neglecting our time with God, or harboring secret sin
- The more we walk in step with the Spirit the more sensitive we are to what He is doing in us and around us
- As pastors and ministry leaders, when we feel overwhelmed, exhausted, burned out, or discouraged, think back to the beginning of your journey with Jesus, how He saved you and welcomed you and rescued you. Remember who He is and how He is for you.
Questions for Reflection
- When was the last time I stopped and just focused on the amazing grace of God and His love and forgiveness for me? Make time to do that now.
- How do I view the role of the Holy Spirit?
- Am I feeling burned out? If so, what might be the cause?
- Am I striving to do ministry in my own strength, or am I relying on the strength of the Spirit? How do I know? What does this look like in my ministry?
- How intentional am I being when it comes to walking in step with the Spirit? How can I depend more upon the power of the Holy Spirit? What will I change to make this a greater part of my life?
- What do I really think about this statement: “If we focus on making our primary job walking in step with the Holy Spirit, everything else will begin to fall in place as we learn to respond to life as the Spirit guides and empowers”?
- How is growing in relationship with the Spirit similar to growing in relationship to my spouse or close friend? What does that say to me?
- How reliant am I on the Holy Spirit when it comes to ministry?
- Am I asking the Holy Spirit to guide and direct the preparation and study I put in, or am I just hoping the Holy Spirit will show up as I need him? Is there anything I need to address when it comes to my work, study, preparation, etc?
- Take a moment to examine your heart. Is there anything that may be quenching the work of the Holy Spirit in my life?
- Take a moment to examine your ministry. Is there anything that may be quenching the work of the Holy Spirit in my church or ministry?
- How sensitive am I to the work of the Holy Spirit in my life? In my ministry? In the lives of those around me?
- What will I do to draw closer to the Holy Spirit in the next week?
What are some practical ways that the Holy Spirit engages our lives and empowers our ministries, and how can we experience more of that blessing?
In this episode, I am joined by dedicated pastor, best-selling author, and devoted Christ-follower, Max Lucado, as we explore the power, the strength, the purpose, and the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Hello, friends, and welcome to another exciting episode of FrontStage BackStage. I am your host Jason Daye, and every single week we bring a conversation with a trusted ministry leader to you to help encourage and equip pastors, just like you, as you seek to embrace healthy leadership, well-balanced, sustainable leadership in both life and ministry. We’re proud to be a part of the PastorServe network. And each week, our team actually creates free resources for you and your ministry leaders to dig more deeply into the topic that we discuss. And you can find those resources at PastorServe.org/network. So be sure to avail yourself of the free weekly toolkit and dig in more deeply. Now, if you’re joining us on YouTube, we’d love for you to give us a like, and it’s good to see you! Take a moment in the comments below to leave your name and the name of your church. We love to get to know our audience better, we’ll be praying for you and your ministry. And whether you’re joining us on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform, be sure to subscribe or to follow so you do not miss out on any of these encouraging conversations. And speaking of encouraging conversations, I’m very excited to introduce you to someone whom you all likely know. And that is Max Lucado. So Max, welcome to the show, brother.
Wow, what a treat. It’s an honor. It’s an honor. What a good introduction. I think you’re very comfortable in this assignment.
Oh, thank you, brother. Yes, I enjoy it. It’s exciting for me, because every time I have a conversation with with someone like you, it’s just personally encouraging for me, you know, in my own personal life, but then just the idea that there are so many other pastors and ministry leaders who have been equipped and encouraged we’re super excited to be able to bring these resources to them and excited, Max, that you took time out of your schedule, to hang out with us and just to share your heart. So once again, welcome to the show.
Well, thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I’ve been a pastor since 1979. That’s a long time. Actually, I in 1979, I was a part of a pastoral training program. And so I was ordained to be a part of that. And then I moved to Miami, Florida. And then I moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where we did mission work for five years from 83 to 88. And then in 1989, I moved to San Antonio, and I’ve been here ever since.
Yeah, that’s awesome, man. We are so excited to be speaking with you, Max, because, you know, you’re a pastor speaking to pastors and ministry leaders. And so you know, firsthand, these challenges that we face week after week. In fact, you’ve shared very candidly, very openly and you and I have, we’ve talked about this, we’ve had conversations in the past, about your own, you know, wrestling with anxiety, and the idea that being a pastor can in fact be stressful. And so, Max, to begin our chat today, I’d love for you just to share a bit about kind of the personal challenges or pressures that you’ve experienced from being a pastor. Because I imagine that many who are watching right now or are listening today, they might think, Hey, this is Max Lucado. You know, we all know Max. He’s written tons of books translated to over 50 different languages, sold millions of copies, has had millions of podcast downloads, millions of video views. You know, maybe Max can’t relate to me, because Max has got it all figured out already. So if you would, could you give us a peek at the human pastor Max Lucado and some of the things that you you wrestle with?
Well I appreciate very much that opportunity to do so. I love pastors I do. And I get it. It’s a it’s a it’s got to be a calling on your life, because it’s gonna be a challenge. If it’s not, and even if it is. And in your question, it also allows me the opportunity to to explain this, a new book I’ve written on the Holy Spirit, because the whole reason that I believe that the the understanding of the Holy Spirit is essential is because he is the one to give us the strength to bless we pastors. He is our anointing, and a supernatural strength is required in these very secularized day we are swimming upstream in a downstream world. And it’s hard to do. So here’s my short answer to your question. Okay. As a as an 18 year old, I was a six pack a night kid, I was, I was a drunk, I was on my way to just utter devastation. At the age of 20, at the invitation of a friend, I began attending a church in college. And that church was pastored by a man who really got grace. And he couldn’t talk enough about the forgiveness of God. And so I found myself voluntarily going back to church, because I didn’t think God could forgive a jerk like me. But when I finally, you know, came to the understanding that he would, and he does, that was life changing for me, Jason. And really, Grace became a life message for me. I changed my career path, I ended up going to seminary and then going into ministry, like I said, and then spending time in Brazil, and then moving into 1980, a really first weekend of 1989, to pastor a church where I’ve been all these years in San Antonio. Now, it’s not that nobody tried to explain the power of the Holy Spirit to me, Jason, it’s not that I didn’t own a Bible. I don’t know what it was. I was well versed in the great gift of grace on the cross, but ask me to explain the power of the Holy Spirit to give me strength. I would have just given you a befuddled look, and probably created some kind of religious answer because I knew I supposed to have one. But but when I was about a two years into my ministry, again, by now we’re about 1990. I was determined to do a great job and head up every committee and return every call, counsel every person and preach great sermons every weekend, nobody was more motivated than I. At the same time, my wife was passing through a season of depression. We had three small kids at home. I was saying yes to any speaking invitation that came because I thought I was supposed to. And little by little, I began to just harden, just harden. I found myself unresponsive. My compassion level began to disappear. My sympathy began to evaporate. And then I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep, now who can’t sleep? A goldfish can sleep, but Lucado couldn’t sleep. So at the age of 35, I was a classic case of pastoral burnout. You know, I couldn’t sleep, my wife was struggling. We had three small kids, one of whom was still in diapers. The church was growing, or at least healthy. But the demands were far too many, or I did not know how to put up boundaries. I did a very poor job. Consequently, there were so many Sundays, Jason, that I stood before the church, having had no sleep the night before. I was just a mess. Now, the miracle to me was how God responded to those middle of the night insomniac prayers. I would pad down the stairs in my underwear, my pajamas, kneel at the couch and just say, Lord, I’ve got to have help. I’ve got to have help. And I’m certain those prayers were incoherent. They were mumbles. They were groans of the Spirit. But little by little, not overnight, Jason, but little by little, I began to rest better. I began to be able to encourage my wife more. I seemed to gain some insights from people telling me you don’t have to do everything. Pick what you do, do the best, do the most what you do the best. Those kinds of nuggets of wisdom came my way. And actually, some supernatural things occur. We had some healings in our church. It seemed to me that there were more time since I could count, I prayed for people who have issues with getting pregnant and they would get pregnant. Maybe I have a pregnancy anointing. I don’t, you know, but all of these work together under one heading, Jason, and that is supernatural. Supernatural. And the Lord was leading me to a deeper relation and dependence upon supernatural help. And now, my last point in this little sermonette, I remember one week I was preparing a sermon, based on John 14, in which Jesus described the Holy Spirit as our, we all know the word, paraclete, or comforter, the one who comes alongside to counsel, to help us, to strengthen us. And, and Jason, it was one of those moments and when I said, Oh, now I know his name. Now I know who it is, it’s been helping me. That was to me, two years into my ministry, it could have gone so differently, it could have gone just the opposite. I could have I could have just given up. But the Lord sent His Holy Spirit to help me. And I have come to see that many of us are working out of our own strength, as opposed to working out of His strength. And it’s it’s difficult, it’s difficult to try to lead out of your own strength. And I understand it’s even difficult to understand how to depend upon the Holy Spirit. But I would much rather have that difficulty than the difficulty of trying to pastor a church out of my own strength.
Yeah, that’s great, Max, and I love you sharing your personal experience and just giving us that sneak peek, because I think the assumption is that as pastors, as ministry leaders, we’ve got the Holy Spirit figured out. I mean, that’s part of, you know, that’s part of our job description, somehow, some way? But the challenge is that, like you said, oftentimes, our tendency is to try to operate in our own strength, because that’s what’s most familiar to us, right, you know, as we’re growing up and just life, and so we just carry that into ministry. So, Max, help us as pastors, as ministry leaders, how do we invite the Holy Spirit into the chaos, or the the challenge, the struggle, the, you know, the heightened criticism, all of those things, all those pressures, that are kind of squeezing us? How do we really just invite the Holy Spirit into that, to help sustain us in our ministry?
As we’re talking an analogy comes to my mind, and let’s see if it helps. Okay. You know, I married my wife, Denalyn, 40, almost 41 years ago, 1981. I said, I do and she said I do on a Saturday afternoon in August. Now, I have never been more married to Denalyn then I was when I was first married to her. I mean, technically, legally. Once that marriage license was signed, once we said I do, we were married. Now that’s true. But on the other hand, I am more married to her now than I have ever been. I know everything about her. And she knows everything about me. And I have come to depend on her to listen to her. To trust her. I get frustrated with her. She gets frustrated with me. But there is a deep-seated dependency, a relationship that is precious, just absolutely precious. I did not have that on August the 8th, 1981. Again, I technically, I could not have been more married. But I am more married today than ever. Is this at all working? So here’s the deal. And so I, I became a Christian, as a kid, as a 10 year old, even though as I explained earlier, it’s really when I was 20 that I made a commitment to Christ. But I believe I received the Holy Spirit when I said yes to Jesus as a 10 year old. I do. I just believe it, believe it by faith. I believe that I had and received Holy Spirit as a child, as a youngster. But I do not believe that I understood how to lean into the Holy Spirit, to trust the Holy Spirit. I do not believe I understood the role of the Holy Spirit in my life. And it was really well into my mid 30s, that I began to understand Wait a second, you mean I am, can I use the word married here? I have a, I have a covenant-based relationship here with the greatest power in the history of the world. You mean, the One who called Jesus out of the grave will help me handle this staff meeting? You mean, the One who created the heavens and the earth will help me be creative in the way I present messages? You mean, I have this supernatural strength? Well, I had not depended upon that strength, Jason, not because I was a sinner, I don’t think, and not because the Holy Spirit was not available. I just, I just didn’t walk with him, didn’t walk with Him. And so in, in the same way, I’ve learned to walk with my wife, to consult her, to trust her. We learn to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, a little by little day by day increasingly. And I think I think that’s the key. It’s understanding that the Holy Spirit is here. You don’t need to rub any Aladdin’s lamp, you don’t need to flip a coin and hope it lands heads. The fact of the matter is, when you said yes to Jesus Christ, Jesus sealed you with His Spirit, and dwelt you with the Spirit. So now it’s a matter of learning to walk in community and in in harmony with Him.
Yeah, that’s beautiful. Max, and what I hear in that is that there’s some intentionality on our part, exactly. The Holy Spirit is present. And yet, just like in our marriage, to go to that analogy, you know, I must be intentional with my wife, Monica, in building that relationship and developing that relationship.
Absolutely. And I think one way to do that is just to read about what, learn, to let our minds be full of the, of the Holy Spirit. I was struck when I studied the Holy Spirit, how many different word pictures the Bible uses to describe the Holy Spirit as if one metaphor is not enough. The Holy Spirit is the Dove, who brings us peace. The Holy Spirit is the wind, who empowers us in our act of Salvation. The Holy Spirit is a seal, S E A L, one who seals our souls for eternity. The Holy Spirit is an advocate, a go between one who intercedes, especially in our prayers. So all of these multi There’s well over a dozen metaphors that appear in Scripture. Each one of them is intended to help us understand the beauty and the majesty that we have the privilege that we have, you know, sometimes I think maybe my only job is today, just a walk with the Holy Spirit. Maybe that’s my only job today. And if I make that my primary job, everything else will fall into place.
Yeah, yeah. I love that. And that is true if you stop and think about it. As we seek the Holy Spirit, walk with the Holy Spirit, allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us. The Holy Spirit flows into us, the Holy Spirit flows out of us, right, in our relationships, in our ministries. It’s interesting, because as you have shared your own personal experiences, as I reflect on mine, I’m sure those watching along, listening along, are you know, thinking about their own. You see this, you know, really direct relationship between the Holy Spirit and our own kind of personal soul care. Right, you know, how we take care of ourselves. And for pastors and ministry leaders, admittedly, often neglect our own soul care, right? And that leads to you know, fallout, devastation, burnout, all of these other experiences. And so, Max, talk to us if you would a little bit about how the Holy Spirit –because I know you write about this in your new book “Help Is Here”– but talk to us a little bit about how the Holy Spirit relates to our own personal soul care and kind of the health of our own souls. What does that look like practically?
Okay, forgive me for sucking on a throat lozenge as we talk. I hope it doesn’t create additional noise. I’m recovering from another bout of COVID. I’m fine, but it just took its toll on my voice. No. I love that question. I love that question. How can dependence upon the Holy Spirit, nurture our own soul care? The thought that came to my mind as you were asking that question is the conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus about a person must be born again, must be born again. And we preachers have come to see what a beautiful sermon that creates. Because the fact of the matter is, the first time I was born physically, I had did absolutely nothing. Somebody else did all the work. And so the point Jesus makes is the second time we’re born. The same is true. But in this case, it’s the Holy Spirit, who is the midwife who orchestrates our new birth. He is the one who ensures that we are truly born again. Nicodemus said, How can a man be born again when he’s old? But Jesus explained that it is the Spirit who does this? So from the get go from the very beginning, from the first step, it is the Holy Spirit, who activates salvation in my life. So immediately, immediately, Jason, I am invited to avoid the path of self-salvation, which is so exhausting. If I do more, attend more, accomplish more, be better, teach better. That’s absolutely exhausting. It’s tiring. Especially, I think, if you’re a pastor. And so I think when it comes to soul care, I must constantly say, Okay, Lord, it’s your work. It’s your work. You saved me from the beginning. You’re sealing me now, you have sealed me for eternity. You are my advocate, you are speaking on my behalf. You take the groans of my heart, and turn them into beautiful, articulate prayers in heaven. I’m just going to trust everything to you. Everything to you. example, example. Okay. You’re all you pastors will relate to this. A week from Saturday, a week from this Saturday, I will go to a city in South Texas called Uvalde. Most people had never heard of Uvalde until last May. And that’s when a gunman took a morning to kill 22 people. And the city is just rocked. It’s a small town. It’s it’s a beautiful town. The people are wonderful, primarily humble blue-collar folks. And they have just been beat up. And so we’re going to take a group of, of people to Uvalde, and we’ve rented an arena. And we’re inviting the city of Uvalde to come and just let us pray for them. Now, I tell that story because the old Max, the old Max would have been anxious, what message can I give to them, so to speak, you know, what message can I give? What am I going to say? What if I say the wrong thing? What if I misspeak? How do you speak to a city that has buried 19, 20 children and two adults? How do you speak to a city whose Police Department is being dragged over the coals right now? So those are the kinds of thoughts, Jason, the old Max would have had. I’m really happy to report that the 67 year old version of Max has learned that the Holy Spirit will give me what I need to say, when I need to say it. I am absolutely confident I have no clue what I’m going to say. But I’m absolutely confident that sometime between now and when I step in front of the crowd, however many there are, the Lord will have said, Max talk to them about this. And and how will I’ve heard that, Jason? Some young pastor saying, what do you get a text or something like that? Well in me, it’s just a matter of impulse, it’s a matter of impulse. It’s a, it’s a stirring, it’s a clarity. Walk through the valley of the shadow of death could be a phrase that, that surfaces in my mind. My job is to, between now and then, about 10 days from now say, Lord, what would you want me to say? How would you want me to say it? It could be that I am not supposed to say a whole lot. Maybe I’m supposed to pray. It could be he’ll remind me of some story in the Bible, you know, that would be very appropriate. And I’ll say, oh, okay, I see how that would fit. I don’t panic anymore. I don’t get anxious. I really don’t. I used to. I used to, and I used to think it was up to me. But now I’m convinced that the Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance what I need. Why? Because he’s my paraclete. He’s my counselor, he’s my comforter. And so is that a practical example? Jason, that might help pastors?
Definitely, definitely. And I love that. And I would like to, to dig in a little more on that example. Because I love the way that you shared that I love the way that you really, you know, helped us understand what that was all about. One of the things that I think some people might misconstrue about the Holy Spirit is, well, that relieves me of really preparing for things, really study, really digging in, right? Like, I mean, I’ll just ask the Holy Spirit as I’m walking up to the pulpit, “Give me what he wants me to say” and bam! So talk to us a little bit about, I know that’s not what you’re saying, Max. So talk to us a bit about as pastors, how do we depend upon the Holy Spirit, and not get –because I love what you’re saying, you know, to remove that anxiety and to give us that peace– but we don’t, you know, just kind of let go of our own kind of responsibility. So talk to us a bit about that.
Well, I that’s a great point and thank you for asking that question. Because I would never want to leave that impression. I, I take seriously the call to study. I believe that study is ministry. I believe the hours that I spend in preparation, I believe I am in those hours ministering to the church, because it requires study, to show myself approved unto God, you know, I need to study, open scripture. And the Holy Spirit speaks to me through that, through that experience, the Holy Spirit takes these abilities that God gives us and he’s the one who, who breathes on them. But the fact that I’m leaning in on the Holy Spirit is no excuse not to work. It’s just the assurance that my work will be blessed. Can I say that again? That that worked, I think… maybe, maybe I should take notes on my conversations. No, seriously. The fact that the Holy Spirit is present is no excuse not to work. But it is the assurance that this work that I do is not in vain, that the Lord will bless it. And I believe that there are occasions and in my ministry, it’s more occasions than then typical. But there are occasions in which the Lord will direct me at the last moment to go a different direction. And that’s wonderful. That’s wonderful. By and large, he directs me as I’m studying, you know, on Tuesday for the following Sunday. That’s every bit as much of the work of the Holy Spirit as if I were to stand in front of the church and say, hey, the Lord just told me to go a different direction here. So at least in my life, Jason, that’s my experience, the Holy Spirit I must take seriously my study. That was a big turning point for me, when I realized that the Lord wants me to take seriously my study. And so I blocked out that time that we all encourage pastors to do. And the Holy Spirit uses that time to teach me what to say to the church.
Yeah, I love that. And, and I’ve had similar experiences, where, you know, you plan and you prepare, and the Holy Spirit is present. And then and again, for me, it’s just been occasional, very kind of rare. And over the course of my ministry, you know, you step up, and you know, the Holy Spirit is saying, Jason, I’ve got something else right now. You just have to be obedient and trust in those moments, right.
But just real quick, and in my case, that often has, after a season of worship, during the church service, you know, you can sense the Holy Spirit, that people are hungry. And I have quite a few times said, I’m going to take our altar call that it typically is at the end of my sermon, I’ll say, I’m just going to offer right now, because some of you are ready. And without fail, there will always be a stream of people come forward, either for prayer or for conversion. And so I’ll I’ll flip flop things at the last minute. And, and find it, it’s being sensitive to the, to the leading of the Spirit.
Yeah, yeah. And I love that. And Max, I think, you know, as you said, we have to be sensitive to how the Holy Spirit and attentive to what the Holy Spirit is doing in our midst, and I think, and you can speak into this from your experience, but I know for me, the closer I was been intentional about walking with the Holy Spirit, the more easily I recognize the Spirit at work, and could follow the Spirit and be more obedient to the Spirit, because I’m putting myself in a position where I am connecting to the Holy Spirit and being dependent upon the Holy Spirit. And, and I found in the course of my ministry, as I opened myself up more to the work of the Spirit. I, amazingly, saw the Spirit at work more, right, because there was that sensitivity, as you mentioned,
Great word there, Jason. Great word. We remember, I’m sure your listeners do. But in case they don’t, the Holy Spirit is a person. I hereby declare never to call the Holy Spirit it again, let’s take that declaration. The Holy Spirit is a person. Jesus called him, a person, referred to him with a pronoun. So we, we then can understand that a Holy Spirit can consequently be offended. We can quench the Spirit, we can deny the spirit. And so for me to walk in harmony with the Spirit, then I need to examine my heart and say, Am I doing anything that is quenching the Spirit? Am I Am I walking in disobedience? Am I refusing to forgive somebody when I need to be forgiving? Am I abiding and some secret sin that I need to confess and talk to the Heavenly Father about? And so you’re making a great point, Jason, as I can walk in the Spirit myself, I can then be more sensitive to what the Spirit is doing in my life.
Yeah, Max, this has been great, great conversation. I want to remind everyone that you are releasing a new book focused on the Holy Spirit. And so if this conversation is intriguing, or something you want to dig into more deeply, “Help is Here” is your newest book, releasing in September. Max, as we’re kind of closing down our conversation, you have the eyes and the ears of colleagues, you know, pastors who are serving right now. What final encouragement would you have for pastors and ministry leaders, especially in light of, you know, we see increased burnout. You know, there’s just a lot more kind of ministry or mission fatigue that we see present right now. What words of encouragement do you have for brothers and sisters who are serving?
You know, the thought that surfaces in my mind as you asked that question is: go back to the beginning. I think about my beginning as a 20 year old hearing a preacher describe a grace that was greater than my sin, and literally weeping because I had been such a rebel and my life was such a mess. And to think that he could forgive me. To think that he could not only forgive me, but use me. You know, every person you read in the Bible I was, I was that person. I was David and Bathsheba. I was Peter denying Christ. I was Paul, arrogant, I mean Saul, before Saul became Paul, arrogant on my high horse. So I was, I could think of 1000 reasons why God should cast me off. But he forgave me, he included me. And I just, I just couldn’t believe that. And through the years, when I have found myself on those seasons in which my heart has grown hard, in which I find myself going through the motions, like many pastors are doing these days, I go back and I revisit that moment. And I just spend time with Jesus. And I say, Thank You, Lord, thank you. Even though I know you don’t need to save me again. I volunteer, I’m still here. I’m not. I’m not everything that I want to be. But Lord, You’ve chosen me. And you’re going to bless me and I, once again receive your salvation. So maybe, I know that there’s probably a lot more sophisticated answer to your question, Jason. But the one thing we can all do is go back and, and just revisit, open the scrapbook of our memory, to the time in which all of our faith was boiled down to one thing, I’m a great sinner, but I serve a great Savior. When, if we can go back to those beginning moments. Maybe, you know, Paul said, do not forget what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wealthy, or affluent or educated. Don’t forget who you were, you know, and, and, and that could be a source of strength and encouragement.
Yeah, I love that. I love that. I think that’s an important reminder, and a place that we can draw from, because sometimes we get caught up in the the ministry, and forget about what actually Christ has done for us, and what the Holy Spirit is doing in us and through us. So I love that beautiful, beautiful brother. Well, Max, again, it’s been an absolute pleasure, thank you for making the time to be with us. And for those of you who are watching or listening along, you can get more information for digging more deeply into this conversation. We have a whole toolkit for you at PastorServe.org/network, along with links to resources, including links to Max’s newest book, “Help is Here” which really focuses on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. So, Max, again, we appreciate you so much, brother, and love chatting with you, love your heart, and just very grateful for the time you’ve given us
Well, thank you, Jason. And may the Lord’s blessings be upon you. May the the Lord’s blessings, rich blessings be upon all of those who listen, and may you just simply receive and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit today.
Amen. Thank you, brother. God bless you.
God bless you.
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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