How to Embrace Your Calling through Challenging Times : Glenn Packiam
How do we remain confident in our calling in ministry, and sustain resiliency through the difficult challenges that we often face? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Glenn Packiam, pastor and author of The Resilient Pastor, as they explore the hope that carries us through these challenging times.
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
The Resilient Pastor by Glenn Packiam – Glenn addresses many of the most pressing questions pastors are facing today as he draws on Scripture, church history, and new research from the Barna Group
The Resilient Pastor Initiative – Barna has created a number of resources to compliment Glenn’s book, The Resilient Pastor, including free roundtable events in cities across the country, six-month cohorts, and a podcast
Under the Unpredictable Plant by Eugene Peterson
Run with the Horses by Eugene Peterson
Connect with Glenn Packiam on Twitter | Instagram
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Ministry Leaders Growth Guide
Key Insights and Concepts
- The pandemic helped reveal four major challenges that pastors face: vocation (what is a pastor called to do?), spirituality (how do pastors cultivate a deep life with God?), relationships (how can pastors cultivate meaningful relationships?), and credibility (how can pastors regain credibility and trust?)
- Pastors can gradually become less dependent on God and more dependent on how they can personally manage, control, and maneuver their ministry activities
- The heart of one’s pastoral calling is paying attention to what God is already at work doing, and then calling attention to it and inviting people to participate in that
- The expectations placed on pastors has changed over the last 40+ years
- New expectations for pastors have not replaced old expectations, rather the new have stacked on top of the old, creating unreasonable expectations
- Pastors can help educate and disciple their people on proper understandings of the role of a pastor
- Barna research asked pastors is they felt more confident in their calling ‘today’ than they did when they first entered ministry. In 2015, 66% of pastors said they felt more confident. In 2020, only 35% said they felt more confident than they did when they entered ministry.
- The only way to have sustained journey with the Lord in ministry is to return and recalibrate to your first love, Jesus
- Barna reported 29% of pastors in January of 2021 seriously considered quitting vocational ministry. In October 2021, the percentage increased to 38%. The latest data, as of March of 2022, shows an increase to 43% of pastors seriously considered quitting vocational ministry.
- Quitting local church ministry is not necessarily the same as walking away from your calling because God could lead you to live out your calling in a different way
- If at the very center of your life is the church, then other important things in your life will be displaced. However, if at the very center of your life is Christ, then you will experience a healthier balance in your vocation, your family life, your friendships, etc.
Questions for Reflection
- How did the pandemic accelerate or reveal some major changes in your ministry and/or your church?
- Describe some of the biggest challenges you are facing in ministry as a pastor
- How do you answer the question: what is a pastor called to do?
- Have you made your ministry something you can “take hold of and manage”?
- How would you describe vocational holiness?
- How are you paying attention to what God is doing in your congregation and community? What is God currently doing?
- How are you calling attention to what God is doing in your congregation and community? How are you inviting your people to participate in it?
- How have you sensed the expectations of a pastor’s role have changed in your lifetime?
- How are you helping your people better understand your calling as a pastor?
- Do you feel more confident in your calling today than you did when you first entered vocational ministry? Why or why not?
- Are you discouraged in ministry, or encouraged in ministry? Why?
- Is your church at the center of your life, disrupting a healthy balance? Or is Christ at the center, encouraging a healthy balance?
- What changes do you need to make to experience a healthier balance of life and ministry?
How do we remain confident in our calling in ministry, and sustain resiliency through the difficult challenges that we often face?
I’m joined by Glenn Packiam, pastor and author of The Resilient Pastor, as we explore the hope that carries us through these challenging times. Are you ready? Let’s go. Hello, friends, and welcome to FrontStage BackStage. I’m your host Jason Daye, and every single week, we are here to help equip and encourage pastors just like you to embrace healthy, well-balanced leadership in both life and ministry. We’re blessed to be a part of the PastorServe Network, and you can dig more deeply into today’s conversation by going to PastorServe.org/network. Now, if you’re joining us on YouTube, we appreciate you giving us a like and commenting below where you’re joining us from, the name of your church. We’d love to get to know our audience better. We’ll be praying for your church. And be sure to subscribe. Also, if you’re listening on your favorite podcast platform, go ahead and subscribe, as well, so you do not miss out on any conversations like the one we have for you today. And I am super excited for today’s conversation, because I’m being joined by Glenn Packiam. Glenn is a pastor and the author, his most recent book is The Resilient Pastor, an excellent book. We’re super excited to have Glenn with us today. Glenn, welcome to the show.
Jason. So good to talk to you today. Man, always good to see your face, hear your voice. Looking forward to this.
Yeah, brother. I am, too. Very, very excited about today’s conversation. Now, I mentioned you recently released a new book, The Resilient Pastor. And I absolutely love the book, thanks for sending one over, also loved the coffee, by the way, although I’m not a huge coffee drinker, my family loved the coffee. So thank you for that. But the big question that you really grapple with in this book is: how can pastors remain faithful to their call, and resilient even as they face the challenges that inevitably come in ministry? Which is, I’ve got to say, a huge task, you know, that’s a big question to wrestle with. And, and I know, brother, when we speak of challenges, there are a number of challenges in ministry, as we well know. There are these external challenges that are pressing upon us, right. There are the challenges that we wrestle with kind of internally as well. There are challenges for the Catholic Church, the Universal Church, the global church, right. So there are those challenges, there are challenges for our local church, you know, our unique context. And then just, you know, all these other challenges that that we face as people who are called to pastor. So there are lots lots of different challenges. And in this book, The Resilient Pastor, you kind of identify four key challenges that that pastors face. Now we’re going to dive deeply, Glenn, as we’ve talked, into one of these, but before we do that, I’d really love for you to first kind of share and give a bit of a highlight over kind of these four challenges that you’ve come across.
Thanks, Jason. Yeah, the book sets up by kind of saying, look, the cultural landscape is shifting, has been shifting for a while. And the pandemic, in some ways, was not so much an instigator of these dramatic changes as much as it was maybe an accelerator, and to some degree, a revealer, of the extent of how these cultural shifts are happening. So chapter one kind of lays the groundwork for some of those cultural shifts. But yeah, like you said, part one of the book is four challenges facing the pastor. Part Two takes on four challenges facing the church as a whole, but the ones for the pastor are, first of all, the challenge of vocation, what is it that we’re actually called to do? And, you know, I think pastors have sort of faced these stacking expectations of our jobs and of our lives, our calling. So that’s one, the second is the challenge of spirituality. And that’s really the question of how do we make sure that our inner life is being renewed? How do we cultivate a deep life with God, while we’re, you know, constantly trying to give out and serve and have this sort of public life? And then thirdly, is the challenge of relationships. One of the things that really emerged through the research and through some of the focus groups was how lonely pastors are, and how few of them have long lasting, meaningful mutual relationships. And so we, we explore a little bit, I explore a little bit in that chapter of why that might be. And then the fourth one is the challenge of credibility, which I think Jason has sometimes when people ask me, What’s the you know, what was the surprising thing from the research? You know, I’m not I’m not like a doomsday sayer, I don’t like to kind of shock people with alarm bells, but I will say, the data on declining credibility in terms of our culture seeing pastors as a trustworthy voice. That was one that really caught my eye. and maybe recognize one of the ways what how things are changing for the worse.
Wow. Yeah, in those four challenges, obviously, you’re not saying these are the only challenges, right that we face in ministry. But these are four that were really highlighted through the research that Barna did. And as I said, I know that as people are listening to those, those four, right now we’re watching along, they’re thinking, because I said, we’re going to dive into one, they probably all have one that they’re hoping we’re going to dive into. So I’m sorry, I’m going to disappoint about three quarters of the people watching right now, because we only have time to really dig into one. But I told Glenn, I was like, man, we got to get back in and probably dig into all four of these sometime. But really the one I want to focus on is the first that you talked about, and that is the vocational piece, which you said revolves around the big questions, what is a pastor really called to do? And and it’s interesting, because just even your own story, and you share this in the book, in your own story as you were wrestling, you know, trying to wrap your mind and heart around that question for your own calling, your own ministry, was such a kind of a pivotal time in your journey. And Glenn, one of the things you do is you reference one of the great great men of faith. I know that we both admire very, very deeply Eugene Peterson and I know you got to personally spend time with with Eugene and Jan there in Montana, which would be absolutely amazing. Of, of hundreds of conversations and interviews I’ve done over the years like these my all time favorite was with Eugene as you could probably imagine, just absolutely amazing conversation. But Eugene speaks of an idolatry really, that we as pastors kind of struggle with. And he talks about like this, he says: “an idolatry of a religious career that we can take hold of and manage.” And Eugene kind of contrasts this idea of our own personal spirituality with sort of a vocational spirituality that we somehow try to manage, try to control. Can you share with us a little bit about your journey in regard to these kind of two pieces of what it means to be a pastor you know, we have our personal life following Jesus, but then the struggle that we have with Okay, now, vocationally we are spiritual? And what does that mean? And how do we how do we kind of work through… so share with us a little bit of what you’ve learned what you’re continuing to learn about, about this idea of calling and vocation?
Well, you’re right, Jason, Eugene is definitely one of those sort of sage voices, even, you know, lives on through his writings. People who are only familiar with Eugene, through The Message are missing out, you know, his books on pastoral ministry, are absolute gold. And I’ll never forget those, you know, two and a half days I got to spend in their home with Eugene and Jan. And, and one of the questions I had for them was, Look, can I can I actually be a pastor in this context? You know, I’ve been working in a large church and, and he was very gracious about that… he wasn’t trying to knock on a specific models. And this is where I think people misunderstand even that quote about the idolatry of career, you know, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t aspire to leadership or that we shouldn’t aspire a church to grow or to tell more people about Jesus. I think what Eugene was was knocking was the sort of autopilot mode that we get into and we just ride an institutional track towards promotions and climbing a ladder, and we lose the sense of holiness about our vocation. So Eugene wrote quite a bit about this phrase ‘vocational holiness’ in one of his books, Under the Unpredictable Plant. It’s a reflection on the life of Jonah. And if you think about Jonah, and, you know, Eugene also wrote on Jeremiah’s life, Run with the Horses, and he doesn’t, I don’t know if he explicitly makes this comparison, but I know in reading both of those books, I think of Jeremiah’s life, where externally, career-wise, it’s all downhill. There’s nothing good about Jeremiah’s career. Nobody prays to have a career like Jeremiah. From the start, God tells Jeremiah, you’re going to preach to people who will not listen to you. And in the end, they’re going to try to kill you, they’re going to put you in an abandoned well, you know, but Jeremiah is vocationally faithful. He has vocational holiness, he’s listening to God, and he’s ministering to the people of God. Jonah, on the other hand, has all of the career success. He has this massive revival. I mean, all of us wish for a career like Jonah’s where you preach and an entire city repents, you know. We’re like, wow, most successful evangelistic crusade ever. And yet, Jonah, of course, is vocationally unfaithful. He doesn’t value the holiness of his calling. And so I think for us as pastors, what happens to us is we get so fixated on the dashboard reports of giving and of attendance, and I know listen, the last couple of years, we’ve needed to pay particular attention because for many of us, it’s been a matter of survival, I understand that. But there’s a way of getting overly obsessed with that. And then we start to think about how our own influence is climbing or not, that we forget, our vocation, our calling is really about, and Eugene would say it this way, paying attention and calling attention. Paying attention to what God is already at work doing in our congregations, and then calling attention to it and inviting people to participate in that. That is the heart of that pastoral calling.
Yeah, I love the way that that he puts that. And I think that’s one of the things that can help sustain us, because really, we’re wrestling with an issue of sustainability in the pastorate right now. And, and I know a lot of the reason that Barna has done the research, they’ve done a lot of the work that you’ve done along with Barna, and in in producing The Resilient Pastor, you know, is addressing a lot of this. It’s just taking a snapshot of where we are as the Church and then, you know, what is God longing to birth within us? And how, how was he longing to renew us? Talk to us a little bit Glenn, about how have the really expectations and perceptions of the pastor has changed over the years, especially, you know, last couple of decades or so.
Yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it? Jason, you think about it, you know, seminaries were equipped, were designed to equip pastors for a particular set of expectations. And those expectations were initially that you would be well versed in the scriptures, you’d be able to handle the Bible and theology, church history. And that’s sort of what what seminaries were designed to produce, because that was the expectation of the people, you can go to your pastor for questions about God about the Bible, and about a life with God. Well, then things began to change a little bit and somewhere, maybe in the 70s or so there was this expectation that actually pastors need to learn about counseling techniques and about therapy. And this, I’m not knocking this, there’s a lot of good that’s come from this. I do agree, pastors have had to learn so that we don’t give sort of pat answers about how to solve a marriage or how to, you know, parenting issues, because there’s wisdom in the Scripture, but we need to pair that wisdom with how God has revealed wisdom through the sciences, you know, all truth is God’s truth. And this is this is the Lord’s world. So yeah, I do believe in that kind of robust interdisciplinary work. It’s just that we kind of now expect pastors to be experts in trauma, and, you know, all of these things that we’re not well equipped for, and can’t be well equipped for. And so that was maybe in the in the 70s or so. And then you see in the 80s, and 90s, this, wait a minute, it’s actually visionary leadership. And so all these books and conferences emerge, you know, you got to be an entrepreneur, you got to be a brilliant strategic thinker, or, you know, pastors are reading articles from Harvard Business Review, and we’re trying to do our best to figure this out. Because, yeah, you know, there’s an organizational side of this that seminaries didn’t prepare us for. And then and then maybe in the last, you know, 10-15 years, there’s been the sense of pastors ought to be political commentators, and then maybe even social activists, that we don’t just comment on what’s happening, we’ve got to lead a movement or a sort of resistance, or whatever it might be. And that looks different ways, depending on which political priorities someone is thinking about. And it’s not that these expectations of a pastor are, are unfair in and of themselves, I think you could find biblical figures and you could say, oh, I’m just asking my pastor to be like a prophet like Moses, or I’m just asking my pastor to be like, you know… and all of those things you could probably find good justification for. It’s just that these expectations have not been interchangeable, they have not replaced one another. They’ve just sort of stacked. And so now the weight of pressure of what we’re supposed to be as a pastor, it’s untenable. There is no human being that can be all of those things.
I remember, at the last church where I was lead pastor, I shared with our elders board, and I gave them all kind of a little homework assignment and gave them a list of all these different, you know, tasks and roles that a pastor has. I just asked them, I said, “Hey, can you guys just over the next week go through this and just next to each one, you know, how many hours do you think I, as the pastor should contribute to each of these different tasks?” Right? So then I collected them all., and then of course, as you know, in the next meeting, I shared I said, “Hey, if I was to fulfill everyone just in this room’s expectations, let alone the entire church, just this room, you know, I’d be working wherever 128 hours or whatever came out to be a week, you know, and I would have no time for Monica and the kids, you know, my family or anything else. And so it’s that idea that, just like you said, the expectations just kind of stack. Right. And we feel this weight as pastors and, you know, most pastors that I know, we want to not necessarily fulfill the expectations of our people, but we want to be good and faithful pastors, we want to be responsible in the way that we minister to the people God has entrusted to us. You know, that’s our heart. And so when we feel these expectations, and we have a heart, you know, that we want to serve I mean, that’s why we’re in ministry, that can just be such a challenge for a pastor just trying to balance life ministry, that sort of thing.
It’s so true. I mean, the vast majority of pastors, Jason, these are good hearted women and men who are just trying to be faithful to Jesus. And they’re putting themselves last, they’re putting their families second to last. And then and they’re putting everybody else first. And it’s just untenable. And so I do think part of our role as pastors in Eugene wrote about this, too, is to actually educate our people like you did I mean, what a brilliant example, Jason of you saying, Okay, guys, fill out this form, and tell me what you know, because that’s a form of discipling our people, even our elders, sometimes, discipling them to recognize what actually is the heart of this role? And what do you want me to prioritize? And I do think, you know, Eugene had his own way of prioritizing for himself, prayer, study and spiritual direction. And we can argue that maybe that is the heart of it. I think there’s some freedom here for pastors to say, Well, what do I do best? What are the particular gifts that I have been given from the Lord? And maybe you fill the pastoral office in a way that resembles an evangelist a little bit more? Well, maybe that maybe that’s okay. How do we think about the right teams? So part of the answer is educating our church and our elder team. But the other part of the answer is being willing to rethink collaboration, you know, later in the book, you know, so the Part one is these challenges later, the very end of the book, when I look towards sort of a hopeful future, one of the responses to this is the collaborative church, there’s got to be some way of saying healthy teams, even if there is a clear leader and many churches will have a clear sort of a singular leader, that doesn’t preclude, that doesn’t eliminate the contribution of a strong healthy team.
Right. Right. And that’s, I think that’s so key, because that’s what helps with the load and happens to be biblical, too, which is nice. Right? Yeah, bonus. So, you know, it’s interesting, because the research that Barna did, one thing that kind of stood out to me, especially in this vocational piece, was they asked, they asked pastors about their current confidence in their calling, versus, you know, the confidence that they had in the calling when they first entered ministry. Right. So now that you’ve been doing ministry for a time, how confident are you in your calling? It’s interesting, because back in 2015, when they asked that question 66% of pastors said, “Man, I feel more confident in my calling today than I did when they first entered.” They asked the same question in 2020, and that number plummeted, almost cut in half down to 35%. Only 35% said they’re more confident now than they did before. And so why do you think, Glenn, that pastors are really feeling less confident today about their calling?
Yeah, I think it is those stacked expectations thing. I think social media has been a compounding factor, Jason because now it’s not, you know, those maybe, you know, pastors in different eras would say, well, we always had those stacked expectations, and that’s true. But now that we have, as we sort of have the amplifier of social media, when everybody is peering into everyone’s backyard, so to speak. And the pandemic, you know, for all of the good of streaming services, you know, you look up Facebook on a Sunday morning, and you think that Facebook exists to be a church, right? Everybody’s churches streaming up, and in some sense, you know, praise God, what a wonderful way to use technology to reach people beyond geographical boundaries. But there’s always unintended consequences, right? Every solution to a problem creates new problems. And one of the new problems that that created during the pandemic was, people began watching other churches than the one that they belong to. And so, I would, I mean, and I heard this in my focus group where someone at a smaller church said, Man, I can’t compete with so and so’s kind of really amazing service and they weren’t dogging them they were just saying it is awesome. But sooner or later, our congregants figured out if they’re watching someone on YouTube, they might as well watch that guy. But but the truth is, even for us at New Life, a larger church, good technology, good production quality, all of that, I had people coming up to me saying, you know, I watched so and so the other day and he says we shouldn’t be wearing masks because you know, or whatever the disagreement was, I was thinking man, this is the church where we baptized your kids where we know your name, but your opinions, your discipleship is happening through this other medium. So some of that discouragement for pastors is the feeling of I can’t compete. And then and then maybe the feeling of it almost doesn’t matter. Because no matter how hard I’m working to love these people, they’re going to be they’re going to be a little bit consumeristic and take little bits and pieces from other places, and that is their piecemeal, spiritual formation.
Yeah. So as we look at that, and as we reflect on vocational calling, right. Because when we think of our experience of God, calling us into ministry, you know, that for many people, throughout the history of the church, we see that, for many people that calling was the, the thread that they held on to, in their deepest, darkest times. And this understanding that God has called me into this service of his Church, and regardless of what is going to happen around me, that is what you know, I’m clinging to, to get through these dark times. So is there a sense of vocational calling today that is sustaining pastors through difficult times? Or what, you know, is there something changing there, Glenn?
You know, you’re right to point towards church history. Jason. In the book, I tell the story of Cuthbert, who’s special to me because I did my doctoral work at Durham University in the UK where Cuthbert is enshrined, and he was a saint that was very responsible for raising up missionaries and preachers that went throughout Europe. But his story is so, it’s almost humorous, because he keeps trying to be a monk, and he keeps being forced and called by kings into this sort of Bishop work, which is much more administrative, you know? So they’re like, come and run the monastery. He’s like, No, I don’t want to run the monastery. He keeps retreating to like, smaller remote islands in the Northeast of England, and they keep pulling him back in. And I love that, I chuckle, because I think that is every pastor on a Monday morning, right? Like, I just, this is the day I’m going to be a monk. I’m not going to answer any emails. But I also think about Peter, you know, the, the so called sort of first preacher of the church or the one, you know, who was instrumental in the founding of the church. Peter was super discouraged. Peter was disoriented, Peter was ready to walk away. And we don’t know all the details of why he had returned to fishing after despite, you know, seeing Jesus had been raised from the dead. But, you know, there’s some assumptions, maybe we’re making that he’s at least at the very least disoriented thinking, Well, I don’t know what our mission is supposed to be now. And that scene at the end of John’s gospel where Jesus is clearly reinstating Peter and reaffirming or kind of renewing Peter’s call, but he doesn’t renew Peter’s vocation or call. I mean, obviously, that word vocation is just the Latin for calling. He doesn’t really renew Peter’s calling by reminding him of the mission, or how important the work is or how great the need is, or how special the church is. You know, I’ve heard so many years of pastors conferences, pastors try to encourage one another by saying the local church is the hope of the world. First of all, that’s not true theologically, it’s not. Right. But secondly, that’s not how we get ourselves renewed. Jesus renews Peters calling by saying, Peter, do you love me? And I know it’s simple. And it sounds like a Sunday School answer. But I’ll tell you, Jason, I’ve been at New Life for 22 years, we’ve walked through some dark days, 15-16 years ago, we walked through some difficult times, I return to this passage devotionally for my own devotional life, over and over and over again multiple times a year, I returned to this passage on retreats with the Lord. Because I know in that moment, the only thing that can sustain us is not Do you love the church? Or do you love the mission? Or do you love a move of God? Or do you love miracles? Or do you want to see revival? It’s Peter, do you love me? And and I think for all of us as pastors, the only way we can have a sort of sustained journey with the Lord in ministry is to return and recalibrate to our first love. And that doesn’t mean we don’t change churches. That doesn’t mean we don’t change jobs. I mean, you’re you’re a great example of this, Jason, you’re living out the pastoral vocation through a different medium, through a different ministry container. So you know there’s that Barna stat that 29% of pastors in January of 2021 seriously considered quitting vocational ministry. In October of 21, it was 38%. And now the newest data, March of 22, it’s 43%. So there’s a severe discouragement, but but I always want to nuance that a little bit when I talk about that stat to say quitting local church ministry is not the same as walking away from your calling, you could live out your calling in different ways. What we’re trying to come alongside and help is to help with that discouragement, by reminding you of what your first calling actually is. And your first calling is to Jesus Himself. It’s to Jesus Himself. And if you’re following Jesus, then you are being faithful wherever you are.
Yeah, I love that. That’s, that’s so encouraging, especially in challenging times, especially when you hear so many kind of competing views on this and ministry is challenging enough. And we don’t need to get beat up more by others, especially brothers and sisters in the faith, who are, you know, have their own opinions and stuff, we need to get back to the heart of it. So I certainly appreciate that. I want to ask you a question of you, Glenn, real quickly, because I know that you model this, you’ve modeled this for me, my family, particularly, but for many, about this balance in life, this balance of vocation, and the totality of of life, and what that looks like, how does our calling relate to the entirety of our lives?
Yeah, it’s I’m so glad you asked that, Jason. Because again, if we say that our calling is first to Jesus, and you see this even in the gospels, in Mark, when Jesus calls the apostles, it says, He called them to be with him. And if we, if we understand our calling that we are to be with him, then that’s not in contradiction to loving our families or, or other other rhythms in our life. And so if at the very center of our lives is the church, well, that yeah, that is going to displace other things. But if at the very center is, you know, what, I am called to Jesus Himself. And because I’m following Jesus, yes, I will love the church, but also because of Jesus, I’m going to love my spouse, I’m going to love my children, I’m going to cultivate good friendships. And one of the things that I mean, we are, you know, we’re cheating a little bit here, Jason, because you said one, one challenge vocation. But we’ve actually, we’ve actually teased out quite a bit on the chapter of spirituality and now relationships. But one of the things that I felt in my own journey, you know, 10, actually, I don’t know 15 years ago or so is this great need for my wife and I to take regular time out. So we, an older couple said you should do an annual retreat where you pray and plan for the year ahead. We started doing that as our kids got, as we had more kids and our kids got older. We’re like, we need to do this twice a year. And so we’ve actually written a book that will come out at the end of this year, called The Intentional Year, where we map out a little bit of how do you do this retreat? How do you reflect back on the past? And how do you look towards the future, but there’s, we’re repurposing some ancient tools, like the rule of life, maybe some people are familiar with that tool, where you take an inventory of different areas of your life. And then you say, if the love of God is at the center of this, what does that mean for the way that I am making intentional time for my kids? For my family, right after I finish this interview, I’m going to take a couple of my kids out on a on a little date here today, you know. So those are things that you build into not just as desires, but they become events on the calendar, because because I know for me if I just have a desire, but it’s not an event on the calendar, it’s not happening. And the same thing for pastors with not just our families, but actually our friendships. We tend to believe that all the relationships, we have need to be the ones where people are reaching out to us or the people that we’re pouring into, even if even if we’re proactively setting it up. It’s the people we’re pouring into, well, that’s good. But work also to create space in your calendar for those mutual and reciprocal relationships. Because so often the relationships that we have in church are are asymmetrical, there’s a power differential and they’re non reciprocal. They’re not truly give and take, and we got to work hard for those.
Yeah, that’s good. That’s good brother. Oh, it’s been so good. I just have one. One final question for you. Just as we’re thinking about this entire conversation, Glenn, what would you share with a pastor who who comes to you and says, “Listen, Glenn, I’m really wrestling with my calling in ministry” …what encouragement would you give them today?
I would say, look again at Jesus. Imagine his face before you. And the only question you need to answer today is: Do you love Jesus? …and see what he is saying to you and where he’s leading you today. And the second thing I would say is, remember that Jesus has risen from the dead which means Paul says 1 Corinthians 15 “your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Everything you know, 1 Corinthians 15, he says, If Jesus has not been raised, you know, our preaching is in vain, our faith is in vain. And he goes to this whole thing of why we know Jesus has been raised from the dead. And there is a final victory coming, you will be raised from the dead. And then at the very end, he says, Therefore be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in your work for the Lord, because your labor is not in vain. And that’s, that’s the grace that is being given to us. The grace to be able to be steadfast, to be able to be resilient, is the work of the Holy Spirit in us reminding us that if Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, man, our work is not going to be in vain.
I love that, brother. Great encouraging words, Glenn, if, if our listeners want to connect with you, what’s the best way to do that?
Yeah, GlennPackiam.com is my website, Glenn, with two Ns, Packiam, P A C K I A M. On Twitter and Instagram the handle is the same it’s @gpackiam, I would love to connect.
Awesome, brother. I appreciate it and we will have that in the Weekly Toolkit, which you can find at PastorServe.org/network, along with questions for you to dig in more deeply into this incredible conversation that Glenn and I just shared. So Glenn, I appreciate you, brother. God bless you. Thank you for making time to be with us today.
Thank you so much, Jason.
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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