How to Face Your Fears & Insecurities : Joel Muddamalle

How to Face Your Fears & Insecurities - Joel Muddamalle - 102 - FrontStage BackStage with Jason Daye

As pastors and ministry leaders, do we struggle with admitting that we have fears and insecurities? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Dr. Joel Muddamalle. Joel is the Director of Theology and Research at Proverbs 31 Ministries, where he also co-hosts the Therapy and Theology podcast. He serves as a teaching pastor at Transformation Church just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. His most recent book is entitled The Hidden Peace. Together, Joel and Jason explore some of the fears and insecurities that we wrestle with as ministry leaders and the unhealthy cycle that those can create. Joel then provides some great practical ways to address these challenges as we embrace true humility.

Looking to dig more deeply into this topic and conversation? Every week we go the extra mile and create a free toolkit so you and your ministry team can dive deeper into the topic that is discussed. Find your Weekly Toolkit below… Love well, Live well, Lead well!

Video Links

Share the video with your ministry leaders >> YouTube

Audio Links

Share the audio podcast with your ministry leaders…

Additional Resource Links -Check out Joel’s website to learn more about his ministry, courses, speaking opportunities, and plenty more to guide you on your spiritual growth.

The Hidden Peace: Finding True Security, Strength, and Confidence Through Humility – Whether we’ve incorrectly defined it or underestimated its relevance to our daily life, humility is the missing piece for the security, strength and confidence we all want. It’s time to stop trying so hard to avoid our limitations or overcompensate for them. God has better for us, and it begins with bowing low in humility. With relatable stories, practical wisdom and biblical theology broken down into digestible takeaways, The Hidden Peace by Dr. Joel Muddamalle will help you with your fears and insecurties. – Transformation Church is a multiethnic, multigenerational, mission-shaped community that believes the Church isn’t a building – it’s a people who love God completely, love themselves correctly, and love their neighbors compassionately.

Connect with Joel – Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Connect with PastorServe – LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook 

Feeling overwhelmed, burned out, or just want to talk?  Complimentary Coaching Session for Pastors

Ministry Leaders Growth Guide

Key Insights and Concepts

  • Our innate desire for safety and security reflects an Edenic design of our humanity, where Adam and Eve experienced vulnerability yet felt protected in God’s presence.
  • Vulnerability in Eden wasn’t about fearing external harm but recognizing the potential for self-inflicted wounds due to sin, shaping our understanding of human identity amidst the tension of God’s intended design and the reality of a fallen world.
  • Concrete hearts formed by avoiding vulnerability and setting up barriers lead to isolation and anxiety, highlighting the importance of cultivating humility and openness.
  • Humility, far from self-deprecation, begins with knowing God, understanding our identity in Christ, and then relating to others with genuine self-awareness and openness.
  • Embracing weakness and acknowledging vulnerabilities paradoxically connects us more deeply to Christ’s power and fosters genuine humility, which is essential for effective leadership.
  • Winning is often seen as a personal accomplishment and must be reframed in light of reflecting God’s glory rather than absorbing it for ourselves, guarding against hidden pride and self-deception.
  • Establishing a personal board of directors, comprised of trusted individuals with no vested interest, fosters honest conversations and combats the isolating nature of ministry leadership.
  • The contrast between humility and hidden pride is crucial, as pride can masquerade as spiritual fruit while corrupting our motives and character.
  • The Christian journey emphasizes “through” rather than instantaneous success, recognizing that growth and sanctification are slow processes, grounded in humility and reliance on God’s timing.
  • Accepting the boundaries of our existence and ministry context as ordained by God fosters humility and contentment, recognizing His presence and purpose in every season.
  • Humility enables leaders to appreciate their current context without longing for what they lack, fostering deep-rootedness and preparation for future endeavors within God’s kingdom.
  • As members of God’s family, we are united in mission, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and called to partner together, embracing humility as we follow Christ’s lead in advancing His kingdom.

Questions for Reflection

  • What fears or insecurities am I wrestling with in my ministry? Is it hard for me to admit that I have fears and insecurities? Why or why not?
  • How do I perceive and navigate vulnerability in my leadership role, considering the tension between the ideal of God’s design and the reality of human identity?
  • What barriers have I erected in my life to shield myself from vulnerability? How have they affected my relationships and sense of connection?
  • Have I created a “concrete heart” that has led to isolation? How do I know if I have or have not?
  • In what ways can I cultivate a compassionate, humble heart while establishing healthy boundaries to avoid isolation and anxiety?
  • How can I deepen my understanding of humility, moving beyond self-deprecation to a genuine recognition of my identity in Christ and its impact on my leadership?
  • How do I currently view success and winning in my ministry endeavors? How might I reframe these concepts to reflect God’s glory rather than personal achievement?
  • Who are the trusted individuals in my life that I can turn to for honest conversations and feedback, forming my own personal board of directors for guidance and support?
  • What signs of hidden pride might be present in my life and leadership? How can I cultivate greater self-awareness to guard against its corrosive effects?
  • How do I reconcile the tension between desiring immediate success and embracing the slow, transformative process of growth and sanctification in my ministry journey?
  • In what ways am I content with my current ministry context? Where do I find myself longing for different circumstances or opportunities?
  • What steps can I take to embrace humility as a core value in my leadership, recognizing my dependence on God and His power rather than my own abilities?
  • How do I handle moments of success or accomplishment in my ministry? What might this say about my fears or insecurities? What role, if any, does humility play in attributing credit and glory to God rather than myself?
  • What practices or disciplines can I engage in to slow down and embrace the “through” journey of growth and sanctification, trusting in God’s timing and guidance?
  • How can I actively partner with others in my ministry context, recognizing our shared mission and reliance on the Holy Spirit’s leading as we advance God’s kingdom together?

Full-Text Transcript

As pastors and ministry leaders, do we struggle with admitting that we have fears and insecurities?

Jason Daye
In this episode, I’m joined by Dr. Joel Muddamalle. Joel is the Director of Theology and Research at Proverbs 31 Ministries, where he also co-hosts the Therapy and Theology podcast. He serves as a teaching pastor at Transformation Church just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. His most recent book is entitled The Hidden Peace. Together, Joel and I explore some of the fears and insecurities that we wrestle with as ministry leaders and the unhealthy cycle that those can create. Joel then provides some great practical ways to address these challenges as we embrace true humility. Are you ready? Let’s go.

Jason Daye 
Hello, friends, and welcome to another insightful episode of FrontStage BackStage. I’m your host, Jason Daye. And every single week, it’s my privilege, my honor, really to sit down with a trusted ministry leader. And we dive into a conversation all in an effort to help you and pastors and ministry leaders just like you embrace a sustainable and healthy rhythm for both your life and ministry. We are proud to be a part of the Pastor Serve Network. And along with each of these episodes, our team creates an entire toolkit that you can access and download. You can find this at And that gives you an opportunity to go more deeply into the conversation and into the topic for yourself. We also encourage you to include the ministry leaders in your local church. And use that resource to, again, just grow more deeply and to consider the conversation that we have. In there, you’ll find lots of resources, including a Ministry Leaders Growth Guide that has insights and questions just really to help you dig more deeply. So be sure to check that out at And then our team at Pastor Serve, we love, and it’s our calling to walk alongside pastors and ministry leaders, and we would love to offer you a complimentary coaching session to give you an opportunity to see what a ministry coaching session really feels like and what it’s all about. So, if you have something that you’re challenged with right now and you’re looking for some fresh perspective, we encourage you to check that out at 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 getting to know our audience better and our team will be praying for you and for your ministry. Whether you’re following us on YouTube or you’re joining us on your favorite podcasting platform, please be sure to subscribe and to follow because you do not want to miss out on any of these great conversations. I’m excited about today’s conversation, and at this time, I would like to welcome Dr. Joel Muddamalle to the show. Joel, welcome, brother.

Joel Muddamalle 
Hey, Jason, so good to be with you.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, man, it’s good to be with you. I’m really looking forward to this conversation. I think it’s one that’s gonna be really, really meaningful. And, Joel, as humans instinctually we would like to probably live lives where we feel completely protected from the hurt that’s inflicted by others, from their words or from their actions. Nobody enjoys experiencing that kind of hurt. And, Joel, as pastors and ministry leaders, we know we’ve all experienced our share of hurt. And there are probably times when all of us have thought, Man, how great would it be to have some sort of impervious shield around us? But that’s just not realistic. And so, Joel, to kick this off, can you share with us a bit about the tension that we have between our desire to be protected and then the reality of the world in which we live and the reality of vulnerability and weakness?

Joel Muddamalle 
Yeah, I mean, that’s such an interesting point and I think that it’s something very near and dear to all of us. First, I think I just would want to acknowledge that that desire to feel safe, the desire to feel secure, and the desire to feel like all is where it ought to be is a desire that God has placed in our hearts. It’s an Edenic design of our humanity that in Eden, God created Adam and Eve. And when he placed them in Eden, he created and placed them in a garden that was safe, that was secure. It was a place for them to experience and feel all of those things that you just described. Now, here’s the fascinating thing, Jason, about what you just said, is in Eden, I’ve found as I’ve been studying and researching, that Eden was actually a place of true vulnerability for Adam and Eve. So, they were actually naturally placed in a place of true vulnerability. The etymology of the English word ‘vulnerable’ is pretty fascinating. It comes from a Latin word, actually a noun and a verb, and it means ‘to be wounded.’ What’s fascinating to me is that vulnerability in Eden for Adam and Eve is that they didn’t actually have to fear being wounded because they’re in Eden, they’re with God, and they’re being set up with all the things that they need. And yet, the one place that they could be wounded from wasn’t from outside, but it was actually from within. And so the wounding that takes place in Genesis 3 for Adam and Eve is actually a self-inflicted wounding because of sin. And ever since that moment, in Genesis 3, I think our anthropology, the way that we understand the identity of humanity, it’s in the tension of the ideal of Genesis 1 and 2, what God had intended for us all along, but the reality of Genesis 3, which is what you just described. We live in a fallen world where things are not safe, things can be painful, and they can be harmful. And I think the tension that we have, as pastors and ministry leaders, is that we want to experience safety, and we want to experience security, but we want to do it in a way that doesn’t risk hurt and it doesn’t risk pain. And if we’ve lived five seconds, we’ve actually found that those things don’t work together, they don’t work in tangent. And so I think one thing that is so important that we need to have, that actually God gives Adam and Eve in Eden, is the presence of a compassionate, soft, humble heart, and the presence of boundaries. But if we don’t have boundaries in our life, and if we don’t have a way to filter these longings that we have, what’s gonna end up happening is we’ll have a concrete heart. And if we end up with a concrete heart, we will isolate everybody else out, and we will stay safe and secure inside, but that safety and security inside is actually a compromised safety and security. And we’ll create concrete hearts, and that concrete heart will actually isolate us from the world. And so then, for ministry leaders, this is vitally important. What happens is isolation, the more we try to go inward, and the more we try to control these things on our own, we feel like we can’t trust outside people, we can’t trust people to have our best interests in mind. And so we will create boundaries and barriers around us that actually aren’t even boundaries and barriers. They are walls that imprison us and inside of this imprisonment, we become more isolated, we become more lonely, we become more anxious. And the result of this is actually more exhaustion, more pain, more fear, and it’s this endless cycle that seems to spiral us out of control.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, and that’s, Joel, I think one of those things that we feel like somehow we are helping ourselves, but really, like you said, imprisoning ourselves. And as we do that, I think in ministry, oftentimes, we succumb to a belief that if people really knew me, the real me, they may not like me, or they may not trust me as a spiritual voice in their lives. They may think that my weaknesses or my struggles are too real, right? So there’s that fear of being kind of found out that just can grip us. And over time, this fear can lead to actions that we take really to cover up those weaknesses. As you said, we isolate ourselves, or we attempt to control things so people can’t get a peek behind the curtain, that sort of thing. And this seems to only increase, as you said, our anxieties and to increase our insecurities. So, Joel, I’d love to just kind of sit in this space a bit. And can you talk with us about this fear of being found out and how those insecurities bubble up in our lives as pastors and ministry leaders?

Joel Muddamalle 
Yeah. So I spent almost over 1000 hours studying the topic of humility, the biblical theology on humility, and it kind of ended up being the genesis of my work, The Hidden Piece, which is out now. And one of the things that I found is that this issue of weakness like you talked about, weakness and the fear of being found out, has two options for us. One option is what I would refer to as an anthropocentric way of living, which comes from the Greek word anthropologist. That human-centered, I call it the unholy trinity. A type of living that is me, myself, and I focused. Or we can turn to a theocentric, a Christocentric way of living. A way of living that’s framed and found in the life of Christ and in the way that God wants us to see ourselves. And so this is serious because if we’re afraid to be found out, and the reason that we’re afraid to be found out is because we’re afraid that our weaknesses, our frailty, our suffering, our vulnerability, or our insecurities are in some way going to demean and diminish who we are, our identity, our value, and our worth. It again goes back to this repeated pattern of isolating everybody out and keeping myself safe. But in the process, all you’re doing is buying into the temptation of pride. Pride is just suggesting that you can have ultimate clarity, but it’s leading you into chaos, it’s actually robbing you of your clarity. And so instead, in this moment, we actually need to see… one of my favorite theologians is the late great Jack Packer. And he’s had this tiny little book called Weakness Is The Way. And I think this is so important for us as ministry leaders to realize that being found out in the sense of being honest about our weakness, being honest of the reality of our suffering, being forthright with our frailty, or just admitting the instability that is in our life, all of these things. So basically, coming to the very end of ourselves, these through the lens of Christ are not to be despised, they’re to be cherished. They’re the very things that connect us to Christ, and to the power that we’re actually desperate for. And this is why I’ve found that humility is vital here. Like a lot of times, I think, Jason, we’ve heard the famous phrase, humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself a little less often. This is historically attributed to CS Lewis. Just a side note, very dangerous to disagree with CS Lewis, you know? I’m not going to disagree with Lewis, I’m going to suggest that biblical humility, and this kind of this thing of being found out, it doesn’t start with the self, it actually ought to start with God. And so this is how I found humility to be framed. It’s a three-part movement. Humility is, first and foremost, knowing God. If we know who God is, then the second movement is we can know ourselves. So if I know who God is, and I know who I am, a child of God made in His likeness and in His image, then the third movement is I now know how to relate to other people. And so what ends up happening is that when we are more self-aware of who we are in light of who Christ is, we can then have the power to rightly relate to other people. And when all of those things are happening, that fear of being found out actually diminishes. And in its place, there’s actually this confidence, safety, and security to be honest about who we are because we’ve come to the understanding that with the power of humility, it’s going to help us see the value of our work, but it won’t let us define our worth by what we do. And this directly lands on top of this fear of being found out like, oh, in this moment my weakness is actually the perfect place to be. I gotta rely on Jesus. I gotta rely on his power. My instability is a realization that I have to go outside and remind myself that even though things feel like they’re falling apart in my life, personally… like one of the things I write about in the book, is I say that one of the most important things that you can do when you feel like things are out of control, is step outside. It’s very practical, right? Step outside, take your socks off, stand in the grass, and look up into the heavens, right? If it’s daytime, pay attention to the clouds and the sun, if it’s night, look at the stars. And repeat to yourself John 1. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and through Him all things were made. Without him, nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life and that life was the light of man. And then just say to yourself, I have nothing to do with keeping the ground in its place, with the clouds in their place, with the sun moving in his trajectory. God’s got that handled. And this is the reminder that we need consistently. And I think the more that we can face the fear, not diminish it, not just be like, I’m going to avoid it and put my head in the sand, but face it, and then walk through it, the more we’ll be able to experience the power of humility, which actually gives us the self-awareness to do all those things.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, that’s super helpful, Joel. In The Hidden Piece, you address this idea of winning, right? And which is a big part of our societal makeup is focused on achieving and winning, right? And as you were talking I was thinking through this because you talked about the work that we do and in ministry, oftentimes, the work that that we do, the work that we are attempting to do is intrinsically a Kingdom movement. It’s something that is positive, it’s something that is beautiful, is kind of the heart of what it is. And so we can get caught up in that work. And I’m just curious, when we look at, from the perspective of a pastor or a ministry leader, looking at this idea of “wanting to win”, right? When we think about winning souls for Jesus, we think about going out there and doing that kingdom work. How can our perspective of ministry actually pull us further away from this humility and the peace that we experience in the heart of Christ? How can our perspective of ministry maybe lead to more anxiety and more insecurities?

Joel Muddamalle 
Yeah, so the winning thing is near and dear to me. I’m a hyper-competitive individual, Jason. And so like when I say I’m hyper-competitive, if you’re like, hey, let’s play a game, I’m like, Cool. And I’ll probably need 24 to 48 hours because what I’m doing in these 24 to 48 hours is I’m researching on YouTube all the strategies of that game so that I have the conviction. Like, I know that I can step into that game if it’s a board game, or whatever, and I feel like I’ve got a legitimate chance to win. If I know that I can’t win at something, this is a huge character flaw in my life. My wife points this out all the time. She is great at the game spades or speed, something like that, and I am horrible. I won’t play with her anymore because I know when I go into it I’m going to lose, right? And so I want to talk about what is that thing about winning. What does it do inside of our hearts? And so for me, I can just speak for myself. And I think for any pastor or any ministry leader, we need to really consider this. When we say we’re winning, who is actually winning? When we’re saying we’re advancing the kingdom of God, who’s the King who sits on the throne of this kingdom? Now, these are simple questions, but they’re far from being simplistic, right? Because what ends up happening for me, and I’m just gonna speak for myself, everybody else can just put themselves in there if this is true for you. For me, there is this tension of experiencing a win and being conned into believing that that win was caused by me, through me, and for me, right? And so this is the gift of humility. Humility reminds us that we were created to reflect God’s glory, not to absorb glory for ourselves. And so if we become absorbers of glory, we will self-destruct. But humanity was created perfectly to be agents of reflecting God’s glory out into the world. And so I want to kind of go through this exercise of yes, we ought to strive towards efficiency, we ought to strive towards advancing the kingdom of God, we want to win at these things. But we have to also recognize that the vantage point from where we win, is actually from the fact that the war has been won. We start at the cross, Jesus on the cross has defeated, he’s mortally wounded the enemy. And he has now given, 2 Corinthians 5, the ministry of reconciliation, this humble awareness of what Christ has already done on the cross actually eases the weight of responsibility off of my shoulders to act and live in such a way that I’ve got to win something versus I’m like, No, I’m living out of the victory of Christ. And because I’m living from the victory of Christ, it’s just a momentum overflow of the impact of what Jesus has already done on the cross, which again, for me, is actually a protection for me. And so I think we have to be really careful about what the ambition is of winning. In my book, I talk about hidden pride. And I think this is especially true for pastors and ministry leaders in the way that hidden pride shows up in your life. In Galatians 5, you’ve got the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and all these, right? And it’s agricultural language that Paul is using which was fascinating to me, it’s that in the agricultural language, we’re left wondering what is the soil of the Christian life. And elsewhere, to the church in Corinth, the church in Ephesus, and the church in Galatia, Paul is consistently reminding us that we’re to take on the humility, the Greek word is tapeinos, that we want to take on the humility of Christ. And I found that Christian thinkers throughout the ages, starting from Paul, and really Jesus himself, have identified that the soil of the Christian life is in fact, humility. Humility ought to fragrance all the fruit of the Spirit, but here’s what happened. It’s that the fruit of the Spirit can get corrupted. And so what is hidden pride? Hidden pride presents itself as the fruit of the Spirit, but on the inside, it’s not aimed outward toward God and His glorification, it’s aimed inward toward self-gratification and self-obsession. And what’s so dangerous about this is that hidden pride happens in the dark secret chambers of the human heart. And we can present it like, Hey, we’re winning, we’re winning for Jesus, we’re winning for His kingdom. This is where honesty and humility have to go hand in hand. John Stott has an incredible quote, I’ll paraphrase it. If honesty and humility go hand in hand, then pride and insanity go hand in hand as well. And so if this internal dialogue deep inside is like, if outside like yes, humble, gentle, kind, all these things. But inside we’re like, I did it. It was me. How smart I was, how intellectual I was, or how winsome I was. I crafted the best introduction to the sermon and they just ate it hook line and sinker. These are the internal dialogues that are happening in our hearts that we need the power of the Holy Spirit through humility to illuminate in our hearts because it will present itself as the fruit of the Spirit and to other people like this is good. But anything good on the outside that’s corrupted on the inside is just simply corrupted. It just takes time for that to expose itself on the outside.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, that’s really helpful, Joel. And as we are considering our activities, our ministry activities, right? And like you said, kind of the motivation, what’s going on on the inside, as we are seeing these things happen around us in ministry? And there’s nothing wrong with celebrating, getting excited, and being ambitious when it comes to ministry, right? But it can be a slippery slope, as you said, it can be one of those things where you draw in and internally you are processing this in a way of absorbing that glory, like you said. I mean, even if you’re on the outside, you’re not some hottie who thinks you’ve got it all together, putting off those airs. But internally we can still be wrestling with that, right? So, Joel, can you talk to us a little bit about how can we assess, maybe that’s a good word. How can we assess where we are when we’re looking at this idea of embracing that hidden piece that you write about, that humility? How can we know? Because a lot of us have been in ministry for a long time. And so we get into patterns, right? I mean, it’s just natural as humans. We form habits and patterns. So how can we kind of pause and really dig deep and determine where are we when it comes to true humility, right?

Joel Muddamalle 
Yeah. So I’m gonna say a couple of things here, Jason. And I want to say it with kindness and compassion, but I’ll just be really straightforward, especially for pastors and ministry leaders on this. We were never meant to do this thing alone. We just weren’t. And if we live in an echo chamber of me, myself, and I, or if we create echo chambers in our lives, those echo chambers are going to become self-destructive for us. We will become self-absorbed, we’ll become self-obsessed, and all that will lead to a type of obliteration. And it’s dangerous for us, right? God created us within the context of community to enjoy the community that he himself enjoys in the Triune Godhead. So with all that said, here are a couple of things. I think it’s really important that we have… my friend Jim Cress. I’m a part of a podcast called Therapy and Theology, my boss, Lysa TerKeurst, and I, and then Jim Cress is a licensed counselor. And so I kind of bring the theology, Jim brings the therapy, Lysa jokes, she says that she brings all the problems. That’s not true. I mean, it’s a lot of brilliant Bible teaching and wisdom, lived experience, and wisdom. But one of the things that Jim said once was that we all need a personal board of directors, we need a personal board of directors, we need some people in our lives that are not contingent on us for anything in their life. Do you see what I’m saying? I’m not talking about your staff. I’m not talking about anybody connected to you doing something for them. I’m talking about the person where it doesn’t matter. They’ve got nothing to lose and they can just be totally honest with you. These are the types of people that we need to have in our lives. So the first thing is you do an inventory of the people in your life. I would do this tangibly and write it down on a list. And then take everybody on that list off that is contingent on you for something. What do you have? So this is the first place, we need to have some people on there, right? Then here’s the second thing. We need to have honesty with the conversations that are happening in our hearts. We absolutely do. So this is how an inventory, a heart inventory, of humility would work. I have this actually laid out in the book as the humility versus the humiliation equation. And so if you get the book, there’s a chapter that you can actually write this thing out and it works its way through. But especially for ministry leaders, you experience success. What is the conversation that happens in your heart that nobody else is aware of? Friends, this is how it would work. I write something or I teach something, and I feel like yes, I crushed it. In my heart I’ll literally be like, oh, yeah, I’m God’s gift to the earth. Like, this is the dark part of Joel. You know, like, oh, yeah, of course, I crushed it, right? If something negative happens, the dark part of Joel is I’m just confessing honestly at heart level. Why did this happen to me? I didn’t deserve it. It should have happened to this person, that person, or that person. They’re knuckleheads. How did this happen to me, right? Okay, so now I need to expose, humility gives us the light to be able to expose, I need to expose this to those groups of people. I’ve got some people in my life that I’ve known since we were children, some of them are ministry friends that absolutely have nothing to do with me from a vocational standpoint, but they’re just trusted voices in my life. My wife absolutely is the first and most important one in my life. And something happened just a year ago where there was a ministry opportunity that didn’t happen for me I thought I was a shoo-in for, this ministry thing. And it created a hidden pride moment in my life. And my friend, a pastor friend, called me because somebody else kind of got the opportunity and went out on social. It’s awesome, right? And he called me and he’s like, how are you feeling? I’m like, awesome. I think that person is the perfect fit for this. I’m so excited for them. He’s like, Nah, bro, for real. How are you feeling? And I was like, Dude, I’m such a better communicator. I just kind of went through and I exposed it. Jason, I’m telling you, there’s a freedom in just, with your mouth, exposing what is inside of your heart. And my friend was like, Man, how do you feel now? And I’m like Man, I’m glad that I got that stuff out because you know what? The kingdom is so much bigger than Joel. And then right after that, very practical, right after that, I went and I grabbed my daughter and gave her a big hug. I was in my home office, and she kissed me, Daddy, I love you. I love you. My wife came and she gave me a hug. See how it was like this continuation of things that are put in place in my life that actually help us in these areas. And so I would just highly, highly recommend that we have some semblance of that in our lives. Otherwise, if you’re isolated, it is a lonely, lonely place to be. And it’s in that place of loneliness, that we really get derailed.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, that’s good, man. I love that. And in the book, The Hidden Piece, you do lay out some very practical things that we can embrace and grab a hold of which I absolutely love. As we are kind of processing through these different ways that we want to control or we want to gain power versus the humility, what humility says. Joel, can you just walk us through what are some of the key contrasts maybe between what we might pursue in ministry or in leading, right? What we might pursue there, versus what does that look like when we are in that place of humility, where we’re experiencing that hidden piece? Can you kind of contrast some of those things for us?

Joel Muddamalle 
Yeah, for sure. I think one of the big ones for us is speed. How fast do we get to a place? We live in a culture and a society that wants instant. Like my Apple Maps when I’m driving to the gym or I’m driving to play basketball, it will be like, you can save two minutes, Do you want to save? Yes, I want to save two minutes, right? We want to get to the destination as fast as we possibly can. But, Jason, I’m so convinced after all the study with humility that the Christian life is slow growth. It is intentionally slow because who we are becoming absolutely matters in the context of the destination. What a tragedy for us to get to the destination and short circuit the process and just get there as fast as we can when the person we are when we get to that destination, we actually despise. We’re like, who am I? There’s a real danger. So here’s the contrast between pride and what our culture is suggesting to us is speed, fast, get there as fast as you can. In contrast, humility is like the most important preposition in the Bible is the preposition ‘through’. Humility reminds you it’s not about how fast you get there, it’s about who you are becoming in the process of getting there. It was necessary for Israel to go through the wilderness because they experienced the provision of God in the wilderness. It was necessary for them to go through the Red Sea because they experienced the power of God through the Red Sea. It was necessary for Jesus to go through Samaria because he needed to meet a Samaritan woman at the well who became the first evangelist, right? It was necessary for Jesus to go through the process so that you and I can experience the power, the provision, and the gospel of Christ today. ‘Through’, I would argue biblically and theologically, is the most important preposition. And so humility is this gift that gives us patience, that says, hey, I don’t need to be manipulated, conned, or pressured into growing my church the fastest, growing my ministry the fastest, of seeing my social media explode, or seeing my viral clips become so fast. And so like all of that stuff, I think is working against the sanctification process that the Holy Spirit is trying to do inside of us. I’m not saying these things are bad. But I’m just saying that if those things become the means by which we understand who we are, how successful we are, and who we are in light of who God is, that is broken. It’s bankrupt at the very core. And so, in contrast, humility is this great gift. And then the other thing too, is strength, power, and control. You know, what can I do by my own means? Because we have giftings, we’ve got people who are naturally charismatic, right? You can be naturally charismatic and be bankrupt in character and get a long way. But how worth it is it when it all falls apart? Because it will fall apart, right? And so this is where humility is like, hey, you know what, I’ve got a lot of charisma. But in contrast, humility is like, let’s really make sure that the character is actually outpacing your charisma. I was just talking about this earlier and something I was teaching that I think what’s fascinating about the story of Joseph is that Joseph goes through, there’s this little book-ended parenthetical idea in Joseph’s story, which is that God was with Joseph, the narrator steps on the outside and says, And God was with Joseph. And what is the context? God is with Joseph in the pit, He’s with Joseph in Potiphar’s house, He’s with Joseph in prison, and then finally, when he is elevated to the second commander in the palace, right? Think about the tragedy of if we bypassed that entire ‘through’ situation. And the same Joseph who’s kind of a punk arrogant kid, right? Of the brothers and when he’s like, Yeah, you’re gonna bow to me, if that was the same Joseph who goes and becomes second in command. It was necessary for God to be with Joseph for character formation and transformation. So when Joseph gets to that position of power, he is reminded multiple times, I didn’t interpret these dreams. God did. He just gave me a gift. I’m just mediating this gift, but I’m reliant on God. Same thing when all this stuff happens with the family. I actually think all these things are intended to remind us, this is the second contrast, that we can experience growth and success. But if we attribute our own value and worth and our own ability to it and strip it of that God is the one who has given us these gifts in order to mediate it for His glory, that is going to bankrupt us as well. So those are two kinds of just significant ones that I think are so important for us today in a world where people can really become platform famous pretty quickly. You know what I mean? Like fast. And this is kind of different because, I think of Tim Keller, like Tim doesn’t write his first book until what, in his 50s or something like that? You just start to think about some of these things. And I was with Pastor Louie Giglio and he did this sermon at Passion, and he talks about how they don’t plant Passion City until he’s in his 50s. You’re just like, man, there’s something beautiful in the patience and the through-ness of the Christian life that I think we ought to reclaim and retrieve. And the way we are able to do this is when we open our eyes to the power of humility to accept who we are in light of who God is.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, love that Joel. Man, that’s rich, brother. That’s good. Good word. Good word. Hey, as we’re kind of winding this down a little bit, I would love for you to share. What words of encouragement might you have for pastors and ministry leaders right now? We’re in chaotic times here in the US, no doubt about it. And I would just love to hear what encouragement would you have for pastors and ministry leaders.

Joel Muddamalle 
Yeah, I think of Acts 17:26. Paul is on Mars Hill and he is with all of these philosophers and thinkers. He makes this bold statement that God has determined the boundaries of your existence and the times that you’re in, that you might draw nearer to God and find that he’s always been near you. And my encouragement to you is an encouragement that I personally need that it is not random. Yes, it’s not random that you are in the ministry that you’re in, that you’re in the town that you’re in, or the time period that you’re in. You could have been born in any time period in human history. And if you’re born in this time period, you could have lived anywhere, and yet you live in the time and the city that you live in. This is not random. This is evidence of a good God who has placed you there to help you actually realize that in that process, the Greek phrase to reach out, is used in Greco-Roman literature to describe a person who is blinded and stranded in the darkness and is reaching out to find their way out. That’s the position like hey, You might feel lonely, you might feel like nobody gets you. And as you’re reaching as you’re searching, there’s a good God, and you’re gonna be like, Wow, you’ve been there the whole time. And so it’s this combination of thoughts and ideas that one, God is with you in a very tangible, real way. And secondarily, he’s with you and he’s placed you in the ministry position and context that you’re in, don’t despise it. Don’t long for something that is not what you have right now. And then rob yourself of the beauty of the place that God has placed you in right now. This is the gift of humility. We get to just be deeply rooted in the place that God has us and prepares us for the place that he’s going to take us. And so my encouragement to you is, brother and sister, you’re not alone. Christ is with you. And you’re part of a family of God. And we’re all on mission together, following the leading of the Holy Spirit because we are in the business of God’s kingdom, Jesus on the throne, and we get to all partner together in that.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, love that. Love those words, brother. Hey, if people want to connect with you or learn more about The Hidden Piece, your newest book, those types of things, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Joel Muddamalle 
Yeah, so the primary place that I’m doing a lot of my kind of communication nowadays, ironically, is Instagram. So it’s just @muddamalle. And that’s my website as well, And then The Hidden Piece is everywhere that books are sold. So on Amazon, I know it’s available right now. I’m really excited about this book, it was 1,000 hours of study and research into a biblical theology of humility. And really seeing, the second half of the book really shows, how humility is this virtue that turns the Greco-Roman world upside down because of this group of people that follow the way of Jesus. Because in Philippians 2 it says that Jesus himself was humble. And it’s like, oh, we’re going to take on the clothing of humility and how disruptive that was for a society that was all about platform, position, and power. So yeah, you can find it in all those places.

Jason Daye 
Awesome, brother. Very cool. For those of you watching or listening along, you can get the toolkit at for this episode. And in there we’ll have links to The Hidden Piece, Joel’s new book, we’ll have links to his website and to his Instagram, all those fun things, so you can connect with him as well. So if you are on the treadmill right now or driving down the road and you can’t jot all those down, go to, and we’ll make sure you have all those links. Joel, absolutely loved having an opportunity to hang out with you. The Hidden Piece, the book that you’ve just written, man, so rich. It touched me as I read through it, lots of great things for everyone. But especially reading kind of from our position through the lens of a pastor or ministry leader, man, there are so many things that are so solid and so practical that you provide there. So thank you for being obedient to God, diving into that research and that study, and then putting it on paper so all of us can enjoy some of that as well. So, I certainly appreciate that, brother.

Joel Muddamalle 
Jason, thank you for having me, man.

Jason Daye 
All right. 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 That’s 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 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.

Shareable Social Graphics

Strengthen Your Church

Strengthening your church, for us, begins by serving you, the pastor!