Leading through Hot-button Issues in Ministry : Jimmy Dodd
In the world in which we live, there are so many external crises and policies and issues that people get really passionate about. The challenge for us as ministry leaders is, how do we address these issues in a way in which we do not contribute to the divisiveness, nor do we come across as being dismissive. In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Jimmy Dodd, the founder of PastorServe, as they look at practical ways to address these hot button issues in a way that keeps us from becoming distracted from the heart and the hope of Jesus and His gospel.
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 to this week’s episode – easily share with the ministry leaders in your church
- Audio links to this week’s episode – easily share with the ministry leaders in your church
- 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
- Full-text transcript of this week’s episode – review something you heard, pass along snippets, post tweets, create presentations to share, or use in whatever way you find most helpful in developing your ministry leaders
- Shareable Social Graphics – Feel free to post them on your church social accounts, your personal accounts, or use them as graphics in your communications
Share the video with your ministry leaders >> YouTube
Share the audio podcast with your ministry leaders…
Additional Resource Links
PastorServe – Ministry founded by Jimmy that has been serving pastors by providing coaching, crisis support, and consulting for over two decades
Complimentary 1-hour Coaching Session for Pastors – http://PastorServe.org/freesession
Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger – Book Jimmy referenced written by Ron Sider that explores living with a global perspective, etc
CarePortal.org – A great site that provides opportunities to support and serve soon-to-be mothers, foster children, newborns, etc
Complimentary 1-hour Coaching Session for Pastors http://PastorServe.org/freesession
Ministry Leaders Growth Guide
Key Insights and Concepts
- You are a rich Christian if you have choices, privacy, and opportunities. the majority of the world does not have choices, privacy, or opportunities.
- The way that your church responds to a crisis might not be the same way that another church responds, because every church has a unique background and context
- We must be careful not to judge other churches based upon their degree of passion related to a specific issue
- This is a critical time for every local church to be certain it is based around Jesus Christ
- A local church should not be issue-centered, but Jesus-centered
- It is dangerous if your church finds a large portion of its identity in how it views or responds to a specific issue
- If your church has a strong spirit of unity, but it’s around issues, and not Jesus, then those issues have become your God
- We often oversimplify and compartmentalize issues rather than looking at the interrelatedness across issues
- There are many issues, but five major current issues the Church is facing are: abortion, marriage, gender, poverty, and social justice
- Being pro-life is more than just being pro-birth, it is being consistently for life in every area, from the womb to the tomb
- It’s great to celebrate the Roe v Wade decision, but you have to make sure that your joy is dwarfed by your passion to care for those who will be most impacted. Now is not the time for the Church to sit back and declare victory, but for the Church to step up and serve pregnant women and their babies.
- People are pro-choice, because they want to have options. Now more than ever, the church needs to work incredibly hard to make sure that people do have options when it comes to receiving care, support, medical assistance, housing, financial assistance, etc.
- Every Christ-follower needs to find some way to step up and serve pregnant women, whether that is through adoption, foster care, pregnancy centers, or simply helping an individual mother with needs for her new baby
- CarePortal.org is a great site that provides opportunities to support and serve soon-to-be mothers, foster children, newborns, etc
- The Church needs to be open to fresh, innovative ministries that can extend the love of Jesus in a post-Roe v Wade world
- To best help those impacted by Roe v Wade, etc, we need to be curious, enter into conversations, and ask a lot of questions
- We may not be able to help the entire world, but we can ask God to show us one mother, one child, one family, that we can help and start there
- Every church needs to provide a place and way for people to be reminded of and grounded in the foundational aspects of our faith, such as the creeds and root beliefs
Questions for Reflection
- How do I respond to the idea of the global perspective? Does that change the way I view the ministries of our church? If so, how?
- Are there certain issues/crises that our church is more passionate about? What are they? Why are we most passionate about these issues?
- Am I more focused on secondary issues than I am on Jesus? Are there changes I need to make?
- Is our church more focused on secondary issues than we are on Jesus? Are there changes we need to make?
- Am I oversimplifying some of these greater issues? If so, what will it take for me to better understand them and how they relate to other issues?
- Have I judged other pastors, churches, and/or ministries based on how I perceive their degree of passion to be related to specific issues? What can I do about this?
- How is our church responding to the needs of pregnant women?
- What steps will we take to prayerfully consider fresh ways we can serve soon-to-be mothers, foster children, newborns, single moms, etc?
- Am I making more statements about what I believe or asking more questions about what others are experiencing? How did Jesus relate to others? How can I be more like Jesus?
- How are we as a church helping provide a safe space for questions to be explored and people to find help? What changes do we need to make?
- How are we as a church helping people find grounding in the foundations of faith? Are there things we need to be doing more of? Less of? What might that look like?
In the world in which we live, there are so many external crises and policies and issues that people get really passionate about. The challenge for us as ministry leaders is, how do we address these issues in a way in which we do not contribute to the divisiveness, nor do we come across as being dismissive?
In this episode, I’m joined by Jimmy Dodd, the founder of PastorServe, as we look at practical ways to address these hot-button issues in a way that keeps us from becoming distracted from the heart and the hope of Jesus and His gospel. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Hello, friends, and welcome to another insightful episode of FrontStage BackStage. I’m your host, Jason Daye, and every single week, we come to you and bring you a conversation with a trusted ministry leader, to help pastors just like you embrace healthy, sustainable, well-balanced leadership in both life and ministry, both on the front stage and backstage of your lives. We’re proud to be a part of the PastorServe Network. And every week we do more than just provide a conversation, but we also provide some tools and resources and a complete toolkit, in fact, that you can find at PastorServe.org/network, that will help you and your ministry leaders dig more deeply into the topic at hand. And so we encourage you to go check that out at PastorServe.org/network. Now, if you’re joining us on YouTube, Hello, good to see you. Please give us a like and drop your your name and your church’s name in the comments below. We’d love to get to know our audience better, we’ll be praying for you and your ministry. And whether you’re following along on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform, be sure to subscribe or follow, rate and review. We’d love to get the word out about this particular show. And that helps us reach more pastors and ministry leaders, as well. And as I said, this is an insightful episode… very excited, because we have none other than the founder of PastorServe joining us today, Jimmy Dodd. So Jimmy, welcome to the show, brother.
Hey, Jason, great to see you, my friend.
Good to see you, and it’s been a while. It’s been a few months since we were able to connect, to be on the show together. And so I’m excited to kind of jump back in and join in another conversation with you. Jimmy, you have the opportunity to travel across the country, you speak at a lot of different events, a lot of different gatherings, and you do coaching and consulting with pastors and churches in a variety of different capacities all across the country. And so you, in many ways, have the opportunity to really kind of have your thumb on the pulse of the Church in the country. And so it’s always good to have you in studio and have the opportunity to just kind of hear what you’re seeing out there, hear from your heart. And one of the things that PastorServe is very well known for is crisis care. And crisis care looks a variety of different ways, as many different pastors and churches as there are, there are different ways that PastorServe comes into crises. And when we look at crisis, we know that there are internal, there can be internal crisis within a church, right, leadership crisis, and those types of things and PastorServe does amazing work in helping churches navigate through those. But we also know that there are external crises. And it’s just crazy to think it’s only been a couple of years now, but it seems like a decade, we’ve been inundated with all kinds of external crises as the Church, right? Whether it’s, you know, political tensions and racial tensions, and you know, injustice in the streets and all those types of things happening. The pandemic, of course, is the thing that’s probably freshest in most people’s minds, in many ways, because it just really changed how the world actually has operated and it’s pretty fascinating. But more recently, something that we could, you know, consider an external crisis because it is a social issue here in the US. It is obviously, a religious issue as well, for those of us who follow Christ and there’s lots of different views and conversations around the the recent Roe v Wade decision by the Supreme Court. And so obviously, we’ve heard a lot, our team at PastorServe, we’ve had some some incredible deep conversations over around this and our coaches across the country, working with pastors in navigating this as well. So we wanted to really kind of bring you in and just talk a little bit about this idea of external crises, how they impact the Church, and we’re going to dive into the Roe v. Wade debate, specifically. But before we do that, I know that one of the consistent themes that you write about, that you often speak on, is this need for a global perspective. And this really comes into play whenever you’re considering any crisis, whether it’s internal or external. I know Jimmy, that you credit Ron Sider, who passed away this week, with helping you to gain a global perspective. So can you talk to us a little bit about this idea of global perspective, and why is it so important, especially in times of crisis?
Yeah. First of all, it’s great to see you, Jason, thanks for all you do. This is a great podcast, you do a phenomenal job. And gosh, every episode has been very insightful, and has just caused me to stop and think. So I would say to everybody, if you have not listened to all of these other podcasts by Jason, go back and listen, because they’re they’re very helpful. They’re very insightful. And I think that they will help you and your team just to think through some things that are extremely important. So yeah, yeah, it’s a very important time right now. And my heart was stirred this week because of Ron’s death. And he wrote a book that made everybody uncomfortable, Rich Christians in the Age of Hunger. And it’s like, everybody was very stirred by that book, because it’s like, oh, my gosh, this made me feel guilty. It made me feel terrible. But thank God, I’m not a rich Christian. I’m just a I’m like a, you know, a poor Christian. So I heard Ron speak in chapel at Wheaton College in 1980. And he spoke about that, and it was a very provocative, I mean, it’s just a very strong message. And I can just remember it, because I mean, it was life changing for me. It stirred me very, very deeply. I read the book. And so I thought, Okay, I’ve got to do something. And the thing that I felt like I had to do was to take some time away from Wheaton and find the neediest, that just sounds crazy, but just find the neediest place in the world and go there and serve because I felt like that would help just my overall perspective in life. So I found three new friends that were just equally as crazy. And so we said, okay, let’s, let’s just find this spot on the face of the earth. And we looked everywhere. I mean, we looked all over the world. But at that time, there was like a genocide that took place actually around Cambodia, because of Pol Pot, and the whole thing there. So we thought, okay, did you know that there’s a bunch of refugees? There’s lots and lots of refugee camps. So we went and we served in a really, really rough area, and we got to serve lots and lots of Cambodian refugees on the border. And it was life changing. And so the big question that I have wrestled with, I mean, like, my whole life is really, okay. You know, he talks about rich Christians. And so I have spoken a lot about this: what is a rich Christian? Because I think that most people feel like, okay, that just does not actually apply to me. And I think that this ties in so much with the Church and the way that the Church has to be involved in just, I think all of these issues right now. But I think a rich Christian, and everybody says, “Well, of course, we’re rich spiritually.” And yeah, and I think that we are very, very rich spiritually. But I mean, rich, actually, materially, we are rich people. And people say, “You don’t know my economics, you don’t know my paycheck, you don’t know how much I bring home. So it’s hard to hear you say that I’m rich.” I would say that if you’re on this podcast right now, the odds are crazy high, that you are materially rich. Because, if you have significantly more than the rest of the world, you’re rich. And there are three things that the majority of the world does not have. If you have these three things, you’re rich. The first thing is CHOICE. If you have choices every day, you’re rich. If you woke up this morning, and said I want to choose my shirt, I want to choose what I have for breakfast, I want to choose which pair of shoes, I might even choose which your car I drive today. I want to choose which route I go to work, if you stop off at Starbucks. That’s like 100,000 choices right there. Right? If you stop off at a grocery store, I mean, you know that they’re going to have 100,000 items. We have hundreds of 1000s of choices every day and I mean, like you watch TV and you choose a channel. We choose constantly. Most of the world does not have choice. They wear the same thing every day. It’s rice and beans every day. You might eat once a day in some places. You know what, you might eat twice a day, but most of the world does not have choice, just basic choice, they don’t have it. Two is, if you just have basic PRIVACY, if there is a place where you can go to be alone, you’re rich. Most of the world does not have a place to go just to be alone. So I spent lots of time in some poor, very poor countries. And you know, everybody’s always amazed in Haiti, it’s like, okay, the streets are filled, like the whole day and the whole night. Why? Well, because the average house might have five beds, but they’ve got actually 15 people there, which means that they have to sleep in shifts, and the vast vast majority of the country is unemployed. So if it’s not your time to sleep in the house, which might just be one very small room, if it’s not your time to sleep, you know what, you’re going to walk the streets. And there’s really no place to go to be alone, I’ve been in so many poor countries around the world, and there is no place to go. There’s no, There’s no parks, you can’t go downstairs, in your basement, or wherever it might be. So if you have the chance to go to like a basement or place in your home, or if you can even drive to a park and just walk and be alone, if you have a chance for privacy, you’re rich. And then third, if you just have basic OPPORTUNITY. If you just have basic opportunity, you’re rich. Which means that we need to have that understanding of, we have what we have by God’s grace, and we’ve been born in this country, at this place, at this time, with all of these opportunities. And that makes us unbelievably rich. So it’s always like, Okay, who, you know, who’s like the best golfer in the world right now? I mean, I’m not sure who it is. Let’s just say it’s like Dustin Johnson, for example. Is he the best golfer in the world? And I would always say, no, he’s the best golfer in the world of those who’ve had the opportunity to learn how to play golf, which is less than 1/10 of 1%. The odds are crazy high that if the entire world had the same opportunity to learn how to play golf, he would not be in the top 1000. But he’s the top of those who’ve had the opportunity to learn how to play golf, which is why I always say I mean, like the best Olympian ever, by far, it’s not even close, IS Usain Bolt. People saY, Well, yeah, it’s Michael Phelps. No, it’s not Michael Phelps. Because a small percentage of the world –crazy– knows how to swim. And beyond that, they don’t have pools where they can practice and all of these things, but almost everybody can just run the 100 yard dash. And the fact that he won that in three straight Olympics, he’s the greatest, I mean, he’s the best. But anyway, it’s just about opportunity. I can go on and on there. But I think that those things just help us to think just a bit more globally, and to think out, just kind of a little bit more outside of ourselves. And I think that right now, there are just so so many crises. Do we have to slow down and just take time? To think a little bit and process that maybe the thing that seems obvious, is oftentimes, it’s just not quite so obvious. And so I think that these things can just actually speak into crisis situations around the world right now.
Yeah, yeah, that’s fascinating to kind of process through. And I think you’re dead on there with that assessment, and just really considering how, again, there are these opportunities in our lives, opportunity, privacy, and then choice, that we often take for granted, quite honestly, right. But they really do change the way that we can approach life. And that’s approach life in the good things and really approach life in the difficult things as well. And so talk just a little bit, Jimmy, about how when we talk about external crises, right, and these these different things that are happening, how does this this global perspective, this understanding of choice and privacy and opportunity, how does that play into how we respond to an external crisis?
Yeah, it’s one of the things I think we have to be very aware that it’s very much a case-by-case basis, and the way that your church responds to a crisis might not be the same way that this other church actually responds. And so I would say that one thing that has just been made very, very clear is, this is a critical time for the Church to be based around Jesus Christ. And the thing that has broken my heart over, I mean, like the especially the past, at this point, it’s about 28 months. The thing that has been so hard to watch is that we’ve had more and more churches that have joined and formed and they just feel like they’re all together because of issues and not because of Jesus. And it’s become very, very much an issue-driven church. So we joined together because we feel the same way about the pandemic, we feel the same way about the vaccine. We all agree on CRT and its role, we agree on racism. We all agree on Christian nationalism. And if you have, if it’s one of those things, if you’re in a church, and you feel like there is a strong spirit of unity, but it’s around issues, and not Jesus, then those issues have become your God, those issues have become your God, and it breaks my heart to see the church, as it just, you know, it just becomes well, we were a, you were very much a Christian nationalism, church, we’re an anti vaccine church, we’re an anti-CRT church, we’re more pro-life and abortion, which is great, but I think that there have to be some cautions with that as well. And so, yeah, I mean, I just think that you have to be very cautious, and very, very wise. So I mentioned that thing, actually about abortion, which I realized will raise a lot of questions. But yeah, I’d love to talk about that.
Yeah, and I like to dive in to that as well, because that’s, you know, kind of the, the biggest, I don’t know, if I want to say the biggest, but most recent, obviously, we’ve seen, churches just really kind of wrestle through that. And again, I, and in some ways, I think that the climate has been created over the last several years, where churches are rallying around, as you said, issues, and, and their take on an issue, as opposed to focusing on Jesus. And I know, because I hear this, and I see this a lot. And even in my travel, and my conversations with pastors and the work that I do, that a lot of people justify their passion around an issue by tying it to Jesus, right? So they take that secondary issue, and then they work backwards to Jesus, and then they, so they are justifying, and which is, which is a challenge. And as you said, every every church responds to, to these external crises differently. And, in a lot of that has to do with, you know, where a church might be, and what the church experience, local churches experience might be. A local church, in a rural community of, you know, 1400 people, it’s going to have a very different experience then an urban church in a city of millions, right. So, and that’s just one example. And that’s not to say that, and this is this is where I think kind of some of the rub is, you know, Jesus is the same everywhere, and we believe that 100%. And so people say, Well, this is my view in my context, and therefore, that should be everyone’s view, in every context, because… right? So can we dig in a little bit to some of those nuances, and kind of help those who are watching along and listening along to kind of process a bit through this idea that how we approach an external crisis, how we think through some of these issues that have become lightning rods, matters, in how we are honoring God, for our people, right, our own congregation, but also our witness in our community and our witnesses as the Church in the world.
Wow, that’s a great question. And I think that sometimes that the best answer to questions, I think, is just a case study. And it’s always interesting at PastorServe, you know, that we just, you know, there’s always stories. So it’s one of those things, we don’t have to say, “Well, gosh, a year ago.” So this is last night, this is literally last night, and I want to be very, very confidential. So I’m just going to say that it’s an urban White Church on the west coast. So that’s very, very broad. So I have a talk with a pastor. It’s a very strong pro-life Church, very, very pro-life Church, and I mean, they’re excited and they’re celebrating and, and this pastor just shares with me about his passion for life. And it’s wonderful. And then he makes a statement, and it just caught me, he said, and there is a church that’s right down the street from me, and I don’t know that church well, but I know about it. It’s a black church. And he said, I’m struggling with the fact that it’s a church that we feel like we’re on the same page just as far as theology, and Jesus, and yet, all of a sudden, I watched, they’re just the way that they just react to this. And, and I don’t see them fight for life the way that I fight for life. And then he made this crazy statement, he said, there are times in which I even wonder, because they don’t have a huge passion for this like I do, I wonder if it’s really, really a Christian church? And I said, Okay, let me just gently push, you know, push back on that a little bit. There are five really big, big issues right now in the Church. And, you know, and I mean, there’s obviously a lot more than five this is, this is very, very simplistic. But I mean, like you have abortion, that’s the you know, that’s obviously a big, big issue. And then there’s all these things actually around marriage and gay marriage, it’s a big issue right now. You have gender issues, it’s a massive issue. You have care for the poor right now, which is a huge issue. And then you have social justice, which is a huge issue. And it’s interesting, because Jesus spoke more about the poor than probably actually anything. I mean, there’s so much in there about the poor. And I said, do you understand from that pastor’s perspective, he would say the same thing about you, because of the fact that you aren’t involved with the poor. I mean, like, I know, your church, I know your church. And you’re right in the urban core, and you don’t do much at all for the poor. And you’re not involved in social justice, because you have huge amounts of fear. Because you think, well, if I get involved in social justice, that means I have to speak about racism, I have to actually address the, I have to do these things. And you’re scared of that. So you aren’t going to speak about anything there. So from his perspective, the fact that you have just ignored the poor and social justice, he’s saying the same thing, actually, about you. And I said, you have to be very careful, because I think the Church is called to be involved in all five of those, I think we have to have a strong voice in all those areas. But for some reason, we have kind of made it, you know, felt like it’s okay, you know, as long as you hold it, like 2.5 of those things, you’re really good. It’s like, No, I think that all those things are pretty clear, I believe in scripture. But we have to be very careful that we don’t judge those others that might not have the same passion. But they would say, well, where where’s your heart for the poor? Because Jesus spoke so much about this, I just think we just have to be really careful, we just have to be very, very aware of the fact that it’s oftentimes it’s just not that simplistic.
Yeah, that’s good. And I think the other thing that we often do, speaking of simplifying things, is, and we’re very good at this, kind of across the board as especially here in America, is that we, we do take an issue, and we simplify it to such a degree that we do not really consider all the pieces around it in. And let me give an example. The pro-life, right, obviously, we’re very, very pro-life and believe, from the womb to the tomb, right. I mean, like, this is, that is, you know, very much a part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ, is to fight for those who don’t have a voice, right? And so the idea of being pro-life is not just an abortion issue. Right, right. Being pro-life bleeds into some, I mean, a heart for the poor, actually, directly relates to the pro-life issue, right? But what we do is we compartmentalize things to such a degree. And then we, we might personally have an affinity or like you said, a passion for one particular piece. So we go so strong on that compartmentalized, but then we’re not stepping back and looking at how everything relates, and how it all kind of comes together because you want to talk about abortion. We could spend hours talking about poverty, and social justice, and how all of that relates to abortion. So so this idea of, of how we oftentimes approach things, and this goes back to what you said earlier, how we get issue-focused, as opposed to Jesus-focused. We miss out on, and we kind of neglect, the larger narrative, and we know that Christ was all about life and life to the full. I mean, those are Jesus’ words, not just something we came up with because it sounds cool. And so the idea of thinking through that entire piece and approaching things, not just kind of piecemeal and not compartmentalized, but approaching things with a broader perspective and seeing the interrelatedness, and how does that all align with the heartbeat of Jesus, and what he’s called us to do. So. I would like to, since it’s we have some time here, I would like to ask you, specifically, in regard to the current Roe v. Wade, debate, everything that’s that’s going on around that. What do you think is the role of the local church in regard to that debate?
Yeah, yeah, let me just say, you know, what, I love what you just now said, because I think that you’re exactly right, it’s womb to tomb, and that is pro-life. And there are those that speak very strongly about abortion. And yet the rest of their life is very inconsistent as far as the poor in life, and the need for foster care and for adoption, and for the disabled, I could go on and on. And I see those people and I say, you know, what, they’re, they’re pro-birth, they’re not pro-life, they’re pro-birth. And we are called to be pro-life, which means in every aspect of life, we have to fight for life, which means for the disabled for, I mean, I could go on and on there. But we have to be consistent. And it’s got to be from womb to tomb. I think that that’s exactly right. And so and so there is there is excitement, right now, there’s passion with the Church, for gosh, we have fought this for so long. And in one sense, we won. And I just say, You know what, your celebration has got to be very tempered. Because listen, you have to have more passion, to care for the poor right now. Because, because in most cases, just to be very, I mean, very, very broad brushed here, I find that those who have these massive celebrations are oftentimes those that are not involved with the poor, that face the most need. And so and so there is this, so there is a movement for, you know, there are those that say, Well, we still, you know what, I just think that we have to have pro-choice. And it’s like, okay, they want to be pro-choice, because they want to have options, right. And I think the church needs to work incredibly hard to make sure that they do have choice, that there is a way that they can get cared for, that we provide for them, that we provide for them as far as as far as, you know, things from the doctors to the meds, to housing, to support to, like, economics, to jobs, we have to do everything to help them be in one sense, pro-choice, not in the way the way that we always think about it. But we have to make sure that they have options. And so it’s, it’s great, it’s great, I think, if you have joy over the big decision and such, but you have to make sure that your joy is dwarfed by your passion to care for those who will be most impacted by this and the people most impacted are poor black and Hispanic women. They’re the ones that are very, I mean, just greatly impacted. And so how can you make sure that they have choice? How can you make sure that they receive care and love and support so that they say, Wow, the Church was there. And so I think that the Church has got has got to step up right now. Because if the Church does not step up in a huge way right now, boy, it just mutes our voice going forward, because it’s like, well, they celebrated. But they really did really, really nothing practically, to help those who have these big, big decisions every day. And so I would say that that’s just one thing that you have to know is, you have to you have to be actively involved in this.
Yeah, yeah. I love that. And, and I know there have been many pastors who have vocalized, even when the ruling came down, you know, their excitement in that this was a win for life, but this is just the beginning of an even greater season of ministry for the Church. And it’s not, you know, it’s not a victory in the sense that it’s won and done. It’s more of a victory in the sense that Okay, now, we as the church have the opportunity to step in, and be Jesus to an even greater degree than we have been, because it’s opened the doors for you know, if we’re truly pro-life, then it’s opened the doors for us now, how do we minister, how do we effectively minister to, you know, women who are struggling with this decision? And and what does that really look like? So now it’s shifted from a battle, in a way, against policy to an actual ministry with people, which I think is is a blessing for the Church. But as you said, depending on how we as the Church approach it, it is going to be perceived, it can be perceived in a variety of different ways. And so now is when we need to lean in even, even more, as the church.
I completely agree with that. Yeah, I completely agree. Because it’s okay. Now, if there’s more children born because of lack of, you know, whatever it might be abortions or whatever, okay, this is a chance for the church to step up and be a lot more involved in things as far as like adoption and be involved in care. And so and so I would say that you have to find some place to help and serve. And you know, it, you know, it might be one of those things that you say, Well, I don’t know, if I could actually become a foster parent, I don’t know if I could adopt, I think I’m at that place in life where I just can’t do as much as I can. Listen, there are still ways to be involved, though. There are ways that you can help out in like a crisis pregnancy center, there’s ways that you can help out as far as foster care. Go to, you know, so many sites you can go to, but I believe that CarePortal.org is a great place to go to be involved in foster care, because it’s a way for you to practically meet foster care needs, because there are needs everywhere, like around you. And so if you think well, I probably can’t take in a foster kid, but I could buy a bed for a foster kid. Okay, that’s a great way to do it. CarePortal.org it’s just such a practical way to help. And so you might be called to, you know, to find ways to help out, but you have to find some way to actively be very, very involved in this. And listen, there’s there’s a cost. There will be a cost to the Church, because it can be hard. And I know that because my wife and I, we stepped up and adopted once and then we felt like God said, Okay, you guys aren’t done, and we actually adopted again. And we felt like, you know, God said, You’re not done, so we tried for a third and that did not work out. But the fact that we adopted two, it’s, it’s created, in one sense, some hardship, just I mean, financially on some things. But listen, the blessings massively outweigh it, you know, I mean, like everything by a mile. It’s been the best thing that we ever did. It’s been the greatest. I mean, it’s just such a massive, massive joy in our life. But I mean, like, for us, it was okay, we have to be involved in this. We I mean, like, we can’t just talk about it. So like we have to adopt. And so I mean, like 19 years ago, it was okay, let’s start adopting. So I would say that I think everybody has to find some way to make sure that we’re actively involved in this.
Yeah. And I love that. And I think what’s interesting, Jimmy is for the majority of people in, in ministry right now, pastors, ministry leaders, right now, all all we’ve known for the most part is a, you know, Roe v. Wade world. Right, right. So a lot of our ministries have been created around that reality. And I think what we are going to see and what we have to be open to, is an openness to innovative ministry that we have not been doing for last few decades. Because there is this shift now, and some of the things that the Church has been doing throughout, it’s still going to be helpful. But there are going to definitely be additional things, additional ways, that we can step in, that we can serve, that we can help, that are going to be innovative, that are going to be different, that are going to be fresh needs that, and again, going from battling policy to ministering to people, this idea that we are now leaning into kind of a new world in many ways. And I think one of the one of the things in the midst of this, not just what we do is in serving, but how we approach even conversations. Because right now as we all know, it is very challenging. There are a lot of people that are incredibly upset. There are a lot of people that think that this decision is absolutely ridiculous, and has dismissed them as a person, you know, the whole “my body my choice” type of, all of these conversations, right? So and on, you know, gut level, we want to say, well, it’s not just your body, there’s another body that’s, you know, in a beautiful way, you know, is growing. And so there’s a there’s another life to consider. And that’s, that’s easy for many of us to wrap our brains and hearts around, right. But we can’t just assume, and this is the challenge, that we can’t just assume that everyone is going to, we explain that, and everyone’s going to say, “Oh, yeah, that’s it. What am I thinking?” Because that has not happened for several decades now. Right, so. So can you talk to us a little bit about how do we as the Church, and I’m thinking more conversationally, and the approaches that we take to these conversations in the midst of external crises like this? How do we navigate that, as pastors and ministry leaders, in a way that honors God, honors other people, opens the door to ongoing conversation and the opportunity to express the heart and hope of Jesus? I mean, there’s a lot involved there. But it’s a challenge, right?
Yes. Oh, yeah. That’s a great question. And I think that in the words of Ted Lasso, “Be curious.” And so I think the one thing that can just help so much is, as you know, that there’s these passionate conversations, but just ask some questions. Just don’t don’t make all of these statements for pro-life. And I’m going to do this and I’m gonna stand for this come hell or high water. I’m going to do these… ask some questions about why that’s hard for them. And what what they struggle with, and what are the most important things to them. And I believe that there are cases in which the Church can step in and help. And so it might just be, I mean, I’m going to speak with one person. And you’ll learn that this one person has got some needs, and you find out that you can meet the needs of these one, just have one person. I think the church can’t have a shotgun approach. It can’t be, well, we’re going to just do everything we can for everybody. No, go back to like, I mean, to things like John chapter five. It’s like, okay, Jesus goes to one person, right? Just one person heals that one person then leaves, okay. Just pray, God, show me that one person, show me that one person that you want our church to serve? It’s not going to be well, we’re going to help everybody. No, no, no, just who’s that one person that has a huge need right now? But if we’re just curious, and ask those questions, and I think if we just dialogue, that we will learn so much more, I believe about other people. And then we’ve got to do everything we can, especially other Christians. And listen, there are Christians that we will strongly disagree with. But I think that we have to be able, just to create that space for “Listen, we really disagree on this. But this is not the most important thing, the most important thing is Jesus, and let’s make sure that we can just, we can just always maintain that we have a friendship, that we have a unity that’s based around Jesus and not this issue.” And so I think that pastors have got to just constantly work hard to make sure that their church is a safe place to have these conversations. And they’re not well, you know, based upon that I want to leave this church. No, it’s got to be a church where we are safe to say, I feel very, very opposite, actually about, I mean, like the Row v Wade decision, I feel opposite about the vaccine, about Christian nationalism, about CRT, we could go on and on. But we’ve got to create a safe place, the only way to create a safe place is to preach Jesus, and the fact that Jesus is central and our unity has got to be based around that. And then we can start to have some hard conversations, but they take place in a very safe space. So I would say yeah, just be very curious, and ask a lot of questions before you make a lot of statements.
Yeah, that’s good. That’s excellent. That’s excellent. Certainly appreciate that. Brother, as we are winding down here, it’s been great to be speaking with you once again, and hearing what you’ve been experiencing and, and helping helping us kind of all process through this, you know, especially this, you know, timely topic here. As we wind down, can you just share with us, you know, what do pastors need to kind of keep in mind when it comes to engaging, regardless of what the crisis might be or what the issue might be? I know you said, you know, how do we you know, be curious and those types of things. But any final words of encouragement to pastors, I guess from you, Jimmy, as to looking at, we don’t know what the next crisis will be, right? So generally speaking, as a pastor leading a local church, what are some words of encouragement that you can leave with them when they’re looking at, how do we navigate these things?
Gosh, that’s a great question. I think that now is a very, very important time. Just to go back to I think, the very, very basics of our faith. I would say that a thing that we don’t do well, oftentimes in the Church, and I mean, you know, like, this, again, is a very broad brush. But I think that we need to go back to I think, just like the creeds even, you know, that this is a great time to go back and say, Okay, we’ve got to go back to the basis of our faith, which means we might say, you know, what, like the Lord’s Prayer, or the Apostle’s Creed, or the Nicene Creed, or we have to make sure that we have got at least a few, you know, I mean, like songs every week, that like in one sense, are very creedal, that are very, a this is some deep, deep doctrine about our faith. So we sing like “In Christ Alone” or you have some songs that are this goes back to the basics and the foundation. Because I think that this is a time in which there’s so many opinions and so many issues, and the church can strongly disagree in so many ways, which makes pastors exhausted, right? Which just exhausts pastors, because it’s like, you know, what I want to leave right now, because my church is so divided over all of these issues. And it’s a heartbreaking time because we know that there’s a massive percentage of pastors that say, you know, gosh, I think I’m done. I think the last thing I read from Barna was 43% are on the verge of saying I’m done, which is heartbreaking. But we have to go back to Okay, the basis of our unity is not Roe Wade, it’s it’s not the pandemic, it’s not all of these, it’s Jesus. And so let’s make sure that every week in church, that we do at least something that goes back to basics, so it’s a creed, it’s a prayer, you know, it’s a worship song, that just says it’s got to be actually about Jesus. And I know that we just constantly beat that drum. But man, that’s just got to be said, it’s got to be the gospel of Jesus Christ that unifies us, and not issues. Because if you are unified by issues, then those issues have become your God. We’ve got to go back to Jesus.
Yeah, I love that. I love that we got to kind of stay grounded in foundational things.
Yep, you say it much more… That’s it. There you go.
I was just summarizing, just summarizing.
Hey, that’s it right there.
Awesome, brother. Oh, as always, it’s a joy to be with you, Jimmy, thank you for all that you and PastorServe does. And I do want to let people know who are watching along or listening in that our coaches are available. If you are as a pastor, right, Jimmy going through these things you want to navigate these you just need someone to talk to, we have, we have a great way for you to get a complimentary one hour session absolutely free. Go to PastorServe.org/freesession, and just fill out the information, and one of our coaches will be happy to contact you. No obligation, just an ear, you know, someone that can listen and hear what you’re going through what you’re processing through right now and just spent a little bit of time with you. It gives you a taste of what having a coach in your life might be like, and which we know is super important, especially when you’re trying to navigate these types of issues. So again, PastorServe.org/freesession. And then of course, if you want to dig more deeply into my conversation with Jimmy today, go to PastorServe.org/network and there you’ll find some, some questions and reflections and opportunities for you to dive in more deeply. So brother, it is a joy, as always, to hang out with you… absolutely love it. And just appreciate your heart for God, for pastors, for His church, and really for people who are wandering and people who are not yet convinced of the Lordship of Jesus Christ and your heart for them. So, that’s what it’s all about my friend, so thank you for taking time to be with us today.
Thank you so much, Jason, you do an amazing job. This is the best podcast out there. So I’m very grateful for you.
Thank you, brother. God bless you. Thank you so much. 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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