Navigating Transitions in Life & Ministry : Kenneth Boa
As pastors and ministry leaders, we face a number of transitions throughout our lives and ministries. Some of those transitions are welcomed, some are forced. Some feel great, and some are painful. So the question is, how do we navigate these transitions in a healthy way that both honors God and helps us grow more deeply in our faith? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Ken Boa, president of Reflections Ministries, and author of a number of books, including his latest, Recalibrate Your Life. Together, Ken and Jason explore the tremendous opportunities that are presented to us as we face transition. They look at ways that we can reflect and recalibrate our lives so that we can grow in our intimacy with Christ in such a way that it impacts our lives and our ministry.
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
www.reflections.org – Check out Ken’s website where you will weekly studies, books, events, and other resources.
Recalibrate Your Life: Navigating Transitions with Purpose and Hope – In their book Ken Boa and Jenny Abel give us the perspective and practical tools needed to evaluate our God-given gifts, talents, skills, wisdom, knowledge, resources, and opportunities so we can use them to the full extent God desires.
Connect with Kenneth Boa – Twitter
Feeling overwhelmed, burned out, or just want to talk? Complimentary Coaching Session for Pastors http://PastorServe.org/freesession
Ministry Leaders Growth Guide
Key Insights and Concepts
- Pastors and ministry leaders all go through transitions, whether welcomed or forced.
- Because of the nature of the field, pastors and ministry leaders face a spiritual aspect with the transitions they experience.
- God’s plans are often seen as interruptions to our calendars but are an opportunity to be guided by the Spirit.
- It’s important to know Him and the power of His resurrection while also fellowshipping in His sufferings and being conformed to His death.
- Biblical hope is formed in times of adversity and can help form a deeper relationship with God.
- The response to hard circumstances is more important than the circumstances themselves.
- God has a universal purpose for all believers as well as a unique purpose for each individual. It’s essential to prayerfully revisit the unique purpose on a regular basis.
- Treasuring Jesus above all else will guide your reaction to transitions and keep your heart focused on obedience to Him.
- God provides the opportunities and determines the outcome. The control that is felt by those in ministry is just an illusion.
- Prayer should not be approached as a strategy session based on the plans of those in ministry, but a recalibration to submit all things to God’s will.
- Those in ministry need others around them for encouragement and accountability.
- The life of a ministry leader needs to include an ongoing practice of dwelling on the things of the Lord instead of the things of the world.
Questions for Reflection
- What transitions have I been through in ministry? How was my response to the hard circumstances, and what would I change?
- What spiritual aspects of transitions have I encountered since being in ministry?
- How does it feel different when I’m letting the Spirit guide my days rather than operating only by my own calendar?
- Where have I seen biblical hope grow in my life because of a difficult circumstance? What patterns have I seen when my response is Spirit-led as opposed to self-led?
- What is God’s unique purpose for my life and ministry? Have I prayed recently about this specifically for God to recalibrate my heart toward His will?
- When have I regretted being disobedient to God’s calling or plan? How has that helped me to be obedient in the future?
- How do I feel that I have control over my days and my plans? How can I consistently remind myself that God is in control of all of my opportunities and the outcomes of the opportunities?
- Does my prayer life look more like a strategy session or an opportunity to recalibrate to God’s will? Why and how can I make it more about His will in the future?
- Do I have people around me that are there to encourage me and also keep me accountable? If not, how can I intentionally start to acquire those types of relationships?
- Is there an upcoming transition I am needing to make, either wanted or forced? How can I keep my heart focused on God’s will and make the most of the opportunity during this time?
As pastors and ministry leaders, we face a number of transitions throughout our lives and ministries. Some of those transitions are welcomed, some are forced. Some feel great, and some are painful. So the question is, how do we navigate these transitions in a healthy way that both honors God and helps us grow more deeply in our faith?
In this episode, I’m joined by Ken Boa, president of Reflections Ministries, and author of a number of books, including his latest, Recalibrate Your Life. Together, Ken and I explore the tremendous opportunities that are presented to us as we face transition. We look at ways that we can reflect and recalibrate our lives so that we can grow in our intimacy with Christ in such a way that it impacts our lives and our ministry. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Hello, friends, and welcome to yet another insightful episode of FrontStage BackStage, I am your host Jason Daye. Every single week, I have the distinct privilege to sit down with a trusted ministry leader. And together we dive into a conversation all in an effort to help you and pastors and ministry leaders just like you embrace a healthy sustainable rhythm for both life and ministry. It’s a joy to be able to be with you this week. And we are proud to be a part of the Pastor Serve Network. Each week, not only do we provide a conversation for you to help you and the ministry leaders at your local church to grow and develop, but our team also creates an entire toolkit available to you at PastorServe.org/network. There you will find a number of resources including some key insights, and a Ministry Leader’s Growth Guide, which provides questions for you to reflect upon to dig more deeply into the topic at hand. So be sure to check that out at PastorServe.org/network
. At Pastor Serve we also love to bless pastors and come alongside of you as you are working through the ministry and processing through your life. We’d love to help you make progress on some of those things that you’re looking at. And we offer a free, complimentary coaching session with one of our trusted coaches. And you can learn more about that at PastorServe.org/freesession. So be sure to check that out as well. Now, if you’re joining us on YouTube, please give us a thumbs up, be sure to hit the notification bell so you do not miss out on any of these conversations. Also, take a moment to drop your name and the name of your church in the comments below. We love to get to know our audience better. And our team will be praying for you and for your ministry. Whether you’re following us on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform, again, please be sure to follow or subscribe, so you do not miss out on these conversations. Very excited for our conversation today. At this time, I would like to welcome Ken Boa to FrontStage BackStage. Ken, welcome!
Glad to be with you today.
Yes, all right, excellent brother. As pastors and ministry leaders, we know that we are not exempt from experiencing transitions in our lives. And in fact, we may even feel some transitions, in some ways at perhaps a deeper level than others would specifically because we are in ministry. For example, if we are transitioning from serving one church to serving a different church in another part of the country, we experience all of the typical transitions that most do. Yet, Ken, the spiritual transition, the spiritual aspect, and the vocational aspect are so deeply intertwined for us in ministry, that it’s kind of a different sense, a different feel. Transitions such as these give us an opportunity, as you say, to recalibrate your life, which just happens to be the title of your latest book. And it’s an appropriate title at that. So to begin, Ken, I would love to kind of tackle this idea of, when we face a transition, you share that it actually gives us some opportunities, right? Some opportunities to recalibrate, to think through, to process through, to be intentional. So what are some of those opportunities we can actually be looking at, as we navigate transitions in ministry?
You know, there are an array of opportunities that are given to us, some that are planned and some that are unplanned. And so those moments that are Kairos moments versus those are Chronos moments and we all know, I hope, the difference between those two. Because the biblical vision of Kairos is very different than our own approach to chronological planning and scheduling in our calendars and so unless we are wise we will miss out on these opportunity times that God has given us that we should embrace. So I think of Chronos as my plans, I put it in my calendar. But I claim that the most important thing we may do this very day will not be on our calendar. But it will be perceived perhaps as an interruption, although I think it could be an invitation prompted by the Spirit of God. But we have to be open to allow the Spirit to guide and navigate our plans so that we submit our plans to His.
Yeah, that’s helpful. And I love the idea of, we plan but God interrupts, as you said, or invites us in ways that do not connect to things that we’re planning and putting together. And so these transitions, some are planned, some are unplanned. When it comes to our lives as ministry leaders, oftentimes early in our ministry careers where we can be very optimistic, right? Very excited to take on everything. But cynicism can creep in over time, as we receive some battle wounds and some scars. How do those experiences that we have, those kind of real-life real-time experiences in ministry, that may not be as pleasant as we had hoped? How did those experiences help, or maybe even hurt or harm, our approach to these transitions in our lives?
Yes, because as again, some of these will be voluntary things that are good, that we want. Like getting married, moving, starting a new job, or having a child. But then there are these other things as well, that would be emerging from a transitioning from one kind of thing to another, that was not so pleasant, but painful. A part of the perspective, a biblical perspective, on that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection… that we want. But the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death, we’re not so keen on hearing. But we all know that biblical hope is only forged in times of adversity. And as a consequence, we need to embrace a biblical perspective of being receptive to the works of the Spirit, because when we are weak, then He is strong. So many times God brings us often to the end of our tether, to draw us to Him. So, it’s not the circumstances, but our response to the circumstance. In my view that makes all the difference in the world, whether you become bitter or better. But we should be people who are willing to ask the Spirit to guide and to lean into the prompting of the Spirit of God so that we can discern, and prayerfully recalibrate, and reorient our lives on a regular basis. And I’d say recalibration, it’s not just for retirement, this is something we’re supposed to do. The sooner you do it, the better off you’ll be, because you’re kind of readjusting your perspective and getting perspective and a sense of purpose. Why am I here on this day? What’s my purpose for being here today? So it’s a perspective, it’s a matter of understanding the larger overall sight of what gives meaning to life, and then what gives direction to life? So recalibrating our purpose and revisiting as well, our practice? How do we wisely invest our lives? So these are all practices that I think can be very valuable for us to pursue.
Yeah, as pastors and ministry leaders, often, we have a sense to a degree, because we’ve accepted a call into ministry. And so we sense this idea of purpose, right? You know, the general purpose, like you talked about, the big purpose like, okay, we’re in this. Talk to us a little bit, Ken, about how at different stages in life, and different transitions, we find ourselves in a new ministry environment, called to serve at a new church or in a new ministry organization. We understand the overarching purpose, but Ken, how can we in the midst of a transition to maybe a new ministry setting? How can we process through and come to a deeper understanding of a more specific purpose, or there’s some tools and some assessments or some things that we can process through to help us with that more specific purpose?
Yes, I think that purpose is a process that we actually assess, and again in recalibrating, we revisit those things. God has an ultimate purpose for all things. There’s a universal purpose. It has to do with the Great Commission and evangelism and edification. I call it E squared. That’s something that is a universal purpose for all believers. But then there’s a unique purpose that God has for us that will actually reflect and refract the glory of Christ through the prism of our personalities in such a way that we are being shaped and conformed into His image for a purpose that He can use. But I think that in this journey, then, revisiting this and prayerfully processing, what is my unique purpose in my life. What purpose do I have? And sometimes we even can use various biblical statements that can be exercised, various biblical ideas that can be used for a sense of what purpose might be. But at the same time, we can also reforge and have a perspective on what really matters most in other specific ways for my life journey. So often looking back and having times where I reflect on the past to get the backward look, I have the inward and upward look. And then I have the future look, the forward look. And as I see that, then I’m called to be conscious and open and have an interior life that animates my exterior. I think one of the biggest problems that pastors struggle with is working out of the realms of excellence, pursuing excellence. Perhaps that’s theoretical excellence, that they think well, and functional excellence, where they practice well. But often the blunder that we make, although we give lip service to the interior life, the interior life of spiritual excellence, which animates moral excellence, and then that third is the relational excellence, that’s another matter. The way I describe it, then is that the spiritual excellence, which means that the life of Christ in me, has to be formed first and foremost. So, I find myself asking these three questions. What do I seek? This is the very first question that Jesus asks. Then, well, who is he to me? Who do you say that I am? And then third, do you love Me more than these? So that’s interior life, spiritual excellence, which in my mind, animates and energizes moral excellence. And moral excellence is the fruit of the spirit where we walk in the power of the Spirit. And that in my mind, is the basis and the key for relational excellence. My wife knows that when I’m walking in this flesh versus the Spirit, it’s painfully obvious. So only the love, joy, and peace, which is an overflow, the byproduct of the pursuit of God. And I call that loving well, and the interesting thing is, if we miss out on that interior life, it can be like a Florida sinkhole, you have the theoretical and functional excellence, but the interior life may be deficient. So my view of the recalibration is to have the inward look and the upward look as part of that. And then to read, and on the horizontal level, to look at the journey we’ve taken thus far. Where have I been, why have I been there? And to revisit that. And that’s one of the things we do, one of the tools we have in this book, is a kind of a recalibration retreat, where you can actually… how can you revisit these things? Because unless you are wise, and have a sense of perspective, and a long-term perspective of where I am, and where I need to be, you will miss out on the journey.
Yeah, I love that. Ken, that’s very helpful. And whenever you look at that, and think about kind of those concentric circles like the center of being spiritual in the moving to the moral, you know, how does that impact the moral, how does the moral impact the relational? Those are, to use our terminology for pastors and ministry leaders, that’s kind of backstage stuff, right? That’s kind of our personal stuff, the spiritual, the moral, the relational. Then the front stage stuff, the stuff that everyone thinks of when they think of a pastor or ministry leader, is more of that theoretical and functional, like, how is that looking? And we can, like you said, it becomes kind of that sinkhole. You can have those outer bands that are functional and that theoretical, appearing somewhat good, somewhat decent, you know, it looks like you’ve got things together. But if those deeper places, the spiritual, the moral, the relational, the backstage stuff are not happening, it all can come crumbling down, right?
I think that’s right. As I see it, intimacy animates and energizes activity, so that our activities, but our natural temptation will be trying to do it in our form and our power and offering it up to God. And I tell people to stop doing things for Jesus and invite Him to do them in you and through you as you. So a lot of this has to do with our identity and grasping who and who’s are we in this world on a regular basis. That’s why I ask those questions. What am I looking for more than anything else? That is because the heart will always make room for what it treasures. And as a consequence, if I’m treasuring the things that are most needful, in my view, if I’m treasuring Him above all others, then at the end of the day, I’m pursuing this because I want to know Him. And that’s why intimacy is the real pursuit, because the other things that we’re looking for… success, perhaps a sense of significance, a sense of satisfaction, security. Those are I think byproducts of the pursuit of Christ above all, you’ll never find them as by pursuing them. And so many pastors stumble into the idea of just trying to attain a standard that the world tells them they should pursue without really being driven and called by a sense of, what is the Spirit prompting me to do? What has he been doing in my life journey? And one of the big mistakes we also make is the metrics game where my claim that, as Dallas Willard used to put it, ABCs: attendance, buildings and cash. Those is not the metrics of the kingdom of God. Or nickels and noses, or buildings and budgets and body count. And if we’re not careful, my claim is that we can miss out on that. The fourth soil disciple is the person who actually multiplies 30,60, 100 fold. And though their numbers are terribly small, I think the fourth soil is a very small number, indeed. Nevertheless, by human metrics is small. But there’s an incalculably diffusive impact that our work can have if we are doing it as unto the Lord and not seeking to be impressive or pleasing them. And I can’t play by two sets of rules. And I can only seek to be really serving one audience. And so if we’re not careful, we will be succumbing to a divided life, a separated life. So for me with the pastors, guard your hearts and to discern who am I. What do I seek more than anything else? And allowing Christ to grow in my life. And then making that a manifestation for others. So I’m a big believer, though, in excellence on the theoretical, and then the practical, the functional. But let’s make sure that we don’t play the numbers game. And then the game of comparison, which is the enemy of contentment.
Yeah, that’s good. That’s golden, Ken. And so helpful, I think, for all of us in ministry, whatever stage in life or ministry we find ourselves in. Because all of those are temptations, right, they become temptations. And even sometimes the way that, if we’re part of a denomination or a church network or a group of pastors, even sometimes the way those are set up, it’s kind of leaning toward pushing us toward those types of metrics, which miss out on that intimacy piece, where as you said, that’s where everything springs from, right?
That is right. So that’s why if we really pursue God’s purposes, we have to then allow Him to determine the outcome. In other words, I’m called to be faithful to the process and let go of the ownership of the results. And really, it’s always been so that there’s opportunity, and there’s obedience, and there’s outcome. And the way I put it then, is that opportunities are divine sovereignty, I can’t control that. I didn’t determine where I’d be born and so forth. What do you have that you didn’t receive? And this is, by the way, I can’t stress this enough for pastors of the key understanding of 1 Corinthians 4:7. What do you have that you didn’t receive, then why do you boast as if you didn’t receive it? That whole key is to realize everything you are and have is His gifts of grace. God provides the opportunities and he determines the outcomes. But my call is to be obedient to the process. And so to let loose of the outcome, it’s no easy task. To let go of the illusion of control, because the fact is, I never was in control. Control is an illusion. And the two things I need to embrace are, first of all, that I’m not in control of anything. It’s just an illusion we sleep with if we’re not careful. And secondly, God has our best interests at heart, and we don’t even know what they are. And that’s the biggest hard hardship for anyone in ministry to grasp. We suppose we know what our best interest looks like. And so we treat prayer as a kind of a strategy session between ourselves and God, in which we tell God what our best interests look like, and then give suggestions as to how and when to pull it off. So that’s not prayer. To recalibrate is to allow him to actually decide and tell me to recalibrate my will with His rather than His with mine. And so that’s a hard hard thing to do. Otherwise, I won’t be able to trust Him to treasure the eternal over the temporal.
Yeah, that’s so helpful, Ken. And so very true. And as you mentioned earlier, some of those transitions in our lives are unexpected or unplanned, some of them are forced, and some of them are painful. So as we look at those types of transitions, Ken, in our lives and, you know, could be anything. We could be terminated from a ministry position, you know, we could experience a challenge in our marriage that we didn’t expect, could be any number of things. How can we approach those unwanted painful transitions in a healthy way?
Yes, of course, it needs to be done not in isolation, but in community. The problem many pastors have though, is they can be very lonely. They’re simply called to minister to other people unless they have people who will watch over their souls. And so that’s where I think recalibration, there’s wisdom and an accountability component. And I think that’s true in many respects because I need to invite accountability. Because I can’t impose it, but I can invite it. And it’s desirable for me to protect myself from myself. And so when I do that, then when I’m in the process of transition, or assessing something, then I need other wise people to give me the discernment of seeing patterns that I might not be able to see myself. But I think we need to encourage one another to do that. And if there are areas in my life, in my interior life, that have not been exposed, if there’s something that I have not named, it has a power over me. And so anonymity then invites the subtle movements that we can see where we lose our fidelity to our purpose, and it can be a very gradual erosion. So subtle that one thing can lead to another until you wake up and say, How did I get here? You become a minus seven. We hear about these pastors who have been caught after sometimes years of a quiet life because they were not accountable. It’s easy to give the illusion of accountability, but it’s only basically as good as the information upon which is based. And so unless I am willing to acknowledge this to someone, if I don’t name that demon, it’ll have a power over me. So I need to acknowledge that and invite a person to ask me hard questions about where I am in that. You can’t do this with everyone. Unless we have a community for loners, we can’t make it. So one of the things then is to, first of all, have this quality of an interior life that, in my mind then, loving well, which is which was what I mean by that. That’s the being you see, that’s the heart. So I go from heart to head to hands. Being, knowing, and doing. So loving well means those things. If I have that and bring that to learning well, so I’m always in a modality of reception and willing to hear other points of view and perspectives, then learning well will then empower my functional excellence as well as living well. But I must define myself not by the things that are visible, but by the things that are unseen because that’s a tough call for a pastor to make. That is to say, If faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen, it means that we’re taking a terrible risk of pursuing what’s not yet over and what’s now, and what’s not visible over what we can see. But we are spiritual beings in this world, and therefore we are embodied beings, but we’re spiritual beings. So as amphibious beings, we have to live and train ourselves, especially as spiritual leaders, to be people who are for God’s purposes who live “quorum Deo” – before the heart of God. And who cultivate that interior excellence and practices presence so that we then become an agent that can become a person that can empower other people as well. Out of the resources we’ve got on the vertical then we can actually empower others as well. So these are things that I think we can miss if we’re not careful. We just go for the numbers and the metrics.
Yeah, Ken, that’s very helpful. And oftentimes it’s in these moments of transition that we find ourselves being more reflective, right? Because when we’re not in transition, we’re just kind of go go go. We’re in process, things are happening. These types of transitions allow us to do what you were just talking about, Ken. Allow us to be more reflective, allow us to think through the heart to head to hands. What does it mean to love well, learn well, and live well and how does that express itself? I know in your book, Recalibrate Your Life, that you and Jenny provide a lot of different assessments, you know, practical assessments, which I found very very helpful, that you can actually process through and go through in this moment of recalibration. Can you talk to us a little bit, Ken, about a perspective of us taking advantage of transition for the opportunity to recalibrate, to better ourselves, and to learn more about ourselves and God? Because oftentimes we look at transition as just busyness or maybe a little bit of chaos, and we’re trying to sort through. But you approach it as transition opens the door to really grow. So talk to us about that.
Yes, those are moments of growth. They’re not always welcome. But at the same time, there is a need. There are going to be the Kairos moments that God brings into our life, whether we like them or not, both for good and for ill, that can actually force us to readjust. Because if I’m off one degree, to use the imagery of a person on a voyage, on a sailing ship, a cruise ship, or something. Go off one degree, and that will amount to many in the future if I don’t continually readjust. So I have to constantly reassess. And there are tools, we are actually keen in this, for us to do that. But then there are Chronos moments, rather, and that’s where we plan times of refreshment and revisiting. A guide to a personal recalibration retreat, for example, is one of the 18 tools. And if we do not take time, like half a day to do that, we will have a starved perspective. The interior life, you need to stop look and listen. There need to be times when we stop, ask, and create the place, a greenhouse as it were, for growth. And you can’t cause the plant to grow. But you can create the conditions of growth. And that’s where the disciplines come in. Because the disciplines are not ends in themselves but means to the ends of intimacy. So that the more intimate I am with Him, the more I’m able to hear His voice, I’m able also to discern what is his desire in this and to realize I can trust Him, though I’ll never understand Him. But at the same time, I can grow in my understanding of that voice and I’ve never regretted an act of obedience. Not once. I push, and I often resisted. But in the long run, I never regretted. And in the long run, I’ve always ended up regretting acts of disobedience. I have a perfect track record. And you do too, and the reality is, it should be a no-brainer. And yet, we’re still going to be tempted. We may shoot ourselves in the foot this very day. Because unless you’re continually abiding in Christ, and these metaphors, a pastor needs to convince his flock that the need is for us to set our mind on the things above, to walk by the Spirit, to abide in Christ, to pray without ceasing, to rejoice, and to be grateful in all things. That’s the hard gratitude as well. You don’t just abide in the morning, and maybe before you go to bed. You don’t walk, you don’t love your neighbor in the afternoon, and forget later. These are ongoing practices, and to set our minds the things that are true and right and honorable and lovely and pure and good repute, if anything’s worthy, and excellence of praise, dwell. He commands us to do that. And yet we tend to dwell in just the opposite, it’s called the news. So having a perspective then, of being a person who has an interior quality of life, a solidity, is they send the roots downwards deeply into the top root of God’s love and word. And then doing so, then they bear fruit upwards. So in my view, I’m totally for the doing, but it needs to be energized and animated by the being. And that’s our mistake because the world we know tells us, what you do defines who you are. The word says who we are should shape what we do. But it’s easy to get the word-to-world ratio all upside down.
Yeah, I love that man. Such wisdom, Ken. Certainly appreciate that, and appreciate the work you’ve done through Recalibrate Your Life. I want to give you an opportunity to kind of wind down our conversation. First, to share some words of encouragement. You’ve got the eyes and ears of pastors and ministry leaders. And we all know it’s challenging times, right, to be serving right now. So speak some encouragement to us.
Yes, because we need encouragement. Especially as we see the day drawing near. In my view, I think we are in the times of the signs. But regardless of your view of eschatology, I can promise you, you’re in your last days. In other words, live as if you only have a few moments left. And I’ve been trying to encourage people. First of all, instead of wringing our hands in despair and cursing the darkness, you and I are called to live prolifically, which means the power of the age to come in this present darkness, it’s an incredible concept. And that means that we are agents of light in this dark world. And so my word of encouragement, in part, would be the whole idea of seeing what it looks like in terms of the character we should manifest. That we are proving ourselves to be blameless and innocent, that’s the interior life. That’s our character. That’s what empowers our ministry. Yes, we need to, we know our culture, I don’t need to become so granular that I fixed myself only on that. Instead, I want to see that I can also be an agent of light. The light overcomes the darkness, you overcome error was truth, light with darkness. And so you hold fast to the Word of Life. That’s my calling, we all have that in waiting for the coming of Christ. So I live with two days on my calendar. This day and that day. And if I do it that way, then I’m going to live as if that’s all I’ve got. I use this metaphor. Now instead, imagine that you, when he says, Teach us to number our days that we may present to you a heart of wisdom in Psalm 90. I use a different metaphor now of imagining instead of being given 70 years, or if due to strength, 90, 80 rather. Imagine that you’ve been given 90 years that you can live. So you have the number of days that are there before you. And so Psalm 90, I talk about that. And imagine you had 90 years, what most people would do is they would actually postpone in many times. Oh, I still have time. No, now’s the time to live as if it’s your last time. So I use the metaphor of 90 days, it’s an interesting thing that this EMT, Medic, when he’d go on certain accident situations would find that certain people would only have a few minutes left to live, and what would they do? Suppose you only had 90 days, fixed days. And now make it 90 minutes. What are your last thoughts as you’re thinking about that? Now you’ve got 90 seconds, so he calls it impending doom? Suppose you have less than a few minutes, only a few minutes? What are you thinking about? And if it’s family, if it’s your friends, if it’s your ministry? If it is your children? Wrong answer. Give me Jesus. It all comes down to being prepared for the one thing most needful. The eternal and the infinite must transcend anything that’s less than that. And so in my view then, seeing home as our final destination, I need to live as if I’m right on the edge, that I have 90 seconds left, because how can I be so sure that I do? So the wise person then would be living with eternity in mind and actually living with a perspective that energizes and animates an aspiration. The world will define you by default. Do nothing, it will define you. But the Word of God will only define you by discipline. So, therefore, that’s why no one wakes up and they’re suddenly spiritual. So the whole idea is to live with two days in my calendar because it’s all I’ve got is today. I don’t have yesterday and tomorrow. And the other day, the Bema, when I’m going to stand before Christ and give an account. And if I am living well, and loving well, and learning well, I am going to be a person who lives in such a way that he’ll hear the “well done”. And so if I have Him… you love Me more than these then I have everything thrown in. So the beauty of that then, is by loving Christ more than anything else, so brook no rival. The wonderful irony is that if I love Him more than I love my wife, for example, I will love her more than if I love her more than Christ. So it’s not the diminishment, but it’s the energizer of love. But he will brook no rival. So, who do you, and what do you seek? Ask yourself this every day. Who do you say that I am? Who am I to you right now? And then you love Me more than these. And so is there any rival to them? That’s an assessment to trusting God. So I trust the Father, abide in the Son, and walk by the Spirit. I think if we do that, our quality of life of intimacy with Christ will energize our activity in such a way that we will be shepherds and pastors who are great leaders. Because the metaphor of leadership is that leadership is really to be seen, as we know, as a stewardship. We don’t own anything or possess anything. It’s His. We’re going to be accountable. But it’s also leadership as a shepherding. So that moves from the position, that I have my perspective as a steward, to the people in my life. And then it’s also, third, leadership as a servanthood. So there’s the steward, there’s the shepherd, there’s the servant. That’s my practice. So my perspective should shape the people that I’m working with and then that affects my practice. So living with an interior quality of life of excellence, that’s what I’m longing for. In practicing His presence throughout the course of the day, training yourself to be a spiritual being in this earthbound world. It’s a soul-forming world and we’re not home yet. Well, that’s my little sermonette.
Yeah, I love it, Ken, I love it. So encouraging and so insightful and really challenging. Challenging us to stop and assess which is what you do. I mean, that’s the drum that you beat, is encouraging us to stop, to pause, to reflect, and to respond, right?
Yes, to be grateful and content. To show people the quality of love and joy and peace in a broken world. And how can we be people of gratitude and contentment when so few people have it? I think it’s by looking at beauty. And by the way, I’ve changed the transcendental. I used to say truth, goodness, and beauty. Now it’s beauty, goodness, and truth. Because God exposes himself through the beauty, though fallen, of this created order. I’m a scientist. And as a philosopher of science, I am more and more astonished with the micro media and macrocosm. To train yourself to see beauty in everything you see. And that’s the outside in. And then the inside out is to practice His presence. And the Word of God and the world of God reciprocally energize each other. So you are a person of presence and peace and power in the world, and you manifest a quality of life of hope that demands an explanation. So live in such a way that they ask you to give an account for the hope that’s in you.
Yeah, I love that, Ken, such good stuff, such good stuff. Now, Ken, if people want to check out your latest book, Recalibrate Your Life, if they want to dig in and jump into all these different assessments and even the retreat that you lay out there and go through that for themselves. And also, I think this is a super helpful book to be used with other ministry leaders in your local church. And even, you know, you’ve written it. So it can be used not just by leaders, but for anyone who’s seeking Christ. So what’s the best way for people to connect with the book, connect with you?
Sure, they can go to Reflections.org. It’s very simple to go to that and Reflections.org, and then in our store, then Recalibrate Your Life is right there. And we offer some discounts as well for various people. But in doing so, Recalibrate Your Life, then, is a book that would be very useful for, I would recommend it being used as a group study., But it’s not just theoretical, it does talk about functional excellence, it does give tools and practices and how to leave a legacy and all of those things. And that goes, as well, with another book that goes with it called Leverage. So those are a couple of tools that we have. And so it’s just Reflections.org. And there’s a daily growth email that I would love you to consider signing up for, because that’s a mini-retreat that you can have, where you have this, it guides you through praying scripture back to God by using Handbook to Prayer. And I love the idea of having a little mini Sabbath. Without Shabbat, there’s no shalom. So having that interior life, then, is reflected in there as well. So there’s that and there’s a Reflections Teaching Letter. And I hope some of these tools will be of value, though, in encouraging, empowering, and equipping pastors to do the work that they’re called to do. We all have a career, but our vocation transcends our career. So we, there’s a vocare, you have a calling. And then discerning what that looks like and living it out in such a way that you will have life, living a life with no regrets.
Yeah, I love that, brother. Thank you, Ken, so much for sharing your wisdom with us. And these insights, really encourage people to check out your latest book, Recalibrate Your Life. And for those of you listening or watching along, we’ll have links to Ken’s ministry, to the book, to all those resources that he mentioned. You can find all of that in the toolkit for this episode at PastorServe.org/network. So be sure to check that out. Ken brother, as always, it’s a pleasure to speak with you, to hear from your heart. You have so much to offer the church and we just thank you for your obedience and your willingness and your faithfulness to serve so well. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Appreciate it.
God bless you, my friend.
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.
Shareable Social Graphics
Strengthen Your Church
Strengthening your church, for us, begins by serving you, the pastor!