Nurturing Humility in Our Lives : Richard Foster & Brenda Quinn
Jason Daye | Blog, Christian, Church Leaders, FrontStage BackStage, Humility, Leadership, Pastors, Podcast, Soul Care
How much attention have you been giving to the virtue of humility in your life and in your ministry? In this episode, I’m joined by Richard Foster and Brenda Quinn. Richard Foster is the Founder of Renovare. He is probably best known for the many books he’s written on the topic of spiritual formation, including Streams of Living water, and Celebration of Discipline, which has been read by millions of people worldwide. His latest book is entitled Learning Humility. Brenda serves as a Pastor of Spiritual Formation, at Living Way Fellowship outside of Denver, Colorado. Together, Brenda, Richard and I explore how pastors and ministry leaders have some unique challenges when it comes to nurturing humility. Richard also shares some insights from his year long focus on humility, as he journeyed with Jesus, nature, and many great voices from across the history of the church. Are you ready? Let’s go.
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Additional Resource Links
Learning Humility: A Year of Searching for a Vanishing Virtue – In a society where raging narcissism dominates the moral landscape, the virtue of humility is often dismissed as irrelevant. Not only is humility vanishing from contemporary culture, but we are also witnessing how destructive a lack of humility has become among our churches and ministry leaders. And yet, Richard Foster, the founder of Renovare, insists that humility is central to the journey toward character formation and spiritual transformation. For this reason he decided to spend a year studying the virtue of humility.
Celebration of Discipline – Hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality, Celebration of Discipline has helped more than one million seekers discover a richer spiritual life infused with joy, peace, and a deeper understanding of God. Celebration of Discipline explores the “classic disciplines”, or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found.
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Key Insights and Concepts
- We have so many options to NOT practice humility in the society we live in today, in terms of all the media and digital ways that we have of promoting ourselves and being visible to other people. It is easy to build our own kingdom. There’s always that possibility of pride taking a hold in one way or another and us losing sight of what Scripture talks about so much. If you read scripture regularly, you can’t get away from humility, but yet, you also can’t get away from the culture we’re living in. It’s a constant tug.
- God is always with us. When God says, “will you be with me?” it takes a little disowning of ourselves, so that we can truly be with God.
- The enemy is so insidious in the ways that he comes into our minds leading us to believe if you want to really be successful at reaching people for Christ, you have to make a name for yourself so people want to listen to you and respect you.
- Humility is the first and most essential element of discipleship.
- We have to learn to live our lives with God and not worry about our reputation. God is plenty strong enough to take care of our reputations.
- When we serve Jesus, then the work of the church will come along naturally. There is plenty to do for the Kingdom.
- Let’s love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbors as ourselves. When we keep first things first, then these other things fall into place in their own time and their own way.
- In order to receive wisdom, you have to be teachable.
- Until we get to the place of allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal who we are and why we do what we do, we cannot enter into humility.
- Keep setting our eyes on Him versus setting our eyes on “me.” That’s where humility comes.
- Self awareness comes through community and helps us better understand ourselves.
Questions for Reflection
- How much attention have I been giving to the virtue of humility in my life and in my ministry?
- What are some examples of how I see humility vanishing in our time?
- Are there areas in my ministry and life where I am elevating myself over elevating Christ? How can my desire to make an impact in ministry overshadow elevating Christ?
- Why do you think we tend to gloss over humility?
- Do I tend to gloss over humility in my life and ministry, or do I see it as a valuable and necessary aspect of serving?
- Am I teachable? Am I seeking wisdom, or do I tend to think I have things figured out? Do I need to make changes in this area of my life?
- Am I becoming more humble in my life and ministry over time or less? Would those around me agree with what I think?
- Am I focusing more on what I think will make me appear “successful” in ministry or am I truly seeking how God wants me to invest my time, energy, and efforts? How am I seeking this from God?
- Do I think I need to protect my own reputation or do I believe God is strong enough to care for my reputation?
- What are some ways I am involved in a good community that is helping me grow in humility? How does community lead to our growth in humility?
- As I look at how I am serving today, do I see humility at the heart of it all? If not, what can I do?
- What are some of the unique challenges I face when it comes to humility? How can I better overcome those challenges?
How much attention have you been giving to the virtue of humility in your life and in your ministry?
In this episode, I’m joined by Richard Foster and Brenda Quinn. Richard Foster is the Founder of Renovare. He is probably best known for the many books he’s written on the topic of spiritual formation, including Streams of Living water, and Celebration of Discipline, which has been read by millions of people worldwide. His latest book is entitled Learning Humility. Brenda serves as a Pastor of Spiritual Formation, at Living Way Fellowship outside of Denver, Colorado. Together, Brenda, Richard and I explore how pastors and ministry leaders have some unique challenges when it comes to nurturing humility. Richard also shares some insights from his year long focus on humility, as he journeyed with Jesus, nature, and many great voices from across the history of the church. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Hello friends, and welcome to another insightful episode of FrontStage BackStage. I am your host, Jason Daye. And it’s my honor every single week to sit down with some trusted ministry leaders, and really dive into a conversation in an effort to help you and pastors and ministry leaders just like you really embrace a sustainable healthy rhythm in life and ministry. And we are blessed to be a part of the PastorServe network. And each week along with the topic, along with the conversation that we have, we also create an entire toolkit for you and the leaders at your local church to work through. We have key insights that we pull out, and we have questions for reflection for you to process through along with the other resources. And you can find that at PastorServe.org/network. So we encourage you to take advantage of that toolkit. And then we also would like to offer a free coaching session. Absolutely complimentary, no obligation from one of our trusted ministry coaches here at PastorServe. So for any pastors and ministry leaders, if you just want to engage in a coaching conversation, have a conversation, we encourage you to check that out. And you can find that PastorServe.org/freesession. If you’re joining us on YouTube, please take time to give us a thumbs up and drop your name and the name of your church in the comments below. We’d love to get to know our audience better. And our team will be praying for you and for your ministry. So be sure to do that. And then whether you are joining us on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform, please be sure to subscribe, and follow so you do not miss out on any of these amazing conversations. As I said, I’m very excited about today’s conversation. At this time, I would like to welcome Richard Foster and Brenda Quinn to FrontStage BackStage, Richard and Brenda welcome.
Thank you delighted to be with you.
Yes. So good to have you with us. Now, Richard, I’ve want to start out by just saying thank you. And I know I’m not alone. As a young man, your writings really introduced me to so many incredible voices. Throughout the history of the church, you invited me to kind of sit with them different streams of Christian tradition, different backgrounds, allow me to really get a sense of the diversity of the people who follow Jesus. And you also invited me into spiritual disciplines and experiencing those in a really amazing, fresh way. And so I know I’m not alone, but thank you for, for having that sort of influence and impact on my life. And I know life of so many others.
Well, thank you, Jason, for actually reading some of that material.
Oh, it’s incredibly, incredibly helpful. And it’s really shaped my journey. So thank you for that. Richard and Brenda, we’re having this conversation right now. We find ourselves in the Lenten season, which is traditionally a time of introspection. And, Richard, you share of a similar time of introspection. You were looking ahead to a new year. And as you’re looking to this new year, you sensed a nudge to learn humility, as you say. And that little nudge led you on quite a journey. And so Richard, I was wondering if you could take us back to kind of that time, what you were sensing and really how you acted on that gentle nudge.
It’s so interesting because New Year’s resolutions are not things that I’m particularly interested in, I mean, whenever I try them, they last about two and a half weeks. And that’s it. But this time, I had that. It was, as you said, just two words, learn humility. And I thought, “Oh, my, that’s for me,” you see. Now I had for a long time been wondering about in the culture, watching our culture, and comparing that with the long history, Christian history, where humility was viewed as so basic, so central to a life with God. But in our day, and you have pastors and others, listening and watching, oh, my. I mean, how many of you have done a sermon on humility? Right? I mean, it’s just not thought of much today. And I kept wondering about the contrast. And then those two words, learn humility, and I thought, “oh, I think God is urging me to learn.” And who knows. Brenda is here. I asked Brenda, and four or five others, just to take the journey with me. So as I wrote, they would read and we’d go back and forth and learn together. And that’s that’s kind of how it started.
Yeah, that’s fascinating.
In the book, it’s a years journey, but Brenda knows I’m up in years. And it took on a lot longer than a year for us. I write much slower nowadays.
Yeah, that’s great. I’m curious, Brenda, as a pastor, as a ministry leader yourself, why do you sense that humility is sort of vanishing in our time?
Well, I think it’s, you know, the world we live in, it’s always been hard. I don’t know that it’s ever been easy for humans, no matter what age they lived in, to, you know, to settle into humility and to really embrace it. But I think because today, we have so many options, to not practice humility, in terms of just all the media that we have, and the digital ways that we have of promoting ourselves and being visible to other people in building, you know, kind of building our own kingdom, it just seems like we have more opportunities than we’ve ever had before to do that. And so I think that as for everybody, whether they’re followers of Jesus or not, I think it’s just, there’s always that possibility there of, you know, of pride taking a hold in one way or another and us losing sight of what Scripture talks about so much. It’s throughout Scripture. You can’t get away from humility if you read Scripture regularly, but yet, you also can’t get away from the culture we’re living in. So I think it’s just you know, it’s kind of just a constant tug. Living in this culture.
Brenda used that phrase, “promoting ourselves.” Oh, my. Think of that one. We’re in this season right now of Lent. And, you know, Lent undercuts our hubris, because it reminds us that we are dust. We’re going to return to dust in liturgical settings where the sign of the cross and ashes are placed on the forehead. That’s to bring us down.
Yeah. Right. Right.
And the humility of course, humus, the earth, that brings us to a more, this promoting ourselves, we can just let go of that.
Yeah, that’s good. As opposed to this idea of elevating ourselves constantly. It’s we’re grounding ourselves, literally, right? We’re grounding ourselves.
I want to say grounding ourselves is just right. That it gives us a sense of really who we really are. And as pastors and leaders, this is a great opportunity in a general culture, where promoting ourselves is just thought to be what you do. We learn to prefer others, we learn to let go of our hebrus, our arrogance, our need to seem like we’re important. And let go of it.
And as you’ve both mentioned, in the culture in which we live, now, this is challenging. Brenda, you say it’s obviously, you know, part of the human condition, probably that’s always challenging, but I think there’s some unique things, you know, that we see here. And especially if we step into the realm of ministry, and pastors, ministry leaders, there is this tension. And we’ve touched on it just even in our conversation already, this tension that we want to share the good news, we want to reach as many people as possible with the good news of Jesus, you know, there’s this mission of God that’s present. But but that’s to be tempered with this sense of humility. Can you talk to us a little bit, Richard, about how do we, as pastors and ministry leaders, how do we find that balance because there is this natural like, you know, kind of passion, if you will, to want to make that impact for the Kingdom. And yet that can easily slip into us elevating ourselves as opposed to elevating Christ. So help us.
You know, I was just turning to the book of Acts, when they saw Jesus ascend. And he had said to them, you will receive power, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses. Now see, for those years, that these disciples were with Jesus, what they have been witnesses to, was their own arrogance, their own desire to be important, to be on the right and on the left, that’s what they were witnessing to. And Jesus says, in the kingdom, in this new life, you will be not a witness to that, you will be set free from that, and a witness to me to the life that I give, this “with God,” life. You see, God is with us. And then God says, “will you be with me?” And that takes a little disowning of ourselves, right? So that we can be with God.
Yeah, Brenda, do you think for pastors and ministry leaders, because I love what Richard was saying there, that idea of disowning ourselves as pastors and ministry leaders, we do that. We take up our cross daily, I mean, these are these are the things that are a part of our our rhythm. And yet there can be this tendency for us to gloss over humility. Why do you think that occurs? And is that unique in some ways to ministry leaders and pastors? And what are maybe some of the unique challenges? I guess, it’s a better way to say to pastors, right?
Well, I think again, you know, it’s like you were talking about. I think it’s wrapped into our ideas of success, what it means to be successful as a ministry leader, and you know the enemy is so insidious in the ways that he comes into our minds even about, if you want to really be successful at reaching people for Christ, you got to make a name for yourself so people want to listen to you and respect you. And, you know, so you can bear fruit for the Kingdom. You know, it’s kind of like that rationalizing of making yourself be the focal point so that you can do it for God’s kingdom. And it’s really easy to buy into that. Can I just read a paragraph here? I’m part of a book club, and we were we’re doing this book, this month, about six weeks, and last night we had it happen to have a meeting. And we came upon this, it’s about in the middle of the book. But it’s so good because it talks about discipleship And this is from Andrew Murray. Richard writes, early this morning, I’m pondering the strong words of Andrew Murray that humility is “the first and most essential element of discipleship.” And then Richard says, “Wow, when I read those words of Murray, I instinctively thought, of course he’s exactly right yet how many years have I viewed other things as first and most essential?” And then in parentheses, Richard writes, “you know, for instance, surely the the most essential thing is developing evangelistic skills so as to draw those who are far from God into the divine center. Maybe memorizing passages of Scripture is first and most essential, or perhaps growing in supernatural power in prayer is first and most essential.” And he goes on to just consider that. Wow, I’ve never thought that humility would be the first thing that I need to develop in terms of discipleship to Jesus. And I don’t think any of us have ever really thought about that. Just that quote, in itself, I think is worth pondering. And, you know, it fits with with all of our motivations, and how do we prioritize our motivations.
But these things are central, because there are special difficulties or temptations for ministry leaders, because people come up to us and they just, you know, say, oh, how wonderful we are and all of that kind of stuff. And it’s so easy for us to buy into that. So oh, my, yes, I guess I am quite well. See, and there’s an old writer from the 16th century, who, George Fox, he said, “I took people off of myself, and turn them to Jesus, their present teacher.” Now, that’s what we need to do. Because in all of the course, we get the adulation, we also get the other side of that. The criticisms that are, you know, maybe aren’t justified, and we learn to just, you know, learn from them, but let go of them both. And learn to just live our lives with God, and not worry too much about our reputation. God is plenty strong enough to take care of our reputation.
Isn’t that true? Isn’t that true? And you know, I think one of the other, perhaps, challenges, Richard and Brenda, is that sometimes, you know, we think about the work of the church, is the most important work there is, like, this is the biggest thing. And so that almost sort of sets us up like, well, the things we’re talking about the things we’re investing our time in, and energy in, this is the real important stuff in the world. And so that kind of almost, you know, builds that in, naturally almost to elevate the work that we’re engaged in. I think that can push against this idea of, like you said, grounding ourselves in Christ. Getting back to the humble heart of what it means to really serve even right.
We have to make a decision. Are we going to serve the church? Or, are we going to serve Jesus?
Right, that’s good.
And when we learn that we serve Jesus, then the work of the Church will come along naturally, there’s plenty to do. But that’s our focus. First things, love God. Let’s love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, our neighbors ourselves. And when we keep first things first, then these other things fall into place in their own time and their own way.
Yeah, that’s good. One of the things in your book is really your journaling, which is fascinating over the course of this year. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that in a moment. But one of the things that stood out to me, there’s a section in there where you were journaling about wisdom. And there’s a lot of knowledge in our world and in the world in which we live now, our access to knowledge is greater than it ever has been. Right? So there’s tons of knowledge, but there’s a big difference between knowledge and wisdom. And Richard, you were you were sharing how wisdom is tied to and related to humility? Can you talk to us a little bit about that connection?
Let me give another word for humility. Teachability. In order to receive wisdom, I have to be teachable. I let Brenda teach, I let you know, we’re all beginners in this we’re learning a life of humility before God. And to be teachable, is such an essential feature. And now there’s humility. Because we learn from others.
Yeah, that’s good. And, when you put it that way, it does kind of connect the value of humility, if we ever want to receive wisdom, because the flip side is, you know, we’re going to hang on to a lot of knowledge. And then we’ve got this figured out. Well, that is, you know, that’s not wisdom, right? That’s, not humility. And so the two of those have to kind of come together, if we really want to kind of progress and embrace wisdom. So I think that’s pretty powerful. As I began our conversation, I mentioned that Richard, you helped introduce me to an incredibly diverse set of voices from across Christian tradition. And, your year long journey of learning humility was rooted in the rhythm of the Lakota moon calendar. And I found this fascinating when I received your book. I’m really curious, why did you choose to approach your journey kind of with the Lakota in mind? And how did that shape this year long experience for you?
Well, I read and I kind of chuckle about it, I kind of call it, if this isn’t an oxymoron, a divine accident. I just thought, “oh, if I’m going to journal, you know, the Latin Gregorian calendar, January, February, March, just, I don’t know, it just didn’t seem very interesting.” And I thought, “well, maybe I could use another calendar.” And I have a little bit of Native American background Ojibwa. And I looked at that calendar and any number. There are a number of the Lakota calendar was especially important to me, and I just liked it. I mean, think of the moon when the ducks come back, I just get a kick out of ducks. So I don’t know, I can’t figure out too much meaningfulness to him. I just, they’re there, and they’re lovely. Anyway. And so I thought, “well, let me use that.” And then I thought, “well, if I’m going to do that I got to learn a little historically about Lakota history and background.” And I focused my study on the Lakota focus in the Black Hills, many of their important sites are there and so on. And that led me – now remember, this is primarily an oral culture. And the way that they teach is by telling stories. And I came across a habit here, this book, The Lakota Way. And it’s stories on the 12 virtues of Lakota culture. And the very first one, I didn’t change the order or anything. The very first one is humility. Wow. I thought I have a few things to learn. Oh, I just began reading a number of a number of sources, but the Lakota virtues, kind of set the pace for me. Of course, I’m drawing from Scripture and from the great devotional masters and lots of other places. Even the world you know, the devotional leaders told us to read two books, the Bible, and the book of nature. And when you read the book of nature, see one of the reasons we like to go out into the woods is because there we see the trees and the little animals that move around, they’re doing the will of the Father. And sometimes when I’ve worked with people and struck, you know, the kinds of problems and issues I just go in a little canyon nearby, as I just want to see a little will of the Father being done. Yeah, it reproaches me, it teaches me.
Yeah, I love that. And it’s interesting, for sure. Because, again, that goes back to that groundedness, right, in the creation that God has blessed us with. And then also the storytelling aspect, because this is really a journal of yours, a journal of your journey and learning humility, and it’s chock full of stories, right, one after the other after the other. And there was one story that really kind of really hit me, I mean, lots of them really hit me, but one that I did want to kind of get you to share with us if you would, and that was the story of you and Nathan, your son, your you’d been hiking together, and you came across and someone had etched K, K, K. Can you share that story with us?
Well, yeah, we were hiking and I took a little different route which goes up quite high. And in some of the state park, you know, built in these steps. And I saw that K, K, K, and I just go, “oh.” Nathan, on the other hand, just reached to my little day pack that I had on and pulled out my knife. Now, I probably have used that knife for a decade. But he opened it up and he just scratched out those letters. And he said, you know, some African American couple might come along and see that and wonder what’s here in the woods. And I thought that taught me because I looked at that kind of with disgust. Nathan looked at it, and saw that it could be damaging to human beings. And, so out of compassion marked that out. Scratch that out. So yeah.
I love that. Just a quick little snapshot just that demonstration of that humility that servant leadership that you know, that thought of, you know, not of myself first, but that thought of someone else who could walk upon that. And that could be offensive or genuinely frightened. Exactly. Yeah. I love that and they’re just story after story, you know, throughout this journal of just little snippets, little snapshots here and there was just such a beautiful thing of humility and action. Yeah.
Just this morning, we set out we have a little deck. We’ve got some trees for us here and so on, and a little deck and Carolyn sets on the railing of that deck. It’s a small, just little container that she puts bread and different things. And so this morning, one of our squirrels – we have some of them named – this is a kind of a little older squirrel, heavyset. We call him Jonathan Winters. Just he looked like Jonathan Winters to me and he would sit there, chewing. You know how they take their little paws and just eat away? And for quite a while. So we just watched that and that was the brown squirrel and we have brown squirrel and black squirrel and then a black squirrel that we haven’t seen for a long time, came scurrying by, and then they’ll chase each other, you know, I don’t know if they’re playing or if they’re just trying to get somebody away so they can eat. But it was fun. It’s just fun to watch. Made my day while I was drinking morning coffee.
Exactly, exactly. It’s beautiful. When we think about the sight of humilities, sometimes people are like, hey, well, this is, you know, this is how I’m wired. This is how God made me, you know, I’m not the most, you know, could be anything, right? I’m not the most patient person, I try, but you know, or I’m not the most humble. So when it comes to humility, I think a lot of people are like, is that something that we can actually develop in our lives? Can we develop humility? So I would love to hear, Richard and Brenda, both of you, kind of talk to us a little bit about this idea of developing humility, what does that look like? In you know, our spiritual life? You know, how we’re being formed? What are some practical ways to approach that?
Brenda, you start.
Ok well, we talk a lot about how you know, it’s probably not going to come by focusing directly on humility all the time, it needs to come kind of from from the side, by focusing on serving others, but also, maybe alongside that it’s really important. Richard talks early in the book about the Cloud of Unknowing, and the author of that book, really stressing the need to get to know ourselves. So getting to know really deep inside yourself, what are my motivations? Who am I? Why do I do what I do? You know, being able to take a hard honest look at ourselves, to let the Holy Spirit reveal who we are, and why we do what we do. And that can be hard, it can be hard to be honest about who we are. But until we get to that place, I don’t know that we can start entering in to humility. And then just, you know, being committed to serving and even serving without anybody seeing what we’re doing, knowing what we’re doing, serving, you know, out of the public eye. And listening to the voice of the Spirit about what you know, what does God want for me in my life? Not what’s going to make a name? What’s going to make me successful in the world’s eyes, but how does God want me to spend my time and my energy and my efforts, and I think if we can focus on those things, focusing, you know, keep setting our eyes on Him versus setting our eyes on me, being the master of my life, and making my decisions and setting my course. I think then humility comes in. And we start being able to say, Yeah, I’m not so focused on my own agenda, and constantly evaluating who I am and what my reputation is, or whether or not I’m important in the eyes of the world, but I’m following what God’s telling me to do. And that’s probably going to be oftentimes different than kind of the script, I would write for myself if I had to do that.
Now, Brenda is so right. And let’s underscore what she said there, because the righteousness of the kingdom of God, for the most part does not come by direct effort, but by indirection. And that’s especially true with humility. I mean, you don’t get humility by trying to get humility, you know, doubled my humility this year. I mean, it doesn’t work that way. It’s by indirection, and service is one of those, we just, look, just find another human being, and get to know what their interests are, what their hopes are just get to know them. And when we do that, what it does is it shifts our focus from ourselves, to other human being another person and valuing that person. And when we do that, indirectly, humility of life comes along, in God’s time, in God’s way. And the other thing Brenda mentioned, about knowing ourselves, remember Aristotle “Know Thyself.” Well. I tried, you know, in that period of thinking about humility, to just watch myself and the motives, the “what’s pushing me this way or that way?” And to learn from that – see, teachability. And when I’ve learned, then, and we don’t have to worry too much about this humility stuff. I mean, we don’t have to take a humility test or anything. Go to bring it about. And and we don’t have to worry too much about ourselves one way or the other. See, that’s the great freedom in this is that we don’t have to be focused. How am I doing? Did I impress? I remember one time when I was pastoring, we had a pastoral team. And I and one other person did the preaching. And others had different tasks. And I remember one Sunday I preached and I wasn’t very happy with what had happened or how I’d done but on Tuesday, when we would do, you know, debriefing, I said to the group, I sure laid an egg on Sunday. And you know what, they all agree. That was not what I wanted to hear. But it helped me to know myself. See, that’s good. Yeah. And if we’re teachable, we grow.
Right. And it’s interesting that you mentioned that Richard, because so having self awareness is so vitally important, but oftentimes, you know, we can kind of think, okay, self awareness, that means we got to lock myself in the closet until I get to know myself, right? But oftentimes, self awareness comes through community, comes through relationships, help us better understand ourselves. And that takes humility. I mean, that story you just shared, Richard, that takes humility. So how is it that community leads to our growth in humility? Or how can it lead to our growth in humility?
Well, we only experience humility, in the context of other people. We don’t just navel gazing, or sitting by ourselves, no, no, we are interacting with other human beings. And we watch, and we can learn from other people. Think of the three most humble people that exhibit humility, that are in your circle of nearness, your church or your work or whatever. Just pick out two or three, and then just watch them over a period of time and see what you learn. It’s simple. I wish I could make these things more complicated for those who like things difficult. Yeah, pretty simple. That’s you see, because humility is the most basic of the virtues that leads us into all the other virtues. And in terms of spiritual formation, the formation of the deep inward life, humility is the first ingredient really, to begin to move us in that direction. That’s why this period of lent, for example, that can conquer or help to conquer our hebrus, our narcissism is our arrogance, because it helps us to see we’re just ordinary people like everybody else.
Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. Man. This has been a great conversation as we’re winding down. I’m gonna give each of you, Brenda and Richard both, we’ll start with Brenda just an opportunity. Pastors, ministry leaders are watching listening in. I’d love to give you an opportunity just to share some words of encouragement around, you know, this idea of what it means to be serving in the climate in which we live today. We’ve talked a lot about the humility and the value of that but just words of encouragement for our brothers and sisters who are watching or listening, Brenda?
Yeah, yeah, I think the biggest encouragement is that when when we commit and maybe to, first of all commit through prayer, to letting God grow us in these ways that we’ve been talking about today, and growing us in humility, the biggest, one of the biggest reasons to do that is it’s who we were created to be. And it’s the giving over of a burden, the burden of carrying ourselves and carrying who we are, and carrying our ministry, it’s giving that over to God, and letting him handle all of it. It’s not ours, He didn’t intend for it to be ours to handle and to carry. And so when we can give it up to him and say, You lead my ministry, you lead my leadership, Lord, it’s all yours. And it’s all dependent on you. What, what a big load off of us that is, you know, isn’t that what we all want? So, you know, we look at this revival that’s happening with students right now. And it’s coming through repentance, that is humility, right there. And that’s in community, it’s not happening in their dorm rooms by themselves up, right. So, um, you know, Lord, may it be so for all of us. What an example that is.
And here, for pastoral leaders, those listening, those watching, we have a great opportunity in a culture that is dependent upon success, and, you know, making us look and appeared more wonderful than we are. And that kind of culture, as leaders, we can model a different way. And Jesus shows us the way we can read the gospels, see how Jesus did that when he was among us, in the flesh. But also, Jesus is still alive. He has not contracted laryngitis, He can teach us, He is our teacher. And He will show us how to do this in a pastoral setting. Leading people with humility, learning to prefer others, giving way, giving platform for other people helping different ones succeed in good ways. That’s the great opportunity we have.
Yeah, I absolutely love that. Thank you, Richard, for those words, and, Brenda, thank you for your words of encouragement. And I really want to encourage those who are listening along and watching along, to pick up Learning Humility. It’s just a beautiful snapshot into literally a year of Richard’s life, as he’s journaling, as he’s sharing, as he’s seeking himself and he just invites us along for the for the ride, which is a beautiful thing. So for those of you who are watching along, we’ll have links to Richard’s book in the toolkit for this week’s episode, you can find that PastorServe.org/network. Again, Richard and Brenda, thank you so much for making time to be with us today. Awesome, God bless you both. Thank you.
Now, before you go, I want to remind you of an incredible free resource that our team puts together every single week to help you and your team dig more deeply and maximize the conversation that we just had. This is the weekly toolkit that we provide. And we understand that it’s one thing to listen or watch an episode, but it’s something entirely different to actually take what you’ve heard, what you’ve watched, what you’ve seen, and apply it to your life and to your ministry. You see, FrontStage BackStage is more than just a podcast or YouTube show about ministry leadership, we are a complete resource to help train you and your entire ministry team as you seek to grow and develop in life in ministry. Every single week, we provide a weekly toolkit which has all types of tools in it to help you do just that. Now you can find this at PastorServe.org/network. That’s PastorServe.org/network. And there you will find all of our shows, all of our episodes and all of our weekly toolkits. Now inside the toolkit are several tools including video links and audio links for you to share with your team. There are resource links to different resources and tools that were mentioned in the conversation, and several other tools, but the greatest thing is the ministry leaders growth guide. Our team pulls key insights and concepts from every conversation with our amazing guests. And then we also create engaging questions for you and your team to consider and process, providing space for you to reflect on how that episode’s topic relates to your unique context, at your local church, in your ministry and in your life. Now you can use these questions in your regular staff meetings to guide your conversation as you invest in the growth of your ministry leaders. You can find the weekly toolkit at PastorServe.org/network We encourage you to check out that free resource. Until next time, I’m Jason Daye encouraging you to love well, live well, and lead well. God bless.
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