Pastors & Power: How to Avoid Unhealthy Leadership – Diane Langberg
Most pastors do not enter the ministry with the intention of misusing their power and authority, and yet instances of abuse occur. In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by internationally recognized psychologist and counselor, Dr. Diane Langberg, as they discuss some of the unrecognized trappings of power and how to develop a healthy understanding of ministry leadership.
Looking to dig more deeply into this topic and conversation? Every week we go the extra mile and create a free toolkit so you and your ministry team can dive deeper into the topic that is discussed. Find your Weekly Toolkit below… Love well, Live well, Lead well!
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- 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
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Additional Resource Links
Redeeming Power by Diane Langberg – Diane’s book shares a clinical and theological framework for understanding how power operates, the effects of the abuse of power, and how power can be redeemed and restored to its proper God-given place in relationships and institutions. This important book helps Christian leaders identify and resist abusive systems and also shows how they can use power to protect the vulnerable in their midst.
Connect with Diane Langberg – www.DianeLangberg.com
Complimentary 1-hour Coaching Session for Pastors http://PastorServe.org/freesession
Ministry Leaders Growth Guide
Key Insights and Concepts
- As a pastor, it is easy to get weary and to get hungry for something to feed you. This is a state of vulnerability, so pastors must be on their guard to ensure they are not choosing to seek something for themselves in a “not good way”
- As humans, we do not understand the depth of our capacity for deception. We can deceive ourselves and others.
- As leaders, we can deceive ourselves into doing things to protect the institution and cover up issues, causing great damage to both the leader and the followers.
- At times, pastors do not want to accept that there is anything wrong with the church because it reflects on their leadership.
- Ministry leaders may convince themselves that they cannot publicize issues or abuses happening at their church because it will damage the good work that God is doing through their ministries.
- Pastors may see themselves as leaders serving the system, rather than children who are called to obedience to Jesus Christ
- Once a ministry leader slides into some negative and harmful behaviors, they become more blind to the behaviors that are even more ravenous. They are unable to see clearly.
- Every pastor is only an under shepherd, not the Shepherd
- Often ministry leaders start to go off track because they want to feel better about themselves, want to prove to themselves that what they are doing is good, and/or feed their ego
- Ministry leaders must be careful about giving in to hiding their flaws from the people they are serving
- We all need care, whether you are sitting in a pew or serving from behind a pulpit.
- Oftentimes, churches squeeze pastors dry and do not give them care. Then pastors end up very easily, just by virtue of their humanity, feeding off of other things in order to feel okay about themselves.
- God is the God of all power. Human beings are created in the image of God, therefore we have power. But the power we yield must look like God… it must reflect the virtues of God. Otherwise we have perverted that power.
- Every ministry leader needs to have people in their lives with whom they can speak the truth, and who will say it back to them, and a place where they can be safe to share honestly
- As ministry leaders we must practice self-examination: Where am I weak? Where am I wounded? Where am I hungry? How am I handling all of these?
- To continually develop healthy leadership, pastors must be willing to seek out a safe place to speak and share, outside the system they work in, whether a coach, counselor, other trusted pastors, etc
- Being able to speak the truth about where one is struggling, and receive feedback and even criticism, without feeling like it will threaten one’s job, livelihood, reputation, and everything else, is vital to healthy and sustainable ministry leadership
- Everybody falls short at times, so accept it, address it, and refuse to cover it up
- Pastors should make time to read God’s Word for themselves, (aside from the work of the ministry,) read other encouraging books, get out and experience the beauty of God’s Creation, and rest.
- Pastors need to remind themselves that God loves them, values them, and finds great joy in them
- In wise and careful ways, pastors should share themselves with their congregations rather than distance themselves from them
- Isolation is very dangerous
- Ministry leaders must proactively dismiss the pressure to be a celebrity pastor
- Remember, the great mobs only followed Jesus a few times, and they also crucified him
- Oftentimes when leaders isolate themselves they engage in activities they know they should don’t be doing
- There are ways to experience solitude that are safe for one’s soul, ways that are wise, good, and life-giving. Ministry leaders must actively think about what they are doing in their times of solitude and if it is safe for their souls.
- It is very easy for pastors to get caught up in the externals of the work and forget that it is a sacred work that they are doing and it needs to be done sacredly. Never forget that it is work being done with God’s people, for God. Pastors are doing the work for God, not for the people.
Questions for Reflection
- Am I weary? Is my soul hungry?
- What do I tend to turn to in an effort to feed myself when I am worn out, hungry, and vulnerable? Is this healthy? Why or why not?
- Am I more focused on protecting the institution of our church or the reputation of our ministry than I am of protecting the people God has entrusted to us?
- Am I deceiving myself about any issues, problems, abuses, or misuse of power within our church? Am I sure?
- Am I fearful if I expose issues in our church that it will reflect poorly on me as a leader? If so, what has this fear prevented me from sharing or led me to cover up?
- If I am feeling discouraged, what do I do?
- Why is it important to have someone safe with whom I can share open and honestly?
- Who am I sharing and speaking with that is safe? Do I have someone, outside of my work system, with whom I can be honest? (If not, PastorServe wants to offer you a complimentary 1-hour Coaching Session for Pastors, because we want to be sure no pastor walks alone. There is absolutely no obligation… get more details here > http://PastorServe.org/freesession)
- When is the last time I practiced self-examination? How will I ensure that this becomes a regular part of my spiritual practice?
- Suggested self-examination questions to answer: Where am I weak? Where am I wounded? Where am I hungry? How am I handling all of these?
- Am I isolating myself from others? If so, what can I do to change that?
- How can I safely share my life with others, rather than mask my life?
- Am I finding healthy ways to practice solitude? What does, or could, that look like in my life?
- When I am most honest with myself, how do I view success as a ministry leader? What am I really chasing? Is this healthy? Do I need to make changes?
- Am I making time to spend in God’s Word for myself? Reading other encouraging books? Spending time enjoying the beauty of God’s Creation?
- How am I wielding power and authority in my ministry role? Are there changes I need to make?
- How will I ensure I will not abuse the power and authority God has given me?
Most pastors do not enter the ministry with the intention of misusing their power and authority, and yet instances of abuse occur.
In this episode, I’m joined by internationally recognized psychologist and counselor, Dr. Diane Langberg, as we discuss some of the unrecognized trappings of power and how to develop a healthy understanding of ministry leadership. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Hello, friends, and welcome to another great episode of FrontStage BackStage. I’m your host, Jason Daye, and we are excited to have you with us this week. Every week, we bring you a conversation, to help pastors just like you to embrace healthy leadership in both life and ministry. And we’re proud to be a part of the PastorServe network. And we don’t only bring these conversations to you every week, but we also spend time creating resources around the topic, so that you and your ministry team can dig more deeply into this conversation in this topic. And you can find all of that at PastorServe.org/network. So be sure to check that out there. For those of you joining us on YouTube. Hello. Take a moment to drop your name and your church in the comments below. We’d love to get to know you better, be praying for you and your ministry. And whether you’re joining us on YouTube, or on your favorite podcast platform, take time to subscribe and follow so you don’t miss out on these conversations each and every week. And as I said, I’m excited about today’s conversation. We’re very blessed to be joined by Diane Langberg. And, Diane, I’d like to welcome you to the show. Welcome!
Thank you. It’s good to be here.
Yes. So good to have you with us today. And Diane, we are tackling a tough topic today. However, I know that you share a lot of hope around and related to the misuse and the abuse of power that exists in the church. And so although it’s a tough topic, I believe that our conversation today is going to bring a lot of hope, a lot of healing, a lot of help, a lot of encouragement to our pastors and ministry leaders who are joining us. So brothers and sisters, those of you who are are joining us right now, I encourage you to hang in there. Hang in with us, as Diane and I wade through this conversation because again, this conversation is headed toward great hope and help and healing and encouragement. So just want to encourage you guys to be looking for that hope. Diane, sadly, we do not need to look far to see the reports of abuse perpetrated by those in power in the church. In fact, even this week, in their annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Convention has responded to an investigation that was conducted that revealed widespread problem of abuse throughout the denomination, and whether it’s denominations, Diane or church networks, ministry organizations, local pastors, local churches, we are becoming more and more aware of of these instances of abuse. Diane, you’ve written that the majority of abusers in the church and those who have supported them, they consistently use theological teachings to excuse or dismiss or kind of cover up the abuse. And so Diane, the question, I think the big question that so many of us in the ministry, and even those outside the ministry wrestle with is: why are pastors and other ministry leaders, right, those who God called to serve the people, those who should have a high view of God’s word, a high view of the teachings of Jesus, those who should have a compassionate heart towards those people entrusted into their care. Why are they so vulnerable to both abusing their power and also excusing the abuse?
I have worked with pastors in my office for decades. And my read on being a pastor is that it’s very easy to get weary, to be hungry, you’re giving you know, you get hungry for something to feed you. You feel needy, you feel inadequate, you’re often criticized, whatever. And so those things in our lives always make us vulnerable to seeking something for ourselves in a not good way. So there’s a vulnerability to being a pastor that I don’t think probably seminaries teach you very much about before they talk to you out there. Yeah, you don’t you don’t know to expect it and you don’t know how to respond to it. And I think the second piece that I would say is that we do not As humans in general, really understand the depth of our capacity for deception. And so we deceive ourselves and other people. And oftentimes in a position of leadership such as the pastor, we do it to protect, we do it to protect the shape, we do it to protect the institution that is God’s church or whatever. And so those deceptions, unfortunately, cover up things that eventually rot the system that we call gods, and do great damage to the leader and to the followers.
Yeah, Diane, you have, as you mentioned, spent many years counseling and working specifically with those who are in the church, both leaders in the church and those who have experienced abuse within the church, and the vulnerability that you speak of being touched on, I think, probably a lot who are watching along right now, a lot of us, you know, her listening, probably really resonate with some of those things that you that you mentioned, and again, those often are things that we do not anticipate entering into ministry. One of the things that that you mentioned there that I think is is worth digging in a little bit deeper on is the the desire to protect the institution. Because we see this a lot and this has come to light quite a bit you’re looking over last decade, especially we see this where those who are in power within an organization, when they are made aware of abuses, there’s sometimes is this this pause you said there’s somehow protect the institution? Can you talk to us a little bit about what you know, what have you seen is driving people to want to protect the institution, rather than protect those who are being abused?
Well, oftentimes, the leadership is feels responsible for the institution. And so they don’t want to accept that there’s anything wrong because it will fall back on them. But we also use all kinds of spiritual language, this is God’s house. You know, this is his church, all of those things, look at all these ministries that we’re doing, look at these people that we’re helping. We can’t say that this happened here, because it will destroy God’s work. And I think part of what happens and has certainly happened in the American church, is that we see ourselves as serving the system, rather than children who are called to obedience to Jesus Christ. That’s not our primary identity. When we go back and say, We have to protect the system, we’ve lost our way, basically. And so if something happens to the system, we’ve done damage to God, when in fact, covering it up is going to do damage to him.
Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s helpful. And because it is interesting, you know, kind of from the outside looking in and trying to to, you know, think, you know, if I was in that situation, you know, I would do this, this this, how could they do that? You know, I mean, so it’s hard to wrap our minds around, sometimes with some of the the behavior or some of the ways that that people approach kind of covering up or dismissing or excusing the abuse. Now, Diana’s, we know, the vast majority of pastors are faithfully serving God, they have no intention of abusing the power. Yet Yet, even then, some end up, you know, becoming abusive. So what can we as pastors do to help identify some of those those trappings of power that we may, like you said, we may not be prepared in seminary or in training, as we’re preparing to go into ministry? And so what are some of those trappings that we can help identify and, and other you know, specific kinds of slippery slopes of which we need to be aware as pastors and ministry leaders?
One of the ways that people often ask me that question is, how do we protect the church from the wolves? And one of my answers is, don’t be one. Because once you slide into adopting some of those behaviors, you become more blind to the ones that are really ravenous, you know, see clearly. And so I think part of it is to remember that every pastor is only an under shepherd, not the Shepherd. And everyone in leadership is vulnerable, which simply means capable of being wounded. So what are you going to do in a leadership position when you feel wounded? How are you going to take care of that. And that’s often where things start to go off track. Because you want to feed yourself, you want to feed your ego, you want to prove to yourself that what you’re doing is good, and all of those things. And it’s also very easy when you have populations in your church who think you hung the moon. And you don’t want them to see any flaws in you. And they see you as the ultimate Shepherd rather than an under Shepherd, who also needs care. We’re all just sheep. It doesn’t matter whether you’re behind the pulpit or sitting in the front row. And we all are vulnerable, and we all need care. And I think oftentimes, churches squeeze pastors dry and do not give them care. And they end up very easily, just by virtue of their humanity, feeding off of other things in order to feel okay about themselves. And then those things are hidden. And then when somebody says this happened, lies are told, it’s very easy for it to snowball.
Yeah, yeah, that’s very insightful, Diane, because oftentimes, when we’re looking at these events can from the outside looking in, we’re not thinking about the, you know, what, what came before in that leaders life? Before the abuse began, right, we’re not looking at the wounds, as you said, and how they’re looking at, you know, trying to sue those wounds. And in the soothing of those wounds, they are, you know, that’s when we see those dangers. As we’re considering the role of the pastor, you know, in your, in your recent book is entitled, redeeming power, right, which I absolutely love that title, because the title itself is pointing toward hope, right? You’re addressing the the abuse and misuse of power and authority in the church, but are talking about redeeming that power. Because power and authority in and of themselves, is not bad. Right? Pastors are given both power and authority. And so as we kind of look at this idea of a pastor serving in the local church, what are examples of healthy uses of power and authority? What were pastors able to use that in the way that God intended and to create a healthy culture and healthy ministry?
Well, I think I would first go back even a little further than that. And that is that we worship the God of all power. And we are created in His image, which means human beings have power. All of us. And you know, one of the examples in the book is, an infant has power, you have a brand new infant who cries at three in the morning, and two grownups get out of bed. It’s part of being human, then it increases, and is often a public issue. But it increases what in different positions that we have. When I sit in an office with broken people, I have a tremendous amount of power in that situation. So we don’t often we’re not taught about it, and we don’t think about it going in. And what most of us are keenly aware of is when we feel power lessen, we don’t like it. And the other thing we forget, is that yes, we’re created in the image of God and therefore have power and authority in this world and with others, but it must look like him. It isn’t there to feed our goals, our higher numbers, our fame, all of those things, which is where it gets very messed up. Because we use the power that has been God-given not to bear his image and look like him, but to gain for ourselves, partly because of the way we have been wounded by others. This terrible cycle that goes around.
So as a pastor, who is human, as you said, or we all are, you know, are human, and has these vulnerabilities, has wounds, has ways that they’ve been hurt by others. is trying to kind of navigate those things, but then also has this this place and role of influence? How does a pastor process through in a healthy way? Those? And the reason I’m asking, Diane is, because I think that a lot of pastors may not be looking at their wounds, you know, as closely as perhaps maybe they should. They’re not taking that consideration there, go, go go, you know, they’re, they’re trying to, you know, live out the calling, they’re trying to, you know, lead their church, they’re trying to do all of these things, fulfill all these expectations. So what would you say to a pastor who’s kind of trying to navigate, you know, those wounds they might have, those issues that might be in their lives, before it comes to a point where that leads into unhealthy leadership?
Well, I, I would encourage all those in leadership to have people in their lives with whom they can speak the truth, and who will say it back to them. And a place where they can be safe, when they are vulnerable. You know, it take for example, a man who goes to seminary, very bright, he gets a lot of praise, gets Church, the Church starts growing in new ways people come to hear what he’s saying, and everything else. But nobody knows that when he was a little boy growing up, he had a father who disdained him, hurt him. And those hurts have not been dealt with directly, they have been covered up by doing things that make you feel more than your father made you feel. So there’s a hunger there, that makes a person extremely vulnerable. So I think one of the things that our seminaries probably don’t do very much of, and our denominations as well, is the old self examination thing, you know, that was in the church for many years. In terms of understanding ourselves, we and we need other voices to help us do that. Where where are where am I weak? Where am I hungry? Where am I wounded? How am I handling that? All of those things need to be ongoing questions. And I pastors need either a few other pastors that they trust in their lives, sometimes they think they seek out a psychologist or a therapist of some kind, that’s a safe place. And they need places to look in and see how that could possibly in certain areas be not healthy, and affecting how they work out what they’re doing.
Yeah, as, as pastors are considering these, this idea of taking the time to assess themselves, as you shared, it’s often important not to think, or understand that we can’t just really do this necessarily on our own, right? We can’t just see you sit in our office and say, Okay, let me assess myself, and because oftentimes, we don’t see, allow those things that that we might be covering up or that we might be, you know, as you said, we might be trying to compensate for in our lives, right. So we don’t recognize those because that could be something that has been a part of our life since we could even remember. And so for a pastor who, who has a concern, because this is this is what you know, some leaders do is like that. If I if I, you know, engage in something like that, I’m, I’m putting it out there to a point where others might think I’m not fit for leadership, right? Because oftentimes, we have, like I said, really high expectations of spirit, especially pastor spiritual leaders, right, we have very high expectations. And so so there’s this this tug between, you know, trying to address those things that I need to address, but then also how, how do I do that in such a way? That I’m not feeling like people are, you know, critiquing me even more, right? Because oftentimes, that’s that’s the wrestle. So what advice do you have for pastors who are kind of processing through that on how can we, how can we do the important work of self examination as you said, I’d be open to that, at the same time, be accepting and not fearful of more critique?
Well, I’m not sure I can help people not be fearful of that. I think that’s just a human thing. You know, as we all know, we’re vulnerable and so exposure is scary for anybody. But I think it’s very important to find a safe person, often outside the system you work at, again, That’s why people come to this office and see, there’s multiple therapists here who work with pastors, because it’s safe. And we are, unless there’s something reportable, ethically bound not to talk about it. And so that does away with some of those fears. But I also have known pastors who’ve had the great fortune of having a couple other pastors in their lives, often from different churches, and they meet once a month, or whatever they do. And they develop a safety among themselves, to be able to speak the truth about where they’re struggling, and receive feedback and even criticism, without them feeling like it’s going to threaten their job, their livelihood, their reputation, and everything else. Because they all know their vulnerability. And they know the high calling that they have. And they also know they fall short, means that everybody does, right. It’s not like it’s an unusual thing. And so those groups of pastors develop a safety and a truth telling with each other. And that’s been very helpful. It takes time, because trust has to be proven, and things like that. But there are ways to seek that out.
That’s good that I think it’s really helpful. One of the things, Diane, that, that we’ve seen a lot is a lot in the media, a lot of negativity around the church and pastors because these these scandals, this, the abuse is being reported, and we live in a world in which we can learn of that much more easily than than we ever could before. And so, pastors are, you know, trying to serve, it’s not an easy task, there are disappointments there. discouragements. You know, there’s, you know, these conversations around scandal and this negativity. Dan, how would you encourage pastors? Or how do you encourage pastors, to find joy in the ministry in a time when there is this? You know, just this this abuse, this scandal, this, you know, all is all out there in the open, and pastors are trying to faithfully serve, you know, in the midst of this, how do you encourage pastors in that?
Well, a couple of thoughts come to mind. And I don’t think that struggle is limited to pastors, given the news. It’s affecting many people. But part of the way you find joy is to read, remember, and search out of the Scriptures and read books that are encouraging to pastors and I, people make jokes about me and tell me I liked the dead guys, you know, I read the old Scottish theologians, and it will find great encouragement in those places. And I think that’s a very important ongoing thing for pastors. But I also would say that we, you know, you need to go out and walk in the woods, you need to go stand by the river, you need to do things that have beauty in them, and ask your father, to see who you are and what you need to work on. But also to be grateful to him because he takes joy in his children. Even if nobody else does, he loves and has joy, about who they are, he made them. And I think that space away and the beauty of his world that is apart from all of that, and focusing on his joy, His love, His faithfulness, for you. He values you. And he sings over you. I don’t think pastors hear that kind of thing very often, but it is true.
Yeah, that’s beautiful. And I agree, probably, we don’t we don’t focus on that as much as we focus on all the other expectations and all the other things that we’re trying to do, but just to take a moment to remember that we are God’s beloved, I think, yes, it’s just an important beautiful thing. So thank you. Thank you for that. You know, Diana, there’s a lot of the a lot of this kind of idea of celebrity pastors, right. A lot of this has been talked about, we see this a lot and just by virtue of you know, platforms are different today than they were in years past and so there’s this ability to reach more people into influence and impact more people and there are definitely positives to all of that. You know, using technology for advancement, the kingdom and, and all those types of things. But with that comes a Um, you know, a bit of a different experience for for pastors. And we’ve seen that this kind of celebrity pastor, we’ve seen some heartbreaking, you know, experiences from these, you know, just, even recently over this past year, several instances of pastors that kind of had a bit of a celebrity status, whether they’d want to admit that or not, but just the reality of it, right. And then there, is this, this falling or the scandal or whatever it might be. How, how can the local pastors who wouldn’t consider themselves you know, big time celebrity pastors? How can they? How can they experience encouragement from their people? Without getting to that point, as you as you mentioned earlier in the conversation, that idea of you know, everyone thinks that we hung the moon or you know, there’s this there’s a careful balance, whenever you’re a pastor, and you want you want your people to appreciate you, you want your people to, to see that you are being faithful to God, and that you are being responsible with with the the flock that’s been entrusted to you. And so there are those encouragement, but at the same time, there’s this balance between that and getting too big of an ego type of a thing. So what advice would you give pastors to not go to either extreme, but But how can they have kind of a healthy ministry, where they’re being appreciated, where they’re feeling encouraged, but at the same time, not taking that too far.
So I think one of the things you see in spades with celebrity pastors is their distance from their sheep. And they’re just sheep too. And so I think it’s very important for pastors, certainly with maybe other pastors who are not in their congregation kind of thing. But it’s also very important for them in ways that are wise and careful to share themselves within the congregation. Sometimes the whole congregation, you tell something about yourself or whatever, but other times, maybe with just two or three men in the church, who know you and love you, and want to know what was hard this week, and that you will pray for each other and things like that. It’s the isolation along with the celebrity thing that is so dangerous, very dangerous. And we’re not meant for that. And the other piece, of course, is with the pressure to be a celebrity pastor, whatever, if, if that’s a measure of success, Jesus failed. And we do need to keep that in mind. You know, the mobs followed him a few times, but they also crucified him. Right, right. You know, the mobs, the mobs are not trustworthy. So, you know, he was with a few that he, and not just his disciples, but three of them, you know, he had different levels, I guess, of openness with those who were with him all the time. And I think that model is wise. I mean, he was perfect. He didn’t need it, but he did it. He did it because he was human. And, and that’s what we are. And so you need some in your close circle, who love you, and meet with you and all those things, and it’s mutual, and then you need a bigger circle. And then you have the church.
Yeah, that’s, that’s so good. Diana, in such a great reminder. I’m glad you brought up the idea of isolation, because it does seem that in the role of a pastor you can isolate yourself quite easily. And oftentimes, one, you don’t recognize you’re isolating yourself and, two, the actions that you’re taking, that are helping you isolate, oftentimes are actions that you are taking with really good intentions, right? Because you’re trying to be thoughtful, you’re trying to, you know, think through things, you know, my role and my influence and those types of things. How do I need to… and so you’re trying to process and so with good intention, you’re doing certain things and yet those certain things are actually isolating you. And the more isolated you get, the more vulnerable you are, the more vulnerable you are than the more dangerous you are. There you go. Exactly. Diane, so let’s just spend a little bit of time as we’re kind of closing down on this idea of isolation. You’ve given some great thoughts about how pastors can avoid that. But can you talk to us a little bit how, how isolation kind of creeps up on us how we how we may be doing things, and not really recognizing that we’re isolating ourselves in some of those things that we need to be aware of, regarding that?
Well, one of the ways we isolate is when we’re doing something we probably shouldn’t be doing. And we don’t tell anybody. So somebody had some really hard things happen, and they’re distressed, and they’re hurting, and everything else, and they feed themselves by going back to pornography, that pornography they haven’t looked at in 10 years, or something, right? Just something, you know, that gives to them. And it’s extremely easy for that, then to wrap its rope around you and drown you with it. And so the isolation that we need, also needs to be safe for our souls, and our minds. And so I think you have to be very active, thinking about that, you know, how are you going to… and, part of I think, is that it needs to be woven into a pastor’s life. You know, I, I have needed that. And part of the way I’ve gotten it is taking some days off and going someplace, that’s natural beauty. With things I want to think about things I want to ask God about things that I want to read, but also just to walk out in the beauty and soak it in and listen for him. And so there are wise and good ways to isolate. And we need them. Jesus needed them. And he was perfect. You know, and he often, you know, he went out and looked at the stars, that’s what he did. He was up on top of mountain, we need to do that as well. But it needs to be safe for us. And sometimes we are the person who has to create the safety that we need in those places. Because you need to go someplace without a bunch of people hanging on to you. And I don’t know how often we’re active in thinking about, Is this safe for me to do? Is it safe for my soul?
Exactly, exactly. And I think that’s, that’s, you know, so helpful, Diane, because just the idea of being intentional in how we think through some of these things, like because there are lots of things that you share that, you know, as you’re saying, I’m like, oh, yeah, that’s yeah, of course. But the piece that we often miss is we’re not being we’re not being thoughtful. We’re thinking, oh, yeah, we need to have some solitude with myself and God, but we need to be thoughtful about how healthy that solitude is. Right? So we we do need to share with with people around us, we do need to have those those friendships, you know, where we can be open and honest with others. But then again, we have to be thoughtful about what do those friendships look like? Because because everything can be if we’re not thoughtful, if we’re not trying to honor God and keep that in the front of our mind. Everything, as you said can can become a danger. Because because we’re human and because we do have vulnerabilities. We do have wounds we do have, have those things that we’ve processed through and work through. So yes. Appreciate that, that reminder of just the intentionality I guess, of thoughtfulness. Because we can get busy and bogged down and just get caught up in things and not slow down enough to think through where we are and the next thing you know, we’re we’re not in a good place.
So not in a good place and we become a danger to other people.
Yeah, yes, yes. So Diane, as we’re closing out, our conversation has been very helpful. Any final thoughts? You have the eyes and the ears of pastors and ministry leaders right now? And anything that you’d like to leave with them to encourage them?
Yes. One is first of all, you have a father who loves you. Whether you had a human would like that or not. You have one who loves you without moving from it ever and he is safe. He is safe for you to go to. And you bring Him joy as I said before, I would also say is that it is very easy to get caught up in the externals of the work and forget that it is a sacred work that you do and it needs to be done sacredly And I think that’s important to keep in front of you because it is the work that you’re doing with God’s people, for him. And so sometimes they won’t like it. Sometimes they’ll want to hang you, and sometimes they’ll want to throw you. Crown you all right. But you’re not doing the work for them. You’re doing it for him. You’re not doing it for them. And I think that gets lost so quickly in the demands of ministry.
Yeah, that’s so good, Diane. So good. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. If people want to learn more about your book I’m gonna hold up here real quickly. So this is Redeeming Power, Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church. excellent book. Where can people learn more about the book and other ministry that you’re engaged in, Diane?
My website is just my name, DianeLangberg.com. And there’s recorded talks there. There’s information about books.
Yeah, perfect. And we’ll make sure that we’ll have that in the toolkit that goes along with this conversation. And again, you guys can find that at PastorServe.org/network. And you’ll have links to where you can connect with the book, Redeeming Power, Diane’s latest book, and get connected to her ministry, and the resources that she has available to you. So thank you so much for taking time to be with us, Diane, certainly appreciate your heart. We appreciate what a calling you have to the kingdom. It’s such a unique calling. But we are so thankful for your years of faithful service to the kingdom, to the church, and to God. So thank you so much for being with us and making the time.
You’re welcome. It was a privilege.
Thank you. God bless 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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