Salt & Light for a Skeptical World : Jonathan Murphy

Salt & Light for a Skeptical World - Jonathan Murphy - 46 - FrontStage BackStage with Jason Daye

How do we live as salt and light in a world that is growing increasingly skeptical toward all things of the Christian faith? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Jonathan Murphy, department chair of pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary. Jonathan is also a teaching pastor and the author of Authentic Influencer. Together, Jonathan and Jason explore ways to overcome some of the challenges that society presents to us in ministry. They also look at how a specific biblical character models a way to release ourselves and our people to live as salt and light in our world.

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Additional Resource Links

Authentic Influencer – Jonathan’s latest book, published by Thomas Nelson, which highlights 15 key principles that emerge from Barnabas that are relevant, practical, and customizable to every believer – Jonathan’s blog where you can learn about the latest from his writings, speaking, and ministry

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Key Insights and Concepts

  • Pastors have two primary areas of influence, and both are important. One is the flock, those God has entrusted to the pastor in their local church. The other is the individuals the pastor interacts with in their community.
  • Barnabas models for pastors and ministry leaders how to be able to live in a hostile society
  • Barnabas inspires ministry leaders to do the work of the ministry, whatever that may be, wherever God has put them
  • God desires to use ministry leaders to launch others into what God is calling them to do and who God is calling them to be
  • Pastors and ministry leaders need to look for opportunities to elevate the ministries of others in their care without feeling threatened by how God might use them. This takes humility and a commitment to walk in step with the Spirit.
  • Some of the suspicions that society has of pastors and ministry leaders arise from seeing them strive to be known and famous, or to build a large platform
  • A ministry leader’s intimacy with God and willingness to be a constant follower keeps them from falling into the trap of squabbling and competing with other ministry leaders
  • “The Church doesn’t just need leaders, they need formed leaders whose hearts and whose character has been molded by the Holy Spirit, in the presence of God’s people” – Jonathan Murphy
  • God’s primary tool of shaping other people’s lives is through meaningful relationships, life-on-life
  • Ministry leaders need to help mobilize the church to understand that they have the freedom to discern how to creatively serve Christ in the little sphere of life where they live
  • Rather than only focusing on how those in the church can serve the local church, pastors should encourage and inspire them to serve in the places they personally inhabit in the community and in the relationships they already have outside of the church
  • “The Church mobilized is a powerful force of influence in society” – Jonathan Murphy

Questions for Reflection

  • How am I influencing the people of our local church for the Kingdom? How am I influencing the people I interact with in our community for the Kingdom?
  • Am I eagerly doing the work of the ministry right where I am or do I find myself wishing I was serving elsewhere? How can I process these feelings with the help of the Holy Spirit?
  • Am I OK with God using people in my church to make a greater gospel impact than I am making?
  • Do I feel threatened or insecure about the giftedness of others? If so, why might I feel this way?
  • How am I helping launch others into God’s calling on their lives? What does this actually look like? How is our local church helping launch others into God’s calling on their lives? What does this actually look like?
  • Do I find myself being competitive with other ministry leaders or finding fault in how they approach ministry? Do I find myself celebrating the effectiveness of other ministry leaders? Is there anything in these areas that I need to process with God?
  • What is the difference between a good leader and a leader continuously formed and shaped by the Holy Spirit? Which kind of leader am I?
  • Do I need to make changes in how I develop as a leader? if so, what changes?
  • How am I mobilizing the people of our church to creatively minister in their unique ways, within their unique relationships, in the greater community? What can we do as a church to increase this type of mobilizing?

Full-Text Transcript

How do we live as salt and light in a world that is growing increasingly skeptical toward all things of the Christian faith?

Jason Daye
In this episode, I’m joined by Jonathan Murphy, department chair of pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary. Jonathan is also a teaching pastor and the author of Authentic Influencer. Together, Jonathan and I explore ways to overcome some of the challenges that society presents to us in ministry. We also look at how a specific biblical character models a way to release ourselves and our people to live as salt and light in our world. Are you ready? Let’s go.

Jason Daye
Hello, friends, and welcome to another fantastic episode here on FrontStage BackStage. I am your host Jason Daye, every single week, I have the privilege of sitting down with a trusted ministry leader. And we really dive into a conversation, all in an effort to help pastors and ministry leaders just like you embrace a healthy, sustainable rhythm for both life and ministry. And I’m very excited about today’s conversation. We are proud to be a part of the PastorServe network and beyond just this conversation today, our team at PastorServe, we create an entire toolkit that complements this episode. And you can find that at And in there, you’ll find audio links, video links, you’ll find some key insights. But then you’ll also find our ministry leaders growth guide and this provides questions to reflect upon out of this conversation today. And you can use this with your staff, with your ministry leaders, as a way to kind of develop your staff and grow together there in your local church context. So we encourage you to check that out at And then our coaches at PastorServe are offering a complimentary coaching session to any pastor or ministry leader. And this is just a way for us to bless you, give you the opportunity to enter into a conversation with certified coach. And so you can find that information at Now, if you are joining us on YouTube, give us a thumbs up and 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 praying for your ministry. So be sure to do that. And then if you have any questions throughout the conversation, you can drop those in the comments below as well. And we’ll respond to those as soon as we can. Now whether you’re joining us on YouTube, or your favorite podcast platform, take a moment to follow or subscribe so that you do not miss out on any of these great conversations. And as I said, I’m excited about today’s conversation. And at this time, I’d like to welcome Jonathan Murphy to FrontStage BackStage. Jonathan, welcome.

Jonathan Murphy
Thank you. It’s good to be here. Jason.

Jason Daye
Yeah, so good to have you with us brother. Very, very excited, as I said about our conversation, and we’ve had some time, you and I to chat a bit and and you’ve recently released a new book called Authentic Influencer, a fantastic book. And you and I were even kind of talking about how God was putting this in your mind and in your heart and kind of the initial direction you felt God leading you and some of the insights that God’s been giving you from your ministry that you want to share with the greater Church. And so Jonathan, I want to just begin there, if you could just tell us how did Authentic Influencer come to come to be?

Jonathan Murphy
Okay, well, so I am the product of of ministry in the sense that my parents were missionaries. And my father planted a church. And so I grew up as a pastor’s kid. And, and I came to faith young. And so as I’ve grown in the ways of the Lord, I kind of have been reflective of, of what has influenced my life. And then as I went to seminary, and then went on to pastor as well, all all these little bits and pieces came down to essentially, that I’ve been influenced most by those people that God has put in my life. And those people in the scriptures that I’ve studied, who have have inspired me and one of them was Barnabas. He, for me was a was a guy that when he popped up in the scriptures, which isn’t that often, had a significant impact on everybody around him. And so I, I early on, began to see him as a role model of the type of pastor that I wanted to be with the flock that God put under my care. And so for many, many years, I’ve sort of seen him as a ministry hero to try and copy, and that ultimately led into, you know, teaching on him, preaching on him, and then eventually into trying to capture some of those principles in a book format.

Jason Daye
So yeah, I love that. And so I have a couple of questions, Jonathan, for you in regards to that. One, well, let’s just start with this. The society in which we find ourselves, specifically here in the US, pastors are, in a way, losing influence, right. Our culture is, in survey after survey, year after year, we see there’s a greater level of mistrust when it comes to the role of a pastor or ministry leader. And so when we talk about this idea of influence, they are kind of two spheres, I think, that as ministry leaders we find ourselves in. One is influence with our flock, those people that God has entrusted to us, the other and so that’s kind of our weekend influence, you know, a lot of, you know, we talked about, but the other is our influence the rest of the week, when we are just, we’re regular people, right. As pastors and ministry leaders, we’re real people, we are out there, we’re grocery shopping, or going to the barber or going to the doctor’s, we’re, you know, taking our kids to school, doing all of those things. So they’re kind of these two spheres of influence. One is, how do we pastor? How do we influence those people that are entrusted to us? And the other is the greater influence in the community in which we live. So I’d love Jonathan, if we could kind of tackle both of those. Because, as I mentioned, that trust factor is decreasing when it comes to identifying as a pastor or ministry leader. And so I guess my first question is, as a pastor, when we look at this idea of influencing our people, our congregation, what do we learn from Barnabas, that helps us engage the people God’s entrusted to us and invite them into the Kingdom mission?

Jonathan Murphy
Yeah, great. I mean, I echo what you’re just describing. I, I am the Chair and Professor of pastoral ministries of Dallas Seminary. So one side of my life is very much you know, dealing with the more front stage as you would call it, the teaching, the preaching, the leading side of things, but then I’m a dad and I live in a community and my kids go to school and and sometimes you think, do I get weird looks? Because I introduced myself as a pastor, you know, certainly that’s the case in Europe, people people would be going “you’re what?” I mean, is it possible for those types of people still do exist and be married, right, if they have more of a church, Roman Catholic background, but so I agree, society in the West, is increasingly suspicious and perhaps a little bit maybe even angry with those who are positioned in life perhaps to exert influence over others, that relates to matters of truth because truth is under assault, right? And so it is a it is a bit of a an eggshell walk that we’re trying to navigate. And so I, I believe that that Barnabas models for us, as pastors and ministry leaders, how to be able to live in a hostile society, we don’t have it any worse than they had in the first century. Right? You know, we’re kind of back into that secular society, and I as they were then and so people, like Barnabas, for me, inspire us to just get along with the work of the ministry, whatever that may be, wherever God has put you. And so Barnabas is introduced and acts as sort of a regular member of the church, who, who just opens his eyes and, and tries to minister to those around us. But as as the book of Acts unfolds, we see him become a sort of a lead pastor of that thriving church in Antioch, and who, who teaches God’s Word and and doesn’t see others as a threat to his ministry. In fact, he brings Paul to Antioch to serve alongside of him. And then he takes him on into into the first missionary journey to essentially mentor him and eventually just launches them. So I believe from a pastor perspective, Barnabas can teach us how to pastor a flock that is before us in a way that’s alert to the gifts that are there of others. And that focuses on launching them toward God’s vision for their lives in that community and in that society. So he’s a very inspirational figure, as well as very instructional And the way he actually goes about things. So we, we learn that, we learn through seeing him what it looks like to be a godly servant leader of a flock wherever God has put you.

Jason Daye
Yeah, I love that, Jonathan. And one of the things as you’re talking that kind of immediately comes to mind as a pastor and as a ministry leader, is that Barnabas did not, or at least doesn’t appear that he felt threatened by Paul, and Paul’s leadership and that this is a very real, you know, if we are going to talk about ministry this is a very real topic, right? Because it seems that sometimes ministry can be limited or hindered because a pastor or leader might feel threatened by the gifts of others in their company, right? And so rather than helping elevate them and launch them, as we see Barnabas did, right, and Barnabas ended up being in the shadow of Paul, right? But Paul was influenced by Barnabas’ love and mentoring, right, so that Paul could go on and do what God had called him to do. So talk to us a little bit about that dynamic, because I think that can be a challenge sometimes. And even if it’s not, even if we don’t verbalize it as a challenge, right, sometimes within you know, we might feel somewhat threatened by others giftedness, right? So talk to us about that.

Jonathan Murphy
Yeah. And you never you never even even if you get to the point where you release that to the Lord, you know, it, you recoil back into it, right? You’re never, you’re never free from that, that sense of hey, you know, if I if I promote this, or if I launch him or her, then what does it do to me and my role, etc. I mean, that this is a constant struggle for many who are in leadership roles in churches and parachurch ministries. But yeah, I think Barnabas models for us. Let me take a step back, we see Paul, in light of who he became, but we look back 2000 years. And you know, he wrote so much of the of the New Testament and, you know, even even those around us who have no thought for the gospel, or God would still know who the Apostle Paul was AC. Barnabas came into Paul’s life, when he was a reject, when he was when he was a nobody, right? But But he saw potential in this individual. Because Barnabas was, I think, walking in step with the Spirit and so alert to the Spirit’s activities in daily life. And he positioned his life alongside of the Spirit in order to do what needed to be done. And I think that partly begins to evaporate away any sense of, I got to stifle somebody else, or I got to make sure I don’t delegate this over there, because they might do it better, or they might surpass me, I think Barnabas got over that, because of his close walk with God. And in fact, and one of the chapters closer to the end of the book, I think the principle that that speaks of Barnabas being a follower first, before he was a leader, is speaks into that, that he is a constant follower. If you’re constantly following God on a daily basis, I think he deals with those little, you know, ugly heads that pop up that that that might see others as a threat. And he he he uses you to launch others way past anywhere you will ever go. Where you become a cheerleader for those people. His his eye was so fixed on God. And and the understanding that one day he’s going to stand before God alone, and render account for his life on his own two feet, rather than, you know, in comparison to others. I think that’s just kept him focused and alert to who can I launch? Who can I piggyback way beyond anywhere I will ever go? And Barnabas exits the book of Acts, pretty much he gets on a boat with John Mark and we never hear from him again. He’s quite happy with with anonymity and he is very content with being left in obscurity. Because that’s, that’s, that’s… God deals with the rest of of that with rewards and results. And so I think he models all of that for us and that I think that that’s necessary in the Church today. I think some of the suspicions that society, or even the Church, has of pastors and ministry leaders comes down to some of the issues like that, which is they’re just trying to climb, right, trying to become, you know, known and famous. And that reeks of the world, and we’re trying to get away from that. And so his intimacy with God, I think, ultimately, being a constant follower just burns off all of that petty squabbling, competing, you know, with other ministry leaders around us.

Jason Daye
Yeah, I think that’s helpful. And, and Jonathan, the, just like humility that we see in Barnabas, you know, as you said, he sails off into the sunset, we never hear from again, I mean, literally, so. And it, as you mentioned, the world in which we live, there is this kind of, you know, there’s been tons of conversation about celebrity pastors, and this idea that we are climbing, we are trying to advance and I think some of that is inherent in our culture, here in the US, we tend to be much more individualized, you know, go after it, you know, we are going to conquer things, that’s kind of our mentality. And so whenever we align ourselves with the mission of God, we think, Oh, this is the most beautiful thing that we can go and do. And so we almost approach it, you know, with almost a crusader mentality, versus you know, that of a humble servant leader. So, and that’s why I love you pulling Barnabas out, because Barnabas is that servant leader. Barnabas is that person, who is, as you said, content to be behind the scenes, is not looking for the glory himself, and as a model for us, especially entering into post Christendom, and, you know, kind of the grittiness, I guess, of the life of Jesus, and what that represents versus a lot of the, you know, big platform, celebrity, you know, kind of personality around it, right?

Jonathan Murphy
Yeah. And, you know, for me, Barnabas’ concern is not popularity, right? It’s fidelity. I mean, that’s, that’s, I mean, he, and that’s right out of the Scriptures. He sees that in the teachings of Jesus, you know, he, you know, Jesus is constantly working with his disciples, to try to redefine for them what it means to be a leader, a la Jesus, right? This, this, the servant leadership model that Barnabas is exuding is really imitating the Lord Jesus Christ. And so his goal is to be faithful, not to be famous or popular and, and that frees him up to just put his hands to whatever comes his way. I mean, he really is just a regular member of the church that puts his hand in his wallet when somebody has a need. And then he also becomes, you know, the, the leader of the first missionary journey of the Christian Church, as well as what I would call the senior pastor, lead pastor of the first internationally thriving church in Antioch. So he, he knows what it means to serve across the whole spectrum. But none of that none of that bothers him, because he’s just trying to be faithful to what God has presented before him. And, and, and I think that’s refreshing humility, that that model of servant leadership that is, is desperately needed here. And I think the Church desperately wants in light of some of the massive failures that we’ve seen, heard about, you know, over the last few decades. Most believers, I think, respond to that, with, there’s got to be better than that. That’s, that’s not what I see modeled in the scriptures. How do we end up on that road? And, of course, part of what I’m trying to argue in the book is that, that leaders are formed. And when leaders are formed, leadership happens. And I sort of dial it up a notch, I said, But when godly leaders are formed, godly leadership happens. So there’s an element in which what I’m arguing for is that Barnabas understood that the next generation of the Church doesn’t just need leaders, they need formed leaders whose hearts and whose character has been molded by the Holy Spirit, in the presence of God’s people. God’s primary tool of shaping other people’s lives is people who step up, it’s through meaningful relationships. It’s kind of that let’s do life together. And in doing life, together, I learn from you and you learn from me and both of us move further along in our service of the Lord. And that ultimately is discipleship.

Jason Daye
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And I love it. I want to, I want to tease out a couple of things there that you mentioned, Jonathan, and that you write about in the book, one. One is this idea of leadership versus godly leadership. And, and I think this is important, because for last, you know, several decades, within the church, there’s been a, there has been a focus on leadership, right, like, leadership is important. And definitely, without a doubt, we can borrow principles from, from the world, you know, I mean, from from different arenas of the world, in regard to leadership. But that that falls short. It might be helpful, but it’s not complete, right? That the piece of godly leadership is what, what really is needed. And so can you talk to us a little bit, Jonathan, about that, you know, that distinction you make between leadership and godly leadership, and how that impacts how we are looking as pastors and ministry leaders at developing ourselves and also developing our ministry leaders and teams in our churches?

Jonathan Murphy
Yeah. Excellent. I think that you mentioned, you know, leadership principles, for example, in the corporate world, right. And I would, I have always seen it more like this, that the corporate world for the sake of fulfilling their mission, which tends to be, you know, profit making, have tapped into what I would say, are general principles of efficiency, right, that help them accomplish what they want to accomplish, but they’re not corporate principles. They’re more principles of how to work efficiently, how to relate to people, to move people along, in a certain direction, in an organized manner, to accomplish your goal. So part of what I’m saying is that there, it’s not their principles. It’s how God has wired the world, we just get exposed to them predominantly through literature of people who are in some sort of corporate, you know, setting. But But I think that, and those are good, those are valuable, and I think as pastors, we can learn how to lead organizationally, a church and in an efficient way, moving us all forward, etc. But what I’m trying to argue is that there’s a relational component to leadership, that is essential, that goes beyond what perhaps the corporate textbooks on leadership provide for us, which is what the Church is, it’s, it’s, it’s not a corporation, it’s a family. It’s a family of believers, who are gathering to be a light and salt in a particular society. And so you can’t get away from the relational leadership that the scriptures provide. And that all revolves, in my opinion around character, and the formation of character, and how to, to grow someone into the call that God has on their lives. And, and fan the flame of their giftedness so that we can launch them to do in this little body and this little family, what God has called them to do. And I think that’s, that’s where I think we go beyond what perhaps a corporation is trying to do. But we’re not trying to make money. We’re trying to ultimately launch people into God’s vision for their lives. And so that’s going to take a little bit more than what we read in those books and those textbooks that’s going to take us delving deeper into areas of character, how is character formed, what will it take? And what you find, I think modeled and Barnabas is it takes keeping your eyes open, looking beyond people’s failures to their potential, coming alongside of their lives in a meaningful way, through the mess, through the wards, and sticking with them because they’re valuable, and God has a better plan for their lives. And I think when pastors and ministry leaders capture that, and begin to model that with the initial leaders of the church around them, then that spreads it’s contagious. You know, I you know, I teach preaching. So I often tell my, my preaching students, you know, we’re wanting to preach God’s Word so that they understand God’s will for the world and for their lives. But one of the things that’s happening when you’re preaching God’s Word is you’re actually modeling for your flock, how they should read their Bible, so that they’re not putting words on God’s lips, but actually listening to what is coming from God’s lips. And so I would say the same as it relates to this relational leadership component that that we model for our people, how we expect them to relate with those in their spheres of life, be it their family members at home, be it their workmates, you know, at work, or just the neighborhood. And so if we’re intentional about encouraging others and inspiring others, and wanting to bring truth into other’s lives, and and showing them how to do that, then they go out and model it, too. They kind of absorb that somehow through some sort of, you know, I don’t know, visual spiritual osmosis.

Jason Daye
Yeah, that’s good. So let’s, let’s dive in there a little bit, Jonathan, and get kind of practical on that. Because Barnabas provides a great example. But we’re talking about this, this relational aspect, this disciple making aspect, right discipleship, for local church context… most pastors say, Well, that’s what I do. I mean, this is what we think, this is what we’re doing, right? This is, this is what we’re trying to do. We’re making disciples, that’s, that’s what my job is. That’s what my role is, you know, I’m a pastor. And yet we see that the church, in many areas, is not necessarily being equipped, or inspired, or influenced right, to influence society. So there’s a little bit of a gap there. And so I think it’s good for us to, you know, look in the mirror and say, okay, where are places that we can lean in? And, you know, what might this look like? So talk to us a little bit about, Jonathan, about what this can actually look like in a local church context?

Jonathan Murphy
Yeah, no, I, I think that we do a good job as pastors in trying to offer to our flock, multiple onramps, right, to know God and to learn of God and to and to hear truth and to, and to be discipled more in the, in the, and, you know, in the truths of the scriptures and the doctrines of the faith. I think we very quickly but default applying their service of God, to some of those areas that are immediately needed in the church, like, parking lot, attendant, you know, welcome or hospitality at the door, kids ministry, and all of those are necessary, and all of those must continue, and all of those are great. But I think what we do is we miss out on where our flock is already naturally positioned in society. So that we’re trying to funnel them toward doing acts of service, perhaps, from the church, and out, when they live in relationships, and networks of relationships. And so I think if we begin to think about where are they already at? And how do we help them see that those relationships and those places are sacred places, that they have a responsibility to, through those relationships, figure out how to serve God there. And I would add to that, inspire them, that it doesn’t mean getting a degree from seminary and preaching, but that it might be the long term work of just engaging in regular conversations, and, and positioning your life alongside of them. So that when things emerge, those conversations now are taking place in a natural environment, not in some sort of, you know, artificial, “oh yeah, now the Christian is going to come and knock on my door because because, you know, I’m struggling, and he sees it as his duty to just come and speak this into my life,” but rather that they come and say, you’re a Christian. I mean, I know what I see it I we know you, what does God say about this? So I think I think we need to help mobilize the church, to see ministry and the Great Commission as more than just teaching from a pulpit or from a lectern, or serving in a parking lot. But to figure that they have the freedom to figure out how to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in the little sphere of life that they have been placed, which you and I can’t access. Right. And I think you know, I mean, we’re talking generally speaking, I do think that we’re in a in a season of church history in the West where the church has become way more spectator than participatory. There’s a whole bunch of reasons for that. And some is down to people are just distracted by other pursuits in life, and comfort, and not interested in really growing in the service of God, but some of it has to do with they don’t know what to do. They think that serving Jesus is just showing up at church, and listening to me preach, or you preach, a pastor preach and serving in most limited areas. But I think we can model for, I think Barnabas models for us all, that you can serve God, anywhere and with anyone. And some of the examples I using in the book relate to you know, stay at home parents, to a guy in Scotland who wanted to be in vocational ministry, but but couldn’t for health reasons. So he began to serve God in a sea cave, when the tide was out, you know. It is it is, it is the church’s responsibility, I mean, the people’s responsibility to align their lives, to serving God wherever he has put them, and for us as pastors to, to inspire them in that, encourage them and show them that that is sacred work, that there isn’t a hierarchy of services. And that they’re on the bottom rung, and we’re at the top rung, because we’re teachers, that that even I don’t know, caring for two year olds, and teaching them little Bible stories, or talking to your neighbor at the mailbox, rather than trying to avoid going out for the mail, when he’s out. Right, actually going on at that time to say, Hey, good to see you. How are you? You know that those things do make a little dent in the lives of other people, and the church just doesn’t see that. They’ve kind of bought into this status quo of to serve God means to be a pastor, and I’m not a pastor. So we just delegate, you know, service to professional Christians as it were. They just need led. They need inspired. And Barnabas is the type of example who models that right. That’s what I would say to that.

Jason Daye
Yeah, no, that’s helpful. And so as we’re kind of winding down, Jonathan, if you could give pastors and ministry leaders who are watching along, who are listening, who were saying, This is what we, you know, want to see in our church. You know, I want to be Barnabas. I want to raise up other Barnabas’, I want to raise up Pauls, I want to help unleash this relational ministry, you know, kind of coming out through our people into our community. If you were to give them a place to start, if you’re to say, yes, this is the first thing that you might consider looking into, what would that be?

Jonathan Murphy
I would get them to teach through the life of Barnabas, I would get them to pick people that are in the Scriptures who represent more where most of us are at, because we’re not all going to be Apostle Paul’s and Apostle Peter’s right, we’re going to be ordinary, you know, everyday believers like Barnabas. I would begin there and say, look what this guy did for the Lord Jesus Christ and, and God put him in the scriptures, not to inform you about some historical figure but to inspire you to copy him. I would begin there because in my personal life and experience and as I’ve taught the Barnabas principle and Barnabas way, I have seen people’s, you know, just disposition brighten up, you mean I can serve like that? You mean I could do that? I really do think that that just teaching them is the is the first step toward inspiring them. And I do think that what will happen as a result of that is that pastors won’t be chasing people down, so that they will serve the local church and serve in the community, they’ll be trying to keep up with it right with what their flock is doing in society. And so that’s where shepherding them comes in, let me let me help guide this. Because Because the church mobilized is a powerful force of influence in society by God’s design. And we all know that, you know, influence is either going the wrong way, or sliding, you know, rapidly, in every sphere of life politics, workplace, economics, you know, neighborhoods, and so we need a mobilized church. So start there, start with, you know, putting this material into the hands of your parishioners, under your supervision, and then challenging them to figure out what the next step is for them, where God has them, and watching them rise to it, I think.

Jason Daye
Yeah, I love that. And Jonathan, something that came to mind as you’re talking, that invites so much creativity as well, because we’re not, you know, we’re not prescripting what it is that they need, you know, we’re not creating the ministry role for them to fill. We’re inviting them into the adventure, right, and letting the Spirit creatively help them open their eyes, as you’ve said, and see in their spheres of influence, in their relationships, in the places where they find themselves. How can I be the salt and light that Christ has called me to be?

Jonathan Murphy
And they’re naturally already positioned to know better than you and I, right, hide this truth would, you know, be contextualized in that environment, you know, and then they own it? It’s their vision that God’s planted in their hearts, and so they run with it. And you become, you know, the one trying to keep track, you know, to help, to keep, you know, the wind in their sails, as it were. So you’re right on.

Jason Daye
Yeah, yeah. I love that. I love it. Such a great conversation, nothing. I love. I love the influence of Barnabas on your own life. And I love how you’re sharing that with others. And where can people if people want to connect with you? Or learn more about your book, Authentic Influencer? How’s the best way for them to do that?

Jonathan Murphy
So I have a website, That’s just, I get asked this a lot, where I preach? How can we follow you? And I’m really not on Facebook. And I’m just venturing into Instagram somewhat reluctantly, very reluctantly, I guess. I mean, I’m, what, 15-20 years behind everybody else. But But part of it, I’m at the stage where people ask me where, we want to hear more sermons, we want to follow you. So I have realized that there’s a value to that for me. And so is where you’ll follow what I’m doing. I am a teaching pastor at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth. I spend a lot of my time preaching these days at another church StoneBriar Community Church here and in the DFW area as well. And then, of course, I’m a professor and chair at Dallas Seminary, so you can contact me through there, as well, you just phone into our office and, and, you know, leave a message for me, and I’ll try and get back to you. My email at the Seminary is So I’m, you know, open to be reached there as well. And so it might take a little while because it goes through a few people that helped me sort of manage that. But that’s that’s how to get a hold of me.

Jason Daye
Excellent. No, I love that we’ll have we’ll have links to your website. And in then we’ll have links to the book.

Jonathan Murphy
Yes, there is a link to the book, Jason, as well, actually:, which is where everybody’s been funneled to get to it directly.

Jason Daye
Perfect, perfect. And we will be sure for those you’re, you know, listening along, we’ll be sure to have all those links available for you in the toolkit for this episode with Jonathan. And you can find that at And get all those details, including the Ministry Leaders Growth Guide. Jonathan, it has been an absolute pleasure hanging out with you today, chatting with you, thank you for all the work that you are doing. Thank you for just encouraging us and inspiring us. I love it, because it’s both front stage and backstage. You know, there are things that we can do personally in our own lives as pastors and ministry leaders to live as a Barnabas. But then it’s also thinking about that slug that God has entrusted us with. Right, so and how do we how do we lead them? So just a beautiful conversation.

Jonathan Murphy
It’s been my pleasure, Jason, thank you very much for having me on. Yeah, God, God bless you all. I mean, my my heroes are pastors and ministry leaders. The front line of the service of the Lord and the days in which we live, it’s not easy. But what a great God to serve. So he keep at it.

Jason Daye
That’s right. That’s right. Thank you, brother. God bless you.

Jonathan Murphy
Okay, thank you, bye.

Jason Daye
Now, before you go, I want to remind you of an incredible free resource that our team puts together every single week to help you and your team dig more deeply and maximize the conversation that we just had. This is the weekly toolkit that we provide. And we understand that it’s one thing to listen or watch an episode, but it’s something entirely different to actually take what you’ve heard, what you’ve watched, what you’ve seen, and apply it to your life and to your ministry. You see, FrontStage BackStage is more than just a podcast or YouTube show about ministry leadership, we are a complete resource to help train you and your entire ministry team as you seek to grow and develop in life in ministry. Every single week, we provide a weekly toolkit which has all types of tools in it to help you do just that. Now you can find this at That’s And there you will find all of our shows, all of our episodes and all of our weekly toolkits. Now inside the toolkit are several tools including video links and audio links for you to share with your team. There are resource links to different resources and tools that were mentioned in the conversation, and several other tools, but the greatest thing is the ministry leaders growth guide. Our team pulls key insights and concepts from every conversation with our amazing guests. And then we also create engaging questions for you and your team to consider and process, providing space for you to reflect on how that episode’s topic relates to your unique context, at your local church, in your ministry and in your life. Now you can use these questions in your regular staff meetings to guide your conversation as you invest in the growth of your ministry leaders. You can find the weekly toolkit at We encourage you to check out that free resource. Until next time, I’m Jason Daye encouraging you to love well, live well, and lead well. God bless.

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