ministry

How an introvert can be a leader and pastor...

Photo Credit: Vo Minh Thong via Unsplash  

I really love people.

I do.

It's just I'd rather be alone. Not always, but some of the time, not even most of the time—just some.

I know. Some people will wonder, and I have been asked, "How can I be a pastor and an introvert."

I've asked myself this question. Ministry is about people. It's relational and intimate. It requires me to be around people and to invest in them one on one and communally.

Some people think the best lead pastors are extroverted and too the extreme degree.

I don't know. Maybe, but maybe not. I think it takes a plurality of leaders and personality types to lead and shepherd the church.

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I think many of us are realizing the formula we think it takes to lead a healthy church, notice I didn't say successful church, is not necessarily the best for what God has designed for His church.

This blog post isn't about what personality type makes a better lead pastor or even about the best formula—it's really about how me, being an introvert and pastor, can be the leader and pastor God has called me to be.

For me, I need some alone time and I need some people time.

I need people time so I can be filled with love and encouragement. This comes with being around people. And I also need to be the one who does the filling as well.

I also need quiet and alone time.

It is very beneficial for me to have moments where I can decompress and meditate on the conversations and interactions I've had with people.

For me to be a whole person, I need both spaces and environments. It's not an either/or, it's a both/and. If you were to ask me which I prefer, I'd tell you it depends on the day and circumstance. Although I do prefer more alone time than I do people time.

 

The thing is I need both. And I desire both.

And this realization is freeing. It has allowed me to be who I am as a leader and pastor—when this happens it creates a healthy environment for the church I lead and pastor.

 

http://youtu.be/rUaj7rj6MI8

RSA Shorts – The Power of Quiet

Great video on extroverts, introverts, leadership, teamwork, and collaboration.

What's on my mind this morning.

What's on my mind this morning:

- I'm so thankful that I get to be the pastor of Ascent Christian Church - I really love preaching. - And I really love preaching through our current series--I believe it will have a huge impact on our church. - We have some amazing people leading ministries in our church. - I'm very excited about who God has placed at our church and the gifts they have. - I am very excited about this coming year. - And the ministry that will be happening at Ascent!

- The realization that we are all made in the image of God is having an impact on how I view and treat people. - #LoveYourNeighbor - We are all broken people. Just some recognize it. Get healing. and become better for it. - I love the fact our church family is willing to acknowledge our messy spirituality.

- The state of Oregon just passed legislature on Marriage. - It was an emotional moment in Oregon history. - #OregonMarriageEqualityRuling. - I don't agree with everything Rep. Mike McLane said. - But he had some wise words to say to the people of Oregon:

20140519-214147-78107394.jpg - Regardless your view of this legislation, we are all made in the image of God and need Jesus. - Now is the time for the church to live out Jesus commandment to love your neighbor. - Luke 10:25-37 - #LoveYourNeighbor

- Humbled that I get to be a part of the Sisters, OR church plant management team: Mountain Range Christian Church - This makes me look forward to our next partnership church plant in Oregon with the OCEF.

- There are a lot of exciting things happening at Boise Bible College in Boise, ID.

- Jeff Walling is one of the best story tellers I've ever heard.

- You're never to old to get a lecture from your dad... - I did yesterday. Yes I deserved it. And no I'm not ready to talk about it :) - I have the best wife a man could ever hope for. - I don't deserve my kids--they are most amazing people I've ever met! - My kids have made some really cool friends--they are a blessing from The Lord.

- I'm fortunate to have friends like Mike, Tony, and Gavin--I love those guys from Warrenton and Astoria, OR.

- Prineville, OR is a beautiful place.20140519-212815-77295210.jpg - I went to The Kilns coffee house yesterday--it's in Bend, OR. - It has a very cool vibe. - And it houses Kilns College. They have a Master of Arts in Social Justice, which I find a bit intriguing.

- The movie 12 Years A Slave, makes me angry (I watched it last night for the first time). - I prefer Smallville over 24. - I like beards. - And probably will grow mine back in the next couple of weeks.

Joe

Just let it soak in...

This week I am at a Pastors/Ministry Spring Conference at a small Bible College in Boise, ID.

Aside from missing my family and Central Oregon, I am having a great time hanging out with a couple of my best friends, gathering some fresh and important insight for ministry.

I've also learned how to play Disc golf—I have no idea why I didn't play this before...

 

Yesterday I sat through a workshop taught by one of my former coworkers during our days at an amazing church in Longmont, CO.

I heard this quote at the workshop that I want to share with you:

 

"We will not be effective in influencing our culture, if we are focused on ourselves." - Derek Voorhees

 

Now I understand most of you will want to look more deeply into the "influencing culture" and dissect it, but my contention is not so much the influencing culture part of the quote, but our focus should be on "focused on ourselves."

Many of you won't disagree with me saying the biggest hinderance to the gospel is selfishness.

But maybe you won't like this—many of us design, craft, and operate our churches to cater to selfishness. Not just for the people who attend our churches, but probably mostly for our own selfish desires.

Don't react.

Just let my statement soak in and think about it...

Then repent.

I did.

 

Joe

*If your interested in learning about flattening the church and moving the church toward the art of neighboring, I suggest you take a look at LifeBridge Christian Church in Longmont, CO.

 

 

Introvert living in an extrovert world...

About two years ago I discovered something about myself that I should've known all along because I demonstrated these strong tendencies as a kid—I'm an introvert at the very core of who I am, although I do have some extrovert tendencies. To be frank (No. I'm not trying to give myself a new persona), I don't really like to admit this about myself. In what I do—I'm a pastor, it is assumed that I am an extrovert and it is assumed the best people for what I do are extroverts.

Which both of these assumptions—I am finding are not true.

For most of my life I was coerced or lead to believe that I was an extrovert or that being an extrovert was necessary for me to be a leader and to achieve some level of success. This caused me to suppress my introvertness and tricked me to lose my identity of who I really am as a person—especially a healthy me.

My guess is that many of you find or have found yourselves in this situation.

Over the next two weeks I will dedicate a blog post to this topic and to my journey of discovering the freedom to be who I am.

But for now, I encourage you to read a blog post by Justin Lathrop: "I'm An Introvert and A Pastor—Help!

I think there are a lot of misconceptions about introverts in ministry. I don’t think it’s impossible to be an introvert and also a really good pastor. In fact, I believe we need introverts. Not only are they good thinkers, but they are really good connectors too. While extroverts can seem to be the most exciting person at a party, sometimes introverts have an ability to connect with a person one-on-one that an extrovert lacks. - Justin Lathrop ("I'm An Introvert and A Pastor—!")

Joe

Are we doing things backwards in the church?

Photo Credit: Pixabay I just saw an advertisement on Twitter that struck me kind of funny. This advertisement was a promoted tweet, where a Christian resource company—they sell curriculum, books, and other stuff was having a huge sale on all their stuff...

"How generous of them" was my initial thought. Then I said to myself, we (the church) don't have a lot of money so I won't even look and see what they have... Then I remembered that for the last six and a half years I have been on staff in some large churches, and now at a small church where the cash-flow was or is not flowing. We really were not able to buy curriculum and other stuff that we deemed necessary to run effective ministry/programs—we wanted to spend what little dollars we had directly on people, meeting their tangible needs or just pay the bills.

We learned to do ministry with almost a zero dollar budget or on a shoestring. It's funny, because during this time, Lars Rood wrote a book entitled "Youth Ministry On A Shoestring: How to do more with less, but we couldn't afford to buy his book...Haha.

We experienced frustrating and difficult times, but we also saw the generosity of the church engage in ground level ministry—when we needed doughnuts, people brought doughnuts or alternatives, instead of the paid staff buying them with ministry budget dollars. And the examples could go on and on... People became more invested in the ministry and the mission of the church, instead of being just consumers.

We also saw creativity expressed in ways we hadn't seen before. We couldn't buy curriculum, so we were forced to write our own. Paid and non-paid people all contributed to the edification of the body.

People stepped up—they worked and lived through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. People grew and matured in ways that money can't buy or fabricate.

Not having a lot of money can actually be a good thing. It causes us to really dig deep down and find out what really matters, especially when it comes to the church. Having a ton of kick-butt programs with all the bells and whistles that go with them, and having paid ministry specialists for every ministry program can be necessary to some degree. But when all of this get's in the way of the church being the church—it should cause us to pause and reflect on what really matters to mission of Jesus.

I am not against Christian resource companies and I am sure I will buy some stuff from them, once I have some cash flow to do so—it's just that I am beginning to wonder, out-loud, if you will allow me to do so—what would discipleship look like if we didn't have all these resources at our fingertips...

Are we doing things backwards in the church?

The importance of a discipleship legacy

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"We are proud of you. You have set off on a wonderful adventure. Who knows what God will do in transforming your lives?" - Wayne and Rolly Bigalow

Fina found a letter from Wayne and Rolly Bigalow, spiritual giants and ministry mentors in our lives, dated August 31st, 2001.

This letter was written to encouraging our family before we left for our wonderful adventure moving from California to Missouri to attend Ozark Christian College and to do ministry.

And it's very fitting for us on our new wonderful adventure here in Oregon.

the beginning...

Wayne is the reason why I am in ministry today! He was the Senior Minister of Sonrise Christian Church in Windsor, CA, and I served as the youth minister at Sonrise.

Wayne was the person who encouraged us to take a step of faith and follow God's call on our lives. So with my wife and three kids we packed up everything we owned and moved to Missouri to finish my Bible college education.

I am forever grateful for Wayne and Rolly (She went to be with Jesus years ago) for the impact they had on us, a young ministry family... And Wayne still has an impact on me and my ministry today—he called me last night to see how we are doing in our new ministry.

the importance of a discipleship legacy...

Wayne and Rolly believed in us and taught us to trusted God and to rely on His grace to get is through our new adventure. We also learned from them the importance of discipleship—leading others into becoming more like Jesus. To invest in others and have others invest in your life is one of the keys to lasting relationship with Jesus, one that is healthy, vibrant, and reproducing.

We have been so fortunate to have so many people mentor us and allow us the freedom to fail and succeed in ministry. As a result of others investing in us, we have been able to do the same. I think many times we have been the ones being blessed by us investing in others, and not so much the other way around.

It is important to carry-on legacy of discipleship. It is not only beneficial for the person your are investing in, but it is also beneficial for you—if you don't then your faith can become self-centered and eventually it shrivels up and dies.

Who are you creating a discipleship legacy with?

Joe