Archives: Podcast


Replant Bootcamp

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In this episode the boys talk about the importance of celebrating wins along the way in Replanting. Why is this necessary? Because the work of Replanting is hard and difficult.

Here are some of the highlights

  • Celebrate small steps and wins
  • Find something to celebrate each weekend
  • Be sure to celebrate missional activity-even if it starts small
  • Celebrate changes in attitude and heart
  • Celebrate being part of something bigger (especially if you are part of a denomination)
  • Celebrate steps that your church is taking toward the accomplishment of your vision
  • Get someone outside your church to come in and help you see things you can celebrate

What wins are you celebrating? We’d love to hear from you-send us an email, a photo or a story.

Fun Razorback Football Twitter

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Check out the show notes below for more detail. Show transcripts are an approximation of the podcast, audio should be consulted for exact detail.

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Replant Bootcamp

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00:00 / 28:43
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2020 keeps on 2020ing – Arkansas winning football games, emus running wild in Jacksonville. The guys discuss these things and more.

This is the 4th episode in a series on change leadership:

At this point in the change leadership process it is important to equip and empower leaders and members of your church to do the work of ministry (Eph. 4:11-16).

  • Part of this process requires that you remove barriers to change leadership
    • Restrictive governing policies
    • Lack of needed skills/competency
    • Sacred Cows
    • Bullies — “Pastor, stop being nice”
    • Insufficient communication

“It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions.” – William Bridges, Managing Transitions 

“One common mistake leaders make when introducing major change is assuming everyone who initially opposes the change is rebelling against their leadership. . . Some leaders misinterpret opposition from followers because they do not understand major change produces grief.” – Jeff Iorg, Leading Major Change

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Replant Bootcamp

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00:00 / 25:41
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After some small talk about the correct pronunciation of States, the guys talk about the importance of vision in replanting. Vision is a key ingredient for the work of a Pastor and Replanter. By way of reminder here are the initial steps of leading a change process

  • Stop and Pray
  • Define and Confront Reality
  • Build a Change Leadership Team
  • Discover and Communicate a Clear Vision for Replanting

Two core components in a Replanting Vision: Making Disciples and Missional Engagement

Vision = where we are trying to go

Mission = how we get there

Your church can have a unique expression in it’s expression of making disciples and missional engagement.

Vision is often discovered, defined and clarified through a process-we recommend you get outside help in facilitating discussion around discovering your vision.

But…don’t make the mistake of doing this alone or quickly.

In short the vision must be Clear, Compelling, and Biblical.

Our fearless leader, Mark Clifton’s book, Reclaiming Glory is a must read for every Pastor and Replanter.


Ready for more? Dive into the show notes below. Check out this episode’s show notes below delivered by: Descript  

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TRANSCRIPTS are an approximate account of the audio recording and may not be 100% complete. Audio should be consulted for accuracy

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Replant Bootcamp

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00:00 / 24:24
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In this episode the guys pick up where they left off last time-talking change leadership. To lead change in a Replant or Revitalization you are going to need help-how do you build a team to lead change? The guys break it down.

In examining your church you need to diagnose if you have a leadership problem or a followership problem.  Jimbo’s Quote:  A church can go much further with great followership and mediocre leadership than with mediocre followership, and great leadership.

Building a Change Leadership Team: Characteristics to look for

  • Character-are they growing in godliness?
  • Chemistry-is this someone I could sit with for 3 hours in a room at church talking ministry?
  • Competency-can they lead and serve?
  • Commitment-are they going to stick it out?
  • Credibility-do others follow them?

If you have a sending church or sponsoring church here are some important steps to consider:

  • Have a clear vision (write it down, share a prospectus with potential change team members)
  • Offer a clear opportunity for involvement
  • Ask for a commitment from them
  • Explain reality for them-they need to understand what they are likely to experience

Resources: Replant Roadmap by Mark Hallock



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Show Notes: want to read along while the show plays? Check out this episode’s show notes below delivered by: Descript  

TRANSCRIPTS are an approximate account of the audio recording and may not be 100% complete. Audio should be consulted for accuracy

JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Back at it again with the replant bootcamp, college football has started. NFL has started Bob. I feel like I feel your pain a little bit.

Bob Bickford: [00:00:11] Hey, I just want to say that LSU and Arkansas have the same record.

JimBo Stewart: [00:00:17] don’t

Bob Bickford: [00:00:18] We get the same record.

JimBo Stewart: [00:00:19] Don’t say it. It’s true.

Bob Bickford: [00:00:21] Yeah. I mean it didn’t Mike Leach. I think he liked, he trashed LSU. Didn’t he say that, that they played. Mississippi state played LSU because what did he say? Like the Patriots weren’t available.

JimBo Stewart: [00:00:33] I took it as, as a ode of respect to LSU. He said we played LSU because the Kansas city chiefs and the 49ers weren’t available. So he was putting us on like NFL, but here’s the deal was, was 2019 LSU, maybe on NFL quality? I think 2019 LSU could have beaten whatever the worst.

NFL team was, but 2020 LSU. . .  It’s going to be a rough year, I think.

Bob Bickford: [00:01:10] Yeah, it might be, but enough of our football sadness, we, we gotta move on. We’ve got to move on to some, something else.

JimBo Stewart: [00:01:18] Yes. I I’m going to have to find a new Saturday hobby cause college football may not do it for me this year.

But I’m excited for us to continue this series today, Bob, in change leadership kind of walking through, what does it take to lead change in a church? I think this is an important thing for us to talk about because for the most part you don’t actually learn this in seminary. you learn good theology, hopefully hermeneutics, and a lot of different things that, but the art of leading change well is a complicated, complex thing that you cannot just casually land yourself in. And so I’m excited about all the episodes that are going to come out of this series.

Bob Bickford: [00:02:06] I am too. When you mentioned you don’t learn this in seminary, you’re exactly right. I remember way back in the day when I was in seminary, there was a conference being held. I just started seminary. And we were in the heartbeat of classes and there was a conference in a church that was in Kansas city. And speaking at that conference was John Maxwell and bill Hybels. And we went to our seminary, prof, a classmate of mine, and we said, Hey, could, um, could we miss class? In order to go hear these guys talk about leadership. And I guarantee you, what we got at the conference was a lot better than what we missed at seminary for those, you know, two days.

And I still have that notebook somewhere in all the boxes of my packed up stuff. And I would often early on in my ministry career will go back and just read those principles of leadership that were super helpful to me in leading student ministry at the time.

JimBo Stewart: [00:03:05] Yeah. So the first two steps that we talked about in the last episode were first. A season of prayer, stop and pray. Take a, take a minute, ask God to move. And then secondly, creating a sense of urgency through, understanding, defining and confronting reality. I was looking kind of back at some change leadership material.

I’ve read to prepare for today’s episode. And I was looking at Jeff leading major change. And he talks about kind of the first two things required to lead major changes. One major change begins with a direction from God , this is where  business change leadership books are gonna miss this piece.

And it’s, it’s absolutely the single most. Significant and important piece of anything you’re going to do in change leadership is to hear from the Lord.  It’s the Lord who. Rebuilds revitalizes and replants churches. So there has to be a movement of God, but he says next is for major change. It requires initiative from a leader. it’s absolutely necessary for a leader to take initiative.

And part of that initiative is going to be step two of defining and confronting reality, creating a sense of urgency. Helping us understand the problem of what we’re trying to do before we work towards solutions. But I would say the next step, Bob is don’t go it alone. Build a change leadership team.

Bob Bickford: [00:04:36] Leadership is lonely. And you don’t accomplish what you need to by yourself. You have to gather a group of folks who here are the vision and are bought into the vision and agree to be part of the mission. And so you’re exactly right. We got to get a team around us.

JimBo Stewart: [00:04:54] I heard a great quote, just yesterday talking with a friend and he was telling me that he, heard this from a friend of his named Nathan Cothen, who is a, NOBTs PhD, grad. so you know, best seminary in all of Southern Baptist life. PHD, he’s obviously brilliant. his quote was, roughly this is the paraphrase for my friend to me, but it’s good.

A church can go much further with great followership and mediocre leadership than with mediocre followership, and great leadership.  in other words, it doesn’t really matter how amazing of a leader you are. If there aren’t good followers helping you accomplish that.

Bob Bickford: [00:05:41] it’s such a good point. Yeah. And I just want to say this cause this here’s what I thought when I heard you say that,  one is, I’m glad you got it. All right. And that was, that was technical. So I’m going to go back and listen to make tea, to remind myself of everything you just said. But the second thing that hit my mind right after that was this, I know some really good leaders.

Who are in really difficult situations that they’re in churches that have never followed the pastor and ain’t never gonna follow a pastor. Right. And some of the guys listening and the bootcamp, they may be in that situation where they’re a really good leader, really sharp leader, they’re doing all the right things, but you just got to flow.

You got a group of folks that ain’t going, right. And she’s not, they ain’t buying what you selling and they’re not part of your vision. And they’re not going. That doesn’t mean you’re a bad leader. It just made me in, you’re not in the right context. So that leader then could go to a new church and the people are ready to follow and things just explode and go greatly.

And so I just want to say most of the time, for leaders, when we’re stuck in a situation, we may start taking it personally and going, I just must not be a really good leader. That might be the case, but it’s not always the case.

JimBo Stewart: [00:06:49] I want to say it one more time, just so you get it. A church can go much further with great followership and mediocre leadership than with mediocre followership and great leadership. And so here, here’s something that is really important to consider in a dying or declining church. You really have to assess.

If there is a leadership problem and, or a followership problem, Les McKeown, who we’ve talked with on predictable success. Yes. We’ll tell you that when church enters into what he calls the big rut on the life cycle, that he defines organizations with that all of yeah. Your visionary and operator leaders, as he would define them.

Have left the building. And one of the hard things you’re going to find is if you are not a visionary leader, which we’ll talk about a little bit in an episode to come on, how to create a vision and lead a vision. But if you are not, if you don’t have the competency, the ability to lead well with a vision. Then one, it’s hard for people to follow that. And that’s a leadership problem, but if you don’t have operators, get it done. People, people that are passionate about getting the ball, moving and going, you got a followership problem. And this is where you may, you may, if you are deep enough in the big rut, really need to have a real conversation with your association, all leaders, state, convention leader.

Or somebody about being replanted, because you really don’t need to move much further forward in the change leadership process. Without a team, because if you try to do this alone, it will eat you alive. And, and so if you don’t have within that congregation a team, and I’m not gonna say that lightly, because I feel like God has, who probably has what you need there at the church.

But if not, then you need to consider some way to get that. And that might mean. Change leadership for you from this point forward is discipling and growing a leadership team, and you really can’t move too much further until you have that team.

Bob Bickford: [00:09:11] agree. So what are we looking for when we’re trying to identify potential team members, develop them? What are some of the characteristics or qualities that we need to figure out? if they reside within the folks who are part of our church,

JimBo Stewart: [00:09:27] Yeah. So as you’re looking for a team, I would start, there are two things primarily I’m going to look for is character. I’m not necessarily going to hold them entirely to a first Timothy three deacon list or elder list. but I’m going to hold on to some of that list and I’m going to look for spiritual fruit.

I’m going to look for a humility.   so just character Jay is generally godly character, not perfect, but some godly characteristics. And then on top of that chemistry, um, can I sit in a room with this person for three hours on a Sunday afternoon? And, and talk about the future of the church without wanting to resign immediately.

Bob Bickford: [00:10:15] That’s that’s a good description of chemistry. Um, I think a more practical one that I’ve heard is, is this somebody I’d want to hang out with, is this somebody I’d text with good news? Is this somebody that, that I’m energized by et cetera? Now that’s not to say that we should never hang out with people who don’t necessarily fit those criteria in our life.

But you hit on the fact that character matters. And then there’s gotta be a connection or chemistry with them. I’m thinking of those. We’re talking about this. I’m thinking about the folks who came to be part of our replant and left pretty quickly. And, um, and we had a sense of chemistry. We liked hanging together.

We laughed together, but we, and here’s, here’s the deal breaker. Like it wasn’t a chemistry issue. It was some character issues, right. That came up and, um, You know, I, I don’t want to air dirty laundry, but there was some of that would just like, these were, these were deal breakers, right? Like these were, these were Christian lifestyle issues that precluded them from leading worship or precluded them from leading a small group that threatened the security of their marriage.

That caused me to think. Okay. Um, can I trust this person with heavy, confidential kinds of information or can I even brainstorm out loud unfiltered thoughts that I’m just trying to think through? So I would just say, man, don’t don’t speed past these, the character issue and the chemistry issue. Well, if you do, you’re going to be sad in the long run and the effort at revitalizing or replanting, the church will be hindered.

JimBo Stewart: [00:11:58] I define it mean chemistry that way, because I want to be honest about replants right. Yeah. One of the definition pieces you gave was I would text them with good news. They were very few people that went to this church. When I got here that do text message. Uh it’s it’s. My, not that I wouldn’t want to share good news with them, they would just have no idea how to a text message what to do with it.

So, you have to, you have to pastor and lead the people. God has given you not the people that you want. I’m not trying to set the bar low. and I think ideally we have great chemistry. Like, man, I love hanging out with this person. but at a bare minimum, are they committed to God honoring God directed future for this church. This is not preference based and not methods based, but purpose based and mission-based and if they are, and I feel like I can hang out with them for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and talk about that. Then that at least answers the chemistry. The question for me, now Mark Hallock, our good buddy has a massive textbook called replant roadmap, that, I use as a, a book holder on my bookshelf.

Cause it’s one of the biggest books. On on my, I mean, this thing, I, I, I get intimidated every time I look at this thing of just how long it took him to write it, but he has, he talks about building a core team and a replant, around page 165, which is, you know, like a 10th of the way through the book.

And, and he, he says character competency. Chemistry and commitment. and he, he holds a pretty high bar on commitment and on some of these things. And so he actually has in the appendix, appendix C and appendix D okay. Sample core team assessment and a sample core team covenant. And so I think those are at least worth your time of looking at those, uh, for your information, you know, go back and read John Kotter, leading change.

Look at when he talks about building a, a guiding coalition is what he would call it. there’s some decent information in there. It’s one of the steps that may be his. Language is going to be a lot more businessy than we’re going to be comfortable with in a church. But some of it just doesn’t translate as well.

but I think it’s also good. If you can think through. Are these people influential? Are they thought leaders in the church or do they have a low credibility? Right. Cause there’s a danger of, if you get people on the team that really don’t have a lot of credibility in the church and you try to implement change, nobody wants to listen to what that guy says anyway.

so it needs to be people, That have some credibility within the church and influence within the church. I think you need to consider as much as you can kind of crossing as many demographic categories as possible just to get those perspectives and the value of those perspectives, because.

none of us are as smart as all of us. Right. And this, this isn’t your yes. Team. This isn’t your rubber stamp team. it will not work. Correctly. If that’s what you do. I mean, this is your team that is going to pray together is going to plead to the Lord together. It’s going to search scripture together and, and really help determine what is the vision?

What is the direction of this church? Bob? What if you do go into a replant situation where you have a mother church, a sponsor church, a partner church, fostering you at some level. At what level, how do we involve people from that church into a change leadership team?

Bob Bickford: [00:15:47] Well, I think first of all, we’re going to have to do the hard work of writing down our vision and our mission, and then giving people tangible ways in handles that they can be a part of that. Right.

So, so if I’m going into that church or the partner church, the sending churches is working with me. One of the things that, they often do is in addition to sending resources, they’ll send some people to help out and they all say, you know, Hey, Bob is over here. He’s doing this replant situation. I had that happen when I was here in st.

Louis, you know, starting the replant journey had a lot of people recommended to us one at a time. I had to do the hard work of writing down what I, I could see as best I could distill it. Here’s the vision of what we’re seeking to do at Sherwood Baptist church as we move forward. And so then that meant.

Meeting with people often in their living room or across the lunch table and then explaining to them here’s who we are. Here’s the vision that God has given us or me in replanting this church. Here’s how I’m asking people to pray about helping. And so in that describing, here’s what we need to do lead small groups to help lead, uh, you know, community engagement events to lead the kids’ ministry. And I’m asking for a commitment of at least one year in doing so, and then. Here’s some things that you need to know about the reality of replanting and revitalizing a church. It’s hard. It’s going to take a long time.

It won’t look like the church you’re leaving. There’ll be a lot of things that will frustrate. You could upset you and that you will just have no understanding about man. Why do they do things this way? And there’ll be people, people here that we need to learn to love and be gracious towards because they’re God’s people and they’ve, they founded this church and they’ve reached out and asked for us to help.

So yeah. Having that conversation with people over a meeting in a home over lunch, and then giving them the perspectives as a piece of paper to, to walk away from that meeting to say, Hey, would you read this? And would you consider helping that help to me? Define the commitment and explain it. And then also cast a vision for them that it was going to be hard and it was going to be, and there were going to be things that they would experience as part of replanting, a church that would cause them potentially to, to scratch their heads and go, I don’t get it.

Why. Why this church is like this, cause this is the church we left. And so those are some ways I would recommend going about helping people, evaluate their commitment and examine it, and then pray through it to see if the Lord wants them to be a part of the, the replant or the revitalization.

JimBo Stewart: [00:18:25] just to summarize kind of where we have gotten kind of hit the highlights here in this change leadership process, it starts with a movement of God. It starts with you on your knees, praying, asking the church to pray. Look at the previous episode. And look at the resources we gave you there on that and creating a sense of urgency as you define and understand reality.

Um, another resource we didn’t mention last week, that’s valuable in that process is the fourfold panel.  assessment by Keelan cook, which we have an episode on as well of helping you understand your church’s role in the community and understanding the reality of where you’re at as a church And you as a leader need to take initiative in all of these things, but you don’t need to do this alone.

You need to build a team. but that team doesn’t need to be a team without credibility. It also doesn’t need to be a team that’s just going to discuss for forever and never actually do anything. The team needs to have a bias towards action. and we need to make sure that we’re actually getting some things done.

your team needs to have. Character godly character. It needs to have competencies, to be able to do certain things. There needs to be some chemistry amongst the team, and there needs to be a commitment to still the foresees from our colleagues. Um, and if you are at a place in your church where you don’t have enough people who fit those criteria to build a team, then you really have two choices.

As I see it, Bob choice one. Is be okay with a really long plan that involves you discipling one-on-one or one on two, some people until you have a team and slash, or you need to reach out for some sort of sponsor church, mother, church, to foster you replant, you help you in some way,  and that needs to happen.

And so one of those two directions are where you’re going to have to go. In my opinion, Bob.

Bob Bickford: [00:20:25] I agree.  you know, for the guy who is,  in a replant or revitalization context, and you’ve been there for a while. it really is necessary for you to build a relationship with the association leader and other pastors in the area. And just to develop a network, that relationship so that you could make an ask for assistance and help, and then be ready.

One of the first things they’re going to ask you is, well, if I help you and we send some resources, Also some people your way, what are you going to do? Right. And you gotta be ready with that answer. And it can’t just be well, send us some young families and we’ll, we’ll figure it out, right. It needs to be defined and detailed, and then you need to really sell them on that vision that God’s given you for replanting and expect a lot of conversations to not be fruitful.

but pray that God would lead you to the right place and the right people to help you. I would say this kind of is, as we wrap up the people who help you initially replant a church, and this is true planting a church. They’re usually not the ones that are still there after the two year Mark. And as we think about this topic, that’s what I would say for just some guys by way of experience.

I’ve always started. I was around a lot of church planters and I heard them say that the people that we planted with are not the people that are here today after the two year Mark, same thing with the replant. It’s just, that’s just what happens. There’s a planter in, I think he’s in the Vegas area. His name’s Josh Reich.

And he said that there’s some people who are scaffolding people and a scaffolding person is a person that gives the framework, puts it up. That helps you remodel something, but once it’s remodeled, then they go away. Right. Once what’s the work that part of the work, that phase of the work is done, then they move on.

I think that was true for us. We were so indebted and grateful for the people who came early on to help us. Began to transform the church. And we were sad to see them leave, but God always replaced them with someone else who came to be part of our church family for the next phase of our vision and our mission.

JimBo Stewart: [00:22:35] Yup. So Jeff Iorg says major change begins with direction from God requires initiative from a leader and it is constant. Washed by followers, Nathan Cothen, the, illustrious president of the NOBTS alumni association and pastor of Calvary Baptist church in Beaumont. Texas says a church can go much further with great followership and mediocre leadership than with mediocre followership and great leadership brothers.

You need a team.


Replant Bootcamp

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00:00 / 27:05
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This week the guys celebrate the arrival of Fall, Bob celebrates that his beloved and dismal Razorbacks are sitting atop the SEC leader board (having played no games.) Jimbo tells about his very eventful “view of a call” Sunday and the barf-O-rama that preceded it on Saturday night. Along the way they talk about leadership, prayer and creating a sense of urgency.

The Leadership Two-Step

  1. Stop and Pray
  2. Create a Sense of Urgency

There’s never been a significant move of God apart from significant prayer. Listen or consult the show transcript below for specific info on how to incorporate prayer into your Replant.

Here are some helpful resources to consult in your effort to lead change.

Leading Change and Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter

Leading Congregational Change by Jim Herrington

Who Moved My Pulpit, by Thom Rainer

Leading Major Change by Jeff Iorge

Flickering Lamps, by Henry and Richard Blackaby

40 Days of Prayer Guide, Kentucky Baptist Convention

Show Notes: want to read along while the show plays? Check out this episode’s show notes below delivered by: Descript  

TRANSCRIPTS are an approximate account of the audio recording and may not be 100% complete. Audio should be consulted for accuracy

Episode 53

JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Alright, here we go again. Bob love it. I’m glad we’re past the birthday episode.

Bob Bickford: [00:00:08] Yeah.

JimBo Stewart: [00:00:08] it is not our most listened to episode at this point.

Bob Bickford: [00:00:12] Hey, but we had fun putting it together and editing it. And Hey, I just want to say happy birthday to the replant bootcamp. We are now entering into year two. We’re excited about it. And we’re learning lots and Jimbo fall has broken here in St. Louis and the Arkansas Razorbacks are a top. The SEC leaderboard.

Right now, if you go to sec standings right now, you will find that the Arkansas Razorbacks are sitting on top we haven’t played a game, nobody’s played a game. And the only reason we’re a top of the leaderboard is because a starts the word Arkansas.

JimBo Stewart: [00:00:54] Yup. Yup. And so, it’s just a sweet little thing for you guys to enjoy it for a minute. See what it looks like, that have the name of there.

Bob Bickford: [00:01:02] Hey, I don’t think Arkansas can win a football game against a Jay’s truck driving school. I just don’t think it’s possible.

JimBo Stewart: [00:01:10] We’ll see. We’ll see what happens is sec starts this Saturday.

Bob Bickford: [00:01:14] Yes, ed O and O is going to be leading the, uh, tigers go tigers. He’s going to be leading the tires on that. Hey, your boy, Joe Burrell. He’s not doing too bad.

JimBo Stewart: [00:01:25] he’s doing pretty well. He’s, uh, some excited and, and my, my saints gave Tom Brady his first loss as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So, that’s a win that not only is it a win cause the saints won, but you also got to watch Tom Brady lose.

. Well, Bob, I think something for us to talk about over the, maybe the next several episodes is how to lead. Maybe this is one that the argument Razorback coach needs to listen to how to lead change in a church. And here here’s what I think is a good time for us to think about this. I think we are far enough into the two-week period that was supposed to flatten the curve to realize it’s not a two-week period. And I think a lot of pastors I know have. Reconciled their soul to the fact that this is just something we’re going to have to deal with for a while, even if you’re all the way fully back open, most churches.

I know, not all, but most churches I know are still really kind of struggling with the impacts and implications of covid, whether that be economic attendance, morale or all sorts of things. And so, most guys are kind of. Figuring out how to, how do I adjust it, how to keep moving forward and end that some guys are figuring there’s some things that we need to change.

We can’t continue to do the same moving forward. And so, I think thinking through a clear process on how to do that would be helpful.

Bob Bickford: [00:03:00] Absolutely. What is our new, the new set of circumstances are becoming clear to us. I think a lot of guys are ready. Roll the sleeves up. And attack them there. It’s not time to continue to wait around hoping that next week is going to bring a change. It’s time to actually do some work right now, some hard work.

So, I think there’s gonna be a great series of podcasts for us, and we hope they’re encouraging to the guys that are in the trenches.

JimBo Stewart: [00:03:25] there’s a lot of resources out there on change leadership. I’m an effectively ministry is leading change, right? Because we should never stay the same maintaining where we’re at is not spiritual growth. And so, at some level we’re always trying to lead change in some way. So, there are a lot of resources that we’re going to pull from as we talk about this.

So, John Kotter is kind of the godfather of changed leadership out of Harvard business review. He wrote an article. We call it leading change. Then a book called leading change. You wrote another book. That if you want like a fun cartoon story version with pictures, and you don’t want to read a Harvard business review book, you can read our iceberg is melting by John Kotter, which tells some stories of penguins and icebergs, and it communicates a lot of these ideas and a really easy to read format.

And then I think like in the nineties, the leadership network did their own version of it, that they took what he wrote and called it. leading congregational change. And then Tom Rayner did what Tom Rainer does so well and codified all that information into a little pocket-sized book called who moved my pulpit, in which he makes some adjustments to the change leadership process as well.  and he condenses that down into eight steps as well.

And I think. These models give us some information that we can build that off of. And we’ll kind of add our own flavor to it as we go. So today I’d like to cover the first two steps, stop and pray. A season of prayer would be step number one, a season of prayer step number two, two would be two.

Define and confront reality so that you can complete indicate a sense of urgency. these two are not only sequentially preeminent in a list. I would, I would even argue philosophically. These are probably the two most important steps that you could take.

Bob Bickford: [00:05:24] consider it the revitalization or replanting two-step. Right. It is like the, this is what you gotta do right before you go. So, thinking about the first one, stop and pray is there, is there just a one that’s almost the beginning of that even is to go, Oh my gosh, we got to pray.

JimBo Stewart: [00:05:45] Yeah.  It’s the recognition of, okay. We should probably stop for a moment and pray.

Bob Bickford: [00:05:51] Yeah. Cause if you look around the church that needs to be replanted or revitalized, you’re going like, dude, this is way more than I’ve got in the tank. And if this thing’s going to turn around, it’s not going to be by force of personality and my preaching and all of the giftedness that I bring to the table.

Like we’re in a situation where we need God’s intervention.

JimBo Stewart: [00:06:14] that’s a great foundational step because it is admitting I can’t do this in my own strength and strategy. It is, it is an admitted, not only from you as the leader, but from you as a leader to the congregation. Hey guys, this is not something that we can be cool enough to pull off. This is not something we can pull off strategically.

This is not something that we can market our way out of this is not something that we can, whatever this, I mean, this is something that requires a movement of God and Rob, you can historically find the correlation. You will never find a major movement of God, historically. It was not preceded by fervent prayer.

Bob Bickford: [00:06:55] absolutely. When we try to lead a church forward on our own, we’re going to struggle and it’s not going to happen. And I’m, thankful for that in the sense of, it really doesn’t depend on the, and I’m not the one who makes things happen. I remember not. I would ask you this question.

what is the first incident that happened, happened in your replant journey that made you realize. I better start praying because I know mine.

JimBo Stewart: [00:07:22] Monitors before I even started. So, two things in particular that happened the weekend I was here preaching in view of a call.  I’m supposed to preach Sunday morning. And then we have a luncheon after church for them to ask me questions. Saturday night we’re in the hotel with three little children and I go to bed around 10 o’clock and about. 10 45 children. Number one starts throwing up all over the hotel about 11 child number two, and then about 1115 child number three literally vomiting over the entire hotel room.

Bob Bickford: [00:08:03] Oh, my God.

JimBo Stewart: [00:08:06] I should have known. That what I was walking into was difficult. and so, yeah, my sweet wife was really trying hard to like, just, no, JimBo you just sleep, just sleep. I can’t sleep. There are people. Vomiting four foot from my head. There’s no way I could sleep. she’s like, look, you got to go to Walmart, you got to get me some cleaning supplies.

We’ve got to clean up this hotel room. So, I make a midnight run to Walmart. I have a bunch of cleaning supplies come back. Clean up, we end up, barely making it through with any sleep that night, uh, God had provisionally set. So, another long, amazing story. Two of our closest friends from New Orleans surprised us Saturday to just to be supportive and drove all the way to Jacksonville.

And so, they said, let us sit with your kids while you go tomorrow to church.

Bob Bickford: [00:09:03] Oh my God.

JimBo Stewart: [00:09:05] So they sit with the kids. And so, the church is expecting us with our three kids and everything, and Audrey and I come in and sleep deprived and no kids and tell them, Oh, the kids are all vomiting. You might want to keep your distance from us.

Who knows if we have it, whatever. Great. Start everything. I preach. We go to have lunch. And then a lady walks up to me now, unbeknownst to here’s the backstory to understand why this lady walked up to me, unbeknownst to me. I knew nothing. The mother church that took on our church communicated to them that they would no longer continue to operate the WMU within the budget.

The women’s missionary union. I, you have to understand. I did not. I had no awareness of what a WMU was prior to this much less that there was some sort of agreement that there would be no WMU. And so, we’re at launch I’m smiling and everybody and this senior don’t lady walks right up to me. And just, what do you have against old women praying for missionaries?

Bob Bickford: [00:10:04] Oh my God.

Thank you. Sponsoring church for that wonderful set up.

JimBo Stewart: [00:10:14] She didn’t tell me her name. She didn’t like it. I was like, uh, nothing. I have nothing against people praying for missionaries. She goes, so you don’t mind the WMU meeting. And I was like, hold on. I have no idea. What we’re taught. Like, I would need to know more information. I have no idea I’m not going to get, like I thought, I almost said, you’re not going to trap me in a question like this out loud, but I said it in my head, and I was like, Mmm.

I mean, I don’t mind you meeting and praying about missionaries as far as a WMU to talk to our sponsor church and figure out what they’ve, what sort of things they’ve made with you. And she was like, Well, all we want to do is meet and pray for missionaries. And I was like, okay. I mean, you can do that. I’m not going to stop you from meeting and praying for missionaries, but I pretty quickly, it was like, okay, all right, I’m going to have to pray.

I’m going to have to be led by the spirit and this and this work.

Bob Bickford: [00:11:13] Oh, my gosh.  Well, um, when I realized our replant or revitalization is going to be a matter of prayer, I went out to, to, uh, Lunch with both of the staff members part time staff members, not, not together, but individually. And the first one I met with was the admin. Uh, he was a seminary grad had been, in St.

Louis to do seminary, not a, not an SPC seminary, but graduated then was three years, was just working as the admin for 10 hours a week and looking for churches. And, you know, there’s a whole story there too. So, I go out to, to a lunch with him and he’s telling me about the church. And so, he says, well, here’s this Sunday school class.

And they’re the oldest ones in the church. And they don’t like the, any other body, any of the other Sunday school classes in the church. It’s like, okay. And then you said it was in this Sunday school class. It doesn’t like that Sunday school class because they didn’t help with the Decker. They didn’t help with the Christmas decorations when it was time to decorate the church.

And so, they got offended and they don’t like each other. And. And he said in this Sunday school class, they really don’t do anything they’re young and they don’t really give anything to the church. And so, he’s telling me all of a sudden, he made, he said, and he’s kind of like the org chart of the church really was what it was like the spiritual org chart of the church.

And then he’s that, and I’m kind of right in the middle. And I kind of relate to all of the Sunday school classes. And in particular, I aligned myself with the oldest Sunday school class because they helped my family financially and they take good care of us. And I thought, brother. I am going to really have to pray like this is what I’m getting into.

This is a disaster.

JimBo Stewart: [00:12:50] Yeah.

Bob Bickford: [00:12:51] So that’s the moment I was like, okay, I’m going to pray for this cheeseburger. And then I’m going to silently pray that the Lord begins to bring revival to the church and helps this guy find a new position.

JimBo Stewart: [00:13:03] it’s such a crucial thing to realize that this is not something you have within you to be able to do. Is, this is not a Disney movie. This is, this is not a look within your heart, and you have the answers. This is not Oprah. This is replanting and revitalization, but brother, you don’t have what it takes.

You don’t, you don’t have what it takes.

Bob Bickford: [00:13:25] You know, it might be kind of like an episode of hell’s kitchen a little bit. I think I’m a little bit, perhaps if we’re talking about genres of shows or extreme home makeover, uh, all those sorts of base, but it’s, uh, typically if you’ve been in a church or you’re going to serve a church and it’s been in decline for more than five or 10 years, in most cases, several decades, Brother.

It’s going to be a mess and it’s going to require much prayer.

JimBo Stewart: [00:13:56] Sometimes it might be like an episode of hoarders. As well, if we’re just going to throw some shows on there. Uh, yeah. So, so here’s a couple of things to prayer. Some things we do recommend, uh, one I would recommend, uh, legitimately I would recommend prayer walking on your own. I mean, coordinate and schedule some prayer walks for the church.

But to this day I prayer walk our whole facility every Sunday morning. Uh, every Sunday morning, I get here as early as I can by myself. Walk around. And unlock doors and I get things ready. As one thing I don’t want to delegate to anybody else. I want to be the one that does that because it’s just a sweet time with me and the Lord prayer walking over the whole facility, but I’ll prayer.

Walk it on the own sometimes as well, scheduled prayer, walks, prayer, walk in the neighborhood and getting to know people while you’re doing that. And then I believe there is, resources out there by Kentucky state convention, as well as Texas state convention on it. We’ll put some links to in the show notes that will be really beneficial for you to do with a, 40-day prayer focus for church revitalization, with some scriptures and kind of devotional thoughts.

That’s a free resource, for you to use, to lead your church in 40 days of prayer.

Bob Bickford: [00:15:16] Good stuff, man. I think the other thing when we’re talking about. Prayer. I, we really benefited from having a few folks who are our family friends, pray for us, be an external prayer team. And we could send them unfiltered, you know, requests just to say, Hey, could you pray about. This situation or this individual that God would change your heart or this, you know, struggle.

And it was a wonderful, awesome thing to be able to develop a prayer team that supported us as replants and replant her spouse. When we engaged in the process.

JimBo Stewart: [00:15:49] One of the things I’ve learned over the years, Bob, is that. I have a tendency to offer solutions sometimes to people who don’t, I don’t even recognize a problem. And I’ve realized that actually doesn’t get me very far. And so, we have to all agree on the problem first, before we can get to a solution.

If the, if there were one change leadership thing, I could go back and tell myself in the very beginning, that would probably be it that, spend a little more time. Creating a sense of urgency, understand get survey, define, and confront reality. Get a good look at what’s actually happening history of the church, current situations and the community reputation.

Everything really gets a good look at what’s actually happening and kind of a Nehemiah taking a survey of the walls type way. And the resource I was going to say is flickering lamps. Henry and Richard Blackaby have a study called flickering lamps. So, one of the things I like about it is even though it’s a video study, if you’re dealing primarily with senior adults, I mean, it’s, it’s a senior adult leading, um, with Blackaby and it’s not.

And I mean this honestly in a good way, it’s not like super cool polished. Editing and production with lots of changing camera angles and B roll footage. And I actually think that’s a win, because most senior adults don’t really care for that. And, and so this is going to feel good to them to watch spoken to them by senior adult and helps them confront some realities.

Bob Bickford: [00:17:27] That’s a perfect suggestion and the reality. Are most people who are, are in the declining church and have been there for some time, realize that things are not going in the right direction. And there’s two, two aspects about that. One is the numbers. And so, as you’re helping define reality, create a sense of urgency men chart up those numbers.

Over the life history of the church, you know, 20 years’ worth of data and trends in finances and attendance and membership and all those sorts of things. But you also have to do this. You have to get under neath the, um, I’d say little discipling culture in the church and, and bring that out into the open.

For instance, most churches declined because people are not inviting. People to church, they’re not sharing the gospel. And most of the time they think that’s the pastor’s job alone. Like let’s just call the pastor in and if he’s good enough evangelist and winsome enough and involvement enough community and dynamic enough in his preaching, then he’ll, he’ll reverse our number problem.

Right? Well, you don’t see anywhere in scriptures where pastors are called to reverse the number problem. They’re called to disciple and empower the body and help the body move on mission. Right. And becoming ambassadors of Christ plus clinic proclaimers, demonstrators of the gospel, those sorts of things.

So, in addition to defining reality numeric, you also have to figure out ways to reveal the church’s spiritual condition and, you have to look at how help the church understand how they’re doing as disciples and followers of Jesus. We had a couple of surveys that we did with one church and they had had historic decline, a lot of conflict.

And we ask a couple of questions. One was when’s the last time you shared the gospel with somebody, and their answers were amazing in the sense that only of the 16 or so people that we interviewed only two had none. So, within any given time period in recent time period, we asked him the question. When is the last time you invited anybody to same, same thing.

Nobody was inviting anybody. And some of them even said with everything that we’ve got going on in the church and the conflict that we have here, we did not feel it was a good place to invite our friends to come. Those are spiritual issues that create numeric issues. And so. I would say to the re planter, if you’re building, a sense of urgency, don’t fail to discern and bring forth the spiritual condition of the church.

And bring that out and help people see where they are. There are some surveys that are good in that, but there are also some surveys, I guess I would caution against too, because there are surveys that talk about the programs of the church. And, and do you like the programs of the church and are they healthy and helpful and are people participating in them?

What we’re talking about here is really trying to unlayer the spiritual condition of the hearts and people in the church, not do they like programs or participate in them. So, as you’re looking at surveys to discern the health of your church, be very careful and be very discerning about which ones you employ and maybe you just need to create your own.

Right? There are some really good forms of survey monkey or Google surveys and, and forums where you can do your own and they’ll automatically populate them into.  pre-determined percentage graphs and charts and all those sorts of things. But I think the big thing is how do you help the people understand where they are at spiritually?

Because when we’re doing a consultation, we roll in there. We said, look, as leaders you’ve told us that out of 16, only two of you you’ve actually shared your faith in the last year. Um, how many of you think that that’s okay. Right. And they may not answer, but they’ll sit there with the weight of that. And they’ll see that presented to them visually and they’ll realize, oh my gosh, we’ve got an issue.

Right. We’ve got a, we’ve got a problem. And so, then that’s the starting point. Like we’re not being disciples, we’re not being, uh, proclaimers or demonstrators of the gospel. Not just, we’ve got a numbers problem.

JimBo Stewart: [00:21:30] Yeah. And depending on the numbers in your congregation, if it’s small enough, You could even do some set, you know, in home visits with almost every member, if not every member and ask them anecdotally, instead of a survey, if you don’t have too many members, you know, and you can handle the load of doing this without sacrificing your family time to do it and just ask.

Tell me your story. Tell me your faith story. Tell me why, why this church, how long have you been at this church? And I mean, you get, even if your church is too large for you to do that with everybody, you need to do that with some of the members and just hear their stories, hear the things, take good notes, ask good questions and, and help people see, and then.

One of the things that I did here was had a series of what we called family meetings, where we were just very Frank and open and honest and have some discussions and talk through reality, talk through the history, celebrated some things, celebrated some legacy things. And, and I would, I would. Try to find ways to ask questions where they would come to some conclusions about the urgency.

Instead of me as the brand-new guy, that’s young and from out of state communicating some things and try to help them. Buy into the urgency. Um, because one of the biggest, the biggest danger to change is complacency apathy. And so, we have to, we have to create a sense of urgency. John Cotter, who wrote the Harvard business review stuff says, uh, that creating sense of urgency was so important.

Even after he wrote leading change, he came back and wrote a whole nother book called creating a sense of urgency. Cause he just in his mind is a business guy that became the number one most important step. And what I would say is for us as believers and in a church. It’s maybe even more significant that we see that or, um, that we, we look around.

And so, one of the things I remind our congregation of all the time is within a three-mile radius of our church is 60,000 lost people. At the most conservative estimate, we could find in all the research we could do is 60,000 loss souls. Within a three-mile radius. That’s, that’s urgent. That’s a big deal.

And as a church, we ought, we ought to care about that. We ought to care about what our church is doing and impacting the community. And that the school I told them, one of the things that they said shocked them, but they were glad I said it was when I got here. The school next to us had been an F rated school, four years in a row.

And I said, guys, we have to repent of that. That’s on us. There should never be a school within a rock throw stones, throw of our church that is failing that badly. And so, we started getting involved and encouraging the teachers and it became a missional outpost for us. It still is a missional outpost for us.

And so, uh, so step steps, one steps, two step one is prayer. Season a prayer, 40 days of prayer, personal prayer, prayer walking, external prayer team, internal prayer team. You cannot over pray this thing. there is no huge movement of God that has ever happened. That was not preceded by fervent prayer. I’m convinced of that.

Step two. Is defining and confronting reality and getting a good, clear understanding of where the, what is the spiritual temperature of the church, not just the numbers, um, but the spiritual temperature of the church and getting a good sense of that. And basically, you need to communicate and get people to.

To buy and agree on a sense of urgency. Everybody’s got to get on the same page. If there is a very real problem that needs to be addressed. And then we can talk about solutions later. I think our tendency, my tendency is to run with solutions. We got to get to that urgency piece first. And so, prayer and urgency are the two first steps.




Replant Bootcamp

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The Birthday Episode is here!  52 Episodes under the belt!  Jimbo and Bob are still friends and we still have a few listeners. This episode has us celebrating some of the highlights of the past year.

One of Bob’s favorite episodes was EP3# How Not to Lead Facility Changes take a listen to how Jimbo remodeled a room with a chain saw.

Jimbo enjoyed a major break down in the “flow” of conversation in EP# 49 Situational Leadership when Bob Bickford didn’t Bob Bumgarner when he said; “Sit Lead” rather quickly.

One of our favorite guests was former SBC President, Dr. Fred Luter, he explained how he grew the church by reaching men with a PPV Fight night in the parsonage and kicked out Robert from Robert’s Rules of Order. EP #9 The Luter Replant Legacy Pt. 1

A sleeper episode and the Longest Edit award goes to EP#16 Rebranding and Replanting when Rodney Richardson dropped in to talk branding and the purpose of design and ministry. Bob gave Rodney a hard time about designing the Ole’ Miss Landshark.

Shout out to Dr. James Hawkins who did a couple of Episodes on Emotional Health and Leading Well during times of Racial Tension.

Thanks to Corey Davis for sticking with us and grabbing internet from the driveway of one of his Deacon’s homes. EP#52

Shout out to Jesse Peters who owns the most listened to Bootcamp Episode #2 Advice for Replanting Residents and Rookies

Other favorite guests: Walker, the Velvet Hammer, Armstrong and of course Mark Clifton, our teammate Kyle Bueermann.

We’re thankful for our wives, who dropped in for EP#18 Replanter Wives-The Unsung Heroes of Replanting. Replanter-remind your wife about the Replant Wife’s Facebook Group!   One of the bonus events from that event was our breakfast at Brother’s Taco House!

Our buddy Evan Skelton gets the “best voice” award-we’re honestly Jealous!

One of the most helpful podcasts we remember was with Keelan Cook who stopped by to talk about the Four Fold Panorama and it’s application for Replanting, check it out in EP#23

We loved talking to Min Lee in EP#26, the Replanter of the Year-he has a great story!

And you, our listeners, we are thankful for you!!  Be sure to leave a review, drop us a line and let us know how the Bootcamp has been helpful to you!

Where would we be without our sponsor, One Eighty Digital thanks for being part of this adventure with us!  If you need a website-give them a shout.


Replant Bootcamp

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The Conflict Episode: we’re joined by Tony Merida who stopped by the ‘Ole Bootcamp’ to break down some important concepts from his most helpful book: Christ Centered Conflict Resolution


Here are some of the quick insights:

  • Conflict comes from our desires (see James 4:1)
  • Understanding the conflict through the lens of the “Grand Narrative” is important.
  • God calls us to be peacemakers – this seems to be absent in our culture.
  • There are times where a mediator is needed to help others work through conflicts, this is an important and not to be neglected role.
  • There are 5-M’s in working toward resolving conflict
    • Me First: is there a log in my eye?
    • Minor: is this an offense I can overlook?
    • Major: is this a major offense?
    • Material: does there need to be a restitution of some kind? Materially?
    • Mediation: do we need help working through this conflict?

We’re super thankful for our podcast partner One Eighty Digital, check them out for your website needs! And let them know that you are a bootcamp listener!



Show Notes: want to read along while the show plays? Check out this episode’s show notes below delivered by: Descript

TRANSCRIPTS are an approximate account of the audio recording and may not be 100% complete. Audio should be consulted for accuracy.

JimBo Stewart: [00:00:32] here we go. Episode 51 of the Replant Bootcamp. I was looking at it Bob. That means it was actually a right around a year ago that we launched episode zero of the Replant Bootcamp, a resource for replanters, just mainly us chatting and talking and learning about our mistakes and sharing our mistakes so that others can not touch the hot stove like us.

Bob Bickford: [00:00:57] Right. Don’t do what we did.

JimBo Stewart: [00:01:00] Yeah, that’s the whole premise of this whole thing is learn from the mistakes we make along the way.

Bob Bickford: [00:01:05] You know it’s been really good, 50 plus episodes now. And one of the awesome things last week when we were in Kansas city, we got to meet a couple of listeners, the local listeners, and, our good friend, Johnny Upchurch was there who gave us a question. And one thing he said was really awesome. Just a lot of the young guys that are replanting or about to explore replanting have been listening to the podcast over, some months that we’ve been doing this and they themselves have said it’s been really helpful and a lot of fun and they’ve laughed along the way. And they’ve learned along the way. So I think we’ve met that objective in just really thankful for all our listeners and everybody participating.

JimBo Stewart: [00:01:42] Hey, today, I’m excited. We get to go in the way back machine, back to, near the very beginning of my ministry. not the very first pastor I served but, a church I served at in Southeast Mississippi, Dr. Tony Merida kind of came in as I was on my way out. And there was a good several months there almost a year where I got to serve under him. And then when we moved to New Orleans, he and his wife, Kimberly were the only people we knew. In the city of New Orleans.

And we would go and bother them at their house on campus, every once in a while, just cause we didn’t know anybody else, but, Tony, he is the pastor of Imago Dei did I pronounce that the way you guys pronounce that?

Tony Merida: [00:02:24] Yeah, that’s correct. JimBo.

JimBo Stewart: [00:02:25] Okay. Cause I know different people say different ways that ye or I didn’t know how hipsterish you got with it.

But, and then you’re the Dean of Gimke Seminary, and the director of theological training for acts 29, five kids, all adopted. And, most importantly, the most important thing on your resume is the several months that you’ve got to, lead me in Southeast Mississippi.

Tony Merida: [00:02:49] yeah, it’s that. And the fact that I set the record for walks at my college, 71 walks in four years.

Bob Bickford: [00:02:55] So where, what college was that?

Tony Merida: [00:02:58] It’s called University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky. It’s an NAIA school. Someone passed my record up, but I got hit by the pitch. At least half of those walks I crowded and took a lot in the shoulder. Yeah, it was good for any or pastoral ministry.

Bob Bickford: [00:03:12] You crowd the plate a lot. Just get up there real close. Make the pitcher mad?

Tony Merida: [00:03:15] Yeah. Greg Biggio style. Yeah.

Bob Bickford: [00:03:17] Okay.

JimBo Stewart: [00:03:18] I think replanters can, empathize with that, in pastoral ministry in general, you’re going to take it, taking those hits a lot. so let me ask you Tony, on the spot here from your time in South Mississippi, what’s maybe one or two of your favorite memories from that season of ministry?

Tony Merida: [00:03:35] It’s always the people, man, everywhere you go for me. it’s about people and, there’s some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. live in South Mississippi. in fact, we brought seven of them here to plant Imago Dei and, and others have trickled up through the years as well, who are connected to those individuals.

So we, we had a great time, the food in New Orleans, South Mississippi. I really miss, But I lost a lot of weight when I moved. So there was positive to that. it was a great experience. People were very gracious to me. I was a young pastor, trying to lead a big church and, there was a big staff and they were already in place and I was the new guy.

And learned a lot, and really grateful for my time there.

JimBo Stewart: [00:04:15] So I worked at the East Campus with youth and college and you led them through a healthy and amicable, relaunching/replanting of that. And it’s now Hardy Street Baptist Church.

Tony Merida: [00:04:29] Yeah. I think that was the right move. I think that was a healthy move. I felt like that’s what people wanted as well. So I’ve never done anything like that since. So that was a, it was a learning experience for sure.

JimBo Stewart: [00:04:40] Yeah, I can resonate on the food thing. One of the most suffering moments of my entire ministry career was when I moved to Jacksonville, Florida. And one of the first articles I read about Jacksonville, Florida was listing the 50 largest cities in America ranked one to 50 on food and to no surprise, New Orleans got number one out of the 50 largest cities in America and Jacksonville got number 50. And I, I immediately questioned my calling the city of Jacksonville and have desperately missed New Orleans /Southeast Mississippi Gulf coast cuisine. And go back as often as I can.

Tony Merida: [00:05:18] It’s about sacrifices, isn’t it? The Lord has never allowed me to be in a city where there’s a major league baseball team. I think that’s his kindness, to keep me from idolatry.

JimBo Stewart: [00:05:29] Yeah. Yeah. You would probably spend a lot of time there if you did well, good. Tony, we’re glad to have you, you cranked out a book from what I can tell in the introduction pretty quickly. cause you talk about COVID in the introduction and I definitely think it’s a needed  topic to be discussed right now, Christ-Centered Conflict Resolution. Tell us just a little bit real quick, how this book came about.

Tony Merida: [00:05:53] Yeah, you’re right. I wrote it in about three weeks. I was writing another book on the church, which I’ve now finished, for The Good Book company. And Lifeway B&H said, Hey, this is a time in which closer proximity, family. staying at home has created lot of conflict. It’s probably been good for some relationships, but it’s also been a negative and it’s created a lot of conflict and for others, we don’t want a big book, we want something that’s readable. We want a pastor to write it. So, imagine a couple comes into your office and their kids are driving them bananas or the spouse is driving them, whatever, you’ve got family conflict, you’ve got neighbor conflict, walk us through some of the key passages and apply them to those situations.

Just like you would as a pastor. So the book is. the way I think about it as if I were a pastor, I would have a stack of them on hand, not because it’s my book, but I’m just telling you how I’m working through it. and if I’ve got somebody in conflict, this is not the end all what I’ve written, but it would be a great little resource.

It’s something that they could read. They could have an understanding of some of the key passages. And I’m really pressing the Christ-Centered part. So it’s about conflict, but it’s really about our hearts, our affection. And when we are adoring him, we want to follow him. We submit it to his leadership.

We submit to what his Word says about reconciliation and forgiveness and these kinds of things. As one writer says, conflict is not so much about skills as it is sin, and so dealing with the uncomfortable parts of conflict that I need to look at my own life first, before I pointed out the weaknesses in others.

It’s that kind of thing that I’m trying to tried to accomplish in this book. There’s a classic book called, The Peacemaker that has been used for years by Ken Sande. This is the Merida version of Ken Sande,  much shorter. And I try to get really straight to some of the key points about this particular issue as our pastor for counseling said, when we were riding it, when you’re in a conflict, you don’t want a big book.

And you don’t want a lot of steps. and so I tried to, there are some steps, but I try to avoid, a very complicated mathematical approach to conflict and deal with some of the real key issues.

Bob Bickford: [00:08:05] When we are in conflict, really what’s taking place. what is the root of conflict that we need to understand?

Tony Merida: [00:08:13] So I think there are several, every case is different, obviously. sometimes you are the victim of  abuse, whether that’s like serious abuse or you’re just not being treated properly/rightly. Oftentimes though, conflict, as James teaches us in James 4, when he says, he asked the question, why do we have quarrels and fights among us is because our passions are at war within us.

And the first chapter of the book is about how cravings in the words of David Palisson underlie conflicts. All right. and we know this just experientially. if I don’t get what I want, I will take it out on people. And these are not always, sinful cravings. They might be, but sometimes it’s just, an inordinate desire for a good thing that has been disturbed or disrupted, like you might desire comfort and rest. That’s a good thing. And when you don’t get it because of your kids’ behavior, it can really cause you to lash out improperly and in anger or whatever. The desire for food is a good thing. The desire for vacation, and then you get on that vacation and it’s sanctification through vacation.

Not, it’s not very restful at all. It’s people at war with each other because their passions are at war within them. And I think that’s one of the most difficult things for people to admit and do is to actually do self-examination before I point out the flaws in others . As Jesus talked about the log in our eye, before we look at the speck in someone else’s.

And it might very well be they are the primary reason for the conflict, but we should at least do the soul searching because at the end of the day, one of the things that, it’s a hard truth to embrace, but it’s an important one I think is that conflict is an opportunity for growth. And so doing that work of self examination, the only thing I have to lose is the sin that I see there and repent of.

And blessed riddance to that. And it might be very little, but you’re at least doing it. And in doing the work of reconciliation, or, having an awkward conversation with someone that you’re at odds with, that’s an opportunity for you to grow. That’s an opportunity for them to grow.

And so we don’t always have to see conflict as this crushing thing to be avoided. we certainly don’t delight in it. We’re not seeking conflicts, but. how we resolve them and the importance of resolving them is really vital for, or our spiritual growth. And I think most people have been Christians for a long time, can look back and see various conflicts that they’ve had that’s actually turned out to be something that’s positive. and, so we don’t always get the resolution that we’re looking for in conflict. that’s why Romans 12 is important where Paul says, as far as it depends on you, if possible, live at peace with everyone. You know there’s a little exception there of, it may not be possible, but as far as it depends on you, you seek to live peaceably with everyone.

JimBo Stewart: [00:11:06] Yeah, I appreciate how Paul gives, I quote that verse all the time to people whenever they’re dealing with conflict, because Paul gives you two outs there, if possible. And so far as it depends on you, you do your part. And then if it’s possible, then be a peace, but sometimes that’s not going to happen.

Our audience is all potential replanters guys considering replanting, dying churches, or guys who are replanting or revitalizing, struggling churches, and almost 100%  of the time when you walk into a dying church, a struggling church, you’re walking already into tension and conflict. And I think right now in this season, we’re at not just the close proximity that COVID has given us with the racial tension, the political tension, the mask versus no mask. And, all the I, every pastor I talk to right now feels absolutely exhausted with the constant  tension from about a thousand different angles. And so for just a brief moment, give us maybe pointing to the gospel where we have hope, and that Christ centered emphasis as a pastor, And even in the midst of, it seems like 5,000 angles of tension right now.

Tony Merida: [00:12:21] Yeah, you’re right. It’s a hard time to be a pastor, man. It’s a real hard time. You know what I’ve tried to say to our churches, a couple things, one on all these issues my aim is to simply be a biblical expositor. Okay.

So, when you hear something that might not be in alignment with your political biases? Know that I have zero political agenda. if I’m talking about loving neighbor or doing justice, I am not a Marxist. I’m not on a political side. Teaching the Bible. Okay. If I talk about personal responsibility.

If I, talk about being an entrepreneur and creating business and I’m not necessarily a Republican, I’m not on this other band. I’m my one aim as your pastor is to teach the Bible and to care for you. I also told them if I make statements or if I seem sympathetic to particular causes not causes, but individuals in our church who might align with certain causes.

I’m not necessarily in that cause. So don’t do this guilt by association. What I am trying to do is care for people who are hurting in my church. And even if you think they shouldn’t be hurting, the reality is they are hurting. And my job is not to first and foremost, go in and try to clarify all these things in their minds and here to be frank, I’m speaking about, a good number of our African American members who have been really bothered by, the events of this year and, we’ve reached out and try to serve and have meetings. And I’ve made some statements. That’s not to say that I’m in alignment with everything that is communicated on that news. What I have though, is a responsibility to shepherd our people where they’re at and to lead them into Christ-likeness.

It was the same would be true for someone. Who’s dealing with some other issue and they’re hurting because of an experience. And I just want to apply the gospel to their hurt. That’s all I want to do. So I think it’s been important to kind of state what you can expect from me and what my motives are.

And at the end of the day, I just keep coming back to the Bible. So I want to use Bible language and not language used in the media. I want to stay thoroughly biblical in vocabulary so that hopefully people will realize that’s all I want to do. Now, in saying all of that, you’re going to get hit on both sides as a pastor . But that’s just part of it, man. This is what we signed up for. So, I also want to say there’s no room for self pity in this vocation that we have, we’re always going to be at some level, provoking people and stirring them up or not intentionally, but just like the Bible and God’s Spirit will do that.

I think one of the things, when it comes to conflict, racial conflict or a conflict in the home, putting everything in the grand narrative is really important. So have creation we’re in harmony with God and one another. We have the fall and Genesis 3, there was the promise of conflict between man and woman.

The very next chapter we see family conflict as one brother kills the next. So an obvious consequence of sin is conflict, but also right in the middle of that conflict passage in Genesis 3 is the promise of the Redeemer. That’s going to crush the head of the serpent. And, we’re promised that Redeemer we’re anticipating in through the old Testament, he arrives in the incarnation.

Paul makes that great statement in Romans 16, that the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. I think picking up on the Genesis 3 language. So while we cause of Christ and his coming, we have reconciliation to God and one another. And we have the hope of one day having no more conflict. And that’s what we see at the end of the Bible as conflict is gone.

There’s no more, evil. We don’t have to lock our doors. We’re not at each other’s throats. It’s peace. It’s total Shalom. That’s where all history is headed and that’s a beautiful thing. So I keep telling our congregation, look. the new creation, total Shalom, our blessed hope is not returning to normal.

it’s the eschaton, right? Our blessed hope is not in who wins the election. It’s Jesus Christ coming and making all things new. I just think as you put things in the grand narrative, hopefully for some people, all these other things will be put in their proper perspective. And because if you look at all of history, COVID is going to be a little blip on the historical map.

And so many of the things that we disagree about, like a mask is going to seem so trivial and so silly in light of eternal glory. So I think part of our job is to be biblical to teach the Bible, and to try to put all of these things within their proper narrative. And that’s it. Great advantage we have as Christian pastors who belive the Bible, right?

We have this narrative and it’s a great time to be applying it.

Bob Bickford: [00:17:10] Tony. One of the key points you made is the right proclamation of God’s word helps frame the theological understanding for the body of how we’re going to do conflict, what God has to say about it, how it fits into the grand scheme and the grand narrative. There are sometimes though that the preaching part of it doesn’t address conflict that happens between individuals, right?

So they have to go face to face. They have to get personal with one another. What are some of the things that you’ve put in the book that help people understand when it comes down to me, actually having a conversation with somebody one on one. And dealing with conflict. What do you provide for, us in terms of helpful, teaching and information?

Tony Merida: [00:17:48] Yeah, it’s a great question. so I think, one, I’m trying to highlight the significance of being a peacemaker. It’s a, it’s extremely strange in these days to be one. And by the way, I should mention that we wrote the book before all the racial tensions and not thinking about a political election.

So it just brought up more relevance as the months went on. man is a good book. We need this book. So I’m looking at, Jesus saying, blessed are the peacemakers for, they shall be the sons of God. Like he says, one of the ways, primary ways we reflect his character is by being a peacemaker. And that is significant, but I, growing up, I just didn’t hear a lot of sermons on peacemaking on the importance of being a peacemaker.

It of course reflects the work of Jesus on the cross. It reflects what he came to do to unite Jew and Gentile, right? So this is a big deal. So part of the book is just me saying, Hey, doing the work of peacemaking is really important to seek peace, in pursue it as the scripture  teaches us.

Secondly, in James 3, several commentators point out that James, in that section on being a peacemaker, he calls it wisdom from above versus wisdom from below. He gives the qualities of a peacemaker. And they had pointed out that he’s basically taking his half brother Jesus’s, beattitude and teasing it out because Jesus doesn’t really tease it out with the exception of saying certain things about forgiveness, leaving your gift at the altar of going to reconcile. So in that sense he does, but what does it mean to be a peacemaker? So I devote a chapter to that on traits like gentleness being open to reason. the things that James lists, that it, it produces a harvest of righteousness.

And then at the end of the book, I look at Euodia and Syntyche in Philippians, which is also an encouraging thing, especially for our guys in replanting in situations where you’ve got a lot of conflict, perhaps. Even in a church that Paul loved that he called his joy and crown. And  he said that about the church in Philippians 4:1. In the very next few verses, he talks about conflict in this church, which was his joy and crown between these two ladies Euodia and Syntyche.

And he urges this. Unnamed person to be a mediator between them so that they would agree in the Lord. And he says basically that they should be able to be united because their names are in the book of life. They actually belong to the kingdom. So they should be together. So I take that and then I worked through a little, five M’s of a peacemaker.

That, hopefully it’ll be helpful for people. The first M is me first. So whenever I’m in a conflict, I need to examine my own life. By the way, I would use this if I were mediating a conflict. Okay. Second. is minor, should this offense be overlooked? and that’s a really important one because sometimes we just shouldn’t be in conflict.

Okay. Like for me on the mask situation, I’m going overlook this. Like some of these things are weaker brothers, stronger, brother, Christian Liberty. People just need to be taught some of this stuff. It’s preference, it’s preferences. It’s not sin issues. minor.

JimBo Stewart: [00:20:45] The very first conflict mediation I had to do when I started at this church was actually, between two ladies arguing over how to water the peace lilies in our sanctuary. And so there was, so many peace lilies in our sanctuary because every funeral. They would do a, give a big peace lily to the family.

And they would say, if you don’t want to take this home, then you can leave it donate to the church. everybody donate it to the church. And so it was just a jungle of peace lilies all over the sanctuary stage. And. The sanctuary itself. And so they actually scheduled a conflict mediation meeting  and it might be the most heated conflict I’ve had to mediate, was the war over the peace lilies.

And so I, I appreciate that question of, is it a minor offense or a major offense?

Tony Merida: [00:21:38] I wish I’d have known that story JimBo, that would’ve went in the book that is the illustration. yeah, yeah, many things need to be overlooked. And again, you’re thinking about this in terms of family as well. like this is hard, but we got to teach it to our kids. They’re often at each other’s throats over minor things, a major does this offense require a process of restoration.

So usually these major conflicts are going to take some time. material is the fourth M. Does this require restitution of property or rights or whatever. So your neighbor’s tree falls on your fence. You need more than an apology. Like he, he should pay for it. You think, this is Zaccheus as he becomes a follower of Jesus  and he said, I want to pay back fourfold, all that that I owe. I’m not just going to say I’m sorry guys, but I’m actually going to try to make things right materially.

And then the fifth M is mediation. And I think this was maybe most helpful to the question itself is, do I need someone to help, mediate this conflict could be a pastor it could be a friend. I’m thinking in terms of church, family, I’m not primarily thinking civil, issues out there, in the courts. but do I need to helper? and I think. the two dangers that we’ve thought about with conflict on the ways you don’t want to go, are avoiding conflict or attacking in conflict.

And my experience in the South, and this is just a generalization, there are exceptions to this, has been the passive aggressive, when you don’t deal with it and then there’s a lot of other stuff that goes on that’s not good. And my experience in the North has been more attack you just raise your voice louder whenever there’s a conflict and we really want to deal with it. We want to work through it, and that can be very uncomfortable, but I would say to anybody in a replant/revitalization effort, established church, you’ve got to learn to have awkward conversations with people. You don’t want these conversation. I don’t want them, but I’ve just found that the Lord shows up, man, in some of these meetings that you dread going into.

And I think that’s because he honors this work. Like he cares about, our relational harmony, And the goal is not just to have the absence of strife, but to have the presence of harmony and be united together. And those are some of the things that people could pick up on in the book.

JimBo Stewart: [00:23:58] Tony, I appreciate you taking the time to meet with us, man. I defintely think this is going to be a good resource. It is a quick, easy read. And it’s not super expensive on Amazon. You can grab this and read this and it, it can be a good resource as Tony said to hand out to people who are dealing with conflict, as a way to teach you just some basics of conflict mediation, and just a real quick look at it .

Appreciate you,Tony.

Tony Merida: [00:24:22] Appreciate you guys. Appreciate this podcast, man.


Replant Bootcamp

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50 Episodes!!  Thanks for being part of our listening family!!

In this episode the guys talk about becoming lifelong learners, not being defined by your mistakes and how to grow in your leadership in light of the fact that you are not perfect.

Quick Takeaways

  • Mistakes are part of ministry-don’t excuse them, be defeated by them, learn from them.
  • Mistakes create pain-for you, your people and the mission of the Church.
  • Evaluate your mistakes-before you move past them or ignore them understand what led to them, what happened and what you might do differently in the future.
  • If you aren’t making mistakes you are probably not leading.
  • Failure is not final

Show Notes: want to read along while the show plays? Check out this episode’s show notes below delivered by: Descript

TRANSCRIPTS are an approximate account of the audio recording and may not be 100% complete. Audio should be consulted for accuracy.

JimBo Stewart: Episode 5- 0 50 episodes. Bob that is pretty special.

Bob Bickford: It is, JimBo I am just a little north of 50. 50 is a big deal.

JimBo Stewart: 50 is a big deal. How North of 50, are you?

Bob Bickford: Three strikes? JimBo. Three strikes three strikes.

We’ve laughed a lot. And I think this has been for me. So it’s been a highlight of my week, every week for us to, broadcast and episode number 50 is really great because we’re actually in person. Yep. Recording [00:01:00] this during the Replant Summit, 2020 here in Greenwood, Missouri. And, it’s been an awesome time.

JimBo Stewart: This has been a really good event.

Honestly, as good as you could do in COVID. We’re social distancing mask on trying to figure that out and Fellowship Church has done a great job of accommodating all of that accommodating us leading well, and all of that. And hosting it and it’s just been a really cool to be a part of it.

Bob Bickford: Can’t say enough and thankful to Steve Dighton for the legacy of Lenexa Baptist Church and the Fellowship Churches. So Fellowship Greenwood is a church that they took over years ago . Interestingly enough, we’re here in the Kansas city, Metro, where I was a youth pastor for four years. And our youth group softball team actually played softball in the front yard, that big front lawn of Fellowship Greenwood. And you know what? Here’s a true story. Alright. We had a youth group where we had a one softball player that played at Truman High School. Go Patriots.

And she was awesome at inviting her friends to come to our youth group. And so a number of them came to Christ. It was awesome. And they also came and played on our softball team and they were so good. They were so good that we killed every other youth group softball team in the, blue river, Kansas city Baptist Assocuation Softball League. And here was our motto. I’ll lay it on you. All right.

We don’t practice because we don’t have to.

JimBo Stewart: That’s an interesting evangelistic strategy. Let’s just go after elite athletes and dominate church league softball.

Bob Bickford: Hey, it wasn’t. I was not, it was not a strategy. It was just, the strategy was reached your friends for Christ. And I just had a softball player, Jennifer Palmer, and she was awesome. She just started reaching her friends. And so we had like almost the complete infield of the Truman Patriot softball team.

And it was amazing.

JimBo Stewart: Did y’all make anybody cry? Cause you beat them so bad.

Bob Bickford: I think we probably did.

JimBo Stewart:  For me, church league softball has always been an example of [00:03:00] probably something we should not do.

Bob Bickford: Yes.

JimBo Stewart: It’s continually like  a practice in not showing the fruit of the spirit.

Bob Bickford:  You’re going to damage your witness in the community. Playing church softball.

JimBo Stewart: You’ll see people get tested.

Your metal gets tested. as a spiritual person playing church league softball.

Bob Bickford: Whew.  I was really bad at baseball and not so great at softball. My wife is really, she’s really good at softball. And so I always had this love, hate relationship. Unfortunately for that year I had an intern.

And he was the one who ran all of the softball stuff. And so I just got to show up with my kids. They were really little. And I just got to cheer and have a lot of fun. It was a great time.

JimBo Stewart: Hey, I got to share a great story that I have a connection to Fellowship Church.

Bob Bickford:

Let’s do it. Yeah.

JimBo Stewart: I shared this at the Replant Summit, that there’s a young lady who lives in Jacksonville, Florida. She came to the Kansas City area to visit some family and friends. And while with those family and friends who she’s known for a very long time. Did not grow up in church. she didn’t put her family and friends did, some of them did. And anyway, long story short, they, the father of her friend.

Leads her to Christ. She stuck here cause of COVID for several weeks and he starts discipling her with his daughter and they start going through discipleship process. And they’re figuring out what she’s got to go back to Jacksonville now. The guy talks to me and he goes, I’ll be honest, man. I’m a little bit of a control freak. And I was so excited to get to lead somebody to Christ and start discipling them. And now I’m having to send them back.

I don’t know where I’m sending them. I don’t know the connection. And so he asked Greg Boll. Yeah. DOM around here, where should I send them? And Greg and I met at the AMS training in Alpharetta before. And so Greg said, Hey Jacksonville, I know a guy in Jacksonville, JimBo Stewart Redemption Church. just by God’s sovereignty. So cool. Jacksonville is physically the largest city in America, land mass wise. So being in [00:05:00] Jacksonville does not mean that we’re close enough to be her church.

Bob Bickford: Sure.

JimBo Stewart: But she happens to live like a mile and a half up the road from our church and shows up on a Sunday that I’m not even preaching I’m on vacation our replant resident as preaching. And then I meet her the next week. The guy who’s discipling her emails, me, we touched base and she’s been with us ever since and been  really plugged in with our young adults.

And it’s been really a cool addition to our church. And so it’s been neat to see from one replant to another replant all the way halfway across the country.

Bob Bickford: That’s phenomenal. And I just love stories like that. And the more that I’m in the replant movement. And the more that we do training with guys from all over the nation. We’ve got guys here from Michigan and California.

All over the place. And, It’s just great because you develop those relationships and you hear those connections. And so beyond this podcast and the work of the Replant Team in the North American Mission Board, there’s a lot of connections that are being made. And so as big as North America is it’s actually getting smaller yeah. In this replant movement. So a lot of the guys that are listening to podcasts, we were able to meet some guys, today. Yeah.

At that hadn’t been listening to the podcast and we just want to say thank you to our listeners. And we’re grateful for you. And thanks for sticking with us for 50 episodes. It’s really.

JimBo Stewart: Listen to the other 50, you need to. Hey, and if you do meet us at a conference,or something like that, we honestly we’d love for you to come and just tell us that you listen and, let us know if it’s helpful or not helpful o what we could do.

Bob Bickford: Yeah.

JimBo Stewart: to be more helpful.

Bob Bickford: Yeah. So one of the things we want to talk about in episode 50 is mistakes and how to learn from them and not make them, which it’s appropriate that we’re here in the Kansas City Metro. Cause I sure made a lot of mistakes as a youth pastor.

JimBo Stewart: It’s also appropriate the its like an earmark episode five zero, cause that’s kinda the theme of a lot of  what we talked about. It’s not learning from our expertise. But from our mistakes.

Bob Bickford: Oh man. And so this is a hard thing, and I don’t know about You JimBo, but one of the things that, I’m  just wired up, I’m wanting to achieve and I want to win. And I want to have knowledge and I don’t want to not know something.

And so that feeds into the leadership that I exercise is a pastor. I hate it. When I miss something and I make a mistake and then I just have to sit in that and go, yeah. How did I not know this? I should have known better. Why didn’t I think about that? And it’s a really painful experience for me to make a mistake.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I’m somewhere that way. I’m not, I want to be a high achiever. I want to get things done. We’re both wired very passionate.  Driven. Let’s just get it done. Push through it and make it happen. Let’s win. And it’s so hard. Not only when you make a mistake in ministry, but when that mistake is not only painful for you, but it ends up being painful for others.  You’re now dealing with pain and hurt. Because I did that.

Bob Bickford: So as a pastor, that’s so hard for us because when we make a mistake as a pastor and leading the church, it hurts our people, it hurts us. It hurts our family. It can potentially hurt the mission and the work of God in our church and our community and our city. And we’re not just talking about like a moral failure or something like that, but they’re simple leadership mistakes that we make that have an impact and we may not realize them. So one of them may be in the way we talk to somebody or something that we say publicly that is taken the wrong way. Or we didn’t mean for it to sound a particular way, but maybe we were tired and it did sound a particular way. And, or maybe we did, maybe we were just frustrated and spoke out of anger. I’ve had a couple of instances where I’ve been too honest about what I was feeling, not practicing emotional intelligence and self-awareness, it just was like, a little bit angry and I’m just going to say this as anger. Yeah. Just cause I’m mad. Yeah. And when I do that, you can, soon as it comes out of your mouth, you see the. See the air go out of the room and the eyes get a little wider. Do you like, I think I just made a mistake.

JimBo Stewart: I’ve got a great one for you ever say something when you think.

It happens a lot in parenting, right? When you say something, you go. I never thought I’d say that sentence.

I’ve got a ministry one. There was mistake where I was just emotionally exhausted and let something slip that never should have happened. Just hectic insane week for our church. lots of weighty ministry, things happening all on top of each other. So literally we’re working with a lady whose children or she’s being investigated by DCF and we’ve got a emergency care family that is taken care of those kids.

While we’re trying to figure out how to get this lady in rehab. While not losing her children. I’m literally in meetings with DCF, trying to advocate on her behalf because I know this lady and I know the kids and I know that they don’t need to be separated.  She just needs some help for a little while. And we, as a church can rally around the kids while that’s happening.

On top of that, several other  weightiness things happening. The lady who was supposed to be cooking Wednesday night dinner had to pull out, which meant I was cooking Wednesday night. Oh my gosh. Which normally is something I enjoy. I enjoy cooking and it’s normally a de-stressor, but with just 5,000 other things happening, I just didn’t need anything else on my plate. And one of the ladies had with the DCF situation there was an Iguan a that needed to be taken care of.

Bob Bickford: Okay. wait. A real. actual iIIIIIIIIIIguana That was a pet.

JimBo Stewart: That was a pet. Okay. And the kids where they, where the kids went, that family did not want to take care of also an iguana. And so another lady just volunteered to take the Iguana. Okay. And she realized she didn’t want to take care. I don’t realize, I don’t know. Maybe a gwan is our high maintenance and I’m not really sure

Bob Bickford: whether they are a pretty big lizard

JimBo Stewart: and yeah. So this lady is constantly like.

Hey, somebody has got to take care of this iguanas, but she wasn’t directly asking me, is she, this was informing me that there was a situation and. I have a fault that I’m going to go ahead and just be transparent.

Bob Bickford: I can’t wait.

JimBo Stewart: If you’re passive aggressive with me. It drives me so insane. Yes. I will not help you. Yes, it, unless the Holy spirit intercedes and you bring a passive aggressive.

Not request, but like it’s supposed to be a request, but you don’t want to actually make it a request. There’s just something in me.

Bob Bickford: The hint drop. I hate the hint.

JimBo Stewart: I just, I, so I will sometimes sinfully unintentionally just not answer your request because you haven’t actually made a request. Okay. So this lady kept passive, aggressively texting me are things like about this Iguana, not asking. Can you help me find somewhere for the Igurana, but just, Hey.

And This is horrible. I would just reply, praying for you.

Bob Bickford: Oh, God.

JimBo Stewart: And I would pray and I would go, Lord, please take care of this Igurana. So I am walking into the church kitchen. With arm loads full of groceries?

Bob Bickford: No,

JimBo Stewart: my phone rings and it’s this lady’s husband.

Bob Bickford: Oh no.

JimBo Stewart: Now the backstory for this conversation is he travels for a living. And so his wife has probably, I’m assuming at this point, been in his ear about this iguana and me not helping.

And so he’s a little heated and I would be too right. If my wife said, man, I’ve been asking the pastor to help me figure out something with iguana this whole time. He’s just leaving me with it and just get your replying, praying for you. Like I would probably be like, Hey man. Why don’t you help out?

Bob Bickford: Yeah. So just to a clarification, you’re helping this family. You got a family services involved, you gotta take [00:13:00] care of an iguana and just to reiterate, did you just, did you pawned this go on and off on the lady?

JimBo Stewart: I had nothing to do with the iguana interchange. Okay. All right. It just happened. Okay. This lady volunteered for it and then realized it was more than she could handle.

Bob Bickford: Okay.

JimBo Stewart: And she just kept saying, I can’t do this. Somebody else needs to do it.

Bob Bickford: So as  her pastor. And so she was just reaching out. I need a little help here,

JimBo Stewart:  Look. I had too many other irons in the fire, too many other things.

Bob Bickford: Were are you making chicken strips or pot roast for dinner? What were you making? Or what? I was cooking that night.

JimBo Stewart: but I remember I’ve got arm

Bob Bickford: fulls of groceries

JimBo Stewart: and I walk into the kitchen and my phone’s ringing and it’s her husband.

Bob Bickford: Oh, no.


JimBo Stewart: so I drop groceries to answer the phone and he’s heated and he’s at me. Man, listen my wife has been trying to help you with this iguana thing, blah, blah, blah, blah. You’ve got to figure out somebody else to take care of this iguana. I said. Bro. I don’t have a spare minute to help you find a foster home for an iguana.

Bob Bickford: No, this is Florida. They got numbers. Come on.

JimBo Stewart: I don’t have a spare minute to help you with this iguana.

Bob Bickford: wait, can I ask, did you, do, did you ever learn how to prepare Guana? As a chef.

JimBo Stewart: I’ve never cooked any four of lizard.

Bob Bickford: Okay. Alright. It’s unclean slid a little bit. It gets, yeah. Commence.

JimBo Stewart: so he goes, like I said, it pretty upset.

I was like, bro, I don’t have a minute to help you find a foster home for an iguana. And I think when I set it like that, like it hit him. Cause, and again, I fully understand this position. If my wife were in my ear all day about something, you better believe I’m going to come to her

Bob Bickford: defense.

JimBo Stewart: And at the moment when I said that he goes. You’re right. My bad man.

Bob Bickford: And that’s good

JimBo Stewart: and hangs up. And so I called my wife and I was like, Hey, We need a vacation.

She goes, why do we need a vacation? I know we do, but what happened? She could just tell him my voice. Something happened to trigger that phone call. And I said, I just yelled at somebody. Or raise my voice, telling them I cannot help you foster an iguana. She knew all the backstory and she goes, you did what I thought she goes, you need to call him and apologize. And I said, I’m gonna be honest. I’m not ready. Yeah. Like I’m just not ready to call and apologize right now. So I gave it 30 minutes and then I called and I apologize. And he said, no, man.

I was the one out of line. I shouldn’t be asking you to take care of an iguana. Enough stuff on your plate right now.

But here’s the deal when we make mistakes like that. We can go a couple of different ways with it. now obviously the ideal way to go. So learn from it. But often that’s not what happens. Often we continuously make the same mistakes without learning from them. Bob, how can, when we make mistakes that are more serious than getting mad about an iguana.

Because a lot of times they will be. How can we grow from that? How do you, when you make a mistake, how do you let that be an opportunity for growth?

Bob Bickford: This is the hardest part, I think, especially for those of us who don’t want to be wrong and we don’t want to make mistakes. What I think one of the first things is you really need to sit with it a while and understand as much as you can about the mistake you made and what the circumstances were that led you to it. And why you made the decisions you made that led to you making that choice that eventually ended up in a category. You said, man, that was a mistake. That was an error. I shouldn’t have done that.

So most of the time, we just want to forget about it and move on. We want to blame it on somebody else. We want to excuse it. We want to, we do this a lot with it. I’m just, it’s on him because I’m so busy. I don’t have time to mess with the stinking lizard. And so you put that off on him rather than, you could have done that rather than sitting with it and go, okay, wait a second here.

Am I doing too much, did it leave me in a place where I’ve got, low bandwidth? And that was an irritant to me. And I just felt overwhelmed. Was it the fact that somebody was being passive aggressive with me? And then why does passive aggressive behavior make me freak out? And why do I react so strongly to that?

You got to think through those sorts of things. And then you also got to realize in my own personal life what’s going on, it sounds like you realized I need some time off. I need to refresh. I need to recuperate. I don’t need to be doing everything. And so then that leads down towards the. The evaluation where my spiritually,

Who’s most of the times we make mistakes  when were feel pressed for time, we’re out of margin, we’re tired. We’re frustrated. We don’t make good decisions because we feel like we have to make a decision right now. Cause we just gotta move on. Yeah. And so most of the time our mistakes are made from fatigue or frustration and we can undo that those circumstances in our life. If we take time to pause, develop leaders, delegate.

We just had an episode where we’re talking with Bob Bumgarner about how do you delegate not dump and how do you develop leaders? So maybe that’s a part of fueling, some mistakes that  you’re making. And so what I would say, sit with it unlayer it, peel it back, understand all that led to it. And then I will say this, and

I don’t know that I have an easy answer to this, but you’re going to have to deal with the emotional weight of making a mistake in an appropriate manner. So you could let a tank, you and you can be frustrated and grumpy at the family and down on yourself and then get into some unhealthy behaviors and sinful behaviors. Cause you’re so down on herself.

You could discount the fact that you could question your call to ministry. I just, I, I. Rookie pastors would make this mistake. I must just not be called or I must not be gifted. And so you have to deal with the emotional baggage and the way to that. And that’s probably some of the hardest for us specifically, if we’re.

A performer in our personalities, because we don’t want to make a mistake. We don’t want to see in those less than we don’t want to, but don’t get a bad grade. We don’t want to not win.

JimBo Stewart: Failure is a far better teacher. Then success. But we have to embrace that idea.  what is the Disney movie about the young scientists that the family of inventors, Jimmy neutron.

There’s a movie, but here’s the great point is it’s this whole real quirky family that they make all these inventions and random stuff all the time. And one of the things I always ask on a dinner table is what have you failed at?

Bob Bickford: Oh, okay.

JimBo Stewart: and they celebrate that.

They said they set late there. They’re asking, Hey, what did you fail at this week? And you share that in a Hey, awesome. That’s great. You failed at something, which means you get to learn at that thing. And we’ve talked about this before that kind of year three slot dark season storming, horrible time. Terrible. No good, very bad day.

Season of replanting. That if you can come out on the other side of that. Chances are, yes, you’ll look back and there’s some wounds. But chances are, you can look back and say, may not. I really grew. I know I really grew a lot in the Lord in that season. That could not been a gift I would have gotten from success.

Bob Bickford: Absolutely. And.

That’s why we should understand. first of all, failure. is good for us in that sanctifies us and shows us we’re not invincible and we’re not God right where we’re fallible. We’re finite. We mess up all the time. And so there’s a good part of failure that makes us dependent upon the Lord and dependent upon others.

And so those are good things, right? And so making mistakes is if you’re making mistakes, awesome. Great. Welcome to the replant family. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re probably playing it too safe. And you’re probably not doing anything significant

JimBo Stewart: or you’re not being honest.

Bob Bickford: You’re not being honest. Yeah. That’s a good point.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah, they’re not doing something significant. Or you’re just not self aware enough or honest enough to see that. Things are

Bob Bickford: mistakes. That’s right. Cause you can, part of the mistake you might be making is just being too passive and too complacent.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah. I see. So a lot of times guys will be just, or people in general.

Going back to the self awareness piece. Sometimes, I can’t even figure out where they made a mistake. There are people. We all have blind spots, right? So just in a tip. To make it real easy and accessible to everybody. We all have blind spots within our personality. And don’t realize fully how we are perceived by others.

growing up, I’m just, I am, I’m a red blooded and passionate of a person. as can’t exist. And it took me a long time to realize. I don’t have to be passionate about everything. It’s actually not good. To be passionate about everything. And I, one of the things I learned from others.

Was. My being so passionate about everything I believe actually often comes across as pride and arrogance because I bring my ideas, which I actually maybe holding loosely. But I bring them with such passion and [00:22:00] excitement that you would think it can come across. no, I am 100%, right? You’re 100% wrong. You have to believe the way I do or you’re wrong. Even if I don’t say that. Or maybe even think it.

But it, I was not self aware of that for a long time. And didn’t realize that people thought I was incredibly arrogant and prideful. I just thought I was super passionate and usually right.

Bob Bickford: You probably work.

JimBo Stewart: And so it took the help of others to help me see that and grow in that.

Bob Bickford: Most people are not super high passionate people. The majority folks. think about it. Percentage wise, if everybody in our society was a super hyper passionate person, like it would be awful.

JimBo Stewart: They would annoy me.

Bob Bickford: It’d be competing profession, right? no. And you’re up in each other, But some of us are, and we just don’t realize how we come across to others. And I remember the setting in a particular church, I was working in pretty large church and, I was in my mid to late thirties and I was just.

Super passionate about everything in my mid to late thirties. And. And everything was urgent and everything was critical. Everything had to be done now. And if we didn’t do it right now than it was going to be awful and everybody’s going to lose in the kingdom of God was going to lose and et cetera.

And I had older people around me that just were, they had experience and they really had perspective and I wish they would have taken me aside as a. 30 something and said to me, Hey bro. I love your passion. But not everything  is as urgent as you think it is. Yeah. And we’re going to be okay. Because my perspective was, do you just don’t care about anything anymore? You’re just old and dried up or.

It’s come on. Everybody needs to be like me. And, and so that’s one of the mistakes we make in the youthfulness. And this just gets into another point, one of the best. Teachers in our life  is failure, but one of the best translators of failures in our life as a mentor. And a mentor can put his  arm around us or, for, for our pastor’s wives. they could have a pastor’s wife and you put their arm around, just think it sit across the table from us and they can do a couple things. One is they can remind us that every failure is not final.

because of the sake of the gospel for, because of the truth of the gospel and that every failure doesn’t determine your future. And we just need to know that failure’s a part of life. That if we embrace it and learn from it. And not run from it. Not excuse it. God can do some really productive things in our life and we’ll be more seasoned, will be more humble and will be more useful in the hands of God.

JimBo Stewart: That’s good. I think. You cannot overestimate the value. Of having somebody a little farther along in the past, speaking into you. And lovingly calling you out. Challenging you encouraging you. And all of  the above.

I look back on my life, honestly, Bob and. Feel unbelievably blessed. With so many men that God has put in my life. To pour into me. That I look at who I was at 19, 20,21, and I would really hate to hang out with that guy.

Bob Bickford: I wish I had a time machine that I could go back and hang out with the 21 year old Jimbo from maybe a couple hours.

Can I watch you from afar? Yeah. Okay.

JimBo Stewart: It would be entertaining for sure, But annoying. and I just, I’m just so I’m so grateful that God has put people in my life to do that. to temper me some and mature me some and made me more patient and understanding and less passionate all the time

Bob Bickford: and realizing

JimBo Stewart: that sometimes it’s okay. Just be chill.

Bob Bickford: Yup.

JimBo Stewart: And just sit and learn and for me and my personality, everybody’s personality [00:26:00] learning like. Silence doesn’t need to be filled with my voice.

Like it’s okay to just let other people talk. And finish their thoughts and actually listened to them. And care about what they have to say. And I had something I had to learn, that was not naturally without me. I had to be taught that and learn to. To do that. And Don’t. Don’t beat yourself up. When you make mistakes are just a tool to help you.

Get sanctified.

Bob Bickford: That’s right. and there’s plenty of sanctification that needs to take place in everybody’s life. And what I would say is this is not A. I’m a truth for just when we’re young, it’s a truth for the rest of our lives. because I make mistakes now at 53 that I didn’t make when I’m, the different mistakes than when I was 35.

And if I can have that perspective of not feeling like I have to be perfect, but embracing my [00:27:00] weaknesses. And learning from those, then I’m going to be a better of the better person who God’s created me to be. And then I, I always need to have somebody in my life who can give me the perspective to lovingly challenge me.

And care for me and accept me. In my imperfections, not accept my imperfections, but except me in the sense that they remind me that I’m loved by God. And that I’m, that my failure is not final.

JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. I’ll close with this illustration that I first heard from. Matt Chandler. He said, think back 10 years ago in your life.

And chances are, if you look at yourself 10 years ago, there are some glaring blind spots that you can look back now and go, man, what an idiot.

And he said I’ve had that conversation with so many people that I believe that it’s universally true. And it’s not all universally true right now, but the point he was making gets, it will be universally true in 10 years. And so in 10 years, if you asked yourself about yourself now, What were my blind spots. And why was honey? Why an idiot? You would have reasons as to why that would be. and so that’s just a good reminder that there are always areas you can grow in and mistakes and mentors.

We’ll be maybe the best path to get you there.




Replant Bootcamp

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This week the guys offer some insights on how you might actually find a church to Replant. In addition to finding out that Bob bailed on being a High School Teacher and JimBo a Professor you’ll gain some key insights into the practical steps you can take in finding a church to Replant.

The Blog Article: How do I find a Church to replant?

Take the survey: ‘Am I a Replanter: Characteristic Survey’

Free Replant Cohort Material from our good friends at The Calvary Family of Churches.

The 2020 Replant Summit, August 24-25

Need a great website? Our sponsor, One Eighty Digital can get you going! Check them out.


Show Notes: want to read along while the show plays? Check out this episodes show notes below delivered by: Descript


JimBo:    All right, back with the replant bootcamp, excited to be jumping back in. As a matter of fact, I’m excited in just a few days, I will be seeing you in person.

Bob: Yes.

JimBo: And so the next episode will be an episode recorded with us, in the same place. probably in a hotel I imagine.

And I’m excited that we’ll get to do that together. We’ll be at the North American Mission Board Replant Summit in somewhere Missouri. I can’t remember where

Bob: Greenwood

JimBo: Greenwood, Missouri.

Bob: South of Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

JimBo: Okay.   none of that means anything to me

Bob: Kansas city Metro area.

JimBo: there we go, Kansas city Metro area.

Bob: Yes. And the burning question in your mind. About the location is do the people there have teeth.

JimBo: Yes. Yes. This has gotta be better than the last  hotel we stayed at in Missouri.

Bob: Jackson.  Yeah, I think we got some hate email about that one. I’m not sure. No, man. I’m excited. We’ve got over a hundred folks who have responded to attend and we have made a lot of preparations to socially distance and keep everybody safe. And so pray for us that everyone stays safe. We’re gonna encourage replanters and encourage those who work with replanters.

And I’m super pumped about this years summit methods and models of [00:02:00] replanting, and it’s gonna be great. And I can’t wait to see you again, face to face. It’s been awhile. I’m trying to remember the last time. but, we’re gonna, have a couple of podcasts together, so pretty pumped about that.

JimBo: The last time I think we saw each other was in March, right before everything really escalated, at the AMS training, in Atlanta.

Bob: Yeah.

JimBo: Yea h , actually, if you can make it happen, there is still time to register, I believe. And you can, meet us up there.

We’d love to see you.

Bob: Absolutely.

JimBo: so one of the things that I believe we’re going to see an increased need for on the other side of all of this COVID stuff is more replanters. I believe we have already had a pretty huge need for that, but I believe a lot of churches are going to be in a position where they’re going to need a replant revitalization pastor.

So we have this survey that we worked on published through NAMB. That we hope you’ve already taken. If you haven’t, we’ll have a link in the show notes for you,  or you can just go to churchreplanters.com. Click ‘Am I a Replanter?’ And then click ‘Take The Survey‘ and you can do the survey will take you about 10 minutes.

It’ll give you a whole awesome customized PDF report on there.  Then on the very last page, there’s an article that you need to read that Bob wrote talking about. Okay. So you took the survey, that you have the characteristics and qualities of a Replanter, but how do you find a place to replant?

I had a phone call just this week with a guy. From all the way across the country who has planted a church and is considering being a Replanter and him and his wife were open to it being pretty much anywhere in the country. And, And so we had a long conversation about what that might look like for him.

So I know there are going to be more guys as they take the survey or whether it take the survey or not, or  maybe they had to resign from it church, as we’ve talked about that even basically, and [00:04:00] now they’re looking for a place where they can lead. Not only did I have a phone call yesterday with a guy, I just had coffee with a guy today who was talking about, Hey, I am convinced that this is what I’m called to.

He took the survey and said, The survey affirmed for me that this is my calling. It showed me a couple of areas that maybe I could grow in, but it affirmed for me that this is my calling and this is what I need to do. So we talked through some options today at, having a cup of coffee. So talk us through Bob. if you didn’t have any red flags shining, you feel confident. This is your calling. If you’re married and your spouse says, yes, I affirmed this. This is where we’re going. You’ve talked with wise counselors in your life that know you. And they say, yes, I would affirm this calling in your life. How do you go about becoming an actual Replanter?

Bob: man. I would love to say that there’s this app, that’s  like a tinder for replants and Replanters.

JimBo: left swipe.

Bob: Yes, but there ain’t. that’s the more, the number one questions we get is how do, how does the church we’ll ask it’s? How do I find the planters and the Replanters say, how do I find a church? So the first thing I wanted to say JimBo is, and this might especially be true for the guys that are not currently engaged in ministry, but the seminary guys who has been in the process of preparing for full time ministry, they may be in a larger church, a more contemporary church, a healthier church, A church that has some size to it.

One of the things I would want to say is confirm your call by going and serving a struggling church right now. don’t wait, do it right now. Here’s true story. I changed my major about four times in college. first I went, and, wanted to be a, like a basketball coach and education guy.

So I love science. I won first place in the state science fair. so that’s pretty awesome. And we had a [00:06:00] great basketball team. So I thought, Hey, this has been great. I want to go be a science teacher and then they have this class, your sophomore year where you go and actually visit in a high school or a second middle school.

And you actually get to sit in there and take notes while the teacher’s teaching. And JimBo, you know what that did for me, it confirmed that I was not called to be a teacher. Sorry. What am I thinking?

JimBo: Yeah. Yeah. I had a similar experience when I thought maybe I needed to be a bi-vocational pastor and a professor at a college. And I got an opportunity to do a little bit of guest teaching in a few classes in a confirm for me. I do not want to be a college professor

Bob: Yeah, there’s nothing better than finding a struggling church and taking your wife. And if you have a couple of kids and going and being part of that church right now, right? You don’t go from like the big church with all the programs and all of the, Great staff and the multiple staff and, great restrooms and great bulletins and all that kind of stuff.

That’s not an easy transition from that to a replant. So my encouragement, especially if you not connected with a local church, if you’re in seminary, even if you’re like a person who’s evaluating the call to ministry, go check out the churches in your local area. Talk to the association leader. And say where’s the churches that struggling that I need to, that I could go and just be a part of, that’d be a good number and help, and then come alongside the pastor and don’t look to preach, but just look to help that church as the lay person and serve them.

And one, the pastor will be super glad that you’re there, but two you’ll really confirm your recall.

JimBo: Yeah, I want, you could even take that a step further if the opportunities are there. You could find a church in process of revitalization or replanting and ask that [00:08:00] pastor, if you would lead you in a residency process. And even if he so listen, even if he has no idea how to we’ll do that, if he’s open to the idea, then contact us or have that pastor contact us and we can help equip him on a way to.

Kind of create a residency process for you, where you could go and experience all sorts of things at a smaller church where you would serve for a little bit children’s and youth and senior adults, whatever you get exposed to those things, there’d be a reading list and it would help you become more exposed and equipped with what replanting is.

And so you might come out on the other side of that. with a much better understanding and equipping for that. There’s a guy that we did a residency with because very qualified guy master’s degree in church planting, but he had only experienced very large churches. And so he had no idea what it was like to be [00:09:00] in a.

Under-resourced or limited, much more limited resource church where you can have a huge idea, but man, you better figure out how to off because we don’t have the budget. the people for it, everybody’s already serving in seven different ways. and so you can, can’t just go, Hey, we’ve got this great new initiative.

Let’s build team, have a budget, do it. And he did a 10 month residency with us and just answered in view of a call two weeks ago at a church revitalization and has already called me and said, Man. I’m so glad I did. Yeah. 10 month residency. Cause it helped prepare me for things already that I’m walking into.

And so there could be a great value in just getting that exposure and equipping. But if you can’t find a residency or a pastor that feels ready to do that, just being a part of that church and a good member and serving and worshiping there, and having your family there will help either confirm or let you know that you’re not supposed to be a Replanter.

Bob: Absolutely. I would say to Mark hallux, starting an online residency, there are residency programs going along. So you got 40 weeks of training. Even if the pastor can’t train you or doesn’t want to train you, or is intimidated about training, you could do your own self paced training with Mark House.

We’ll put the residency link in the show notes. And you could just go through the corporate work by yourself, or there might still be time for you to sign up because I think it was going to begin in September. So that’ll be the first thing is, go be a part of a dying and declining church right now.

Second thing that I would say is consider context. And location. So context, urban, suburban County counties seat, rural. Those are your contexts, right? So some of us are urban guys or suburban guys. So most are rural guys. And here’s what I would really say are good buddies, Matt Hensley and Kyle Beerman have written a book called, replanting rural churches.

And if you’re a rural guy, grab that book and read, and think about it. But you might ask yourself a question, where did I grow [00:11:00] up or where am I? It was one of the live, like what kind of pace of life do I want? What, where are we as a family right now? Do we have a young kids, little kids do we need a Walmart or a K-Mart or, or Popeye’s chicken?

Are we okay with just a diner? that sort of thing, you just got to know your context and then you think about geographic location, where might God send us? I would think one of the things that is typically true. Is, we tend to stay within a geographical region, Jen, of where we grew up most often.

We might move three or four States away, but it’s okay. Very rare for me just to pick up and move all the way across the country, because it’s a completely different location, a different kind of life, a different kind of attitude, all those things. It does happen. I’m not saying it doesn’t, but it often doesn’t.

And so think about that with your spouse. You’re married. Think about your history, where your family is, where they’re from. if you have kids you’re going to want to be maybe within driving distance of your grandparents, of their grandparents, of your folks, of some other relatives you want to think about holidays, all those sorts of things, or you may just think, man, I have always had a passion for, The frontier areas.

And so you think men will want to go out to Montana or Idaho or Wyoming or something like that. but let God speak into that. Do a lot of research, think about the places where you might want to go. I remember I was a youth pastor JimBo and had some connections with some guys that were, went to a larger church and knew some other guys that went to larger churches.

And so I had a pretty extensive understanding of what a large church. Youth ministry was like, particularly in the South. And so that was back in the glory days. When, you gave, pizza feeds and concerts, give bikes away and all that kind of stuff. I got a call because I had grown up in a large church, youth ministry and an intern there.

I got a call from a pastor in Anchorage, Alaska [00:13:00] who wanted us to come and interview Alaska. Okay. So I’m not a Hunter. I like to fish. those sorts of things. But I remember he sent us a book about Alaska and we look at Barb and I started looking through that book and I remember very clearly, Barbara said, I am not moving to Alaska.

So guess what? We didn’t move to Alaska. But context is important. So you gotta think about that.

JimBo: Yeah, my wife said she wanted to be in any state in the Southeast, other than Florida

Bob: And look at you now.

JimBo: here we are for Liberty ans. okay. So one of the things I think it would be helpful when you, if you haven’t taken a survey already, when you take the survey. the very last question that we have on there says, is there anything else you would like us to know? it’s an optional one. You don’t have to fill it out, but if you have a particular context that you’re  going to just ask whatever questions you have there.

You could say. Are there any Replants or who would I say, who would I talk to about finding a replant in st. Louis, Missouri, and if that’s where you want to be. And if you’ll put that in there, when we see that I’ll do everything I can to connect you to the right people. Now, I don’t know what replant opportunities are out there all across the country, but between me and Bob and others on the neon replant team, we can.

Probably connects you to the right denominational work. That’s going to know what opportunities are out there for you. And so if you can put that in there on that final question or anything like that you want help connecting with the right people, then I can’t promise you anything, but we can gladly try to help connect you with the right people.

Bob: That’s a great segue to the next point, JimBo with, if you’re looking for a replant, you [00:15:00] need to connect with local partners. So you’ve identified the context. Maybe you discerned the locale. There are so associational leaders, state, convention leaders, even some seminary professors, folks that are in particular locations that’s really key for you.

So nobody knows better what churches are in need of pastors and Replanters than the associational missional strategist. And so if you can get in contact with them and you can reach out, there’s some ways to do that. but find the association leaders, one of the easiest things you might just go to the state convention and the state that you’re considering, and you might contact the revitalization leader and simply say, Hey, I know you have connections across the state, or maybe there’s several regional guys that work with the state.

And you simply say, are there some churches in this particular area of your state, or if you get in [00:16:00] contact with the association, Hey association leader. Are there any churches in your local association that need to be replanted? They’ll absolutely have some in mind. I guarantee it. The great thing is if you’ve taken this survey and you’re able to share that with them, they’re able to understand and see where your strong areas are and where areas of growth are.

And in many ways, in many times we’ve worked with these guys to help them understand how to have a think about. Helping Replanters acclimate to a new position. We’ve equipped them to work with the local church to get it set up for a week planter. And so we’ve got a lot of partners across all of North America and even some into Canada who understand what replanting is more so than when I was replanting.

So I’m super pumped. So the good news is, we can help you make some connections. Now that connection is an introduction. It’s not a placement. And so you still have to understand that this is an opportunity for you to [00:17:00] introduce yourself to the association leader or the state convention leader, and begin a longer conversation.

And, I think if you can do that and connect with local partners, that’s really gonna help you.

JimBo: Yeah, I think one of the hardest parts about trying to find your way into a replant. Where it really vary so differently from being a church planter and feeling called to plant a church. If I feel called to plant a church in a particular community, man, I can literally start today. if I feel called to plant a church in st.

Louis, Missouri, and I live in st. Louis, Missouri, like you, then it’s as simple, as far as starting today as. Starting to prayer walk, go in and meet and people sharing the gospel, starting a small group and seeing where God takes it. But I know for me, We felt called to replant. We didn’t know that word yet, but we knew we, my wife and I both [00:18:00] felt affirmed that God was calling us to go to a dying church in an urban area, in a transitioning community.

And. It be under the foster care of a larger church for a season and see God do mighty things through the gospel. That’s what we knew. We knew that clearly that’s what God was calling us to, but Bob, it was over a year. Before we were given that opportunity and I put my resume. I didn’t put my resume out for a while.

I really just wanted God to give it to me on a silver platter. And for me not to put my resume out and I didn’t.

Bob: mysterious phone call or email. Hey. Yeah.

JimBo: Honestly, I didn’t, here’s what it was. I did not want the opportunity to make the wrong choice. I didn’t, I did not want, I want to choose to go to the wrong church. I wanted it to be abundantly clear that God was calling us there.

And in my [00:19:00] mind, that was the way to do it was just to pray and ask God to just deliver it. And for some people that may happen. But it did not happen for us. And so some mentors and people who love me, challenged me and said, Hey, I, we affirm that God is putting this calling on your life. We think you need to take the step of faith of putting your resume out there and seeing what happens.

Now, some people may feel differently about that. I know people who feel like you should never put your resume out, and I know people who feel like you should always put your resume out. and so wherever you feel on your conscience, you follow what the Holy spirit is telling you to do, but we felt called to put our resume out.

And so I literally just sent my resume to the state convention. A very Southeast state and even some outside of the Southeast. Cause I did ask my wife, how do you feel about that? She was not real comfortable getting outside of the Southeast. because of, culturally you get outside of the Southeast, it’s just a different culture and both of us grew up in the Southeast [00:20:00] and we just didn’t know what that would mean.

we did put some feelers out there and some other States as well, and I did it. I get a lot of kind of random calls from random churches. But none of them were specifically what we knew. God was calling us to, into an urban context with transitioning church. And honestly, Bob here’s one of the things that I dealt with was I wanted to control it.

And finally I felt. Like I just needed to release it and I just needed to forget it and just let God do what he is going to do. And so I let go, and it was a couple of months later that I got a phone call from Hybris about his church in Fleming Island. And they described exactly what we knew God was calling us to and in an urban area, transitioning community, we would be fostered by them.

And so we came down and man. Through a whole long story. I could tell you, God just confirmed that this is exactly where he was calling us. [00:21:00] And I’m so glad that he confirmed it in that way, because when it was very difficult, it was good to know that this is where God called us, but you gotta be patient because this is not probably going to be a quick process.

Bob: Yeah, you’re right. That’s the last point. And you just got to commit to patiently wait and prayerfully, wait, your story, the way you told it is one that I see over and over again is people who are pursuing a good thing and desiring a good thing. And wanting that to be delivered to them bright now.

And if you look at how God prepares somebody for ministry, there’s usually a desert or wilderness or preparation process, Moses went to the desert, Jesus apprenticed in wood shop, there’s this preparation that takes place, Timothy traveled with Paul for awhile, And You’ve just got to understand that the waiting time is not wasted time.

And so here’s what I would [00:22:00] say to the person who is waiting to find that next ministry location, particularly that replant do everything you can do to get yourself healthy, physically, mentally, spiritually relationally, and make sure that’s solid because he’s a, we know that you and I both know. Is just the first three years of replant will attack you on each of those dimensions. Like you are going to get nailed, right? You’re going to get nailed. You’re going to gain weight. Your marriage is going to be strained. You’re going to think that you’ve made the worst mistake of your life. You’re going to be stressed and depressed and all those sorts of things. So this is it’s like training for a tough Mudder.

Alright. That never ends that’s you gotta be in shape, bro. Like you and your everybody’s gotta be in shape and you gotta be clear and ready to roll and it’s going to be a long slog. So I just want to tell you, don’t waste your [00:23:00] waiting time. And enjoy it and then particularly enjoy this enjoy every Saturday night that you just have.

Free without that sermon hanging over you and then all of the responsibilities of Sunday, and then Monday coming back around and you realize that Monday that you got to ride in another sermon and you got to lead for another week at the church. Cause that’s a grind. And so don’t despise your downtime, your waiting time.

You use it to be prepared, prepare in every way possible that you can. And then just realize, I think like you did. You guys had a pretty clear picture about what you felt the Lord was calling you to, and here’s the reality that church wasn’t ready for you when you were ready to be a Replanter. And so that’s your, God’s doing a work on that church and he’s doing a work in you. And then when it’s the right time he brings you together. And I know that no, that sounds super spiritual in a sentence kind of mystical and all of those sorts of things, but it’s really true. and you just got to trust in the sovereignty of God and that he’s faithful.

And he’s gonna, he’s going to take you where he wants you to go and start. I just wanna encourage you read planner. If you’re out there, just struggling can think of man nobody’s ever going to call. I’m just resting in God’s timing in that and trust him in that. And I guarantee it he’s going to be faithful to you.

JimBo: excellent. Hey guys, I hope you enjoyed this episode. Do us a favor. If you did go to whatever service you listen to this on and leave us a review that helps us get the word out and let other people know. that we have this podcast and like it, share it on your social media, help us get the word out.

Also let us know what questions you have. We’d love to make sure that we’re answering the questions you want answered. Maybe even bring you onto the podcast with us. Hope you guys have a great day. See you again soon.

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