EPISODE 100!!! – WHAT WILL REPLANTERS FACE IN THE COMING DAYS?
Well, we made it to 100! Thanks for being part of the Bootcamp crew-we’re thankful for you spending time with us each week as we talk about Replanting and Revitalizing Churches.
In this episode, Jimbo and Bob talk about what it means to have reached our one-hundredth episode and then take a look ahead at some potential trends we see coming down the line. Stay tuned, drop us a line and let us know what you think Replanters will face in the coming season.
- Children’s ministry is changing: with the COVID resurgence workers and parents are concerned about the health of their kids. Volunteers are quitting, parents are staying home, others are leaving the normative-sized churches for larger churches who have programming.
- Pastors need personal and professional care: a lot of our friends, pastors that we know are really really tired. Many are struggling and barely hanging on. We hear you-we see you. Get the help you need, call the Pastor Care Hotline, it’s confidential and free: 1-844-Pastor1
- A trend toward more bi-vocational and co-vocational pastorates: with the challenging financial situation, with rising inflation, with decreasing church attendance and contributions, Pastors will need to figure out how to support themselves and their families. Here’s an upside-if as a Pastor you need to say some difficult things to help a church move forward, earning a living outside of the church may free you up to say what needs to be said.
- An increasing need for churches to help other churches: there is a rising need for churches to assist and collaborate with one another to do ministry. Adoption, Fostering and partnerships among strong churches and struggling churches will need to happen on an increasing basis. We anticipate closures will pick up at the end of 2021 and early 2022.
What do you see? We’d love to hear from you, drop us a line, send us text, leave a comment.
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JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Here we are back at the bootcamp again, episode 101 hundo, the Centennial, the, I don’t know. I mean, I I’m out that’s it. That’s all I got, but this is a big deal. A hundred, a hundred episodes,
Bob Bickford: Triple digits, you know, what is it? That is the statistic. Everybody who gets jazzed about starting a podcast, they, how many, what’s the average number of episodes they get?
JimBo Stewart: like seven.
Bob Bickford: Yes. Well, Jimbo, congratulations. We’ve beat that.
JimBo Stewart: We, we beat that.
I think, I think this officially elevates our expertise status and, you know, it’s one of those things like, like an online made up certification, like we can just say, oh, we have over a hundred episodes of, so now that means that we know what we’re talking about.
Bob Bickford: Emily, probably all total, maybe that’s like a 1 million, 1.2 million listeners or something like that. Could we, can we [00:01:00] count them a couple of times? Maybe or several times.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Listens. I, you can say listeners, but you could maybe say listens. so Yeah,
we can do that. We can just say thousands and thousands of listens, over a hundred episodes. I mean, if that’s, that’s a resume that people ought to pay attention to it.
Bob Bickford: it is, it’s like a new level of donkey Kong or Gallagher, I think. So I’m pretty, pretty excited about that. Those in case you don’t know,
those are video games from my childhood.
JimBo Stewart: oh, I had an Atari. I had an Atari as a kid. believe it or not. My, my first, uh, video game system was pre Atari. So here’s a fun little fact for you. My grandmother, mommy. Is a computer genius and she wrote computer programs in the seventies. And so she actually built me a computer in the early eighties and the drive was a cassette tape [00:02:00] drive.
And so was this big cassette tape player drive that she programmed hang man and lemmings onto a computer that I had long before most people had computer.
Bob Bickford: That’s awesome. I remember the cassette drive computer was a Commodore 64, and I don’t know if that was at your computer. but you hooked it up to like a TV and you had a, it was a, basically like a keyboard and then you had, uh, a peripheral key, like cassette thing and then maybe something else. And then you push play on the cassette, I guess.
And it loaded up the program.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. it was a little bit, the program would keep switching sides and I had an actual computer monitor, and everything and played lemmings and, and hang man. And so, and then I had an Atari and then I quit playing video games pretty much after that, after the super Nintendo I was done.
But yeah, all that up to this moment to get to level up to level level 100, we have,
we had a different. Here we are. [00:03:00] We have arrived. you know, the, the greatest accomplishment of this last year for me was not accomplishing a doctoral degree. It’s today, Bob, today today’s the day
Bob Bickford: Well, I’m pretty excited about that because I get to share that with you. I don’t get the, you alone. Carry the Dr. Jimbo title, and I’m just your podcast cohort, your yuck monkey, your sidekick. And, I’m just glad to be surfing in your way, congenital.
JimBo Stewart: Man you are the replant guru, the, the, the big and bold and beautiful, brilliant butterfly kissing. Singing Bob Bickford. and one of my favorite people, man, I’m excited, 100 episodes. it, we have seen a lot of interesting things happen. obviously like everybody else we could not have anticipated the impact that COVID would have on ministry and life when we started this podcast, or I don’t know if we would’ve started it.
we walked in kind of thinking, we knew a little bit of what we were talking about and then COVID threw everything out the window and everybody has [00:04:00] had to adjust. We’ve had some really great laughs over the last a hundred episodes. We’ve had some great guests on and we’ve had some great topics and discussions.
We met a lot of our listeners, which is one of our favorite things when we’ve been at some events. and so today as we celebrate a hundred episodes, Here’s what I was thinking. Bob, what, what do you see as some of the big topics or things that we might need to wrestle through? And by we, I even really mean the universal week.
Like all of us as pastors, as re planters, as revitalizer, as, as ministry leaders, kind of in the wake of what our world is now, the new normal constantly adjusting normal that we live in. Right.
Bob Bickford: yeah, Jimbo. I think a lot of us are really asking that question and, you know, Facebook groups that I belong to, are the guys who are kicking that question around a lot in, and I did a couple of weeks ago. I just, I was meeting with a pastor who’s in a revitalization situation and he was talking about some of his struggles.
And so I kind of took some of what he was [00:05:00] saying and some of what I’m, I’m seeing online and I’m hearing from some others and just wrote a post and ask guys what. Dealing with, and I put out four things and, and, uh, a lot of the guys said, yeah, that’s, that’s spot on where we are. So, and a lot of things come to mind.
Let me share one of them with you. I think the first one that we’re dealing with now, and I would say this is primarily for normative size churches that are revitalizing or replanting is children’s ministries. And in our culture currently with the resurgence of COVID-19, unfortunately children are, becoming the center focus of fear and concern, in that.
one for their wellbeing and then two that they could be potential vectors of the virus. And so there’s a real interesting dynamic that’s taking place in some of your normative sized churches where some of the senior adult workers or older workers who’ve even been vaccinated and, you know, have, made it thus far without experiencing covet or are afraid of children as.
[00:06:00] Carriers of the COVID-19 virus. And so what we’re seeing is that they’re leaving children’s ministry volunteering. And so some of these non-motor size churches are trying to figure that out. What do we do? And they’re asking those questions. And some of the families of those normal decides churches are leaving that church because it’s a lack of children’s programming and they’re going to other churches.
And so I think in the future, in the near future, I would say that’s one of the major things we’re going to have to deal with.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. I’m seeing that even beyond normative sizes, some medium sized churches that are just really struggling to figure out what does it look like to do effective children’s ministry moving forward. And to be honest, Bob, in a replant or vitalization of normative size, even pre COVID children’s ministry can be a difficult thing to figure out it.
Maybe one of the more difficult. Pieces of the puzzle, as you’re thinking through things strategically, and then you add the layer of complexity that COVID 19 and the fears, the regulations, the expectations bring there. And it’s not a light. A [00:07:00] layer that you’re laying on top of with that. I mean, it’s pretty heavy and impactful.
And so I, I know, I mean the church that I pastored redemption church, uh, has, has really struggled to recover children’s ministry, through COVID the church that we’re members of now is. Of kind of a medium sized church and has kind of had to battle back and forth, figuring out what is children’s ministry look like.
And so, even if you, you do, you still are going to have the times when you may have to shut it down for a little while. You know, I know there’s multiple churches that have had to say, and we kind of sort of starting to pick up steam, but then we had, you know, two or three workers got COVID or two or three kids.
You know, tested positive for COVID or something. And so now we gotta shut down for a couple of weeks and I mean, you do that a couple of times, and it’s like a left hook right hook. And it, it really starts to, hurt your momentum and cause you know that even as you maybe start to gain some momentum, it’s possible, you might take another one on the way.
And you might have to shut down for another two weeks. and [00:08:00] so man, your ministry is one of those that just so you know, listeners where we’re not presenting any answers today, to this one, we’re actually, we would love to hear from you. these are things we’d love to work through with you hear about from you and, and how you’re thinking through it and what we can learn from you.
but I would agree children’s ministry moving forward is going to be, One of the more difficult aspects for us to figure out as ministry leaders.
Bob Bickford: yeah. Another one I’d shift to, and this is related to probably all of these that we’ll talk about, but specifically, you know, the one we just mentioned is I think pastors are going to need personal and professional care. Here’s what I mean by that. it’s hard to. Right. It is getting more difficult and, you know, I don’t want to be the guy, Clifton always talks about, you know, I don’t want to be the old guy that screams at everybody get off my yard.
You know, that kind of thing. I don’t want to be the dooms day or I don’t want to be there. It’s never been this hard before, blah, blah, blah. But Jimbo, just get the sense that it’s really hard on pastors right now. And I see other people writing about that and [00:09:00] I hear it. In the voices of pastors that I know, right.
And we’re battling politics and COVID politics and children’s ministry and decreased volunteers and decreased resources in terms of contributions and having to navigate, how do I do ministry? In an effective way in a completely different environment. And so all of that weighs on a pastor. And so the personal care means, I mean, you gotta take care of yourself and how do you take care of yourself?
Cause when, when you, when things are going in the wrong direction, in terms of, you know, trend lines and economics and people and all that stuff, most of the time we doubled down and work. Right, and try to do more. And so, we don’t take care of ourselves. And so that’s something that’s, that’s difficult.
And then I also see, I see some signs in my own self and even some others I’m talking to. Okay. I think I’ve slipped into the place where I just need to check in with the counselor again, and I need to go back and get some professional care, whether that’s a counselor or a doctor or a health coach. You know, somebody, I need [00:10:00] a little help.
So I think we’re going to see that increase in a lot of ways in the next coming season here.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, the sentiment I’ve been hearing from pastors is when we had that first kind of wave of COVID last year, there was a lot of the mentality of okay, man, it’s time. Yeah. Put on our big boy pants and work really hard for a season through a lot of difficulties feeling like maybe there’s going to be a moment of relief, a moment of a light at the end of the tunnel.
And, and you know, this will be a difficult season that we were we’ll. We will remember, and we will have learned from, and then we’ll get on the other side of it and be able to go back to what we were doing before and the pace and the way that we were doing things before. But, in that same way that we were talking about children’s ministry of, as soon as you maybe start to feel that right, Catch that second wave of the Delta variant or something else.
And, it, you, you start to realize, okay, the light at the end of this tunnel may be a train. And, uh it’s. And so I gotta, I gotta brace myself, man, because I thought this was going to be X amount of months, or I [00:11:00] thought this was going to be X amount of weeks or, I mean, this just kind of seems to be the way we’re doing things right now.
And. I think a lot of guys are starting to run out of steam a little bit I would echo very much what you said. We’ve got to figure out how to take care of ourselves, take care of our bodies, that God has given us to steward his resources, take care of our soul, take care of our marriages and our families.
And we can’t let those things fall apart in the midst of the process. I think with that, Bob, the reality of it, and here’s what I’d say. The next thing. We’re all I want to talk about. Wasn’t increasing Lee. coming reality before COVID was the need for by vocational. and I think even before COVID came on onto the scene, this was a trending reality.
Anyway. that full-time ministry positions are fewer and far between and harder to find right now, before COVID hit, since COVID has hit the, the economic impact of this has, has been notable and for many, many more ministries that are going to have to think through. More [00:12:00] creative ways and different ways of approaching ministry.
And the full-time pastor may not be the best or wisest or right. Move for a church. And more and more pastors are going to have to prepare themselves to either become bi-vocational or go by vocational or co vocational or whatever. And I think that’s going to be an increasing aspect in our culture.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, that’s, there’s some, there’s some small measure of debate on this topic on. Cannibis is by vocational healthy and good. And I don’t want to open up that, but I think we’re in a reality here that we can’t ignore. And in that reality is that pastors are gonna need, in today’s inflationary market and decreased highs.
And your church contributions don’t go as far and your family, right. Or going and increasing pastors are going to need to start a side hustle, some kind of income stream that they can navigate. Here’s one of the positive sides, Jimbo that is often overlooked in this. If you are a pastor that is by vocational and the primary source [00:13:00] of your income is outside of the church, it frees you up to say what needs to be said inside of the church.
So let me see that. If the primary source of your income is outside of the church, and you’re not dependent upon the church to support you. It frees you up to say what needs to be said inside the church. And if the majority of churches need to be revitalized, there’s going to be some conversations that are going to be different.
In the men who are leading those conversations, if their salaries are tied to the, acceptance of the people of what they have to say, they may be pressured to not say what needs to be said. And I think that’s overlooked. And I also think that we know guys who’ve backed off saying things and moving forward when the church absolutely needs to hear something or move.
Because they’re fearful of that, or unfortunately, and in a very dysfunctional way, maybe some of the church leaders have held that over the pastor. Right. And try to remind them, you know, what, we pay your paycheck and you just better slow down there a little bit sunny. And [00:14:00] so I think there’s this, this mix of cultural realities that are coming into play that may, and I didn’t thought about that this morning.
Maybe that’s a good thing. Them. That pastors are not as dependent, economically on a church. And so they can say some of those difficult things and the, and maybe we can see some purchase finally deal with the stuff that they need to deal with. So I think that’s, there’s, there’s that hard and difficult.
Absolutely. But is it potentially good? Yeah, I mean, I think so.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. I think.
one of the things we have to recognize is we could complain about the moment in history that we are in, but we’re here. and in God’s sovereignty, we’re here and God has called us to shepherd this one. And to steward this moment. And, rather than complaining about all the things that are changing, whether that be things changing in your community or in culture or any of those things, I really don’t think that’s our role is to sit here and complain about things that are going on.
I think our role is to figure out how the Lord desires for us to [00:15:00] embrace. The opportunities that he is providing for us in the midst of the chaos, in the midst of all this chaos, there’s a greater need for a clear and present hope, a living hope that we would live the kind of living hope that people would want to ask about in the midst of.
What seems to be a hopeless time in the world. This is a really good opportunity for our light to shine in the darkness and to live in that kind of hope. And so I think part of this has to be not bemoaning everything that’s going on or the difficulty. But owning the opportunities that God has given us in the midst of this and knowing that in his sovereignty, he has put us each in the roles that he has put us for this moment and figuring out how do we best serve him?
I think one of the other things that we might see is an increasing the need for churches to help churches. an increasing need for collaborative church work, whether that be through [00:16:00] campuses, replanting, replanting, from within with help, fostering, family networks. I think we are. And I think this is, I think this is very much potentially a good thing.
We are moving. At a, at a pretty good pace into a culture where it’s going to be harder for you to do ministry alone and, and succeed that there was a cultural moment in our country where that was very doable. I don’t think we are in that moment anymore. I think we are in a moment where we have to figure out what linking arms.
Brother and sister churches in our communities looks like, and I just, one of the things I love about getting to serve in this replant movement right now,
Bob Bickford: yes. Partnership will be priority for sure is. As we move to the future and partnership can look a number of different ways. Jimbo, we can talk about adoption and fostering, which is short-term care. And one of our colleagues, David, Jackson’s going to be writing some material on fostering and that’s, that’s a temporary.
a relationship to provide care [00:17:00] and support for a church that’s seeking vitality. Again, that’s just a basic definition. there are going to be churches that, that come and join in and become part of a family network of churches like the Calvary church system. And so I think we’re just going to see that.
And I think one of the things that’s going to fuel that is we’re going to see an acceleration of churches who are at the point of close. in, in, so I th I think that very soon, and we we’ve sort of talked about this before. I think as a team, as a replant team, we really anticipated, anticipate that it’s going to be about 20, the end of 2021 beginning of 2022, where we start seeing maybe a cascading effect of churches that have survived on their reserves and struggled through, and depending on where COVID goes, we’re gonna.
You know, some churches that are certainly going to be the point of concern in some that are point of closer. So what I would say to the, you know, the seminaries and the residencies and the Bible colleges and all those sorts of things and the church planters of the world, like we’re really going to need to all cooperate together to get.
Leaders in place to pastor these churches that that need to be [00:18:00] pastored and revitalized and replanted. So there’s plenty of work for us to do here in the future. And so I think one of the benefits then that we could see about the movement and you mentioned this, that. Man. We, we started this a hundred episodes ago and several years ago, when we were really engaging together and replanting, like there was, there was stuff happening, but there’s a real sense.
There’s a movement now, right? There’s a, there’s a focus now on revitalization and replanting churches. And I think really that was the strategic candor. The Lord’s setting up this, this next generation for what he wants to do. So, you know, a lot of people writing books, you’ve got a doctorate, we’ve got assessments.
Trainings, we’ve got all of these things that we didn’t have in place before. We’ve got AMS leaders that we’ve trained all across north America and we’ve got resources and surveys that they can use to diagnose churches and help them consider their future. So, so I think this is all really kind of what we were doing in the years ahead.
We, we believed it was important for that time and still is, [00:19:00] but I think it’s doubly important for the season. We find ourselves in.
JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. Hey guys, listeners. Uh, we couldn’t do this without you. Well, I guess we could, but, it would just be us recording ourselves, talking. It’s a lot more fun when we get to interact with you guys. And so we would love to hear from you, contact us on the social media channels, go to our website and you can see our number to call us or Texas leaves a voicemail or, or whatever. what are the things you see? What w how, how can we help you as you’re out there serving the bride of Christ?
Let us know. Bob congrats. 100 episodes.