EP 120 – STARTING 2022 STRONG
Well after going around the horn with some Football commentary the guys get down to talking about how to start and maintain strength as you lead and serve as a Replanter in a local church. Be encouraged, laugh a little and be equipped to make 2022 a great one.
You can go back and listen to some of the “most listened” to EPs from last year.
- Six Irreducible Minimums for Replanters EP 67
- Church Trends 1 and Church Trends 2 with Keelan Cook EP 79 and 80
- Practical Shepherding with Brian Croft EP 78
- Overcoming resistance to change EP 84
Are you slugging it out in a difficult context? Are you discouraged and ready to throw in the towel? Drop us a line, give us a call, we want to encourage you.
Considering Replanting? Leading a Replant yourself? Join us in New Orleans for the Am I a Replanter event Feb 18-19, 2022 at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Why not start off 2022 by addressing your website needs. OneEighty Digital our great sponsor is here to help. They’ve been working with churches and businesses for over 10yrs and have solutions for churches both big and small.
Fun links @ SEC Shorts
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Here we are back at the bootcamp 2022, yet again, we’re rolling into a new year. Excited coming off of the first Arkansas Razorbacks bowl game in, in how long, how long has it been since?
Bob Bickford: Gosh, I want to say like 10 years or something like that, at least maybe. it’s been a long time.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. And you guys want.
Bob Bickford: Woo pig suey, man. They, uh, they had a shaky second quarter and, it wasn’t looking good. And so we went into the half and I was thinking, well, you know, this could be a, a good year and you know, we’ll just chalk it up to, we made it to a ball that man, they pulled it out.
They came out and dominated second half and, pretty exciting. And I think you and your daughter had a little bit of exchange about Arkansas, and the Razorback that I think the listeners would enjoy hearing.
JimBo Stewart: Oh, yeah, this is true. So I, put on my Arkansas Razorback hat because I am an Arkansas Razorback fan. They just come secondary to LSU. And so, as I put on my hat, my daughter Magnolia said, wait, dad, why are you putting on an Arctic.[00:01:00] I said, well, cause they’re in a bowl game today and I like to be in team spirit and root for them.
She said, but I thought we hate Arkansas Razorbacks. I said, no, that’d be only, only one week out of the year. There’s only one week out of the year that we hate the Arkansas Arkansas hate week. It’s when we play them every year. And that’s the only week other than that, we root for Arkansas. And she said, oh, she looked kind of sad.
She said, oh man said, I kind of liked having permission to hate somebody. It’s really kind of fun. Alright, so don’t worry, baby. We can always hate Alabama. Always.
Bob Bickford: Yes. Yes. You’re raising her up right. Train up a child Jimbo, train up a child.
JimBo Stewart: So we can always hate Alabama there, always the villain. it’d be interested to see if they’re the villain and George’s story yet again. Or if the bulldogs will finally break, they’re losing streak to so a sec. This is one of my favorite funny things on social media. man, I love their little sketches about Georgia and Alabama.
They cracked me up, and I feel really bad for [00:02:00] Georgia. I get it. I feel your pain in Georgia. I get it. I really do.
Bob Bickford: I’ll have to check it out. Cause I love the sec shorts as well. Like when Arkansas got to move out of the basement, that was a really
JimBo Stewart: Yes.
Bob Bickford: It was really fun.
Yeah, man. I feel about, I feel for Georgia, you know, it’s, it’s where the national headquarters of the north American mission board are. and, so we, we spent some time in Georgia and, get good friends down there, but man, the bulldogs, they really, they have a tough time winning the big one. So we’ll see
JimBo Stewart: They do. I’m really hoping they pull it off this year.
Man, rooting for the good guys, rooting against the bad guys. by the time this episode, by the time this episode airs, hopefully LSU will also have won their bowl game playing in the Texas bowl against Kansas state. Just excited that we made it to a bowl.
This year after everything that was the fellowship season.
Bob Bickford: Barbara said this about the bowl game. She said they don’t even matter anymore. Everybody’s got a bowl game. Like it doesn’t even matter. It’s just another game.
JimBo Stewart: yeah, at this point, you’re just avoiding the shame of [00:03:00] not making a bowl game. That’s not so much that you got into one is that you avoided the shame of not getting into one.
Bob Bickford: that’s right. That’s right. Well, man, what are we talking about this year? Is we open up 20, 22 and look forward to.
JimBo Stewart: Well, I was thinking about how we could encourage guys to.
stay focused and resilient in 2022. As you hit this natural state of reset that we have here. And I was looking back at our stats and really there are two series I was looking at what were the most listened to episodes from 2021 kind of a year in review.
And to be honest, Bob, as I look at that, man, these are great episodes for staying focused on what you need to stay focused on to be resilient and to persevere and thrive in 2022. Anticipating, another difficult year at the beginning of 2021, we had a great series called the six irreducible minimums of 2021.
And we can recap here in a [00:04:00] second. It was really good. We had another really good series off of your formula for overcoming your resistance to change. Those two were really the bulk of our most listened to episodes, which is exciting. and then the other kind of sets of most of those two episodes came from two of our guests.
We had Brian Croft on to talk about practical, shepherding his ministry. And then we had two episodes with Keelan cook called church trends, where we talked about the Netflix of vacation of church and some other things like that, that really encompasses all of our most listened to episodes in 2021.
And so I thought if we did a quick rundown recap of some of those is high points for us to focus on yet again, as we start a brand new.
Bob Bickford: I love it. I get the sense of, just the pastors I’m interfacing with it and it’s here we go again. It seems like. You know, Omicron is, hitting and, you know, people are still trying to figure out how to have services and some people are pulling back and [00:05:00] then guys are trying to capitalize on momentum of the first of the year, all those sorts of things.
So I think it’s a great idea for us to maybe touch on some of those things that we talked about last year, as we head into this year.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. So one is the six irreducible minimums for 2021. I’m going to list out the six and then I just want to hear your commentary on which ones stand out to You Bob. And if we want to add anything as we go into 2022, so anticipating. Coming out of 2020 and going into another hard year, we did a series on these.
And so here they are one pursue first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness to preach the word. Three equip the saints for the work of ministry for make disciples who make disciples five, engage your community, and six trust the Lord to build his church. And we went through each of these through the lens and frame.
Pedo personal interpersonal team and organizational thinking. That was kind of the framework we built those off [00:06:00] of. And the idea was, look, there are a thousand articles out there telling you all the things that you need to do to be a pastor and to survive COVID and to do all these things. And we just wanted to.
Try to reduce the noise a little bit and distill that down to what are the essentials? What are the things you really do need to focus on in this year? And I would echo again, that I think there are still just a lot of things going on and a lot of materials out there telling you all the things you need to do and measure up to and be experts at and how to do this in.
Man. Look there, there’s nothing new under the sun. Difficult ministry seasons are not new. And so. Focus on the irreducible minimums. What stands out to you in those six, Bob?
Bob Bickford: Yeah. You know, I think the there’s three of them that really sort of jump out to me. I would say the first one is make disciples who make disciples. the reality is the best formation is life on life. One-on-one, you know, the small groups, those, and we’re [00:07:00] not talking about a discipleship class where you read a book and then talk about the book, but where you do life on life, when you talk about real specifically, like what does God’s word saying to you?
How are you planning to your life where you challenge, where are you struggling? how can I pray for you? Where are you pushing forward in terms of trusting Jesus and surrendering your life under his leadership more? I think that’s when we talked, I believe in that episode about the definition of discipleship is a continual surrender of your life.
To the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area. And so those are conversations that aren’t dependent upon programmatic gatherings or, you know, schedules and calendars. Those can be relational, they can be table to table, they can be zoom, they can be phone calls. And so I would just encourage guys, man, do that one.
this focus again on that one, I think most guys are preaching the word, right? I think those are that’s kind of foundational or, we could talk about that, but I think the ones that I just would encourage would be, make, decide. Engage the community I think, and engaging the community again, I think would be, let me put a small focus on it in [00:08:00] terms of engage loss, people who are in your relational circles, right?
Personal evangelism conversations about spiritual matters. we see the statistics are telling us that people are discouraged and upset and depressed. Anxious worried, all those sorts of things. They’re trying to figure out everything, economics, the pandemic, all that sort of thing. People need hope and, for a Christian, when the whole world is falling apart, our hope is secure in Christ because everything is, is solid in Christ.
We don’t have, our home is not this world and we don’t have to worry about things. God is always going to provide for us and care for us, even when the world seems to be falling apart. And I think people need to hear about that hope. and so I would, I would say that’s the next one. And then the last one that you mentioned, trust the Lord to build his church.
I’m just really getting this sense. And I even feel like Jimbo. I feel like I got a book in me.
that I want to talk about this, but, you know, going back to the, uh, the overcoming, you know, resistance to change Timbo, there are some really good solid leaders that are really slugging it out in the trenches.
And man, they’re just not seeing [00:09:00] any growth. And then the Lord will transition them to a new mission field, a new ministry opportunity, and then things will just explode or what changed? Well, probably wasn’t the leader necessarily maybe in some ways, but it was where the leader. Began their ministry or where they were, they were called to work.
And so I just had, I think there are some situations where a leader goes into a, context and it’s not going to see the growth, right. That we would say. Numeric growth, you know, buildings, budgets, attendance, you know, all those sorts of things, but there’s growth that’s going on. And I think you just have to trust the Lord to build a search.
I just got this sense when I was thinking about this this morning, how many prophets and leaders were there before Nehemiah that said the same thing that Nehemiah. Like we don’t know. I’m sure there were, we just don’t know, but for whatever in God’s calendar, he raises up Nehemiah and Nehemiah is the one whom God uses in a powerful way to make, make a difference in the nation of Israel.
So what I would say is, you know, guys just keep [00:10:00] working and trust in the Lord And allowing God to make your assignments what they are, and then, trust him to build the church, around you. And then I guess I would, can I add a bonus one to the irreducible minimums to go from six to seven here in 2022
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, come on, bring it
Bob Bickford: mission to add a bonus one here’s one I want to add rest, like just rest and Sabbath.
I think. Jim bell. One of the most important things for the coming year is well rested leaders who have the joy of the Lord in their lives because they Sabbath. Right. All the, all of the things that we, mentioned, the six irreducible minimums either have to do with a mindset or a surrender or an action.
And I want to add rest to the list because I think our people. our pastors, our churches, our culture needs to be able to rest fully in the Lord. And the only way they can do that is to Sabbath. Well, and just to realize, there’s, there’s gotta be a day in your life at least one [00:11:00] day a week, where you put aside every care and concern and you worship and you enjoy God’s blessings and provision.
And I think if we can do that and do that well, that’ll really shine a bright light into the culture that needs to have hope right.
JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. And, you know, we talked about it a little bit in our rhythms or rule of life episode, and in some others have taken care of yourself that we did towards the end of last year. And when we had Brian Croft on to talk about practical shepherding, he added a shepherd, the flock as his seventh, to our six irreducible minimums.
Cause it was right after that. here’s the, the point we’re trying to make guys. Don’t get distracted by the demands of others, ask God for the wisdom and discernment to know his voice from your own and others on what it is you’re supposed to do, including our voice right now, in any voice like you as a godly leader, one of the things we have to do.
Kind of [00:12:00] get away from all the noise, sit with the Lord and ask him what it is he wants us to do. And I know in some of the. Most difficult seasons of ministry that I’ve had, that it was a lot of times it was just so much noise, so many different voices speaking into what I was supposed to be doing, that it became overwhelming.
And I needed to just sit with the Lord and that’s where man, I I’ve read Psalms and Proverbs every day for a long time. And, but it, it was during it’s been during those seasons that it’s become. Like a safe place, like a refuge, like the idea of the Lord being my refuge came very true to me in the songs in those seasons.
And it’s one of the reasons I still read date, the five daily songs and the chapter Proverbs every day. And, so. Even if you need a district, if this list is overwhelming to you, right. Then disregard it, disregard it. And here’s the one thing you need to do. Here’s the one [00:13:00] thing you need to sit down with the Lord, sit at the feet of Jesus and let him speak into your soul.
What it is you need to do.
Bob Bickford: absolutely. I love this idea about, sitting before the Lord and just. And waiting is a word that none of us like, especially in our culture, right. And you and I both have been on international mission trips and, the schedule from the culture that, that we bring in, you know, about fast paced and moving and being on time and be in early and all that sort of stuff.
And that’s, that is definitely different in some cultures and that rush and that pace to achieve. create something in us that has a spiritual dynamic to it. And it runs counter purpose with the Lord, often in what he wants to do in our lives. So I’ve, I’ve found that man, just guys. If you’re tired of all the consultant emails and all of the programs that you’re getting in their inbox and unsubscribed from those silence, those mute, those don’t feel the pressure.
If we’re, [00:14:00] if you feel like we’re adding pressure, man, hear what Jimbo said, just in terms of may get, get the, get your Bible, go outside, go to a coffee. Just read, just journal and just think and meditate on those words in scripture and let the Lord refresh your heart. And in your mind, you’re going to be exhausted from working and from the mental work and the mental leadership that you give to, you know, the church and to your ministry, your family, yourself, just let the Lord refresh you.
I think that’s going to be really, really important for 2020.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
another book that was really good for me in those seasons is called, uh, preachers catechism. man. It’s a, it’s a really great little book that has some daily readings that, It was great for my soul, to read that the preacher’s catechism it’s, it’s a joy giving book for preachers. And so I would encourage you to look at that as well. so in our year end review six irreducible minutes moms plus the one that Bob added arrest, plus the one that prac Brian [00:15:00] Croft added. So make it whatever list of seven you want, or just make it the list of.
And just sit before the Lord and listen for his voice. we did a great series on overcoming resistance to change where we talked about holy discontent plus vision plus first steps. Plus leadership is greater than resistance to change. That’s all wisdom from the beautiful triple B. the bodacious, the below average Bob Bickford and, That is great stuff.
I encourage you to go back to those encouraged, to go back, listen to the two episodes we did with Caitlin cook. We talked about the Netflix vacation of church and how to process all of that that’s going on and what all that means. but there’s one other thing I want to look at as a year in review. Bob is you have made a transition in your ministry setting.
And so I just wanted to hear from you and let our listeners hear from you kind of, What, were your reasons for that? And what are you seeing the Lord do in your heart? in that transition?
Bob Bickford: Yeah, I think it’s Jimbo. So, uh, I put [00:16:00] it out on a Facebook post, The announcement, in mid December that I was transitioning away from my lead pastor role at the Grove church here in Webster Grove, St. Louis Metro area, and, been here for nine years, serving for nine years, replanted the church in 2014 came in 2012, replied to the.
14. And then, really just saw some great stuff happen. in the strength of our, our season of ministry, there was, you know, 17, 18 and 19 and just. Lots of young families, lots of babies, you know, all just really, really cool stuff. Marriage is say, people come to another Lord. So as good season, 2020 hit, and a man, like a lot of guys that are listening to us, it was a hard time for us.
In that time. We had a lot of, folks that moved away. a lot of folks that dropped out of church. And, and so, as we were examining that through 2020, and then also through 2021, it really became evident to me that. In my part-time pastoring role, in leading the grows that the, leadership that the church needed and the [00:17:00] time that I had available to give to the church to help.
Continue to move forward as the pandemic kind of prolongs. And as the church moves into a new season of life, those two were just nodding. Those are two are not compatible any longer. and so over about a nine to six month time period, you know, talked with the elders. Barbara. And I talked about it, we prayed about it.
We just became more convinced that I needed to step out of that role in order to allow the church to move forward. and some of you guys know if you follow me on social media, Twitter, or Facebook, you know that one of the things. I think this is catching on Jimbo. Whenever we’re traveling to go to a replant, a road trip somewhere, we’ll take a picture of our feet and our, uh, our backpacks.
And then we’ll say where we’re going and what we’re doing. And, that’s just kind of a fun way. And I think that reminds me of Paul’s verse, you know, blessed are those plus the feet of those who bring the good news. Right. And so, you know, that’s just kind of a thing we started doing. So, you know, that.
Part of our role is traveling. And as 2021 opened up and is 20, 22 is open right [00:18:00] now, the travel that, we engage in to help churches across north America is just increasing in. And so, as I looked at the schedule of for 2022, particularly the first three months, The needs of the church, where I was at in terms of leadership and what the church needed.
It just made sense that this was a time for us to step away and let the church move on in the future with a new leader and new direction. So I’m happy to say the elders have stepped up and we’ve got some preachers coming in. We’ve got an interim that’s possibly. and the there’s strong core group there.
That’s looking to really basically replant the replant, I think. And in essence. And so man, if you’re, if you want to move to St. Louis and Webster groves, and you’re interested in replanting, let me know. I’ve got, I’ve got a great core group of people. A building was paid off and some money in the bank and I can give you all the history and show you, uh, all of the ins and outs of, the ministry context it’s here.
We’re convinced that. There needs to be a gospel presence in our city. And that it’s a, it’s a place where it’s a difficult to proclaim the [00:19:00] gospel into the ministry, but it’s very much needed. And so, we’re hopeful and prayerful that that God will bring that next leader to lead the church forward. But it just made sense for us at this time to step aside.
And I think it’s been affirmed over and over in the last few weeks. for us, just in terms of, you know, walking in, assurance and confidence that that was the right decision, having a sense of joy, about the next season of life and ministry and having a sense of, I would say the, the weight, the weightiness of that decision behind us has freed us up.
To really, you know, look at and ask some questions about what are what’s, what is our role for the kingdom in this next season of life and in terms of investing and encouraging others. And so Barbara and I are exploring that and excited it’s our plans are we’re sustained St. Louis for the time. Going to love people around here going to involve in a local church, be a good church member and, uh, and do that.
So I appreciate all of those who reached out and Jimbo. Thank you for, you know, as you’ve gone through that path before I [00:20:00] did kind of helping me think about some things and ask the right questions and navigate that. And, so we’re, we’re just in a place where we. That we’re assured that that’s what God has called us to do.
And we’re praying for the church as it moves forward. And we’re excited about, the opportunity to continue to focus on equipping and helping leaders in churches face their future in the coming day. So that’s, what’s up with me.
JimBo Stewart: I mean, I just want to encourage you that it is obvious that God used you in your time there at the groves to replant it, to let it see a new chapter and to prepare it for whatever its next chapter is. But I also just want to affirm and express appreciation and honor you in your humility and willingness to hear from the Lord.
Hey, I’m not the savior of this. And in the next phase, it’s not me. That’s supposed to lead it at this, at this season. And knowing that it’s the Lord’s church and not yours, that’s a hard thing. I mean, that’s having walked through [00:21:00] that. It is, it’s hard to walk away in a sense from your baby that you’ve put so much blood, sweat, and tears and time into and trust it with somebody else.
but ultimately not even trust it with somebody else with trusted with the Lord. And so. man, thank you for trusting the Lord in your journey. And I’m excited to see how God continues to use you and Barb to influence my life in so many others.
Bob Bickford: Appreciate that, man. I think, what I would say is, there’s likely some guys who are listening to us here at the bootcamp. Are trying to evaluate the longevity of their call and thinking through that. And I just want to say that’s a good, and worthy process for you to lean into and ask the Lord to give you wisdom.
And if there’s some way Jimbo or I can be helpful to you in that man, reach out, let us know. Contact us on the bootcamp hotline or the email. And we would love to just connect with you, encourage you in and listen and help you think about your future and the [00:22:00] future of the church that God has you at and what he might be doing in you and in the church.
JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we do this is we want to be able to serve you guys in your journey. Walk alongside you as you’re out there, boots on the ground. And we are in just a different capacity. and so one of the ways that you can do that is you can meet us in February. We will be in the big, easy in new Orleans for planter conference.
That is a conference as good for people who are potential re planters that are considering it, new to replanting potential. Revitalizer new to revitalization, or even pastors that I’ve been talking a lot of pastors lately that their churches are a little healthier in the. Given opportunities to replant the churches are approaching them for help.
It’s happening more and more these days. And so those pastors are asking a lot of questions about what kind of guy do I need in there? What, what is our church need to do? This is a great introduction conference [00:23:00] for those guys as well. And one of the guys that’s already signed up to be at that conference is Josh.
Wall-E a K a life group, hype man, one of our other guests from 2021.
Bob Bickford: Yes.
JimBo Stewart: and, uh, he’s just a fun guy. I love, I mean, I love walking, watching him on social media as he hypes up life groups and impersonates mark Clifton. he, uh, dressed like mark Clifton for Halloween and it was awesome. And he is also the winner of.
The echo dot. And so Josh, we’re going to message you, you can message us and either way, uh, let us know if you want us to mail that to you where you want us to mail it to, or since you’re registered for EMI replant, or if you want to hand it to you there. And so come meet us and Joshua and double dock, and all of our wives in new Orleans in February, we’ll have a registration link for you that, and the show.
All right guys, have a great year [00:24:00] and go tag is.
Brian Croft, focus, transition, year in review