EP 133 – PERSEVERANCE AS A REPLANTER
Our good friend Mark Hallock stops by to talk about the nuts and bolts work of Replanting a local church, but before getting to strategy, Mark looks at the character and heart of the Replant Pastor.
Replanter be aware of this:
- We need the supernatural presence of God in Replanting – so pray!
- We are called to Shepherd God’s people, the flock in our church!
- We will face challenges in this work – we must persevere!
- In loving and leading our family
- In dealing with conflict
- In managing your schedule well
- Shepherding and Membership matter-get it right and your work will be filled with Joy!
In Mark’s new book, The Perseverance of a Faithful Pastor, he unpacks practical steps, actions and heart postures to take as you lead in your Replant.
Check out Mark’s books, get equipped, encouraged and ready yourself to serve the Lord and people.
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JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Here we are back at the bootcamp, Bob. I hope you’re ready for the next episode. As we continue our Atlanta series here in the Bob Beck for presidential suite. When you’re the big boss, you get the big room with the big view.
Bob Bickford: Well, this was like a month worth of
JimBo Stewart: podcasts. I really hope people like this.
Cause this is coming out for awhile. You
Bob Bickford: just keep creeped out in the room. It’s like it’s a mega mansion or something. It’s just a clean deluxe suite.
JimBo Stewart: I, you know, the same every time I should’ve just like escalated each time.
Bob Bickford: In Dallas, like yeah,
JimBo Stewart: all that kinda stuff. Excuse me. We have to pause for a moment.
Bob’s Butler is coming in with his hot towel for his face so that he can sleep well tonight. I have, I remember flying when they used to give you the hot towel. Oh, you ever fly you on the airplane? You get a hot towel. I think it was on a foreign mission trip. And like you got that first time they handed it.
I had no idea what I was supposed to do with that. They hand it to me. I [00:01:00] was like, what, what do I do? Why didn’t you just put this in my hands? And then the guy next to me, like starts wiping his face. And I was like, oh yeah. Okay. So I’ve started wiping my face. Yeah. When I was in,
Bob Bickford: uh, when I went to Africa and Nairobi blew into, um, Kisumu.
And then we did a trip in the Masai Mara and, uh, the land Rover came over the hill and the guy had a little, like a bamboo steamer basket. Yeah. Open it up and took tongs and gave me the hot towel. Yeah, that was pretty great.
JimBo Stewart: Well, so box Butler just handed him. he looked down on me cause I’m not high-class enough, but I’m just glad I get to be in here for long enough to record a few episodes with the boss, man.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, we got a great
JimBo Stewart: guest. I’m excited about our guest today. This has been a lot of fun. this event is almost like you said, it’s like, like camp for associational leaders and re planters. And, and so we get to hang out here and see some of the same faces each year and some of our favorite people.
And so we have the blessing idea to record some [00:02:00] episodes with those guys. And one of our favorite guys, happy huggy Halleck, triple H. Mark Hallock.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, my co author, a couple books.
JimBo Stewart: I mean just by law of averages, he’s, co-authored a couple of books with you cause he’s written 75 books. no, I love mark Hallock and I love his heart and his
Mark Hallock: humility. Oh God, I got to this triple H thing is unbelievable. I mean, cause I think like was a wrestler yes.
With beautiful flowing blonde hair. Yes. But what’s hilarious is like, I think the first time we talked, like you threw it out there and I thought, yeah, he’ll never remember. And you’re just leading it. It’s like, this is who I am. I am triple edge. Th
JimBo Stewart: this, this is, so this is headline huggy, Alec. When you become a guest on the podcast, you eventually get a nickname.
That’s just, that’s how it works. When you’re a guest on the bootcamp. I, somewhere we gotta, we gotta come up with an Rumba. Is Johnny on the spot? Josh dryers, double doc. Cause [00:03:00] he has two doctoral degrees. Uh, and so we find. To get it in there, man. We’re excited to have you on here to talk about three of your 7,000 bucks that you, that you’ve written, but they’re really beneficial books.
So I joke but also very appreciative because it’s, it’s good material that I recommend to people. All right.
Mark Hallock: Praise the Lord. I hope it’s
JimBo Stewart: helpful. It is. It is. So you’ve got to, you have, brought the third and a series that, so walk us through the series real quick.
So guys can know, and we’ll put links in the show
Mark Hallock: notes. That sounds great. So basically started. I guess three or four years ago was when, uh, the book first book came out. So basically this is a three part series that we’re just calling the leading church revitalization series. replant roadmap was a book.
I wrote, I can’t remember four or five years ago. They’re really kind of looked at some of a lot of the why. A lot of the [00:04:00] why talking about just the reality of churches are dying and counting the cost of that. If we’re going to be in. How can we help these kinds of things, Bob and I spent a lot of time working on a couple of books on partnership and, and, uh, assessing your readiness.
Am I a replant or things like this? This series is now getting into the nuts and bolts of how to actually do that. Um, how do you lead effectively lead church revitalization, as a pastor. And so the three books in this series, the first book is called the posture of a godly leader. And, you know, part of this was just thinking back through my own journey, honestly, and going one of the things, that, that I learned, either mistakes I made or.
Things by God’s grace then went well. that was unique. Uh, not only to Calvary Inglewood where I pastor, but other church plants we’ve seen be successful there, come out of there. And so it all begins really with the heart posture of the leader. And [00:05:00] so that’s where we have to start. And so in that book, we talk about the importance of six things, six heart postures humility before the Lord humility before others.
I love a deep love for God and people. I mean, if you don’t love the Lord and love people, you shouldn’t be a replant or revivalist, patients. What does it look like to be patient with in, in replant circles? We talk about tactical patients. Yep. And that’s a big deal, man. because if you are very impacted, You’re not going to th this is going to be a hard ministry for you.
And then, uh, fourthly look at faith, the role of faith, like actually having to live by faith and not by sight. in this ministry, the fifth mark, there would be passion. I really believe passion or. is really important in leadership. It’s one of those things we don’t talk enough about. I don’t think of how do you, how do you light people up and actually help them?
I think it goes back to kind of persuasion, like pinnacle persuasion. but I think that’s important. I think a lot of leaders can have a lot of stuff, the right [00:06:00] stuff on paper, but they don’t know how to lead with. And passion. I think the apostle Paul, I think we can look at a lot of scriptures. The point to that kind of leadership.
It’s the same reason why most people are drawn to any leader is really passionate and zeal. and then the last one is joy, the joy of the Lord. And so those would be those postures in, that first book. On the possible value. The second book, which actually came out last year is called the priorities of a shepherd pastor.
And that book, is really kind of talks about my favorite stuff, to be honest. So, there’s, there’s chapters on preaching on the importance of prayer because I am just so convinced in these conversations, if we cannot just assume prayer that I, and I see, I, I see a lot of folks I’ve heard a lot of teachings.
about methods and methodologies. Here’s what I know. We need the supernatural power of the spirit of God to move. And we should not expect him to bless us if we’re not on our faces before the Lord. And I don’t care how big your church gets. I don’t care who you [00:07:00] are. That is God’s formula. That’s what he wants.
And so talk about the place of. and then shepherding. So shepherding, how do you develop a strategic shepherding strategy? not only a macro level strategy for the congregation, but on a micro level, which I believe is not only the call of a pastor. It’s it is the thing that makes your church stickier than sticky and in smaller, enormous I’ve church size churches that aren’t going to compete with the big boys down the street programmatically.
What do we have? We have, we have shepherd. That we can do on it. That doesn’t mean though that they’re going to do it right. But I do think it’s biblically key to helping our churches get healthy and grow. And then this last book. So that’s priorities in this last book that just came out is called the perseverance of a faithful minister.
And it’s dealing with, it’s basically there’s nine chapters. And I break it down into three chapters under what I just call matters of the heart. And so that’s looking at, well, let me just say [00:08:00] this. These are nine things that I think are our strategies can, we could add more. It’s not exhaustive, but, but nine things that I think if we pursue them, rightly will help us to persevere through the ups and downs.
Uh, of ministry. I also think if we neglect these nine things, any one of them can take us out. and so basically just as an overview quickly, the, the first three fall under the heading, I just call ’em matters of the heart. And so we talk about number one, cultivating a heart for long haul ministry.
Like how do you actually cultivate a heart that understands this? Isn’t an overnight thing that this is going to be hard. A long obedience in the same direction, in a culture that doesn’t get long fate, long haul faithfulness. So that’s number one. The second thing into that is rooting your, your, your life in ministry in the gospel.
That if we are not rooted in the gospel, if Jesus is not our treasure, if our identity is not in Christ, I just don’t see how you’re going to make it a ministry [00:09:00] period. Let alone. In church revitalization and replanting. So what does that actually mean? Practically? And then the third one under matters of the heart is deals with your marriage and your kids.
How do I, first and foremost, make sure I am loving and leading my wife and children with the grace of Jesus biblically. as we see more and more guys neglect their family, This is a big deal. This is really important. And it’s qualification for elderships biblically. And so uniquely integer vitalization, how do we make sure they’re our first ministry and they know it and they know we love them more than anything.
And so talk about that. And in the next three are under a second kind of part to this book is what I’ve just called ministry challenges. And I just try to focus in, again, there’s so many things you could put under here. But the, the three things that I think you’ve got to nail one is how do you face criticism and a godless?
Hmm. So in other words, you’re going to be criticized and assumptions. You need to be criticized a lot more than other [00:10:00] churches, but that can be like kryptonite to a lot of us to the point where, if our skin is really, really thin, we were actually paralyzed by it. And so how do you get right perspective on receiving.
Criticism from different types of people, right? There’s different types of criticism coming from different types of critics and, and hopefully be able to not only, you know, kind of look at my own heart in light of that, but how do I deal with that? The second thing is dealing with conflict in a biblical.
And so I quote Bob several times in there because I think Bob’s written really good stuff on conflict and criticism, but conflict in particular, but you’ve got to deal with conflict in a, in a way that’s not divisive being. so we’ve gotta be biblical. And how do you do that? How do you lead a church through conflict in a way that you know what there’s going to be some guys who need to get off the bus?
Probably you’ve got to protect the sheep at the same time. If you’re the guy who just sees every Hills, the hill to die [00:11:00] on and you love conflict, you’re going to blow up the church and it’s not going to be good for anybody. So how do we deal with it in a biblical way? The third thing under that is managing your.
This is another thing I think support for every passenger, but at tertiary vitalization, I, I know with us as we raise a lot of guys in our residency, trying to figure out, man, how do I manage my schedule? Well, especially if I’m not getting a full-time salary. So a lot of our guys are by vocational. I’ve got a wife, I’ve got kids.
I’ve got a lot of different things I could focus on in the church. Right. Everything needs. Help. And so how do I get strategic with my time and my energy for the long haul? So we’re getting real practical there because if you can’t manage your schedule, you’re dead meat, man. You’re just, you’re going to get eaten up.
So. Go there. And then the last part of this book is under what I call multiplying ministry. And there’s three chapters in that the first is on developing and deploying leaders. How do you begin to intentionally [00:12:00] develop and deploy leaders in a church revitalization context where you don’t have many people and you probably don’t have many leaders.
but how do you begin to change the culture of leadership development? So much of this, I believe hinges on leadership development, giving up control, giving away. Building platforms of others, not yourself. I mean, these kinds of things in the church, the, and then number eight would be the necessity of biblical pastors and deacons.
We’ve got it. We’ve especially as Baptist man. We have got to get clear on our and specifically biblical pastors and a plurality of pastor elders is what we would call them. And deacons. What is a deacon? What is not, what is a deacon do? What are they. You know, what are they doing? And then the last chapters on membership, if you don’t do membership well, and biblically, clearly it’s going to be hard for the pastor elders to know their role.
It’s gonna be hard for the deacons to know their role. And so again, I, I think this last section is really on the leadership, the ecclesiology of the church. We have to get it right. If we don’t get that [00:13:00]right. Who cares about all the X’s and O’s, you know, who cares about all the strategies? We talk about the, why has come before.
Bob says that. And that’s so true. And I think at church revitalization, nobody gets pumped about ecclesiology, but we need to see that this is, this is where God starts in the local church. And if you’re not ordered, rightly don’t expect this thing to grow in a healthy way. So that’s a lot, and that’s an overview of the book, but I’m really excited about it.
I hope it’s helpful. And I hope it’s, it’s practical, for readers. So is
Bob Bickford: this made. Guys to go through on their own in groups. I mean, what, what’s one of the best ways, like some of our bootcampers here, all these things and like, first of all, it man, that’s like, it felt like, like a similar. At semester class, all of that stuff.
That’s like a, that’s a lesson. Like you could do devote a week of study every single one of these things. So like, walk me through as, as a replant, [00:14:00] if I’m out there. What, what are some good ways for me to use this
Mark Hallock: material? Well, one is, I think just you reading it yourself. I mean, it’s like, so with each chapter, You know, I put together eight or nine, reflection and journaling questions.
I think we need to create space to read and think about these things. I really do. We’ve gotta be readers. We’ve gotta be readers. Uh, the world is out reading Christians, they know stuff, and we’ve got to grow as readers. But I think also when I say. I’ve tried my best to write books that are actually readable because people don’t, they get overwhelmed.
Right. I mean, we’re all busy. And so that’s why these books tend to be shorter. the tone of the books is like you and I are having coffee very intentionally. I don’t want it to be academic. I want to be very practically helpful at the same time. Get us thinking together. So I would say one, if you’re by yourself, do that.
But I would say this is the exact material that I use with the cohorts through the Calvary family churches. So right now I’ve got two different [00:15:00] cohorts, an online cohort where we have 20 guys around the country in various churches working through this material together. And so we get. We and we come together and discuss it together.
It’s been incredibly beneficial, I think. And, and edifying. at the same time we have a smaller group of five guys that are reading this at our church and we’re going through it too. So I always think anything you read, it’s better to get with other guys and have discussion. Yeah. And to hear other thoughts and insight, I would encourage guys with honestly, just find two buddies, read, set up a time if it’s not every week, every other week for an hour and a half and zoom together and just talk about this stuff, you know, you can do that wherever you are.
so there’s different ways to use the material. but I think these are things that are important to think through. Now, I will say this, this book. Every one of these chapters, there are way better books that have been written on each one of these topics individually. The problem is most guys aren’t going to read nine, 400 pagers on each of these topics.[00:16:00]
So this is a primer for sure. But again, I think. learning often starts with primers. You know what I mean? And so I w I would encourage guys to give it a shot. The other cool thing about this. I had a friend, Michael Morgan, who’s a professor at the end of each chapter. He gives us a historical picture.
What we call, pers portraits of perseverance of just key figures throughout the history of the church. that, lived out that particular chapter. So for instance, if you, if you don’t know, Charles Simeon was a pastor, who was criticized, it’s an incredible story. He pastored the same church over 50 years in England.
And man, you talk about this guy. I mean, literally they, they were throwing dead cats at him while he was preaching. I mean, insane, insane. Just read about, I mean, yeah, this is another level, but it’s, they learned some history to partly to say, Hey. We aren’t the only ones who have suffered. We are not alone in this.
We’re in this together. This is hard, but there are those who’ve been gone before us. There are those even today [00:17:00] that we need to link arms and we can do this by God’s grace together. So, so
Bob Bickford: is there a particular order that the trilogy, if we, you know, want to work through them, can they. Because some of this is going to be really drawn to the practical thing, just outlaid for
JimBo Stewart: that.
Or they feel like, I don’t know if I can persevere. Do I just need to read the perseverance
Mark Hallock: one now? Yeah. They’re all standalone. So that’s good. Yeah, it doesn’t. I mean, honestly, I mean, they kind of build off each other at the same time. They’re completely standalone books. yeah, I would say this, if there’s a guy I’m talking to and he’s in the pit and he’s like really struggling, he trying to figure, it feels overwhelmed.
I would give him this third book and I would say by this, this is written to encourage you, but it’s also helped designed to help you think through some things that are going to help you get healthy again and sustainable. A lot of, we get a lot of calls. I mean, a lot of guys I talked to about shepherd.
how to develop that shepherding strategy. So book number two, I give up all the time on priorities. So depending on where you’re at and where your church is at [00:18:00] and where your ministry is at, I hope that these could be beneficial as standalone books.
JimBo Stewart: And one of the things you said is that this is a primer, into maybe some other things beyond that.
When you do these cohorts, are these the only three books you’re using in those cohorts or are you adding other stuff to.
Mark Hallock: Yeah, no, that’s good. Well, to be honest, these books, actually, I typically don’t have our guys read. I teach all the material from us, so they’re not actually reading. No, no, no. So this is all the stuff that I teach.
and so we supplement the teaching stuff with other books yeah. With other books. But what would be some of the other books that you supplement with? Well, yeah, I mean, throw out, throw out a topic. I mean, it kind of depends on, you know, what we’re talking about, but, If you’re talking about in perseverance in particular, man.
Well, that’s a good question. I mean, obviously I would probably break it down into, you know, if you’re talking about ecclesiology, like you’re talking about passer elders, you know, I would [00:19:00]say, you know, again, the classic book you need to read, even if you, if you’re not, or if you’re wrestling with the eldership thing is Alexander Strauss book biblical eldership, it’s a classic It has been pretty convincing.
It’s pretty heavy, but I have our guys read that another one’s called the shepherd leader, which is written by, my mentor in my doctoral program got in Timothy Whitmer at Westminster. which I think is a really important book. We have all of our guys reading. One, not only to understand biblically what is a pastor and what a pastor is a shepherd.
What does that mean to know feed lead and protect the flock, but then practically, how do you know lead feed and protect the flock? So the shepherd leader is one. we always read, Bob through. Is, it has a book called gospel eldership that I would highly recommend. And what Bob does so well, is he kind of, he looks at the heart of the elder and applies the gospel to that in a very unique way that I think, I think it’s really helpful.
so those would all be, be books among others that I can’t think of right now that we would be reading on that topic.[00:20:00] You know, as far as like just insurance in ministry and persevering in ministry, honestly we read a lot of the Puritans, Richard, Baxter’s the reform pastor. I think part of this is, is you’ve gotta, you gotta help guys develop a theology of.
I think honestly, and so we’re kind of out of the realm of just ministry stuff. This is, this is theology now, how do you understand the Providence of God in light of your suffering, whatever that is. Right. And we all experienced suffering in different ways and in our families health, these kinds of things.
But I think sometimes you have to approach ministry as a form of suffering. And some ways that the Lord wants to use to sanctify you. And so you’re getting a lot deeper beneath here. Five ways to stay to, you know, stay positive.
Bob Bickford: Yeah. I mean, I think there you be pointing out something that is missing is that the theology of suffering, because most, most casual graduate.
And they think that, getting their degree with suffering, right? So there’s a level of suffering that’s [00:21:00] involved in school that people can full-time me and a family, and you go to school and all that for yourself, but there’s not That is a con suffering in a controlled environment for the most part, if it’s just academic, but there’s so many levels of our lives in terms of suffering, relational, spiritual, all of those sorts of things.
And so when I think of suffering, I think a second from things one when Paul writes about the hardships that he injured in ministry and Cisco. We have to think about that ministry is not a cakewalk. And I think that’s why your book on perseverance is important. I think that the, the suffering that, we’re hoping to guard guys from is the suffering from their mistakes.
I love the, the there’s a meme on Facebook and it’s a, I think it’s a Mexican restaurant in Texas somewhere. sometimes you, experienced bad things because you’re stupid. Like that choices. Right?
JimBo Stewart: My favorite, one of that is everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you’re an idiot.
Bob Bickford: Yeah. Whatever version of that. So I think we need, we need t-shirts for that, but, so there’s that suffering? Just like, okay. That is like earned, suffering. Like I just did something dumb. But then there’s the suffering that God uses for a specific person per a purpose, your sanctification, or what second Corinthian says?
Well, it says that dependent creating a dependency on God, but also for the comfort of others. That’s right. So that’s where the full theology comes through. I don’t know that in the midst of that suffering that you have that perspective. No, it’s not till
Mark Hallock: after. Well, yeah, that’s right. And I think again, I’ve heard da Carson say this years ago, He said, you’ve got to help develop a theology of suffering in your people before the suffering comes, because when you’re in the midst of the suffering, you’re in survival mode.
And if you aren’t rooted in suffering, I think about that when my son got cancer three years ago and how I, I remember, that was the hardest trial of our lives as parents. And I remember thinking [00:23:00] the night I’m in the hospital and just found out my son’s diagnosed with cancer and it’s severe. Going okay.
God, here’s the test I’ve been working. I’ve been waiting for my whole life. Do I really believe what you said? I bylaw, let me say, I believe. And by God’s grace, he sustained me and us in that, in our faith. But I think the same thing’s true in ministry. Like this is where, when we talk about counting the. We really mean you got to count the cost because this is not going to be a cakewalk.
You know what I mean? And this is where I think also, James, as you were talking about, you know, what does it mean to consider a pure joy when you face trials of many kinds? Well, the only way that you can consider it joy. In the midst of trials of Jesus truly is your treasure above anything and everything else to the point where whatever the world throws at me, whatever these people throw at me, it can’t touch this joy and I’m going to keep loving you.
And I’m going to, you know what I mean? It is a supernatural thing. I don’t think there’s anything more contagious in the life of a Christian leader than. [00:24:00] Um, and so how do we get that joy? How do we see? This is a lot of stuff I think, and seminary can maybe help you begin thinking through this theologically, but this is the heart of the revitalizer.
This is the stuff that if you aren’t there beforehand, I would say to a guy, man, these are things you need to explore because when credit hits the fan, Do you have it in your guts to, to enjoy Jesus more than anything, no matter what comes, when your, when your son gets cancer, are you going to be out?
You know, and so, anyway, I think it’s a good conversation, but theology of suffering is really important. So let me
JimBo Stewart: ask one last question. One minute answer. If a guy is listening to this and he is struggling to persevere and. The idea of reading a book right now, doesn’t feel like the next step for him.
What would be. Well, speak to that guy
Mark Hallock: for follow here’s. What I would say. I mean, I’d say a lot of things, I’d say one [00:25:00] is unique. You’re loved by the Lord and he loves you and you don’t need to prove anything to him. He is so pleased with you. he doesn’t see you the way you even see yourself and how others see you.
And so in and basking in that reality, but preaching the gospel to yourself, I think is so important. I would also say that this. I know when I feel so weak, I don’t feel like reading. I need the word read over me. Yeah. And so I would literally say, find a version of the, uh, an audio Bible. there’s different ways of getting it and find some key passages that you can listen to over and over.
You don’t have the strength to read. Right. But you can hear the truth of the word and let the spirit brother encourage you with the truth of God’s word and just reign over your soul right now, because you need truth because Satan’s lion. Well, Satan’s lying to you. You’re a failure. You’re weak. you’re a bad husband.
You don’t know how to lead. You’re terrible [00:26:00] preacher, if it weren’t this or that, whatever it is. Right. And the way to counter lies is with the truth. And so the other thing I would say is you, you, you’ve got to reach out and find some community or some other pastors who you can just. And not you feel ashamed because life’s thinking hard and ministry is hard and there are guys who want to love you and you need to let them love you in this time.
So those would be some things that I would say right now. I think those are things we all need to remember. Let’s get him.
JimBo Stewart: That’s a good word. And just so all of our listeners know, every time. One of these books, you make
Mark Hallock: $75. Oh man. You know? Yeah. I make a lot of money off these now. Actually it all goes just back into missions and that’s what I wanted her to hear.
Bob Bickford: they need the child gets a hug, so
JimBo Stewart: they’ll do that. That’s right?
Mark Hallock: Yeah. When you buy the book. Yeah. Yeah. Now these books literally for a coma, press our vision, any of our books for the most part books, I’ve [00:27:00] written Bob others. and this is just to, to fuel the movement of church revitalization for tree planting and planning across the globe.
That’s it? this isn’t our stuff to make money off of. Are you kidding me? This is the Lords. And so it’s our joy to just resource and give away as much as we can for that purpose. All right. Thanks
JimBo Stewart: for listening.