EP 148 – When You Blow It Big Time
Have you ever blown it? Like, really blown it. Have you blown it like this guy – https://youtu.be/MHVsBy31ISI
Let’s talk about three ways you can blow it….
Disqualifying – you do something to disqualify yourself from ministry (in some cases people debate about this one, we think scripture is clear)
Actions: repent, resign, enter into a process of spiritual not positional restoration. (don’t already have a vision of when you are able to get “back” into ministry in mind.
Disconcerting – something that causes those led by you to feel unsettled. (not disqualifying)
Disappointing – Something that lets others down, misses the mark of their expectations etc.
If you’ve made a mistake on the caliber of the latter two…here are some options….
Connect with those who have been hurt or offended Matt 5:23
Correct a misstep or wrong or hurtful action – an unqualified apology Romans 12:18
Consider (for you) how this took place, what happened what was said, done etc. know the why’s behind the action. The 5 Why’s
Don’t be paralyzed by a mistake – you’re going to make them, you will not lead without offending, misstating and even doing something wrong-own it, deal with it and then move forward.
Other misc. thoughts.
Sit with your mistake and process it – think it through
You can be right but in the wrong way
Our great partners at one eighty digital can help you avoid blowing it when it comes to your church website and branding. Contact them today and let them know you are a bootcamp listener. I promise they won’t make their own kingdom in the video room.
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 into the sweltering heat of summer, I mean, it’s, it’s getting insane here in the state of Florida, as we swelter through everything. AC bills going up, gas price is going up. I, I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to afford to live anymore.
Bob Bickford: well, I hope you’ll be able for it to live. Maybe, maybe we’ll be living in a shed somewhere, but I, so I spent $90 on gas this morning, Jimbo, filling up Barb’s 4runner. 4runner. my college daughter’s home and she was visiting and she ran it outta gas last night, pretty much. So I woke up to that, filled it up 90 bucks.
And then, man, everything’s just crazy going up, like went, went out to eat, at this pizza joint and the bill was like, A hundred bucks. Right? So salads and in three beats is like, man, it is, is expensive. So I know this is affecting our re planters. and we [00:01:00] haven’t, I haven’t heard yet if it’s affecting offerings or not, but, I’m sure this, this is a kind of, one of those seasons where everybody’s going, man, what, what do we do?
So, you know, everybody’s gotta pull back a little. Financially. And, while we’re pulling back financially, the heat is ratcheting up. And so I feel your pain with the air conditioner. You know, I will wake up in the middle of the night feeling, cuz I sleep by my side of the beds by the vent. So I’ll feel the cool air kick on.
And then I’ll just think of dollar signs and just think of like, it’s like. It’s like the, uh, the showcase showdown wheel at the, you know, at the end of prices, right. When they spin the wheel, that’s, that’s the bill, like just going around and around and I’m just like, oh man, this is gonna be a tough.
JimBo Stewart: Oh man. Absolutely. it’s insane. I’ve I’ve my kids, even though they’re older than most of them, the kid menu, I’m just telling ’em you’re you’re back to the kid menu for a while.
Bob Bickford: Well, you know what I know, you know what, so I’m, I’ve been told and I think this is now [00:02:00] true Jimbo. I, I turned double nickels in this last month. And so I think I’m now eligible for the senior discount at most restaurants that mark Clifton would go to.
JimBo Stewart: Come on.
There we go.
Bob Bickford: not restaurants that I would go to, but ones that mark Clifton would go to.
So I may have to start eating at Bob Evans and Denny’s and IHOP and all those places. And just laying down my driver’s license and saying, Hey, give me the senior discount.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, there we go. You gotta, but you gotta go at four 30 for dinner. You can’t
Bob Bickford: Get the early bird and then I’m in bed by like eight. So, you know, that’s pretty much my life
these days. it.
is my life jumbo. That’s
JimBo Stewart: Well, Hey man, congrats to making it to 55 without blowing it big time and disqualifying yourself for ministry at this point. here’s hoping you can make it another 20, 30 years without blowing it big time. Uh it’s that’s, that’s my seamless transition into our topic for today. Bob, what do you do?
Here’s what we’re gonna talk about today. [00:03:00] What do you do when you, when you blow it big time? And so there are different levels of that, but, a lot of times when it, when it comes to church revitalization and replanting, we tend to have a biased in our conversations towards the. Poor perspectives and decisions of church members that create issues.
but sometimes, and you know, and so we talk about like, when you get blamed for things that aren’t really your fault or people complain all the time about things. but what if they’re right. What if you do blow it, what if, I mean, sometimes they are right. Sometimes we do mess up and we fall short of what we were supposed to do or who we’re supposed to be or how we’re supposed to lead.
what do you do when you actually, you mess up, you look at it. You recognize? Yeah. I, I messed up on this one.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, such a, such a good question. And I think it’s, it’s one that every revitalizer and re planter will have to answer, because here’s the reality. We [00:04:00] are going to make mistakes, leadership, mistakes. And we’re going to need to, to address those. And so I think we’d probably need to qualify the mess up and some categories to understand what are we actually talking about.
So when I thought about this, as we were thinking about this podcast, there’s a couple of, categories that I think would be helpful for us to talk about. The first one would be a disqualifying. Mistake, right. or sin, And, we, you do something to disqualify yourself for ministry and, and, you know, we think of the qualifications of ministry in, in first Timothy three, and Titu one, but this would be a moral failure to the degree that you should take, a break.
And probably in some cases, maybe even a permanent break from ministry. Right. And we’ve, we’ve had, you know, it’s been pretty widespread. The terms of, what we’ve seen is in terms of failures from public personas, people who have made significant mistakes had [00:05:00] moral failings and they take a week off and then they’re back in ministry.
this is not what we’re talking about here. There’s some, there’s some mistakes, adultery affairs. Um, Trouble legal trouble, you know, on and on abuse on and on. We could go. And there’s some mistakes that you can make that simply disqualify you for ministry. Now that may not be forever, but that may be for a season.
And then we’re also gonna have the theological debate of if there’s an affair, disqualify someone from ministry permanently, right. And there are people who say yes, and there’s people who say, Hmm, maybe not. But I think one of the things that happens often that that’s. Frustrating for me, Jimbo is when somebody does something that is categorized or could be categorized as a disqualifying mistake, they minimize it and then they just take a, a small step back from ministry or they leave one place and go to another place.
And I think that’s heartbreaking and that’s heartbreaking. And, and I think it’s something that has to be addressed.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I would say you, if you’ve done [00:06:00] something disqualifying or even potentially disqualifying, I think we have to say you don’t get to be the one to decide how long that break is. You don’t get to be the one to decide whether that’s a permanent disqualification or a P. temporary disqualification, but some sort of outside council outside wise help your local association, state convention, maybe can speak into that.
Your elders of your church maybe can speak into that. but depending on what it is, right? Like, and we, you hear stories of, of stuff like this, like. If it’s been like abuse in the sense of, the way you lead, not necessarily sexual abuse, but like you, you are abusive towards people. You lead. The chances are, you’ve built some sort of elder board or deacon board or oversight board that really is, is kind of rubber stamp.
Yes. People. and so. At just, I don’t know, be careful at that point of, of going to those guys and going, Hey, I think I’m good. Just gimme a couple weeks off and then I’ll be back and they go, oh yeah, if you’re on that [00:07:00] board, man, probably reach out to some outside counsel and just get some wisdom on how, how to approach that unique situation.
Every situation’s gonna be unique and there’s a temptation to soften the blow a little bit. but we need to be really careful in that type of situation.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, I agree. I really appreciate the, wisdom in your recommendation of, you’re not the one that determines if you’re able to step back in ministry or not. You have to, to submit to, a, a. That can hold you accountable. And the preference would be, that would be a local group who knows you like really knows you.
And we’ve seen on the national stage. We’ve. Individuals go from local, uh, oversight, accountability to national oversight, accountability, particularly in the larger church situation where, where somebody will, will build up an accountability team of friends and say that this is now their accountability board.
And that typically doesn’t go very well. because what people don’t know them, right? they don’t know them intimately. They don’t know how, how they work with others. So those are the [00:08:00]disqualifying things. So what I would say is if you made a disqualifying mistake, you need to repent first. bef because you’ve sinned before God.
Next, I think you need to resign. You need to enter into a process of spiritual restoration, not positional restoration.
JimBo Stewart: mm-hmm
Bob Bickford: And specifically, you don’t already need to have a vision of when you’re able to get back in ministry in mind. Right? You need to put that aside. You need to keep that at bay, and you need to think about, where you were before the Lord and with your family and with those who are around you and make restitution where you can’t, if it’s appropriate and those sorts of things.
So that would be a category of disqualifying mistake, the next
area or category.
JimBo Stewart: one thing with that real quick.
Bob Bickford: Yeah.
JimBo Stewart: I was researching this for someone recently, as they were asked to leave a church and, I came across, so I don’t have, I don’t, I can’t give a full endorsement cause I don’t have a personal testimony or even a secondhand testimony, but I tried to find surely there’s someone out there that’s there to help.
And I found something called the pastors hope network.org [00:09:00] that, provides. Counseling and, vocational planning, help, and family counseling and all sorts of different resources for pastors who are forced to resign or are. Are fired or, or situations like that, that’s really their heart beat. and so from what I could find on pastor’s hope network.org, it seemed like a fairly solid resource.
And so if that’s you, if you’re in that, I think it’s at least worth, looking into that as a resource or something like that.
Bob Bickford: Awesome. That’s good. We’ll put that in show notes as a possible, resource for guys to check out. So, so we’ve got the disqualifying category. The next would be the disconcerting category and the definition of the word disconcerting is something that causes those led by you to feel UNS, settle. Right now, I, we need to give this a qualification.
If you are stepping into a church that has not moved forward in a while, [00:10:00] or had healthy leadership, even if you take a step towards health, it might be disconcerting to some, right? So that’s not what I’m talking about here, but I’m talking about the way you lead. Causes someone to feel unsettled, even though they’re in agreement with you on the moving forward or the goal or the mission or the value or the objective, their agreement, Hey, the church needs to get healthy.
They might just have something that, uh, occurs in them that, that there’s an unsettling. In them about the way you’re leading them towards that goal. So let, let me, let me give you a Daisy to pop illustration. It’s been a while since she’s made, uh, the podcast. So Jimbo, there is a, a strain of dog training that says you have to be the alpha and aggressive and be dominant and all of those sorts of things.
There’s that side, like be, be very forceful. The dog, then there’s the side that says be very encouraging, speaking, a loving voice, have a little pouch of treats on your belt clip and [00:11:00] lead them with a gentle voice and an encouraging voice. Right. So that really is the trend of. Of, dog training at this point.
So that’s the, that’s what we’re doing with Daisy. Right. But Daisy, the pup has decided at moments and during her walk that she does not want to walk. And so she plops, she just plop down and she just says, I’m, I’m not going. So. I have to say Daisy, come and then get a little treat out of the treat pouch. I am that guy Jimbo.
It’s not a Fanny pack, but it’s a clip on treat pouch. Right. And I’ve got it on my belt.
Yeah. All right.
So I’ll get a little treat out and I will coax Daisy by saying Daisy come. And then she comes now the first part of the walk Jimbo. I am regularly reaching into the treat pouch and coaxing Daisy to join me on the walk and about halfway through.
She finally gets it and then we’re able to move forward. Here’s how this relates back to the disconcerting. I could, I could drag Daisy on her harness in her leash. I could drag her on the entire walk, but [00:12:00] if you were sitting on the porch in Webster groves jumbo, and you saw me dragging a puppy wearing a harness down the street, would you, would that be disconcerting to you?
JimBo Stewart: would be disconcerting for
Bob Bickford: All right. So that’s what we’re talking about here. Everybody’s on board with the walk. Even Daisy knows that she wants to walk, cuz she gets to meet new people and dogs, but it’s how I lead. Right. And it’s how we move forward. And so there’s sometimes when we get so frustrated, we just are like, we’re, I’m just pressing the gas.
I’m just moving forward. I’m just making the call. Well, that’s a little bit disconcerting, and can cause people to feel unsettled.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I think about when I read this description that you put in our pre-show notes, I was thinking about one of my favorite YouTube videos ever of a guy that obviously had reached a point. He needed a break and in the middle of preaching, he just starts going off on this guy who’s asleep. And he’s like, how dare you fall asleep.
I’m a big deal. And then, and, and he doesn’t stop there. [00:13:00] Bob, he kind of goes like, and he starts calling out different members by name. And he is like, and you and your sister, you weren’t worth a nickel when you came to this church and you, you want me to marry you to her. You think you’re worth marrying to her.
You’re the worst church member I ever had. I love you buddy though. Gimme a hug. And then my favorite line. My favorite line, I’ll send you the link we got into the show notes, this YouTube video. My favorite line is he, I mean, he just keeps going. And I th I, this line is why it ended up on YouTube. I’m convinced is at some point, then he starts going off on the tech team and, and he goes, and you back there in the video room, got your own kingdom in the video room. It, it made several years ago, it made kind of national nationally viral. And I think even made it like to CNN or something like that. and so I looked it up, figured out what the pastor’s name was and all that sort of stuff. And I went back and sure enough, he was not the one preaching for the next two or three weeks.
I imagine [00:14:00] it was such a disconcerting experience for the leaders of that church that they said, Hey buddy, I think it’s probably time to take a little vacation, a little respite. and maybe you’ve made some disconcerting choices because you’re burned out. and, you maybe you’ve tried to live in your own kingdom in the video.
and somebody needs to call you out. and at that point you might just need to take a break, but yeah, I mean, we, we make some disconcerting calls and sometimes when people make disconcerting, but not disqualifying, they get so frustrated, with the pushback that they just decide to leave. I mean, is, is it appropriate at that point to leave Bob
Bob Bickford: Man, I would caution, if, and you’re talking about the pastor, right? That’s made the, those mistakes. Yeah. So, and I, I. You pointed out something, by referencing the video that guy’s probably, he, there was something going on in him that had created that level of frustration and. Hopefully there were a group of men or, or in any church, there would be a group of [00:15:00] leaders who you could go to and go, man, I’m just a little bit fried right now.
And I am heading to the right. I’m heading towards the right objective in the wrong way. Right. Cause we can do the right thing in the wrong way sometimes. And I think this is really what I have in mind here. And thinking about this leadership mistake of leading in such a way that it creates, a feeling of.
Unsettledness in the congregation. I think you, you probably need to step back, take a break. And then at that point in time after you’ve taken a break, you really need to, if it’s a public mistake, I think you need to, to on to own that publicly, you need to talk about that and repent to the congregation.
If, if you made public statements like our, our good brother on YouTube here, think. That if you leave during that time, you may not have done the hard work that will grow the muscle to help you become a more tender-hearted shepherd leader. And so, that would kind of be my, my thoughts there don’t leave.
When, when you’ve made a mistake, I oftentimes, you know, when you, when you make [00:16:00]mistakes, you just wanna run and start over somewhere, but you can’t right. it’ll follow you and you won’t learn the tough lessons that you need to.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, you gotta learn through those types of moments and, get again, get outside counsel, get a mentor, get a coach, get somebody that’s gonna help you. as you grow. In those areas. alright. So after disconcerting, so disqualifying a step below disqualifying would be disconcerting. and then the third one is something that’s really just kind of disappointing.
Bob Bickford: Mm-hmm
JimBo Stewart: something talk to
Bob Bickford: Yeah, this is, this would be when you’re leading and someone feels let down by you, they’re just disappointed. Right? They they’ve had an expectation, something that you’re doing Mrs. The mark, that
JimBo Stewart: I feel like this was a fairly daily occurrence for me as a pastor.
Bob Bickford: Yes. So I would think that, no, this is not the, you didn’t preach on this topic on this particular Sunday, [00:17:00] right? and I’m frustrated by you. This is more in the long, along the lines of a, a person who expected something different from you than they received. And so there’s a disappointment, right? And now this is hard.
And, and please don’t hear me say that we are. To try to meet everybody’s expectations, cuz there’s just no way we can do that. But this one, this one reminds me of a time when, I was, early on in the replant, we were probably about two and a half, three years and, and I was working with a group of leaders and we were getting ready to do a leadership retreat.
These were potential elder candidates. And so. I was trying to divide up responsibilities and have these guys take responsibility. And so one guy said, Hey, I know over a retreat center where we can go. And, I think it’d be great retreat center, so awesome. I said, can you make that happen? Yeah. Great. I’ll make it happen.
So. I was working on the content of what we were supposed to do [00:18:00] and the schedule and communication, and then as well, handling all the other things that I was handling. But after that experience, and after that retreat getaway, he just came to me and said, man, I was really disappointed that you didn’t handle more of the logistics for the retreat, like the getaway, the, you know, calling and making sure we, you know, you know, we knew how much it would cost and all this kinda stuff.
And so in my mind, I thought he was handling. In his mind, he thought as a leader, I should handle that. And as someone who is, has a full tease full-time job, I’ve got a full-time job. We’re trying to work on this thing together. He felt that I should have born more of the weight. So he was disappointed.
Right. So I had to have a conversation with him. He was like, man, I’m sorry. When, when we have the conversation and you suggested the retreat center, I thought that in my mind, in my understanding. My thinking was that you were gonna handle all of those logistics and that you were gonna let our treasurer know, you know, here’s the check.
Here’s how much it costs, all those sorts of things. [00:19:00] Right. He had just the opposite expectation. so I think there’s, there’s a challenge there. in ministry that we’re going to disappoint people. So one of the things that guards against that is clear communication, right? Making sure that you understand, okay, who’s handling this, what does this mean?
And clarifying and all that. So that was just a simple lesson for me just to go, okay. We should have had, more consistent communication on this. I should have said, what do you have? What I have, do you have time to do this, et C. Right. And so, so our relationship went to a, a little bit of a challenging place there.
And so I simply just had to say, man, I’m sorry, like when we were talking about this, this is what I thought was gonna happen. I thought you were gonna cover this and then I’m sorry. that I wasn’t more clear about that. So we, we struggle with that. So, there be there be regular moments. In ministry where you disappoint people, it’s just gonna happen.
Right. And so some of it’s fair, some of it’s unfair, you can’t meet everybody’s expectations, but where it’s clear that you have let someone down that you’ve missed the mark, that you’ve not communicated well, that [00:20:00] you’ve disappointed, man, own that apologize for that. Learn from it. Have a conversation about how that might not happen again.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I think there’s a real temptation in moments like that for all of us to kind of get defensive and really. Make sure we have the best face we can coming out of it. really at any of these levels of blowing it that we’ve talked about, that’s kind of the temptation is how do I, how do I, how do I do damage recovery?
How do I make sure that I don’t come out of this looking really bad? and I think you just have to be really careful with that. That’s I don’t think that’s the right, beginning point of any of these processes is it’s. I think. Our intuitive, our instinctive beginnings point of the process of how do I make sure I save face here?
I would encourage myself and our listeners. I mean, don’t, don’t immediately go to how do I say face, but I think let’s immediately go to, what is the truth here? What is, what is true here? What is, what is [00:21:00] true of, of, and, and understanding that my intentions and others’ perceptions are not always the same thing.
And when those are not clear, Then I at least have to own that, that wasn’t clear, right? I’ll I at least have to own. Okay. I, in my mind, in my reality, this is kind of a different situation than what it was in yours. And, I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry for how that came across. or for being unclear, and just owning what you can, you don’t now don’t, some people are more people pleaser type and they’ll own too much.
and I’d say don’t don’t own something that’s not yours. You, you don’t need to take on too much because that, it also isn’t the truth. Right. And so, man, I would encourage you let’s figure out what’s true. Let’s, let’s try to remove let’s let’s let’s address emotions that can get involved in this because that does need to be addressed.
And let’s affirm, Hey, emotions are normal and it’s understand that you feel that way. but at some point we have to move to what is actually true [00:22:00] here. and let’s work from.
Bob Bickford: mm-hmm yeah. Don’t own everything. Don’t own nothing. You have to own something. Right? What, what’s your part of it? And so I think that’s, that’s real key. So here’s, here’s some general, I think, encouragements, as you think about when you blow it versus connect with those who’ve been hurt or offend. Right. If you’ve got somebody who knows who, who you are becoming aware of, or have become aware of, that’s offended, you know, the, the passage in Matthew five that talks about if you are offering a gift at the alter and you know that your brother has something against you, go, go and be reconciled to him.
And so I think that that’s important as to connect with those who Haven heard most of the most of the time, Jimbo, I think. We wanna run away from people who have, issues with us. Uh, we want to, not have to have that messy and hard conversation. And so I think it’s, it’s, uh, imperative that we walk towards difficult conversations and not run from them.
And I think that’s a, a, that’s a great demonstration of a [00:23:00] practical of, of practical discipleship that we’re not gonna run from conflict. We’re gonna engage in it. And we’re. We’re gonna connect with one another and, and have good conversations about hard things. The other thing was correct. A misstep or wrong or hurtful actions with an unqualified apology.
right. Have you ever gotten an apology that somebody apologizes to you and it’s like, well, if you could just would, if you just would’ve stopped before you told me all the reasons why you are now qualifying, why this happened,
like you have allergies,
you didn’t get enough.
JimBo Stewart: but this is your fault.
Bob Bickford: Yes. You know, this wouldn’t have happened.
I’m sorry that you’re mad at me. This would’ve happened. If you hadn’t done such and such, you know, that sort of thing. Right. So, or just blaming it on something, you just own it. Right. And just, just, exercise and unqualified apology. The other thing, as I would say is men really spend some time with the Lord and consider for you.
What happened? Why did it happen? Why did I respond the [00:24:00] way that I did. And how do I need to ask, more questions to really unlayer this for me? So there’s a, there’s a thing called the five whys. And we’ll put this in the show notes, but an executive at Toyota, basically when there would be a problem on the production floor, he would go down and he would say, why are we missing our, goals and completing our assignments and objectives of producing these vehicles?
and so there would be one question and then he would ask, why is that happening? Right. And then he would continually ask a why, to get to the bottom line of understanding, what is the real issue here? Why are we experiencing what we are experiencing here? And most of the conflict Jimbo is as a layered response to something that is really occurring deeper underneath.
Right. So I think that, if we could spend some time thinking about the times that we’ve blown it and just ask why and the first response, ask another why, [00:25:00] and then another why and another why I think it’ll lead us to uncovering some things that we not, not normally, discern. And so it could be fear.
It could be anger. It could be frustration. It could be, a sense of, you know, you as a repenter you feel entitled like, like the Lord has called me here and why aren’t these people listening to me. Right. And so I just got angry and, and was direct and I could have been more patient rather than, than, um, just exploding on someone.
So all these sorts of things I think people need to, to, to think about. And, and it’s important to ask the five Ys. And then I would say this, lastly is don’t be paralyzed by a mistake, right?
JimBo Stewart: Mm-hmm
Bob Bickford: Man you’re gonna make ’em you’re not gonna be able to lead without offending. You probably won’t be able to communicate without misstating.
You’re probably gonna even do something, that is wrong. So just own it, own it,
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Yeah.
Bob Bickford: deal with it and then move forward and, and don’t be paralyzed by it.
JimBo Stewart: Absolutely man. I think these are all really good things to consider [00:26:00] and worth diving deeper into. we’re all gonna blow it from time to time. and none of us are immune to that. So don’t attempt just to say face, but. Consider is this a disqualifying, a disconcerting, or just disappointing and then figure out why, why, why are we dealing with this issue?
And what do we need to do next about it? How do we move forward? What does it look like to, to move in the right direction? I mean, that’s what repentance is, right. Is turning from the wrong direction and moving in the right direction. And so how do we, what, what do we need to do? What do we need to own in order to help things move forward and own own your part, don’t own nothing.
Don’t own everything, but own your part. Get to the truth of what’s going on. Sometimes we’re gonna blow it. And it’s in those moments, we have an opportunity to really show our dependence and trust in the Lord for redemption of ourselves or the situation to redeem the [00:27:00] relationship to redeem the, the. And everything that we’re going through, guys, thank you so much for being a part of the bootcamp today.
if you blow it and you need to process it, reach out to us, let us know.