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Jimbo is joined by the Bob’s (Bob Bickford and Bob Bumgarner) in this EP on Servant Leadership.  Join the guys as they explore leadership from the perspective of a three – legged stool.

Leadership Foundations

  • Personal: who is God shaping me to be?
  • People: how am I leading those God has given me?
  • Purpose: what is God calling me to do?

Leadership Action

  • Setting direction
  • Generating Commitment
  • Facilitating Change


Jump in and listen to the rest of this episode as Bob Bumgarner drops some great leadership wisdom applicable in your ministry, job and role.


Contact the leader in websites and branding, our parters at One Eighty Digital, are leading the way in helping churches connect with their communities in meaningful ways that truly convey who they are in an authentic way. Tell them you’re a bootcamp listener.




JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Here we are back at the bootcamp, I hope you’re ready for the next episode. And Bob, I hope you’re ready for the next episode.

Bob Bumgarner: Yes, sir.

JimBo Stewart: both Bob’s with me today, is always wonderful thing to have as many good bobs in your life as you can.

Bob Bumgarner: I don’t know about that, but yeah, we’ll start with it.

Bob Bickford: Jimbo. I’m just glad to be here. I’m a little roadway for moving daughter into college. her new apartment yesterday and I, I think I miss my calling in life to invest in real estate. In the college location. Men college apartments are a cash cow, bro.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah, man. It’s uh, I could, I could see, Bob Bickford, the landlord, just keeping those kids in line testing them.

Bob Bickford: Yeah. Yeah. I may or may not have smelled some herbal incense if you know what I mean, a Jimbo yesterday when we were moving some folks in. So apparently I guess all you have to do these days. You have to get some kind of [00:01:00] medical card and then you can. as you formerly would know Jimbo, I guess maybe you, I don’t know what you call smoking weed, but I, what do they call?

What do the kids call it these days?

JimBo Stewart: I don’t know what they call it these days. it’s been a long time since I have partaken of the cannabis, but, we just call, we called it smoking weed, uh, smoking a joint, smoking a dooby, rolling a fat one. you got real big was a blunt. But past that was a long time ago. and

there medical marijuana

Bob Bickford: yeah. Kind of pre-Jesus and certainly premium. so

we’re not endorsing

you know, we’re not endorsing that We took, uh, we took a turn and went off in the ditch. I think jumbo,

JimBo Stewart: Yeah, we probably need to write this back and, and get back on the right direction today. We’ve got, great guest with us today. the other influential Bob in my life, Bob bum garner, grateful to have him as we continue to talk about servant leadership when it [00:02:00] comes to servant leadership. they’re very, very few who.

Thought through it as much and about it as much as Bob Bumgarner. And so, man, I’m excited to have him on with us today. Bob is the lead strategist for first coast churches, formerly known as Jacksonville Baptists association. And, with the, with the great kind of, is it called I guess it’s the thread, the motto slogan, thread of don’t pastor alone.

loving to see. And here, what we get with that. We even mentioned it in our last episode, last episode, Bob Bickford, and I kind of just dipped our toes into, an understanding of servant leadership, what it is. And, a lot of this came Bob garner from a presentation that you sent me that I was looking at.

And, I was really fascinated with a lot of things you have in there. kind of just dove into the first question out of. Three legged stool that you have. the first question we dove into just a little bit was, who is God shaping me to be kind of the, the [00:03:00] personal side of it. This is part of a, a graphic you’ve come up with a, an illustration that we’ll add it to our show notes of a three legged stool.

walk us just a little bit into, like, what are the three legs of that stool and why do, why do they each.

Bob Bumgarner: Yeah. So one of the things I found in as I worked with leaders, whether they were young leaders or, leaders that had a little bit more experience people were always trying to figure out, how do I get better at leading? And so through some research and through conversations, With folks. The thing that I discovered is that all of us have a leadership platform.

And what I mean by that is we, nobody hears us in a vacuum. They hear us based on. who we believe based on who we are, what direction we think we’re going and how we treat people. So I call it the, the person people purpose, three legged stool. And, and so if you think about a three-legged stool, the, power of the illustration is that with the three legged stool, if one of the legs is shorter or missing, the stool becomes ineffective or less.[00:04:00]

and so you, we have to know who we are as a leader, we have to know how to value the people around us. And we need to know what God is calling both of us to do. So I, I actually think the three legs represent the great commission, you know, loving God, my purpose, loving my neighbor, loving those around me and treating them with respect and then valuing myself, or at least being self aware of how I impact them.

Bob Bickford: Bye. Bye. I love this, this, how you break it down in a simplistic form or fashion and. I think when you, when you were just thinking about the categories of leadership, in terms of personal people and purpose, those sorts of things, did you have to narrow that down from like, you know, John Maxwell has like 21 irrefutable laws of leadership and all of these others, like did you get it?

So boiled down to just kind of the essentials.

Bob Bumgarner: Well for me, two things I’m always trying to do with leaders is I’m trying to create hope and. And I’m not saying 21 laws is bad at all. I’m [00:05:00] saying I get overwhelmed with that. It might not make me hopeful. And so, and, and really, it, it all stemmed from me from Psalm 78, through 72, you know where it says he chose David and took him from the sheep folds, following the nursing use and brought him to shepherd Jacob, his people.

And then this little phrase, this, this. statement and he shepherded them with integrity of heart and skillfulness of hand. And so I saw those two things and I don’t know why that those things came out, but it really had a real great commission correlation with me. But because it seemed like, um, skill or integrity of heart, really deals with character and skillfulness of hand deals with competence.

And so competence is what you do on your planet. Character is what you actually build your platform on. So it’s not they’re interdependent. You really can’t. I mean, somebody with competence, who’s a jerk is just not still follow worthy. when Greenleaf did his research in the sixties and came out with servant [00:06:00] leadership, he was really not just trying to be nice.

He was discovering that people will give you that you could pay. For their hands and their head, but if you wanted their heart and their volunteer attitude, you had to treat them differently. And so even though I, I’m not sure that Greenleaf was a believer, he really tapped into a biblical stream, if you will, when he tapped into the idea of servant leadership and how to treat those that are.

JimBo Stewart: With these three, led to the stool, personal people, purpose, do you know when one of those is unlevel and what would be the implications of, you know, an UN sturdy platform that you you’re built on?

Bob Bumgarner: I think you, you know, internally, if you’re self-aware whether or not you’re. If you’re overshooting the runway, or if you are, you know, say if you’re preaching cream and live in skim milk, you, you see, you know, what that, what that is. loving people. You, I mean, the idea here is, and I can go deeper into this, but are you [00:07:00] using people or are you developing people?

Makaveli is the one who said the ends justify the means. Jesus never said that. And, so, you know, alignment with what we’re actually trying to do of building people’s important. And, so I think for me, like, I know I’m off kilter when, when I start feeling like the owner of things, instead of a steward of that.

When I, when I feel like the team is mine, when I, when I fear losing position, more than disappointing the father, you know, you know, in other words, do I really want first coast churches to be great because I want to be known as Bob did a great thing. Or am I really trying to please the father as I do that?

I think you can tell, well, to me, the greatest indication that your, your stool is not in a good place. Is how you receive feedback or don’t receive feedback. Are you threatened, by feedback or is it, does it help you grow or you, do you feel challenged? with that, you know, one of the things that.

You know, you think it scripturally John the [00:08:00] Baptist think about being him and him saying that he must decrease in. Jesus must increase. I think that generationally, I think without a servant leadership heart, you’re always suspicious of somebody that works on your team who happens to be, as you know, who happens to be good at what they do.

You, you know, you find yourself being people or those kinds of things. And so to me, those are some things maybe not exhausted, but. Some things that I think would be a part of, how I can tell if I’m off kilter or not.

Bob Bickford: someone’s looking at developing in these particular areas, know what I’ve seen? I’ve seen a similar paradigm. We’re talking about leading self, leading others, leading organizations, where there’s this progressive nature of leadership that you learn it applies to your life.

Bob Bumgarner: Right,

Bob Bickford: Leadership of a few and then leadership of quite a few.

this is a little different in the sense that it has leadership. It has self, it has people, but it also has, component. Is there a linear path of development or is it [00:09:00] just like this circular alert? You’re learning lessons in every single one of these, all of the time. And you’re building really from the ground up rather than it’s a, know, kind of a linear 1, 2, 3, or how would you unpack

young a

Bob Bumgarner: got this platform that you’re standing on. and you’re, you’re always doing three things. You’re always shaping direction. You’re always trying to generate. And you’re always facilitating change. Think about this for just a second. So Jesus, with just a few of his disciples in Matthew chapter four says, follow me on I’ll make you fishers of men.

I think what Jesus does there is he fuses the great commandment and the great commission together. And so in. So he sets the direction currently you’re doing this, but if you follow me, you’re going to do that. He generates commitment by, by telling them. What will happen if they follow him, how it, how it works.

And then he actually spends the gospels facilitating the change, of those of those men. And so what I would say is the setting direction, generating commitment and facilitating change. Bob, it happens yes. At an individual [00:10:00] level and there’s, there are certain things you do with individuals with that, but it also, that’s what you’re doing for a team.

And then when you’re working with a, uh, an organization with like team of teams, you’re still setting direction, generating commitment, facilitating change, and, and those mean very specific things for me. So, to me, setting direction means you’re initiating the pursuit of purpose. What’s next. If we’re going to accomplish the mission.

I mean, even in your replant team, what’s next that’s, uh, that’s the direction. and then you have to rank order those priorities. Somebody who’s the leader or the directional team. They need to establish what those priorities are. That’s what direction is. And then generating commitment means you have to have both a challenging and a supportive.

Environment, you, you know this, if, if you have really sharp people, they want a big challenge. They want to be set free to be able to pursue. They don’t want to be micro. They don’t wanna be micromanaged. And then facilitating change really is it’s really the process of, implementing and then[00:11:00] evaluating and then adjusting.

And you just do that over and over again. So that, that’s why I think. Three things is really helpful. What, Hey, Bob, what do you do on any given day, man? I can sh I am shaping direction every day. I am generating commitment toward the purpose every day. I’m facilitating change every day. And how am I? How am I undergirding that?

Well, I’m taking care of myself. I’m staying in alignment with those people around me being self-aware staying on God’s mission.

JimBo Stewart: All right. So talk to us, break down those three at the base there, the personal, who is God shaping me to be people. How am I leading those? God has given to me and purpose. What is God calling me to do? does a listener who’s listening to this going? Okay. Let’s start is, is that we would start there. are good questions, resources, ways for actionable. Steps for someone to go, okay, this is how I’m gonna work on

Bob Bumgarner: So I think you would, I would, I think you’d start by taking an assessment like a disc assessment or Myers-Briggs or [00:12:00] whatever, something to allow you to ask the question. How does, who I am affect the room when I walk in do, I mean, I’m a high I with a secondary D and it wasn’t until later in my life that I realized that if I’m not careful, I think I’m the smartest person in the room every time I walk in.

and so I’ve got to actually modulator that I’ve got to actually, so for me, I speak last, especially if I’m the leader. one of the things that I, that I also know to be true is that people buy into me as the leader, before they buy into purpose. So they, they judge the purpose based on how much self-awareness they see in me.

So, I mean, I don’t mean to under spiritually. But reading the word, being in a, a group with somebody who, who like who’s your truth teller, who can tell you, the, the truth about what’s going on, what they see in your life. That’s really the integrity. I think that is the integrity piece.

Bob Bickford: Bob, when you think of the leadership landscape [00:13:00] and, we look at the recent history, maybe the last five to 10 years, what do you think is the. Lacking in terms of leadership. If you were to look at just across our denomination, maybe leaders that do we know lacking and then

Bob Bumgarner: Well I think

I think what the most recent days show us is we have overemphasized competence. And we’ve under-emphasized character. And I think we’ve done that because character is so much harder to measure and we like, we like the fruit. We, you know, we like to see things and, and please don’t hear what I’m not saying.

I think Jesus wants us to work hard. I think that he, I mean, I think anything that you would die for, he, you know, that this isn’t a pass to get out of jail free card, but, but I do think we’ve, under-emphasized. Character, I think we’ve, I think we’ve under-emphasized relationship. And the reason why, I mean, for instance, I think when you think about don’t pastor alone, what does that mean?

I think it means that I need people. I need relationships. I need reciprocal [00:14:00] relationships so that I can be a human being and not just a minister. I think it means that I need a tribe and I don’t think my tribe and my reciprocal relationships are always the same thing. I mean, I need, I need to know my identity comes out of.

And I’m the research that I’m doing is showing that character development is, led by my identity. In other words, I know the kind of person I am. So I behave out of that. I need wisdom. So, I think that there’s been this, I think America believes in the great man. And I think that, I think we’re looking for a savior.

I mean, and I think we on the pulpit, I think we say it’s Jesus. And I think we mean that, but I think when it comes to our own individual ministries, we hope that Jesus will help us be the, the, the great man where we are. And I just, I don’t think that that’s, what God intended and I think we’re reaping the fruit.

Of that. And some of the men that are experiencing really difficult times I’ve poured into me personally. I mean that doesn’t underestimate that doesn’t undervalue what they did. It just means that [00:15:00] nobody that you are not the exception character, it matters. David had integrity of heart. And I love that because David was such a mixed bag.

Right. I mean, and yet he was, uh, uh, you know, one of the things that, one of the other reasons, if I can loop back for just a second, that I go back to the three legged stool is because I think if we’re not careful, we think our platform is static and not dynamic. my platform of leadership next week could cry.

if I do stupid stuff. and one of the things that I don’t like about when I had younger kids, I have kids that are in their thirties now, and I love that. But one of the things that I had when I was kids under foot, I had the constant reminder that dads you’re human. You just showed out in a bad way for your ten-year-old.

I mean, I actually appreciated that. I have that accountability. but, and so I D I believe we need to remind each other that our platform is a dynamic platform. Someone has said [00:16:00] that, people, it’s not a matter of people trusting you or not trusting you, they trust you to do what you always do.

And, and so if you’re, if you’re always unaware, they trust you to be unaware and that’s, that’s not a good thing.

JimBo Stewart: we talked about in last week’s episode, a little bit of the difference that you brought out this presentation of authority and power. How does that relate to some of talking

Bob Bumgarner: for, for me the idea of that I have to be self-aware and I need to love people that I need to love God. That’s kind of the governor on my power switch. One of the things that, that, that I learned early in Paris. Uh, when my kids were actually getting into middle school, I realized that if I didn’t shift how I parented, if I was a power parent and dependent on power, instead of authority and influence that, ultimately I was not going to be able to lead my kids well, when they were adults.

And so I remember the year, it was 2004 in 2004, Tina and I [00:17:00] switched to a coaching model with our kids. It didn’t, it doesn’t mean we didn’t have rules that we, but we switched away from. The power model and listen, there are times when power is, I mean, I want you to think about Jesus, Jesus. he, he told some people get behind me, Satan.

I mean, you know, he called he, there were times when he stepped into his authority. He, I mean his power and so I’m not saying, to me, the difference between power and authority or your most. Now I have been a part of a big of big churches and small churches. And I can tell you I’ve used power wrongly in both of those situations.

So it’s not a big church thing, and it’s not a small church It’s a Bob thing. And when I’m trying to control things that I can’t control a lot of times, power is where I will, I will come back, but we’ll come back to. And so I, I really think the whole influence piece is, is this has a way of keeping us influencing instead [00:18:00] of using power.

Bob Bickford: Jimbo has used power tools in a wrong way. Bob, I don’t know if you know that

ask them about a chainsaw.


Bob Bumgarner: I heard that on some

Bob Bickford: time

Bob Bumgarner: product,

Bob Bickford: probably one of my favorite all-time

JimBo Stewart: Oh, yeah, I look, I was in Colorado, not long ago for the, The non-oral conference with the Cal family of churches. And one night, and Bumgarner was there. We’re sitting around a campfire at Jeff clus house in his backyard. and of our faithful listeners was, was there. and He around the campfire, he goes, all right. I gotta hear the chainsaw story in person. Like he goes, I’ve, I’ve listened to the episode. I just, I need to hear it in person. Right. And, and

Bob Bumgarner: the

JimBo Stewart: to him. It’s like, so he

Bob Bumgarner: you, in,

in the previous episode, you talked to, you asked permission to use a sports metaphor. so let me ask permission to use a sports metaphor the three competencies for just a second. And [00:19:00] maybe, maybe this’ll help shaping is really designing the scorecard. really saying what are those goals?

You know, golf could really be playing. With one hole, right? Just a really long golf course with one hole, but it wouldn’t be nearly as fun. So there’s a scorecard. You keep scoring all the places, but then generating commitment is really thinking of it this way, helping people want to score that’s that. So in other words, helping people see who they are in the body of Christ, helping them want to score.

I’ll actually say this. I actually think Jimbo has a superpower as it relates to this on our team. I think he is super good. At helping people want to score. And then the third thing on facilitating change, it’s making scoring possible. I mean, really that’s what this is really saying out of your integrity, out of your alignment of people out of purpose, how do we create a scorecard where people want to score?

And then as the leader, we remove the obstacles that keep them from scoring. I mean, honestly, [00:20:00] think about this. Isn’t that the secret to revitalization. I mean, think about all the things that keep people from scoring. And when you sit in a room of people that have been in a dead church for a long time, they don’t want to score anymore.

I mean, they, they it’s been beaten out of them it’s or whatever, whatever the reason is that, that, that desire, they don’t know if they can score anymore. And so being able to give people hope and a next step, in other words, when you shape direction, it doesn’t have to be a 90 day. It doesn’t have to be a year direction or a three-year direction.

Sometimes I’m helping a pastor take the next seven days with hope is, uh, is a win.

Bob Bickford: Yeah, that’s really good. I think cha changing the scorecard, removing the roadblocks, helping people. that they can actually get engaged in mission. They can start moving forward, loving people. The church can get healthy again, I think is, is really good. One, one last question that I would have is before we jumped on to record, you were talking about the difference between being [00:21:00] nice and being a leader and.

I don’t know. There’s a, I don’t know that you put those two necessarily in opposition to one another, a lot of declined churches want a nice pastor who does nice things. They don’t want to lead her. Can you speak to that of

descriptor? Ask be

do we get that idea?

And do we unpack

Bob Bumgarner: the

Yeah, One of the humorous

especially if you’re a

to read through the gospels with

Bob Bickford: help the. church move

Bob Bumgarner: What is it that a servant leader can say to him? And G and Jesus Jesus said some pretty straight up stuff. and, and here’s the deal.

You’re not Jesus. So be careful. but at the same time, not being, I think it was bill ECM time ago, said not being nice for the sake of the gospel. th it really most churches that are ineffective it’s because, uh, I can’t say that sometimes. It’s because we’ve been too nice. We’ve not been mean about the vision.

We’ve not been. About the, about the mission and we’ve [00:22:00] actually experienced mission drift or mission creep because we weren’t stubborn, you know, about disciple-making. so, what I would say. B, no. What the direction is that you need to take, like making disciples, that’s the goal, making disciples.

That’s the great commission, but making them in such a way that you still love, God still love people and you still are. Self-aware I mean, this is the way that I like to look at it. You’ve got the great comm, you’ve got the great commandment telling us to make disciples of all nations. And then you have acts chapter one, that’s kind of the tactical strategy.

You know, do it here, here and here. and so, I think their structure when it comes to it, I think that, you know, to, to your, to your point, nice. it’s always right to be polite. It’s always right to be kind. it’s not right to be off of. And however, however you wrestle that to the ground is the answer.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I think about it when, like, when we have, coached or [00:23:00] consulted with churches, especially entering into like a fostering relationship and they begin to write down the terms of what that agreement. partnership would look like there’s always a temptation to be overly nice. And, so one of the things we’ve said is, be so clear that there is pushback.

Like if, if there’s no pushback, haven’t been clear enough. And it was probably is out of a desire


Bob Bumgarner: if Yeah. I

would actually say Jimbo you’ve been clear enough and there’s, if you’ve been clear and there’s no conflict in the room, you need to go back and be clearer because clarity always brings conflict before and by conflict. I don’t mean open warfare. It means somebody is going to ask the question.

So you mean this? Yep. That’s what we mean. Yeah. I mean, Jimbo does it well when we do our 9 [00:24:00] 0 4 prep process and he says, Hey, if, if it turned out that you had to sell your building, would you be willing to do that? Well, that’s clear. Um, and it, it always generates a, uh, an interesting response, but it’s still, it’s a great question for clarity.

JimBo Stewart: Hey, Bob, it’s been great to have you on here with the. With the other Bob,

Bob Bumgarner: Thank you guys for allowing me to be


JimBo Stewart: you know, we, uh, are always grateful, to be graced by the presence of two great bobs. Hey listeners, don’t forget, to share this, if it’s been helpful, send us questions. If you’ve got ’em, try out our fancy new search bar. If you wanna look and find things that we’ve talked about or favorite recipes, and we’d love to see you, hopefully we’ll get to see you in person at the summit. By the time this comes out, registration will already be closed. but we know that many of you are already coming and we hope to see you in person.

If you are there, come introduce yourself to us. We’d love to meet you.

bob bumgarner, servant leadership

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