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This EP found our guys reminiscing about Ian, the recent Hurricane that hit the Florida Gulf Coast. Please remember to pray for our friends in FL and for the churches doing ministry there and for the Relief efforts continuing to take place.

In this important EP, the guys begin discussing the differences between “being” and “doing.” These insights come from Craig Hamilton’s work, Wisdom in Leadership.  Hamilton says we can make two primary mistakes when thinking about this relationship between who God wants us to be and what God wants us to do.

1. SEPARATE – To see the two areas as being so separate that they have little or nothing to do with each other

2. OVERLAP – To see who we are and what we do as completely overlapping or even as being the same thing

“At either extreme we risk damaging both our ministries and our hearts.”

The guys offer some insights per Hamilton’s work as they wrap up the discussion:


  • “It’s not that who you are and what you do are completely unrelated and separate, because they are related. What you do flows out of who you are. What God does through you is based on, and caused by, what God has done and is doing in you.”

See  Luke 10:19-20

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

  • “Do not find your ultimate joy and worth in the success of what God has sent you to do, instead rejoice in what God has made you to be, a child of the kingdom.”
  • Ask your self: “Do you tend towards too much separation or too much overlap?
  • In the end Satan doesn’t care which side of the boat you jump out of so long as you jump out.”
  • “God has called you to be a disciple, with other disciples, to go and make disciples. What God does through you flows from what God does in you. And what God does in you flows from what God has already done for you.”

Do you have some insights? We’d love to hear them, drop us a line,  a text or voicemail.

Wisdom in Leadership by Craig Hamilton

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[00:00:00] JimBo Stewart: Here we are back at the bootcamp. Bob, I hope you’re ready for the next episode. I also hope that you got your galoshes and your raincoat on as we’re recording a couple weeks in advance before you hear this as boot campers sitting in the. Cone of uncertainty. You come down to Florida, Bob one, I’m gonna treat you to a few good restaurants.

Yep. Think I’ve done that. Yep. And then two, you have now experienced the real Florida experience on the cone of uncertainty during

Bob Bickford: hurricane season. Absolutely. I want a t-shirt that says The cone of uncertainty.

JimBo Stewart: I, I imagine that exist. Somewhere. I quick Google search. I can just about guarantee you somebody has made that shirt.

Bob Bickford: Well, I’m excited to be here. It seems like every time that I’m supposed to come to Florida to speak at an associa. event in Gainesville. The hurricane follows me

JimBo Stewart: here. Well, you know, you were supposed to speak at our association one time and

Bob Bickford: covid hit. Maybe I’ve got it. Florida

JimBo Stewart: Curse. I think maybe you just shouldn’t speak at associations in Florida.

I’ll just handle those whenever you get those calls. We don’t want anymore

Bob Bickford: disasters. [00:01:00] No. Well, you know, I didn’t, I did have a successful trip probably five years ago now, or more. Went over to see, uh, Andy Jordan over at the Swanee Baptist Association. Yeah, I love those guys. And, uh, great, great time over there.

He’s such a, fun guy and a gracious man. And, so that was my first venture into the Florida panhandle for business and actually for business in Florida. I guess I’ve been to conferences and stuff here, but it was fun. And Jimbo, I found the best Waffle House in North America. In, Live Oak.

JimBo Stewart: How about that?

Florida. Okay. All right. I’ve never been to that one, but I’ll have to hit it up next time. There’s not a lot in Live Oak, so.

Bob Bickford: No, that was about it. It’s a winner though, .

JimBo Stewart: All right. Well, look, we wanna continue to dive into Wisdom and Leadership by Craig Hamilton, but Bob, I promise you we’re not gonna cover every chapter of Wisdom and

Bob Bickford: Leadership.

Thank you. Because there’s 78 chapters in Jibo. I would be 78 by the time we finished

JimBo Stewart: it.

Yes, there are 78 chapters. We’re not gonna cover all 78. We spent the last two episodes in chapter nine. [00:02:00] Today I want to cover chapter 10 in just one episode. I think we can do it, but I think it’s an important concept for us to think through and for boot campers to think through as I’ve been reading it.

Uh, man, I highly recommend it. Again, it’s put out by Mathias. Same group that published Charles and The Vine recommended to me by the Happy Huggy Hallock book. Good friend, great book. It’s a really good book. So, so much of what I’ve read so far, I haven’t even finished it cuz it’s 78 chapters. It’s gonna be a while.

there’s short chapters mostly, which is good for me, but there aren’t any pictures. So much of what I’ve read has been impactful. so you may hear of it a few more chapters down the. But not all of them. Chapter 10 released it out to me, is when I wanna discuss with the post, with the, the podcast today, because as you look at.

I love the way that he starts the chapter when he says, One of the primary tools we use in Christian ministry is our own hearts. And if you think about, he talks about how if you are a carpenter, then you use a hammer, and if the hammer breaks, then you fix the hammer, get a new hammer. If you are a writer, whatever [00:03:00] utensil or medium you use to write, if you’re an artist, whatever you like, that’s your tool.

Well, our leadership abilities aren’t actually the primary tool that we use as pastors. It’s our. And one of the things that can kind of mess up our heart is when it comes to how we think about our relationship between who God wants us to be and what God wants us to do. So today that’s what I wanna dive into, Bob, is really those two ideas, who God wants us to be and what God wants us to.

Bob Bickford: I’m really glad we’re talking about this because I think in, in the context of recent days and years, what we’ve seen is we’ve seen some. Some pastors, you know, not make it. Yeah. and publicly, and a lot of it has to do not with their skilled or hands and their preaching ability. It has to do with what’s going on inside of them.

So this is a really important topic

JimBo Stewart: for us to talk about. Yeah. We’re gonna end up covering three dangers of approaching this wrongly. And, and Bob, we’ve seen, at least very public versions, I [00:04:00] think. Of the first two dangers, but we’ve all encountered pastors. I know both of us have encountered pastors that have lived out all three of these dangers and it’s seasons.

I think probably both of us have experienced these in seasons, and I think you’re going to in ministry experiences in a season, and there’s a difference between there being a season and you addressing it and it being the prolonged way that you approach.

Bob Bickford: Yeah, it’s a good perspective. I think we have some guys probably that are weary a little bit and tired and maybe struggling.

And so if you’re listening to this and you are in a season of struggle, please don’t despair and immediately think, I’ve gotta quit and resign. , like just part of ministry is hard. Like it’s gonna leave a mark. Yeah. And. Croft said at the summit, Man, you’re gonna have to learn how to live with a broken heart gracefully.

Yeah. And so there is part of ministry that hurts and you get knocked down, but just get back up. And so if you’re in a down season, brother, please don’t, [00:05:00] Don’t let this discourage you. Just let it inform you maybe about some things that would be helpful for you to process and think through. Yeah.

JimBo Stewart: Hamilton would argue there’s really two major mistakes that we can make when thinking about this relationship between who God wants us to be and what God wants us to do.

the first two areas as being so separate that they have little or nothing to do with each other when we separate these ideas as if there’s no correlation between who God wants us to be and what God wants us to do. And then the other. The third danger comes from the second error, which would be to overlap and to see who we are and what we do is completely overlapping or even as being exactly the same thing.

And so out of those two mistakes, uh, wrong ways that we can approach this, there are three main dangers. So Hamilton says, getting the relationship between getting the relationship wrong between who God wants you to be and what he wants you to do. CAEs out in three main dangers. So let’s take ’em one at a time.

Bob one. [00:06:00] Separation leads to thinking ministry is just a job. Hamilton says, Somewhere along the way you have stopped being a shepherd of the sheep because you’re willing and you have become a hired hand because it’s what you do and you’re not sure you can do

Bob Bickford: anything else, Man. Jimbo, I think we probably both have had Sundays.

We think if I could be doing anything else, I’d like to be doing that absolutely. Right now. Absolutely. Absolutely. , you know, you’re like, just thinking I’ve gotta preach this weekend, or I’ve gotta go to this deacons meeting, or I’ve gotta do this outreach event. And you might be exhausted, you might have injured lots of conflict and so.

Your heart is hurting from whatever you’ve experienced, and it sometimes your heart’s hurting, not just because of church stuff, but of family stuff, right? Maybe your parents are struggling with their health, or maybe you’ve got a kid that’s rebelling or maybe you have a marital issue, right? Or something going on and, and you’re just struggling.

Maybe a friend of yours is not doing well, and so [00:07:00] you sometimes have to minister with a heart that’s hurting. Mm. Right. And the problem is, is if you shut that heart down, And you stop feeling. And this is, I, I was in counseling, when, um, uh, was actively in, involved in, in ministry on a regular basis. And so, gone through a season of hurt and one of the, the aspects of it was I was just like, Man, I just don’t want to feel anymore.

I don’t want to hurt anymore. Yeah. And. The counselor looked at me and said, Well, welcome to ministry , you know? And he goes, What? Let’s think through what the consequences are if you just shut your heart down, right? Mm-hmm. . Well, that means ministry’s a job for you. Yeah. It, you don’t feel like you don’t, And again, you know, we’ve got some guys out there probably listening to, like, they’re not touchy feely guys.

Right. But we’re not talking about just being a, like a, just a, a total empath. What we’re talking about is engaging the spiritual part of your life with passion. devotion and energy and direction that comes from your relationship with God that [00:08:00] infuses and informs and infects your work. Yeah.

JimBo Stewart: Right.

That’s a great alliteration

Bob Bickford: there. Thank you. Thank you. Well, I did study, uh, Preaching in seminary.

JimBo Stewart: Jimbo. There you go. So you learned how to three points, all the same letter

Bob Bickford: and a car wreck story and a water . No, that was only for a youth

JimBo Stewart: revival. So yes. So I mean, look, there are times when you’ve got to gerd up your loins and push through.

I remember in a particular difficult season, and I may have told this story before. I went to the Cutting It Straight conference at Shiloh Metropolitan hp Charles, and my HP said, Hey man, sometimes ministry’s just really hard. Here’s what you do when, when you wake up on a Sunday and you don’t wanna go to church.

You put on your black suit, you stand in the pulpit, and you preach the Bible. Mm-hmm. , That’s what you do, . And he said it this way. That just felt really empowering. And, and so at that point, I had kind of already moved away from wearing a suit and a tie every, every single Sunday. But that Sunday, Bob, I wore a black soup[00:09:00] and, I’m just this kind of guy I was, it was such a hard time.

I quoted him, I said, Look, We’re going through some hard times right now and we gotta push through. Here’s some advice somebody gave me this week. HP Charles in our city said Some days you just put on the black suit, you stand in the pulpit and you preach the Bible. So open your bibles. That’s what we’re about to do.

Yeah. And dove in. Right? And I didn’t use it as a bully pulpit, but that it really empowered me. Now that can’t be your every. And if you, your result is gonna be ineffectiveness. If your heart is disconnected and it’s just a job, you will not be an effective shepherd. Your leadership abilities are not your primary tool.

Your communication abilities are not your primary tool. Even your relational abilities are not your primary tool. Your heart is your primary tool. Now, long. If, if this is your approach, that ministry is just a job and you’re the hired hand, long term, your ministry will be taken away from you [00:10:00]due to incompetence or moral failure.

This is where that you’re gonna end up at a place when you do it in your own strength and your own power, because it’s just a job. You will end up either being fired because you’re not good at your job, or you will have a moral failure. Whether that moral failure gets exposed or not. I don’t. But

Bob Bickford: it’ll happen.

So good to, to put it that way, in terms of saying what’s at stake here, Right. We have probably. Between us and our listeners have probably had jobs that were just a job. Mm-hmm. , right? Yeah. Like, you just go, you clock in, you do what you’re, you gotta do, and then you leave. It doesn’t matter what you think, how you feel, like you just, you do it.

Like when I remember like, one of my first jobs was I was a, checkout cashier at Walmart back in the day when you had to wear slacks and ties. It was. You certainly don’t have to dress like that now at Walmart. No. Like, I don’t think you have to be nice to work at Walmart. You really

JimBo Stewart: don’t. And we even just [00:11:00] mostly just removed the cashiers and just Yes, let’s just, let’s have as little human interaction

Bob Bickford: as possible.

Yes. Lets, Let me tell you, Jimbo, I did not like that job. I didn’t like it in any form of fashion. And I would clock in and I would do my job and I would clock out. Yeah. And I would leave there. Glee and happiness in my life because I was leaving a job that I did not

JimBo Stewart: like. You know, I as a amateur sociologist, here’s something, I’ve observed this, this, this works 99% of the time.

All right? If for some reason you ever wanted to know what time a Walmart cashier gets off work, ask them this one question. How are you doing? Here’s how every single Walmart cashier answers I’ll be doing much better at, and they tell you what time they get off work. Yeah, every time I’ve, I’ve tested this for years.

Oh yeah. And it is consistent across generations, across ethnicities and every sort of socio demographic thing you could do. It’s consistent, no matter the age, the race, [00:12:00] or anything you ask, like Walmart cashier, what time you get. You don’t say what time you get off work. You say, How are you doing? And you’ll find out what time they get off work.

Oh, there you go. Well, that’s good. All right, so also if you, There’s another way to separate, so one is to separate thinking the administration, a job, the second error and danger as separation leads to thinking what you do is more important than who you are. And you can easily fall into this trap by becoming.

As Hamilton says, So busy doing what God wants you to do, that you don’t have the time or the brain space to be who God wants you to be. And he goes on to say, When you live like this, your heart begins to atrophy. You get weary of ministry, your love for God, and people begins to dim. People become obstacles and frustrations and what you once thought important.

Becomes more and more of a burden. Now this leads to ineffectiveness, just like the first danger, but the long term difference. Whereas in the first danger, you’ll probably [00:13:00] get fired. In this one you’ll probably just burn out and

Bob Bickford: walk away. Yeah. This is the burnout idea here that, man, I am just, A person who does sermons or I’m a just a person who leads this meeting, or I’m a just a, a person who, you know, facilitates student ministry or kids’ ministry, whatever you want to say.

Like whatever your role is. I, I think that, you know, this would also lead to anger and frustration in the execution of ministry. Mm-hmm. , like the living it out in the implementation of it. Cuz if somebody gets in your way, as you’re trying to implement or do whatever it is that you feel like your job is to do and that’s all you feel like that you do.

Like, you’re gonna get real frustrated. Yeah. Like, this really stinks. I gotta deliver this, I gotta do this, I’ve gotta run this program. And then if somebody messes it up somehow, which ministry is messy. Yeah. You’re gonna find yourself being to the point of anger and outburst. And so that’s maybe a good diagnostic question to say, man, am I angry?[00:14:00]

My role and my job and my task when they get disrupted, or do I see it as something that God is doing that is above the task that he’s, that I’m assigned to do right now? Yeah. Right. So sometimes ministry, the most important ministry is not the programmatic ministry. Mm-hmm. . It’s the personal ministry that disrupts the program.

Problematic ministry.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So the first two dangers come from the air of Separat. And then the third danger comes from the error of overlap. Overlap leads to thinking what God has called you to do is what God has called you to be. And the danger here is kind of less about your pursuit of holiness and more about where you find your worth in your value.

Hamilton says that you begin to equate how you’re doing as a person with how things are going with your ministry. When your ministry appears to be successful, your self-esteem rises when your ministry is tank. So does your sense of self. Now, this is a dangerous roller coaster ride. Bob and Hamilton [00:15:00] says, One of the things we’ve gotta understand is joy in the highs and sadness in the lows.

That’s totally normal, but that’s not the same as finding your worth in those successes or failures. That’s a very different thing, though. Sometimes the line between the two can be

Bob Bickford: very fine. Yeah, I think the way. , maybe do a self evaluation on this and some soul examination is to answer this question that I’ll put a blank at the end of, uh, the beginning of the phrase, I am a, and then complete that sentence.

Mm-hmm. , right? Because, so you might say, I’m a, I’m a pastor, or I’m a student pastor, I’m a worship leader. Then you’d need to think, are you, how would you describe that? Are you successful? Are. less than Are you struggling? You know, all of those sorts of things where we, where we tend to tie success to things that we can easily see, like size and participation and, you know, all of those sorts of things.

I think that if we pay attention to how we talk about ourselves mm-hmm. particularly as we’re engaged in the ministry of, That God’s called us to in the church. [00:16:00] How we evaluate that, how we feel about ourselves when we walk into a room of other pastors, that’s gonna be pretty telling to see if what we do has surpassed who we are in Christ.

Mm. Right. And so we can walk into a room and say, I’m a beloved child of God. Like I’m a sinner that’s saved by grace. I was once of the kingdom of darkness, but now I’ve been transformed and now I’ve been brought into the kingdom of light. I’m an adopted son or daughter. Like those are identity. , anything else that you might say about yourself that’s related to your role or your success in your role is really kind of a, it’s your self evaluation of, of your ministry.

Now that’s not bad in the sense of we, we all need to have kind of an evaluative grid of our ministry, but that’s not who we are. That’s not our value, right? So I’m not valuable to you, because of all the things I do. Now, you may like the things I do, you may be benefit from them, you may be blessed by them.

But my inherent value. Is transcendent above what I do. Yeah. For you. Yeah. So like as, as we’ve grown in our [00:17:00] relationship and, and as we become friends, if one of us were to have a vocation change our value each other would, would transcend. Yeah. The transactional kinds of things. Yeah. Well, good grief, if that’s true for us, Jimbo, It’s gotta be true for us in our relationship with God.

JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. Yeah. Hamilton says that God assigns you your value and worth completely apart from what you do. Mm-hmm. , your value as a person has nothing to do with your ministry. God doesn’t love you less when your ministry is tanking and he doesn’t love you more when all you do is win. There’s this, this seems like a simple thing, but all three of these dangers, Bob, are really dangerous.

And when our heart gets misaligned with who God has called us to be and what he has called us to do, and there’s not correct alignment there, it’s, it’s just not gonna end well for, for you, for the church, for anybody. And so it’s so important. This is our acts. If we’re lumber X or this is the sharpen the ax thing, right?

Mm-hmm. . If you’re gonna sharpen the ax, then your [00:18:00] heart. Is that at, you have to figure out how to minister out of an overflow of your relationship with the Lord. And even during hard times. That’s where you gotta lean into the Ja, what God says in James of take joy and tribulation and let it be what brings you to the victorious and fruitful life, as you learn to become more like him.

As you deny yourself, die to self and submit yourself to Jesus. Hamilton reminds us that it’s not, It’s not that who you are and what you do are completely unrelated and separate because they are. , what you do flows out of who you are. What God does through you is based on and caused by what God has done and is doing in you.

And he gives us this reminder and, and Luke 10, 19 and 20, Jesus says, Behold, I’ve given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions and overall authority to the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you nevertheless. So this great, wonderful power they’ve been given, nevertheless, do not rejoice in this. This is not [00:19:00] where.

Rejoice in that I’ve given you this authority and this power to do these things that the spirits are subject to you. But Jesus says, Rejoice that your names are written in heaven. And if you can just find peace there, man, that makes such a

Bob Bickford: difference. Absolutely true. I love that. I had a saying that I used to share with guys that we were discipling and mentoring, and here, here’s the thing that I think.

Is developed in our culture that’s not helpful or healthy. We get surprised when life gets hard, right? Like we have bought into, Christians have bought into the lie that if I’m living right, life is supposed to be easy. I mean, look at everywhere. Look at, look at our culture, look at how we respond. And so one of the things that this verse talks about Is that don’t rejoice necessarily in what you can do and that life is going easy.

Rejoice in the fact that God is working in you and through you. So here here’s a little phrase that I used to often say is God is always working around [00:20:00] you. Hmm. So that’s your life circumstances, that’s your context, that’s your situation, That’s your relationships, that’s your job. God’s always working around you.

God is also working on you through those things. Right. So the person at church who just makes you insanely crazy? Yeah. By the person? Yeah, the person that’s the contrarian, The person that always takes the counterpoint, et cetera. That person who just makes you frustrated. So God’s working on you through those people in what he’s doing in shaping what’s happening around you.

He does that so that he can work in you. Yeah. To develop patience, to develop Christ likeness, whatever else that you know needs to be developed in you. God works around. God, works on God, works in before he works through you. Mm-hmm. . Right? So if you are frustrated and feel like God is not doing great things through you, how about pulling back and saying, What is God doing around [00:21:00] me?

Yeah. What might he be doing? you know, on me, How’s he working on me? What is he wanting to develop? How was he transforming me inside in my spiritual life? And those three things always proceed. God doing a great work through you. Yeah.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah. I think it’s important. Uh, Hamilton says, Do not find your ultimate joy and worth in the, in the success of what God has sent you to do.

Instead, rejoicing what God has made you to be a child of the kingdom. He goes on to say, God has called you to be a. With other disciples to go and make disciples. What God does through you flows from what God does in you and what God does in you flows from what God has already done for you. I think this is one of the most important things we can discuss.

Yeah. And I, This is a deep issue. Yeah. And there’s a lot of, there is a lot of like real danger Yeah. If you don’t do this right. Yeah. Uh, and we don’t always, none of us do this right. All the time. [00:22:00] Right. But I think there’s wisdom in evaluation and, and maybe perhaps God has used this episode in New Boot Camper to.

Help you cultivate some evaluation in this, and man, reach out to us. Reach out to your associational leaders, state convention, somebody and, and work through this cuz you can’t, if your heart is misaligned on these things, you, you cannot continue to effectively shepherd and lead and you, you gotta address

Bob Bickford: this.

Absolutely. The, your, your personal pain, whatever it may be, and whatever you think the source is always a window and could always be a window into your life and to see what God is is wanting to do in you. Yeah. Right. And so what I would say is we know some of our bootcampers are really struggling right now, and they’re hurting and they’re frustrated.

Right. What is. Doing. In the midst of that, what could he be doing? And I think this is the right question to ask. Like if you were to, if you were to sit down and tell me about all your woes and travails, you know, I’d listen to you and then I would say, [00:23:00] Well, what do you think God might be doing? Yeah.

Around you. Yeah. Or in you or all of those things. We always wanted to get the through to the through. Right? Yeah. When we always want to get to that conclusion that Second Corinthians one gets to where Paul says all of this happened, Right? Yeah. Right. So that we would not depend upon ourselves, but depend upon God.

Like we want the clarity of that lesson. Yeah. At the. And I don’t think you get it at the beginning. No. Oh, you don’t. I only think you get it at the end. But who you are at the end is a, a more humble, more Christlike servant. Who God can works through.

JimBo Stewart: That’s so important, man. Yeah. Hey, boot campers, we’d love to hear from you.

Uh, check out boot camp blog, at a time of recording. We’re just now assembling the team, like Avengers and we’re getting ’em ready to save the world one blog at a time. Taking the content that you get here and making it available to you. guys out there that prefer to [00:24:00] read rather than listen.

It’s not my people. But I still love you. And so maybe you got a friend who’s you’ve been telling about the bootcamp and they’re like, Yeah, I don’t really listen to podcast. Well now at this point, we should have a blog up that you can point ’em to, right?

Bob Bickford: We’re making blogs. Great. Again, here at the bootcamp,

JimBo Stewart: and with that, we’ll sign off.

being and doing, Craig hamilton, identity, wisdom, wisdom in leadership

Jimbo Stewart

Replant Bootcamp Co-Host

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