EP 194 – MINISTRY MAXIMS PART 3 OF 3
How’s it going Bootcampers? The boys are talking about the food recommendations in NOLA just ahead of the Southern Baptist Convention and then get around the to the important work wrapping up the Ministry Maxims series. Here are the food recommendations with the show notes below.
- Cafe Du Monde – City Park
- Chargrilled Oysters – Dragos or New Orleans Food and Spirits
- New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary: Where to Eat List
Bootcampers if you are attending the SBC Convention stop by the NAMB booth and see us!
Now to the show notes, as you seek to bring renewal to your church with the Lord’s leadership remember the following:
Maxim #6 Pursuing Faithfulness vs. Chasing Fruitfulness
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 1 Corinthians 3
Maxim #7 Commiting for the Long Haul vs. Considering another call when things get difficult
For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 1 Corinthians 16
We hope this series has been an encouragement to you. If you’d like to connect, if you need some specific encouragement reach out, drop us an email, leave a voicemail or drop us a comment. We would love to hear from you.
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JimBo Stewart: Here we are back at the bootcamp, Bob. Well, here we are, back at it again. I hope you’re ready for the next episode. Uh, I was thinking about it as, as we continue this series, this is the third week in a series of things we’ve done on maximums and scorecards. This particular episode comes out the week.
Prior to the Southern Baptist Convention, if I’ve looked at my calendar correctly. so there are a few points of order I’d like to bring to the floor, as we begin
Bob Bickford: Uh oh.
JimBo Stewart: episode. one, food recommendations.
Bob Bickford: Yes. Here we go.
JimBo Stewart: Bob, I don’t have time to give you all of my food recommendations. Here are a couple of guiding factors I’d like to bring to the floor as a motion to you.
In this conversation about food in New Orleans, one, it’ll change your life. It’s the most amazing food city on the planet. And if you think otherwise, I don’t know that we can be friends. couple things you have to try if you’re, if you’re new to New Orleans area and cuisine just as kind of a touristy thing and [00:01:00] they’re great.
You gotta try some beignets, you gotta eat beignets. I have some tips on how to get the best beignets. one is don’t go downtown. That line is gonna be insanely long and they’re gonna be in a paper bag. go to City Park. Uh, it’s a little bit of a drive, or an Uber drive, Uber ride if you didn’t bring a car.
but it’s a much better view. The city park is gorgeous, and it’s a lot shorter line. There’s another Cafe Dumont out in Mey, even if you wanted to go to that. there are other Cafe du demands that are real beignets. And if you’re gonna get a beignet, if you’re a coffee drinker, get a cafe ole, with that and even dip your beignet in the cafe.
Ole, to, for sake of time, my alma mater, my favorite Southern Baptist Seminary in New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has a great list of recommendations for food. we’ll put a link to that in the show notes. highly recommend every restaurant on that list. and so enjoy them. if you want to hit me up, hit me up and I’d love to, I would love to even just have a [00:02:00] long conversation with you about food in New Orleans.
It’s one of my favorite topics.
Bob Bickford: I love it and I would say this, here’s a, here’s a little tip for the, the first time beignet, consumer.
JimBo Stewart: Okay.
Bob Bickford: Do not inhale while you are taking a bite.
JimBo Stewart: No.
Bob Bickford: Of the beignet because the powdered sugar will cause you to hack and choke. And don’t be a rookie and inhale with your, uh, first bite of your beignet.
JimBo Stewart: Also, if it’s your first time, probably don’t wear black or dark colors. Like, these are gonna end up, like if you’ve never encountered a beignet before, I can tell you it’s more powdered sugar than you think it is.
Bob Bickford: Oh my gosh. It is.
JimBo Stewart: There’s more to it than you think. so here’s the other thing, other second point of order I’d like to bring, to the conversation here is, If you are a bootcamp listener and you’re gonna be at the Southern Baptist Convention, Bob and I would love to meet you. please. If you see us come up, talk [00:03:00] to us.
If you hear, typically what I found Bob, is people don’t recognize us cuz this is a podcast so they don’t see our face and recognize us. Oh, you could stalk us on social media and you can figure out what we look like. what I found is people hear your voice in particular. And they’ll go, yeah, they’ll, they’ll go, man, I recognize that voice.
Where do I know that voice from? And it’s b it’s Bob. And so if you hear our voices, you see our faces, and in particular, here’s where, we would love actually to take a selfie with you. And here’s why. We’re coming up really close on 200 episodes, and I would love to maybe even as we come up on 200 episodes, just share some posts with, with people that we meet along the way, because we love it when we get to meet you guys out.
Out there as we’re to, we’re traveling and so I’m hoping that we’ll see plenty of you at the Southern Baptist Convention.
Bob Bickford: Agreed. It is such a cool thing. I was, in Lexington, Kentucky and met several guys, that I’m friends with on Facebook and they’re podcast listeners and. you know, from time to time I’ve seen him [00:04:00] comment. Now we’re Facebook friends, so it was really awesome to see. See you guys. And here’s what, here’s what I just wanna say.
I mean, we are regular dudes who just work in the world of church replanting and revitalization, and so feel free to come on up and introduce yourself. And, I, Jimbo, I was, uh, pretty, I laughed a lot at the most recent, one of the most recent emails that, that you received or, or communication pieces that you met.
A guy was asking us, where, what kind of pants we wore, and then what our cool shoes were. And so I just want to say, not only can we help your church, uh, and your leadership, we can also provide fashion advice. So if you just wanna know what, what we’re wearing, happy to let you know.
JimBo Stewart: Particularly, particularly when it comes to travel fashion, I think we’ve, we’ve hit like peak comfort strategy on, on travel.
Bob Bickford: Yes, so much so that, Jimbo and I don’t, we were flying from, I think it’s our Detroit fiasco. Like when we, we were going from toilets to Detroit, I determined [00:05:00] that I needed some more comfortable pants and so I’m on Delta and, I was ordering pants to be picked up at a, a store in Dallas. And that’s one of the first things we did is we
JimBo Stewart: Well, yeah, so I don’t know all this. He just says, Hey, we’re going to Target, and I’m driving and uh, or, oh no, I’m, I’m manning the gps. And so I just look up targets in general, and he just goes, no, it has to be this target at. This address. And I was like, why does it have to be this target? I, I mean that one’s not coming up.
and then when you get there and you were like, oh, I ordered some pants online. You all you said was, we have to stop somewhere. We have to stop a target and grab something. And I was like, what is it specifically just at Target? and it’s like, what does it have to be Target? I mean, I like Target.
That’s fine. but then you were like, no, we’re just gonna pull up here. I ordered some pants online. I dunno why, but I thought that was hilarious. That. But while we’re on the plane, you ordered pants online. They’re great pants, they’re very comfortable. just you, if you wanna know, they’re Wrangler brand.
all Terrain I think [00:06:00] is what, something like that. And there’s some pretty, you know, professional looking slack type, but they’re like really comfortable, really great pants.
Bob Bickford: yeah, they got a side zip pocket so you can put the wallet or the passport down in there for their airport navigation and all that kind of stuff. And Jimbo, as you’re recounting this story, it made me realize I give as much detail to you as I give my wife. She has, she’s always like, well, you didn’t say that. Well, you didn’t think you did. And I’m like, in my mind, Jimbo, and maybe you do this. Like I thought I’ve said all those things in my mind,
JimBo Stewart: Nope. You just said we gotta go to Target. And then it just e escalated from there to a specific target to, oh. I ordered pants online and they’re gonna bring ’em to the car. So it was, uh, it was a good moment. Uh, hey, we’ve had a great conversation over the last two. really I think I would include this summer episode we did kind of in this as a springboard into this conversation about, maxim’s scorecards.
when, when we are limited in [00:07:00] our, Capacity, resources, people, all those things. how do we think about doing ministry in a way that is sustainable, that’s not gonna burn us out, that’s gonna get us moving towards our target and the mission that God has given us. And, Bob has put a lot of this stuff together.
It’s been really good over the last few weeks. and so we’re jumping into the last two of the seven maximums and scorecards. So before we do that, I just wanna read the first ones. As a way of reminder, and then you’re gonna wanna go back and listen to the last two episodes to get the first five, and then even the summer episode if you haven’t listened to those already.
Seven fundamental shifts for sustainable ministry. One, discerning and adapting versus doubling down and diving deep into discouragement. Two, leading pragmatic change versus reinvigorating old programs. Three, empowering and equipping for ministry versus exhausting yourself. Doing ministry being the only one doing everything.
Last week we talked about measuring actions versus counting [00:08:00] results and scorecards, and how do we. Figure out ways to measure input goals, to move us towards and identify those and celebrate those. and then we also talked about funding. How do we think about, the world we live in now and how economics are different than they have been historically for us in the North American Church and how that all takes some approaches.
So today we’re gonna hit the last two. Of the seven maximums and scorecards, the, I’m just gonna go ahead and list both of them and then let’s dive in. The first one is pursuing faithfulness versus chasing fruitfulness. And then last one is committing for the long haul versus considering a call when things get difficult.
Let’s jump in to pursuing faithfulness versus chasing fruitfulness.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, man. This is a, this might be one of my favorite ones out of the seven. And, this comes from First Corinthians three. I love what Paul says as he’s talking about the division of ministry and the call of ministry and the fulfillment of that here. Here’s what he says. starting in verse six, he says, I planted a Apollo watered, but God gave the [00:09:00] growth.
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one. And each will receive his wages according to his labor. Right. So here’s what Paul is saying. We each have a, a ministry role, and mine was, to, to proclaim the gospel, to plant the gospel.
A policy’s, responsibility was to water that. But ultimately, when you see growth happen, Jimbo who is, who’s the one who causes the growth? And it makes that happen. Well, it’s a God, right? So oftentimes we’ve heard, you know, man, well, that, that pastor did an amazing job. He really grew that church well. He fo if, if he fulfilled his responsibility to either plant or water, God was the one ultimately who used that work to grow the church, right? So God is the one who gives the growth. And then it says everybody is the same. Like we’re in unity here. Like if you’re planting or you’re watering, man, great job.
You, you’ve been doing your work. We are workmen who work under the [00:10:00] lordship of Jesus Christ. an assignment that God gives. And so, Just be faithful in fulfilling your responsibilities in that assignment rather than chasing the fruit. that we try to, you know, we, we try to get church growth and we chase whatever thing we think is gonna give us church growth, and it, it ends up frustrating us.
And what we end up doing is, and here’s the key, we are neglecting the actual work that God has assigned us when we chase fruitfulness in some ways.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
Bob Bickford: And I think that’s what Jared Wilson said this in one of his, books. He said, Christ isn’t calling us to grow his church. He will do that. He’s calling us to be faithful.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I think it’s so important because, The harvest is not up to us and the well done, good and faithful servant that we’re all hoping for is not gonna come from, our ability. To produce fruit, because none of us have any ability to produce fruit. We just don’t, we don’t have that, uh, a great analogy I’ve heard, my wife use, even when she’s talked with, pastor’s wives and she’ll say, [00:11:00]Hey, how do you grow a flower?
Here’s some seeds, and how do you grow a flower? Let’s talk about how to do that. And then, and then she’ll say, all right, without the seeds, how do you grow a flower?
Bob Bickford: Yeah.
JimBo Stewart: Well, you don’t, right? Like, like we are limited in what we’re able to do and it’s, it’s the Lord’s Church and it’s our job to be faithful.
And, man, there’s so many times in the Bible where people do what they’re supposed to do and it doesn’t seem like what was supposed to happen happens. Like it just works an entirely different way. and God is always faithful. Always faithful, but it seems like he’s r rarely pulls off stuff in the ways that we would think he’s going to.
Bob Bickford: Mm-hmm.
JimBo Stewart: there we always have a temptation like Abraham and Sarah to take it into our own hands and, and try to fulfill God’s promises for him. and when we pr, when we chase fruitfulness rather than faithfulness will end up, striking the rock, we’ll be having our own child through the servant rather than through the way that God gave us.
And, there’s so many [00:12:00] examples of this in scripture where, we think we’re doing a good thing, but we’re chasing it for the wrong reasons. We’re trying to make it happen ourselves. And so much of this is to be dependent on the Lord.
Bob Bickford: Mm-hmm. Yeah. So true man. I think of o uh, one of the things that reminds me of is, one of my favorite N F L Hall of Fame, speeches. and I didn’t see the whole speech, but I saw a, a portion of it. And Jimbo, you know, that I’m a long suffering and extremely regularly disappointed. Dallas Cowboys fan.
it just, we, you know, I, as soon as we don’t convert a fourth, like a third and short, the very first, third and short conversion that we miss at the very first game. Of the real season. I’m already calling the Cowboys out of the Super Bowl. I’m saying that the season is over and, and I found great joy in doing that.
That just, I always, how fast can I do it? Back in the day when they were good, they had a running back named Emmett Smith. And, he was phenomenal, but they also had a fullback that a lot of people have forgotten [00:13:00] about. And the fullback’s job, was to block for Emmett. And when they would get into a scoring situation if Emmett was gonna get the ball, there was a guy who would block for him.
The guy’s name was, uh, Darryl Johnston, and they called him Moose, right? And so Emmett’s receiving his Hall of Fame induction, and one of the things he says with tears in his eyes, I could not have done it if it were not for Darrell Johnston. Right. And Darrell Johnston, if you know anything about him and the sacrifices that he made on the football field have, have walked with him to this day.
Like he is just physically, he’s like just a wreck. Like most n f l football players are, but even more so cuz he just was unbelievably, you know, sacrificial in, in the way he would hit through the hole and block for Emmett Emmett would dance into the end zone and all that kinda stuff. Well, I think Jimbo re planters are like the Daryl Johnstons,
right? Like, there’s so much sacrifice. And here’s, I mean, I bet there’s a replen or two that’s listening to us today that nobody really knows that’s probably scraping together, you know, resources to provide [00:14:00] for his family. And he’s doing so because he feels like God’s called him, do that, and he’s being faithful and, and he’s creating, he’s sowing that seed.
He’s watering it. He’s maybe even, he’s plowing ground before you. You plant the seed. And I just want to say, man, Just be faithful in the role and with the gifting god’s given you and let God sort out the fruitfulness. And there’s a lot of things that you’re never gonna see right now that you’ll only see way down the road.
but the fruit is God’s job. The harvest is God’s job. Be faithful, in the role that he’s called you to play.
JimBo Stewart: Hmm, that’s such a good word. I think, man, that’s maybe one of the most important of the seven maxims that you’ve listed here. moving to the seventh one, committing for the long haul versus considering a call when things get difficult.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, man, Jimbo, I don’t know about you, but in those first, three years of replant, um, I would, I would experience something very difficult and I would think, I think I’ve made a big mistake.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Yeah,
Bob Bickford: And I would [00:15:00] think, is it time to look at the job offerings board somewhere else? should I pick up the QuickTrip application and make application to be a manager here?
Like, I mean, just all those sorts of things. And, and that’s what way we have a tendency to do when things get hard. And, and what I realized is through all of that, I did not have a well-developed theology of pastoral suffering.
JimBo Stewart: Hmm.
Bob Bickford: And, Clifton, you know, when I first met with Clifton the very first time, I asked him what I would experience in replanting, and he said, you’ll, you’ll experience significant spiritual attack and deep dark depression.
Well, Jimbo, I didn’t want to hear that. Like I wanted to hear, you know, an endorsement on my strategy or Yeah, you’re doing the right things. Keep on going. It’s gonna be hard, but just, you know, you’ll make it. But I think what I learned along the way is that God is doing something in me. And on me and around me before he’s gonna work through
me. and and that’s part of things that, that, I don’t think I picked that up in bible college or seminary.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, no, I think it’s, it’s such an important thing. It’s one of those that, me and my wife will talk about how we [00:16:00] really thought God was sending us to this replant so that we could, save it and we could be the answer. And, what we didn’t know is that God, Was really using this replant to save us to, I’m not talking Sal Viff, but I’m talking like our sanctification.
I felt like it was sanctification bootcamp, like, uh,
Bob Bickford: That’s a new podcast.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Sanctification Bootcamp. There we go. That’s our discipleship podcast. go ahead and trademark it. man, it was, it was sanctification bootcamp for me. It was like I, I grew in ways there that you can’t grow, In good times. I mean, I, I grew in my maturity and my understanding of my role in ministry, of the, of my role and my relationship with the Lord in ways that you just can’t, I don’t know that you can grow in those ways when things are going great.
and I, I, I loved what you said. I mean, you gotta have such a good. Theology of pastoral suffering and, and perspective [00:17:00] on, on, on how this is not new. nor is your suffering the worst. you know, I think we have a tendency to kind of be like Elijah right after he, you know, he defeated all the prophets of bail and then he goes and runs and hides in the mountain because somebody’s mad at him.
And, you know, we’re like, oh, I’m the only one, there’s no one else going through what I’m going through. when you know God’s like, no, I actually have thousands of people going through what you’re going through. And, and so, you know, for me, honestly, what helped me with perspective was reading about Bon Hoffer’s life, reading some Nick Ripkin Insanity of God and Insanity of Obedience.
Um, And, you know, things like that that give you perspective of persecuted believers and, you know, it, it makes the, the bad business meeting seem a little less, horrible and, catastrophic when you start to read what others have gone through historically in the faith.
Bob Bickford: Absolutely. Our good friend Brian Croft, when he talks about his [00:18:00] story, at, Auburndale, he mentions, a significant verse that helped form his perspective on. This theology of pastoral suffering. And he points to, uh, first Corinthians 16. Here’s what he says. Paul, Paul writing, again, Paul was a guy who suffered a lot, uh, because of the ministry.
God called him, to, to fulfill. So Paul writes and he says, I do not, uh, for, I do not wanna see you now, just in passing. I hope to spend some of my time with you if the Lord permits, but I will stay in emphasis until Pentecost, for a wide door of effective work has opened for me. And there are many adversaries.
Right. This is his greeting, you know, kind of his benediction. And we, Ty typically kind of zoom through this and we miss this passage that he’s basically saying to us. and it’s recorded in, uh, biblical history here. oftentimes when effective ministry is about to take place, there are a lot of adversaries and there’s gonna be a lot of struggle.
And so I think that I learned of that experientially at our replant when things got weird and crazy and wacky. And when there was a lot [00:19:00] of conflict in our body, what it meant was not, it was not time to not leave. It was time. It was not time to leave, but it was time to realize that there’s effective work going on here as the Lord is.
Is maturing all of us and calling us to walk with him in as a church family. and so there, there, we’ve talked about this before, you can suffer consequences and struggles because you do stupid things. Like we’re not talking about that. What we’re talking about here is when you seek to, to, fulfill the vision that the Lord has given, your, your local body, your local church, and be obedient to scripture.
Sometimes you’re gonna come into adversaries, uh, who, who don’t want that to happen. And ultimately, Satan, our ultimate adversary who doesn’t want that to happen. Cuz if a church has continued to be dysfunctional and and decline, it’s not gonna be an effective church for the kingdom of God.
And so he’s gonna throw everything he can at the re planter and then at the church to keep that from happening.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. my sister who, um, had a brain tumor discovered last year and had a major [00:20:00] seizure and had to go under major brain surgery and has had a lot of lasting effects from that brain surgery. was texting me and my wife the other day, uh, a book that she just started reading called This Too Shall Last.
By KJ Ramsey, called, the subtitles Finding Grace when Suffering Lingers. and it’s written by somebody with an autoimmune, autoimmune disorder that’s suffering a lot in their life and it’s, it’s not gonna be, Cured it’s, you know, in this side of glory. And, the quote she texted me was, the seemingly impossible task of enduring suffering and rejoicing, in it as born in the impossible reality, that God became human.
The I impossibility of having joy in a body with an incurable disease is made possible by God in a body. The possible possibility of hope in your despair is alive here, as close as your breath cause of Jesus. The sound of love is human. and he is with you. and that [00:21:00] suffering and the suffering is not wasted.
It’s not wasted time, it’s not. and, and this is again, just to go back to, I wanna echo this one back to the pursuing faithfulness rather than fruitfulness. if we are only focused on our ability to produce fruit, Then that suffering feels like a big waste of time. Like it feels really unproductive.
But when we’re focused on faithfulness and just doing what God has called us to do, and being faithful and stewarding well, the opportunities he’s given us. Then in that you have the possibility of seeing the point of the suffering in the midst of the suffering, and you can live out James chapter one of taking joy in that trial because God’s doing something.
You may not know what it is, but he’s doing something. I had that conversation with a discouraged pastor the other day. He’s not the lead pastor, but he’s, he’s in a hard situation at another church and we were talking about the hard stuff and I said, listen, God is up to something. He’s doing something.
And he’s like, it doesn’t [00:22:00] feel like he’s doing anything. And I said, I promise you he’s doing something. And I think what you need to do is figure out what that is and what he has for you and be faithful in it.
Bob Bickford: Good word. Hey, pastors, replants, revitalizes. We care about you guys. And if it’s hard right now, and you’d just like some brothers to walk with you and pray for you, man, reach out. Um, send us an email, drop us a voicemail and uh, let us know how we can, can be praying for you and encourage you.
JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. Hey, and if you’re at the Southern Baptist Convention next week, come by, say to us, watch for our social media. We may post where we’re at and or, or not, but we’ll see.
Bob Bickford: well, well, and I will just say this, we’ll be at the nam booth cuz Jimbo, you and I both work for the North American Mission
JimBo Stewart: is true. Yeah. You can come
Bob Bickford: so yeah, if you, uh, and then, you know, we love to see you.