EPISODE #50 – HOW TO LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES
50 Episodes!! Thanks for being part of our listening family!!
In this episode the guys talk about becoming lifelong learners, not being defined by your mistakes and how to grow in your leadership in light of the fact that you are not perfect.
- Mistakes are part of ministry-don’t excuse them, be defeated by them, learn from them.
- Mistakes create pain-for you, your people and the mission of the Church.
- Evaluate your mistakes-before you move past them or ignore them understand what led to them, what happened and what you might do differently in the future.
- If you aren’t making mistakes you are probably not leading.
- Failure is not final
Show Notes: want to read along while the show plays? Check out this episode’s show notes below delivered by: Descript
TRANSCRIPTS are an approximate account of the audio recording and may not be 100% complete. Audio should be consulted for accuracy.
JimBo Stewart: Episode 5- 0 50 episodes. Bob that is pretty special.
Bob Bickford: It is, JimBo I am just a little north of 50. 50 is a big deal.
JimBo Stewart: 50 is a big deal. How North of 50, are you?
Bob Bickford: Three strikes? JimBo. Three strikes three strikes.
We’ve laughed a lot. And I think this has been for me. So it’s been a highlight of my week, every week for us to, broadcast and episode number 50 is really great because we’re actually in person. Yep. Recording [00:01:00] this during the Replant Summit, 2020 here in Greenwood, Missouri. And, it’s been an awesome time.
JimBo Stewart: This has been a really good event.
Honestly, as good as you could do in COVID. We’re social distancing mask on trying to figure that out and Fellowship Church has done a great job of accommodating all of that accommodating us leading well, and all of that. And hosting it and it’s just been a really cool to be a part of it.
Bob Bickford: Can’t say enough and thankful to Steve Dighton for the legacy of Lenexa Baptist Church and the Fellowship Churches. So Fellowship Greenwood is a church that they took over years ago . Interestingly enough, we’re here in the Kansas city, Metro, where I was a youth pastor for four years. And our youth group softball team actually played softball in the front yard, that big front lawn of Fellowship Greenwood. And you know what? Here’s a true story. Alright. We had a youth group where we had a one softball player that played at Truman High School. Go Patriots.
And she was awesome at inviting her friends to come to our youth group. And so a number of them came to Christ. It was awesome. And they also came and played on our softball team and they were so good. They were so good that we killed every other youth group softball team in the, blue river, Kansas city Baptist Assocuation Softball League. And here was our motto. I’ll lay it on you. All right.
We don’t practice because we don’t have to.
JimBo Stewart: That’s an interesting evangelistic strategy. Let’s just go after elite athletes and dominate church league softball.
Bob Bickford: Hey, it wasn’t. I was not, it was not a strategy. It was just, the strategy was reached your friends for Christ. And I just had a softball player, Jennifer Palmer, and she was awesome. She just started reaching her friends. And so we had like almost the complete infield of the Truman Patriot softball team.
And it was amazing.
JimBo Stewart: Did y’all make anybody cry? Cause you beat them so bad.
Bob Bickford: I think we probably did.
JimBo Stewart: For me, church league softball has always been an example of [00:03:00] probably something we should not do.
Bob Bickford: Yes.
JimBo Stewart: It’s continually like a practice in not showing the fruit of the spirit.
Bob Bickford: You’re going to damage your witness in the community. Playing church softball.
JimBo Stewart: You’ll see people get tested.
Your metal gets tested. as a spiritual person playing church league softball.
Bob Bickford: Whew. I was really bad at baseball and not so great at softball. My wife is really, she’s really good at softball. And so I always had this love, hate relationship. Unfortunately for that year I had an intern.
And he was the one who ran all of the softball stuff. And so I just got to show up with my kids. They were really little. And I just got to cheer and have a lot of fun. It was a great time.
JimBo Stewart: Hey, I got to share a great story that I have a connection to Fellowship Church.
Let’s do it. Yeah.
JimBo Stewart: I shared this at the Replant Summit, that there’s a young lady who lives in Jacksonville, Florida. She came to the Kansas City area to visit some family and friends. And while with those family and friends who she’s known for a very long time. Did not grow up in church. she didn’t put her family and friends did, some of them did. And anyway, long story short, they, the father of her friend.
Leads her to Christ. She stuck here cause of COVID for several weeks and he starts discipling her with his daughter and they start going through discipleship process. And they’re figuring out what she’s got to go back to Jacksonville now. The guy talks to me and he goes, I’ll be honest, man. I’m a little bit of a control freak. And I was so excited to get to lead somebody to Christ and start discipling them. And now I’m having to send them back.
I don’t know where I’m sending them. I don’t know the connection. And so he asked Greg Boll. Yeah. DOM around here, where should I send them? And Greg and I met at the AMS training in Alpharetta before. And so Greg said, Hey Jacksonville, I know a guy in Jacksonville, JimBo Stewart Redemption Church. just by God’s sovereignty. So cool. Jacksonville is physically the largest city in America, land mass wise. So being in [00:05:00] Jacksonville does not mean that we’re close enough to be her church.
Bob Bickford: Sure.
JimBo Stewart: But she happens to live like a mile and a half up the road from our church and shows up on a Sunday that I’m not even preaching I’m on vacation our replant resident as preaching. And then I meet her the next week. The guy who’s discipling her emails, me, we touched base and she’s been with us ever since and been really plugged in with our young adults.
And it’s been really a cool addition to our church. And so it’s been neat to see from one replant to another replant all the way halfway across the country.
Bob Bickford: That’s phenomenal. And I just love stories like that. And the more that I’m in the replant movement. And the more that we do training with guys from all over the nation. We’ve got guys here from Michigan and California.
All over the place. And, It’s just great because you develop those relationships and you hear those connections. And so beyond this podcast and the work of the Replant Team in the North American Mission Board, there’s a lot of connections that are being made. And so as big as North America is it’s actually getting smaller yeah. In this replant movement. So a lot of the guys that are listening to podcasts, we were able to meet some guys, today. Yeah.
At that hadn’t been listening to the podcast and we just want to say thank you to our listeners. And we’re grateful for you. And thanks for sticking with us for 50 episodes. It’s really.
JimBo Stewart: Listen to the other 50, you need to. Hey, and if you do meet us at a conference,or something like that, we honestly we’d love for you to come and just tell us that you listen and, let us know if it’s helpful or not helpful o what we could do.
Bob Bickford: Yeah.
JimBo Stewart: to be more helpful.
Bob Bickford: Yeah. So one of the things we want to talk about in episode 50 is mistakes and how to learn from them and not make them, which it’s appropriate that we’re here in the Kansas City Metro. Cause I sure made a lot of mistakes as a youth pastor.
JimBo Stewart: It’s also appropriate the its like an earmark episode five zero, cause that’s kinda the theme of a lot of what we talked about. It’s not learning from our expertise. But from our mistakes.
Bob Bickford: Oh man. And so this is a hard thing, and I don’t know about You JimBo, but one of the things that, I’m just wired up, I’m wanting to achieve and I want to win. And I want to have knowledge and I don’t want to not know something.
And so that feeds into the leadership that I exercise is a pastor. I hate it. When I miss something and I make a mistake and then I just have to sit in that and go, yeah. How did I not know this? I should have known better. Why didn’t I think about that? And it’s a really painful experience for me to make a mistake.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I’m somewhere that way. I’m not, I want to be a high achiever. I want to get things done. We’re both wired very passionate. Driven. Let’s just get it done. Push through it and make it happen. Let’s win. And it’s so hard. Not only when you make a mistake in ministry, but when that mistake is not only painful for you, but it ends up being painful for others. You’re now dealing with pain and hurt. Because I did that.
Bob Bickford: So as a pastor, that’s so hard for us because when we make a mistake as a pastor and leading the church, it hurts our people, it hurts us. It hurts our family. It can potentially hurt the mission and the work of God in our church and our community and our city. And we’re not just talking about like a moral failure or something like that, but they’re simple leadership mistakes that we make that have an impact and we may not realize them. So one of them may be in the way we talk to somebody or something that we say publicly that is taken the wrong way. Or we didn’t mean for it to sound a particular way, but maybe we were tired and it did sound a particular way. And, or maybe we did, maybe we were just frustrated and spoke out of anger. I’ve had a couple of instances where I’ve been too honest about what I was feeling, not practicing emotional intelligence and self-awareness, it just was like, a little bit angry and I’m just going to say this as anger. Yeah. Just cause I’m mad. Yeah. And when I do that, you can, soon as it comes out of your mouth, you see the. See the air go out of the room and the eyes get a little wider. Do you like, I think I just made a mistake.
JimBo Stewart: I’ve got a great one for you ever say something when you think.
It happens a lot in parenting, right? When you say something, you go. I never thought I’d say that sentence.
I’ve got a ministry one. There was mistake where I was just emotionally exhausted and let something slip that never should have happened. Just hectic insane week for our church. lots of weighty ministry, things happening all on top of each other. So literally we’re working with a lady whose children or she’s being investigated by DCF and we’ve got a emergency care family that is taken care of those kids.
While we’re trying to figure out how to get this lady in rehab. While not losing her children. I’m literally in meetings with DCF, trying to advocate on her behalf because I know this lady and I know the kids and I know that they don’t need to be separated. She just needs some help for a little while. And we, as a church can rally around the kids while that’s happening.
On top of that, several other weightiness things happening. The lady who was supposed to be cooking Wednesday night dinner had to pull out, which meant I was cooking Wednesday night. Oh my gosh. Which normally is something I enjoy. I enjoy cooking and it’s normally a de-stressor, but with just 5,000 other things happening, I just didn’t need anything else on my plate. And one of the ladies had with the DCF situation there was an Iguan a that needed to be taken care of.
Bob Bickford: Okay. wait. A real. actual iIIIIIIIIIIguana That was a pet.
JimBo Stewart: That was a pet. Okay. And the kids where they, where the kids went, that family did not want to take care of also an iguana. And so another lady just volunteered to take the Iguana. Okay. And she realized she didn’t want to take care. I don’t realize, I don’t know. Maybe a gwan is our high maintenance and I’m not really sure
Bob Bickford: whether they are a pretty big lizard
JimBo Stewart: and yeah. So this lady is constantly like.
Hey, somebody has got to take care of this iguanas, but she wasn’t directly asking me, is she, this was informing me that there was a situation and. I have a fault that I’m going to go ahead and just be transparent.
Bob Bickford: I can’t wait.
JimBo Stewart: If you’re passive aggressive with me. It drives me so insane. Yes. I will not help you. Yes, it, unless the Holy spirit intercedes and you bring a passive aggressive.
Not request, but like it’s supposed to be a request, but you don’t want to actually make it a request. There’s just something in me.
Bob Bickford: The hint drop. I hate the hint.
JimBo Stewart: I just, I, so I will sometimes sinfully unintentionally just not answer your request because you haven’t actually made a request. Okay. So this lady kept passive, aggressively texting me are things like about this Iguana, not asking. Can you help me find somewhere for the Igurana, but just, Hey.
And This is horrible. I would just reply, praying for you.
Bob Bickford: Oh, God.
JimBo Stewart: And I would pray and I would go, Lord, please take care of this Igurana. So I am walking into the church kitchen. With arm loads full of groceries?
Bob Bickford: No,
JimBo Stewart: my phone rings and it’s this lady’s husband.
Bob Bickford: Oh no.
JimBo Stewart: Now the backstory for this conversation is he travels for a living. And so his wife has probably, I’m assuming at this point, been in his ear about this iguana and me not helping.
And so he’s a little heated and I would be too right. If my wife said, man, I’ve been asking the pastor to help me figure out something with iguana this whole time. He’s just leaving me with it and just get your replying, praying for you. Like I would probably be like, Hey man. Why don’t you help out?
Bob Bickford: Yeah. So just to a clarification, you’re helping this family. You got a family services involved, you gotta take [00:13:00] care of an iguana and just to reiterate, did you just, did you pawned this go on and off on the lady?
JimBo Stewart: I had nothing to do with the iguana interchange. Okay. All right. It just happened. Okay. This lady volunteered for it and then realized it was more than she could handle.
Bob Bickford: Okay.
JimBo Stewart: And she just kept saying, I can’t do this. Somebody else needs to do it.
Bob Bickford: So as her pastor. And so she was just reaching out. I need a little help here,
JimBo Stewart: Look. I had too many other irons in the fire, too many other things.
Bob Bickford: Were are you making chicken strips or pot roast for dinner? What were you making? Or what? I was cooking that night.
JimBo Stewart: but I remember I’ve got arm
Bob Bickford: fulls of groceries
JimBo Stewart: and I walk into the kitchen and my phone’s ringing and it’s her husband.
Bob Bickford: Oh, no.
JimBo Stewart: so I drop groceries to answer the phone and he’s heated and he’s at me. Man, listen my wife has been trying to help you with this iguana thing, blah, blah, blah, blah. You’ve got to figure out somebody else to take care of this iguana. I said. Bro. I don’t have a spare minute to help you find a foster home for an iguana.
Bob Bickford: No, this is Florida. They got numbers. Come on.
JimBo Stewart: I don’t have a spare minute to help you with this iguana.
Bob Bickford: wait, can I ask, did you, do, did you ever learn how to prepare Guana? As a chef.
JimBo Stewart: I’ve never cooked any four of lizard.
Bob Bickford: Okay. Alright. It’s unclean slid a little bit. It gets, yeah. Commence.
JimBo Stewart: so he goes, like I said, it pretty upset.
I was like, bro, I don’t have a minute to help you find a foster home for an iguana. And I think when I set it like that, like it hit him. Cause, and again, I fully understand this position. If my wife were in my ear all day about something, you better believe I’m going to come to her
Bob Bickford: defense.
JimBo Stewart: And at the moment when I said that he goes. You’re right. My bad man.
Bob Bickford: And that’s good
JimBo Stewart: and hangs up. And so I called my wife and I was like, Hey, We need a vacation.
She goes, why do we need a vacation? I know we do, but what happened? She could just tell him my voice. Something happened to trigger that phone call. And I said, I just yelled at somebody. Or raise my voice, telling them I cannot help you foster an iguana. She knew all the backstory and she goes, you did what I thought she goes, you need to call him and apologize. And I said, I’m gonna be honest. I’m not ready. Yeah. Like I’m just not ready to call and apologize right now. So I gave it 30 minutes and then I called and I apologize. And he said, no, man.
I was the one out of line. I shouldn’t be asking you to take care of an iguana. Enough stuff on your plate right now.
But here’s the deal when we make mistakes like that. We can go a couple of different ways with it. now obviously the ideal way to go. So learn from it. But often that’s not what happens. Often we continuously make the same mistakes without learning from them. Bob, how can, when we make mistakes that are more serious than getting mad about an iguana.
Because a lot of times they will be. How can we grow from that? How do you, when you make a mistake, how do you let that be an opportunity for growth?
Bob Bickford: This is the hardest part, I think, especially for those of us who don’t want to be wrong and we don’t want to make mistakes. What I think one of the first things is you really need to sit with it a while and understand as much as you can about the mistake you made and what the circumstances were that led you to it. And why you made the decisions you made that led to you making that choice that eventually ended up in a category. You said, man, that was a mistake. That was an error. I shouldn’t have done that.
So most of the time, we just want to forget about it and move on. We want to blame it on somebody else. We want to excuse it. We want to, we do this a lot with it. I’m just, it’s on him because I’m so busy. I don’t have time to mess with the stinking lizard. And so you put that off on him rather than, you could have done that rather than sitting with it and go, okay, wait a second here.
Am I doing too much, did it leave me in a place where I’ve got, low bandwidth? And that was an irritant to me. And I just felt overwhelmed. Was it the fact that somebody was being passive aggressive with me? And then why does passive aggressive behavior make me freak out? And why do I react so strongly to that?
You got to think through those sorts of things. And then you also got to realize in my own personal life what’s going on, it sounds like you realized I need some time off. I need to refresh. I need to recuperate. I don’t need to be doing everything. And so then that leads down towards the. The evaluation where my spiritually,
Who’s most of the times we make mistakes when were feel pressed for time, we’re out of margin, we’re tired. We’re frustrated. We don’t make good decisions because we feel like we have to make a decision right now. Cause we just gotta move on. Yeah. And so most of the time our mistakes are made from fatigue or frustration and we can undo that those circumstances in our life. If we take time to pause, develop leaders, delegate.
We just had an episode where we’re talking with Bob Bumgarner about how do you delegate not dump and how do you develop leaders? So maybe that’s a part of fueling, some mistakes that you’re making. And so what I would say, sit with it unlayer it, peel it back, understand all that led to it. And then I will say this, and
I don’t know that I have an easy answer to this, but you’re going to have to deal with the emotional weight of making a mistake in an appropriate manner. So you could let a tank, you and you can be frustrated and grumpy at the family and down on yourself and then get into some unhealthy behaviors and sinful behaviors. Cause you’re so down on herself.
You could discount the fact that you could question your call to ministry. I just, I, I. Rookie pastors would make this mistake. I must just not be called or I must not be gifted. And so you have to deal with the emotional baggage and the way to that. And that’s probably some of the hardest for us specifically, if we’re.
A performer in our personalities, because we don’t want to make a mistake. We don’t want to see in those less than we don’t want to, but don’t get a bad grade. We don’t want to not win.
JimBo Stewart: Failure is a far better teacher. Then success. But we have to embrace that idea. what is the Disney movie about the young scientists that the family of inventors, Jimmy neutron.
There’s a movie, but here’s the great point is it’s this whole real quirky family that they make all these inventions and random stuff all the time. And one of the things I always ask on a dinner table is what have you failed at?
Bob Bickford: Oh, okay.
JimBo Stewart: and they celebrate that.
They said they set late there. They’re asking, Hey, what did you fail at this week? And you share that in a Hey, awesome. That’s great. You failed at something, which means you get to learn at that thing. And we’ve talked about this before that kind of year three slot dark season storming, horrible time. Terrible. No good, very bad day.
Season of replanting. That if you can come out on the other side of that. Chances are, yes, you’ll look back and there’s some wounds. But chances are, you can look back and say, may not. I really grew. I know I really grew a lot in the Lord in that season. That could not been a gift I would have gotten from success.
Bob Bickford: Absolutely. And.
That’s why we should understand. first of all, failure. is good for us in that sanctifies us and shows us we’re not invincible and we’re not God right where we’re fallible. We’re finite. We mess up all the time. And so there’s a good part of failure that makes us dependent upon the Lord and dependent upon others.
And so those are good things, right? And so making mistakes is if you’re making mistakes, awesome. Great. Welcome to the replant family. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re probably playing it too safe. And you’re probably not doing anything significant
JimBo Stewart: or you’re not being honest.
Bob Bickford: You’re not being honest. Yeah. That’s a good point.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, they’re not doing something significant. Or you’re just not self aware enough or honest enough to see that. Things are
Bob Bickford: mistakes. That’s right. Cause you can, part of the mistake you might be making is just being too passive and too complacent.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. I see. So a lot of times guys will be just, or people in general.
Going back to the self awareness piece. Sometimes, I can’t even figure out where they made a mistake. There are people. We all have blind spots, right? So just in a tip. To make it real easy and accessible to everybody. We all have blind spots within our personality. And don’t realize fully how we are perceived by others.
growing up, I’m just, I am, I’m a red blooded and passionate of a person. as can’t exist. And it took me a long time to realize. I don’t have to be passionate about everything. It’s actually not good. To be passionate about everything. And I, one of the things I learned from others.
Was. My being so passionate about everything I believe actually often comes across as pride and arrogance because I bring my ideas, which I actually maybe holding loosely. But I bring them with such passion and [00:22:00] excitement that you would think it can come across. no, I am 100%, right? You’re 100% wrong. You have to believe the way I do or you’re wrong. Even if I don’t say that. Or maybe even think it.
But it, I was not self aware of that for a long time. And didn’t realize that people thought I was incredibly arrogant and prideful. I just thought I was super passionate and usually right.
Bob Bickford: You probably work.
JimBo Stewart: And so it took the help of others to help me see that and grow in that.
Bob Bickford: Most people are not super high passionate people. The majority folks. think about it. Percentage wise, if everybody in our society was a super hyper passionate person, like it would be awful.
JimBo Stewart: They would annoy me.
Bob Bickford: It’d be competing profession, right? no. And you’re up in each other, But some of us are, and we just don’t realize how we come across to others. And I remember the setting in a particular church, I was working in pretty large church and, I was in my mid to late thirties and I was just.
Super passionate about everything in my mid to late thirties. And. And everything was urgent and everything was critical. Everything had to be done now. And if we didn’t do it right now than it was going to be awful and everybody’s going to lose in the kingdom of God was going to lose and et cetera.
And I had older people around me that just were, they had experience and they really had perspective and I wish they would have taken me aside as a. 30 something and said to me, Hey bro. I love your passion. But not everything is as urgent as you think it is. Yeah. And we’re going to be okay. Because my perspective was, do you just don’t care about anything anymore? You’re just old and dried up or.
It’s come on. Everybody needs to be like me. And, and so that’s one of the mistakes we make in the youthfulness. And this just gets into another point, one of the best. Teachers in our life is failure, but one of the best translators of failures in our life as a mentor. And a mentor can put his arm around us or, for, for our pastor’s wives. they could have a pastor’s wife and you put their arm around, just think it sit across the table from us and they can do a couple things. One is they can remind us that every failure is not final.
because of the sake of the gospel for, because of the truth of the gospel and that every failure doesn’t determine your future. And we just need to know that failure’s a part of life. That if we embrace it and learn from it. And not run from it. Not excuse it. God can do some really productive things in our life and we’ll be more seasoned, will be more humble and will be more useful in the hands of God.
JimBo Stewart: That’s good. I think. You cannot overestimate the value. Of having somebody a little farther along in the past, speaking into you. And lovingly calling you out. Challenging you encouraging you. And all of the above.
I look back on my life, honestly, Bob and. Feel unbelievably blessed. With so many men that God has put in my life. To pour into me. That I look at who I was at 19, 20,21, and I would really hate to hang out with that guy.
Bob Bickford: I wish I had a time machine that I could go back and hang out with the 21 year old Jimbo from maybe a couple hours.
Can I watch you from afar? Yeah. Okay.
JimBo Stewart: It would be entertaining for sure, But annoying. and I just, I’m just so I’m so grateful that God has put people in my life to do that. to temper me some and mature me some and made me more patient and understanding and less passionate all the time
Bob Bickford: and realizing
JimBo Stewart: that sometimes it’s okay. Just be chill.
Bob Bickford: Yup.
JimBo Stewart: And just sit and learn and for me and my personality, everybody’s personality [00:26:00] learning like. Silence doesn’t need to be filled with my voice.
Like it’s okay to just let other people talk. And finish their thoughts and actually listened to them. And care about what they have to say. And I had something I had to learn, that was not naturally without me. I had to be taught that and learn to. To do that. And Don’t. Don’t beat yourself up. When you make mistakes are just a tool to help you.
Bob Bickford: That’s right. and there’s plenty of sanctification that needs to take place in everybody’s life. And what I would say is this is not A. I’m a truth for just when we’re young, it’s a truth for the rest of our lives. because I make mistakes now at 53 that I didn’t make when I’m, the different mistakes than when I was 35.
And if I can have that perspective of not feeling like I have to be perfect, but embracing my [00:27:00] weaknesses. And learning from those, then I’m going to be a better of the better person who God’s created me to be. And then I, I always need to have somebody in my life who can give me the perspective to lovingly challenge me.
And care for me and accept me. In my imperfections, not accept my imperfections, but except me in the sense that they remind me that I’m loved by God. And that I’m, that my failure is not final.
JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. I’ll close with this illustration that I first heard from. Matt Chandler. He said, think back 10 years ago in your life.
And chances are, if you look at yourself 10 years ago, there are some glaring blind spots that you can look back now and go, man, what an idiot.
And he said I’ve had that conversation with so many people that I believe that it’s universally true. And it’s not all universally true right now, but the point he was making gets, it will be universally true in 10 years. And so in 10 years, if you asked yourself about yourself now, What were my blind spots. And why was honey? Why an idiot? You would have reasons as to why that would be. and so that’s just a good reminder that there are always areas you can grow in and mistakes and mentors.
We’ll be maybe the best path to get you there.