EPISODE #69 – Leading Self, Others and Team in Pursuing The Kingdom of God
Bob and Jimbo spend time breaking down one of the 6 Irreducible minimums, Pursuing the Kingdom of God via the PITO Leadership model from the Officer Development School of the US Air Force. Yeah, we know it sounds kinda well…..just give it a listen, we promise you’ll laugh and be informed.
Personally: spiritual practices that bring about the rule and reign of God in your life.
Interpersonally: making disciples in the context of relationships in everyday life.
Team: consider those with whom you led ministry, are they growing spiritually and are we functioning as the body of Christ? Are we surrendering our agenda to the Lord’s agenda?
Organizationally: are we as a church pursuing Kingdom principles and priorities rather than simply just doing the same old same.
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[00:00:00] JimBo Stewart: Here we are Bob back out of it. Again, the plant bootcamp we’ve given away all the hats. So you don’t have to hear us talk about that anymore. But we would love for you to share this on your social media leaves for review on your favorite podcast app. Let us know what we can do better, or just how much you love our velvety beautiful voices.
Bob Bickford: Hmm.
JimBo Stewart: as you go to sleep.
Bob Bickford: Hmm, I don’t, I’ve never heard my voice described that way. So maybe you’re talking about yourself there. but we are glad for our listeners mailing. We’ve got, we’ve got some faithful listeners who, uh, join us here at the bootcamp. And I’m excited about what’s ahead first in the future. And I know I’ve mentioned this to you offline.
But we’ve got a friend of the bootcamp podcast who is going to become a planter in a Southern city where their church has a camp. And he w he said, we got shotguns [00:01:00] and. Clay pigeons and four wheelers and fire pits and all kinds of things. And we’d like to have a boot camp event.
So stay tuned. We might have a bootcamp event in the South where we can just give some of you bootcampers if you want it you’d have to pay your own way. We ain’t got no travel costs, funds, Jimbo, and I, we will take a week in advance and we’ll get in that dune buggy and we’ll roll it out.
JimBo Stewart: Okay.
Bob Bickford: We’ll stop by some, some of a Popeye’s chicken and a couple of other places along the way.
And then we can have, uh, an actual bootcamp for replant bootcamp. I’d
JimBo Stewart: That would be awesome. I really hope that that ends up working out listeners, if you, uh, would. Be one who would attend that, let us know. Uh, so we can kind of garner how much interest there would be and having an event together, uh, for fellowship and equipping and encouragement and some laughs and, uh, I think we would have a really good time together. [00:02:00] Hey, Bob, as we go into 2021, you know, I think a lot of us really, maybe we’re in hopeful anticipation. That 2021 would go so much smoother than 2020. But here we are just a few days in our, a couple of weeks in and, I don’t know about you, but my 2021 has not gone smoother than 2020 just yet. And. As we think through that and all the things that have happened and will happen.
I wanted to go back and revisit an episode we did towards the end of last year, where we talked about the six irreducible minimums for 2021. And, I wanted to try and see if we could do this. Bob. I want to, I want to do one episode on each of those six and here’s how I wanna frame it. The, I love to steal good ideas from other people, but I do give them credit usually.
If I remember that it’s someone else’s idea. Sometimes I just think, man, what a brilliant idea I just had?
[00:03:00] Bob Bickford: Someone somewhere has said, wait, I said it.
JimBo Stewart: no, the air force part of their leadership training process, they have, four categories that they, that they use. Personal interpersonal. Team and organizational. And so really it’s kind of concentric circles. Right. So how do you lead yourself personally? How do you, how do you lead, interact interpersonally with others?
How do you lead a team and then how do you lead an organization? It really is pretty comprehensive when you think about it that way. So I thought it would be advantageous for us to take these six irreducible minimums and discuss together. What does it look like to flesh out that irreducible minimum through Pito personal interpersonal team and organizational, you ready?
You ready to dive in?
Bob Bickford: I love this idea. And I’m glad that you gave the air force credit because I don’t want them bombing the national headquarters of the replant [00:04:00] bootcamp podcast.
JimBo Stewart: It wouldn’t take much of a bomb to hit my garage.
Bob Bickford: Okay. Like a, like a big, firecracker or something like that.
JimBo Stewart: Now, right behind my garage is our fence. We have a small yard and our neighbors, I posted on Facebook on, on new year’s Eve. We’re shooting like commercial grade fireworks. It was the loudest thing in the world. And I’m sitting in my garage office working on finishing my doctoral paper, which is due this week. And , I’m so zone writing my paper at like 10 o’clock at night, new year’s Eve that I kind of just forget that it’s new year’s Eve and people are going to shoot fireworks.
And so the first fireworks I hear are not, you know, little black cats or bottle rockets. It is a commercial grade. Massive explosion that shakes the whole garage. And I literally thought for a [00:05:00] second, like we were under attack or something. I didn’t know what was going on.
Bob Bickford: Well, I’m glad you survived the fireworks assault from your neighbors, which are set the set, the neighbors that are they’re quite interesting at times.
JimBo Stewart: No, that’s, uh, other neighbors back behind me. And so the ones that I’ve had to call the authorities on or are over the other direction.
Bob Bickford: All right. Well, sorry for that little side side, jump out there. When
JimBo Stewart: All right. Let’s jump in. The first irreducible minimum is pursue first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness. And so let’s talk about, Bob, what does it mean personally, interpersonally team and organizationally starting with personal, in your perspective, what does it mean to, Personally lead yourself to pursue first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Bob Bickford: Yeah. Actually we’re, we’re in a series of Mark. And so last Sunday I preached on Mark chapter one, and we’re looking at [00:06:00] the words of Jesus and. We talked about the kingdom of God because he says repent and believe for the kingdom of God is at hand. And, and, so the way that I understand the kingdom of God pursuing Makino of God personally, is looking at my life and bringing it under the rule and the reign in the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Right. And so I have to do that personally, as a Christ follower, I’m called to do that. As, a father’s husband is a pastor I’m called to do that. So those what comes to my mind in Jimbo would be what are the activities that put me in a place where the Lordship of Jesus, his rule and his reign are, solidified are brought into greater fruition in my life.
So spiritual practices like. Prayer and scripture memory meditation, Bible study, devotional study, [00:07:00] those sorts of things that create in me, the recreated my life, the rule, and the reign of God that then works itself out through the development of spiritual maturity, demonstrated by the fruit of the spirit.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, absolutely. I would affirm that, perspective as well of, I liked what you said of bringing ourselves under the rule and reign of the lured in, and really that means submitting everything. Think I do everything I am to the Lord and abiding in him, resting in him, knowing that that submission, is it’s it’s his yoke, it’s his burden, which is light.
And it’s, life-giving, it’s refreshing it. It is abundant life. To no longer try to be in charge of my own life, but to be dead in Christ and let him live life through me and my submission to him as I abide in him and bear the fruit of the spirit. And so I think the fruit of the spirit, is one of [00:08:00] those that’s really a great kind of transition from.
Personal to interpersonal it’s, it’s something that has to happen personally, that affects how we interact interpersonally. And so I would say obviously, interpersonally is. Categorized as the, through the fruit of the spirit. And I would add to that maybe the one another’s that we find in the Bible.
Right. And so I think if you took the idea of, the fruit of the spirit and the one another’s, that would be the evaluation rubric I would use to say, am I pursuing first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness? Interpersonally, what else would you add to that?
Bob Bickford: For interpersonal, um, you know, making disciples, as you mentioned to the one another’s, , I think helping individuals through. Pastoral conversations. , when you think about discipleship, there’s, there’s a formal part to it and there’s an informal part to [00:09:00] it. Right? The formal list is read the scriptures, memorize the scriptures, pray, meditate, do some devotional study on the classics, those sorts of things.
Right. , but I think that the one part that we might leave out is the pastoral conversations that. That really were a part of the disciples life. When Jesus was doing life with them, they were actually doing life, right. They didn’t just see each other a couple hours a week in a sterile classroom and sit around a table and go, well, what do you got?
Well, I don’t got much. Okay. Me either. See you later. Right? None of that. But they were, they were like, Encountering people who were had spiritual questions, they were encountering critics. They were encountering people who had a spiritual baggage and demonic influence and all that. And Jesus was like walking them through.
Here’s how you have a conversation with a person like that. Right. Here’s how you deal with that. So I don’t think he waved the flag and go, okay, pay attention to this. Like he just did it. Right. And they were there and they were watching it. [00:10:00] And so I think the interpersonal development of leaders. And pursuing the kingdom of God is how do we get beside, how do we in our leaders walk together in such ways that in their own lives and this, this particular irreducible minimum, how do we walk with them?
Where the rule of God is, is expanding in their own life. The rule and reign of the Lordship is expanding in their own lives. So that can look like conversations about marriage, about finances, about kids, about work. And one of, one of the things, that. That we typically do is we limit our conversations, interpersonal conversations to, for the fulfilling of the functions of admin, of ministry and administrative ministry within a church.
And discipleship’s way more than that. And so what I would say is, can we just broaden the circle a bit and do life together and talk about the Lordship of Christ in all of our lives, in every aspect of our life.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I’ve said many times. One of the greatest discipleship influences in my life, was the guy who [00:11:00] owned the lawn care company that I worked for. I mean, he was not a pastor. He’s like a Sunday school teacher and, You know, at the big mega church, he kind of looks like Jesus. And so he grows his beard out and plays Jesus on the passion play every year.
But he, more than that was representation to me of Jesus in the way that he loved his wife, that he, the way that he led his children, whether he operated his business the way that he, every. Every day, we never want sat down and had a formal Bible study. And I don’t know if he was intentionally discipling me or if it was just so much out of his nature of who he is.
But his influence has been so significant on me that, I, I carry it with me everywhere I go, because he would just. As, as I’ve heard people say before, he would, he would bleed Bible. As we go throughout the day, he would just talk scripture and he would [00:12:00] talk the glory of God and he would talk faith and, uh, and he demonstrated it in everyday life.
And that really. His interpersonal connection with me, discipled me without a program or, from anything that I’m aware, at least a plan, other than just him and his personal abiding in Christ and bearing the fruit of the spirit. All right. So from P personally to interpersonally, and then it kind of expands out from there to team and we.
Team may be hard to define, sometimes and a replant. A lot of times you’re going to feel very alone. And team as one of the things I know I get hungry for and I desire, but I would say, think of your team as you’re lead volunteers, your elders, your deacons, who is it that you’re leaning on to make sure that worship is.
The music, part of the worship service is gonna go the way it’s supposed to go. Who are you leaning on for children’s ministry, for youth [00:13:00] ministry or anything else, and, and think about those team people. And so I think about, are, are those, I try to ask myself and people that I’m leading, are they growing spiritually because of my leadership?
Or are they just grilling, you know, maybe in leadership or organizational skills or something like that. But what would it look like from your perspective, Bob, for people, for our listeners to lead a team through the irreducible minimum of pursue first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Bob Bickford: When I think of team, teamwork comes to mind and particularly the work that we do with, you know, the replant team and then also as best pastors, we’re always dealing in the realm of ideas and conversations about what. Our task is or what the mission is in front of us. teams that need to accomplish our mission together have to define how they’re going to do that.
And they have to talk about the work they’re going to do. [00:14:00] What’s important, how they’re going to approach it. And when you get some teams together and we get personalities in the room, you often will get, you’ll get conflict and you’ll get frustration and you’ll get a lot of ideas and you’ll get a lot of personalities.
And if you’re not. Going all the way back to the personal side of things. If you’re not the ruler, Lorraine of Jesus is not growing in your life and the fruit of the spirits not developing. Then when it comes to team time, may I look out right? So that reality brought forward in teams. Sometimes you have to name that reality to simply say, we are collectively the body of Christ.
We’re brought here to make a unique contribution. And one of the things that for us as a team, as we think about what God’s called us here to do, one of the things that’s going to involve us doing is having to submit our preferences and surrender our agenda to the Lord’s agenda. Right. And so I think first calling that out as you’re [00:15:00] functioning together as a team, and then secondly, as you’re working to discern the mission that God’s called you to, you’re probably going to have to call that out again.
Right. And so, , I played basketball in high school and, I transferred into a Christian school, my junior and senior year and new offense, new defense. New teammates, but I’d grown up in middle school and high school prior to my transfer. I’d grown up running the same offensive and defensive systems.
That’s just the way they had it structured. And so I could step on the court with anybody that was operating in that system and, and just, we knew it right. It was easy. When I transferred to the Christian school, it got really hard. And I’ll say this sometimes the same is true in the world that we live in.
The business teams and the corporation teams function really well because they, they just do and people from those teams come into the church and maybe they have an agenda. Maybe they want to be a boss because they’re not a boss at work. Maybe they have some baggage, [00:16:00] maybe whatever it is that I’ve seen more dysfunctional church teams than I have business teams at times.
So as a leader, as a pastor, who’s leading individuals on that team. I’ve just really got to work hard that when we’re working together, we realized that it involves submission and surrender to the, to the rule and the reign of God, as he leads through all of us, as we all contribute towards the accomplishment of that mission.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I was thinking about it. No, and team, I think it would be important to combine those concepts and think through those in the way you lead your family. And how that. It flows over even into how you lead the church, uh, and all of those concepts of, of the idea of just making sure that you’re, you are leading a team, not just based on business principles, but on, on kingdom principles that we’re not pursuing first meeting the budget.
We’re not pursuing first, any of those things we’re [00:17:00] pursuing first, uh, the kingdom of God and his righteousness and submission to him as a team. And then really that kind of goes beyond just the team that you lead to the whole organization. That’s how the concentric circle kind of goes out. And in my mind, as I thought about that, I thought about our characteristic that we have, uh, for re planters and revitalizes of gospel orientation.
Uh, which we say refers to aligning the culture and the practice of the church in such a way that the core doctrine of the gospel drives its mission and practice in. Preaching managing conflict, leading organizational change and everything is, is aligned to, uh, what the Bible mandates, where scripture mandates and calls us to as a church.
And so. Organizational leadership pursuing first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness is submitting the whole organization. And I think that bleeds into how you build a budget and how [00:18:00] you do a simulation and how you do it. Marketing, getting the word out, how you do evangelism, how you, all those things have to the purpose of every program of every ministry area of every role has to kind of.
Go to the idea of how are we accomplishing what God has called us to accomplish in his kingdom.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, that’s a really evaluative work, right? So, it’s a year end or it’s a quarter end. Hey, how are we doing in terms of that? Our gospel orientation is it, is it, , increasing, um, our desire, our desire, and then our devotion as we. , follow Jesus together towards what he’s called us to do. And in evaluating that on a regular basis, I think that’s the one thing is maybe we make a mistake is we don’t evaluate, all the time we evaluate some of the time or we evaluate annually or none of the time.
And most of the declining churches that we work with, they do the same thing every year, every year, every year. And they never really [00:19:00] evaluated the evaluation is, we’ve got this. The date on the calendar, I guess we’re going to do the same thing again right in. So I think that’s an important aspect of helping our church move forward in, in fulfilling the gospel orientation, pursuing the kingdom of God.
JimBo Stewart: So, all right. Kind of final thoughts on what does it mean to pursue first to Kenya? Of Godness righteousness, personally, interpersonally, leading a team and leading an organization, um, personally, your, your walk with Christ, um, your submission to the King interpersonally in the one another’s and bearing spiritual fruit and making disciples, uh, as a team making disciples, focusing on the right definition of success and as an organization aligning all of those things.
Bob. Do you have any final thoughts on pursue first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness?
Bob Bickford: No, I think in the original podcast, when we started, [00:20:00] uh, Talking about these six irreducible minims uh, I, I think we stress. This is, this is, it’s not a, this is not a chronological thing. This is a priority thing. And so if we can understand that in this becomes the priority, a lot of good things will flow from that.
abide, bear fruit, gospel orientation, leadership, spiritual vitality