EPISODE #70 – Preach the Word
In this episode Bob details his Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich experience and Jimbo and his kids went to Wendy’s to throw down on their claim that they’ve ended the Chicken Sandwich wars. Then the boys get around to addressing the six irreducible minimums once again, this time they discuss what it means to Preach the Word by examining it through the lens of PITO.
- Personal – Preach the Word to yourself: as in Observation – Interpretation – Application.
- Interpersonally – Preach the Word to your spouse, children with gentleness.
- Team – Don’t use the Bible as a weapon to harm your team – but to edify your team.
- Organizationally – Lead your church to be centered on God’s Word. Maybe sermon-based small groups. Teach your church HOW to study God’s Word.
Also, preach through books of the Bible. There are a lot of benefits to preaching expository sermons through a book of the Bible.
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[00:00:00] JimBo Stewart: All right man, episode 70, that’s a big deal. 70
Bob Bickford: 70. I hope I live till I’m 70
JimBo Stewart: and I was looking up just for curiosity, what is the anniversary gift per 70 70th anniversary? And the gift is platinum. And so I have to wonder, Bob, did you get me anything platinum?
Bob Bickford: Jimbo. I’m a real planner. I don’t make enough to buy you anything. Platinum.
JimBo Stewart: you did celebrate 70 yesterday, with a Popeye’s sandwich.
Bob Bickford: I did.
JimBo Stewart: you finally tried it.
Bob Bickford: It was my very first, you know, and that’s a recurring kind of bit that we do here. I was, watching some football last night and you’re saying, we’re taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And I thought, you know what, I’m going to be written for the saints. And I like Jimbo, Jimbo, X Popeye’s chicken.
This is how I’m kind of my mind thought went, but, and we hadn’t had supper yet. So I’m like, Hey, Barb. I think I’m going to go get a Popeye’s chicken sandwich. Do you want one? So I [00:01:00] got the spicy, she got the classic. I get a little red beans and rice because that’s what I do. And, uh, she got the Cajun fries, one of the coasts law, but of course they were out and, per your recommendation, we get some Mardi Gras mustard and Barb was a fan.
And so I’ve got to tell you, the Popeye’s chicken sandwich is different than the Chick-fil-A it’s different. so, you know, I don’t know that you can make a straight comparison across parallel. Uh, it’s just a different sandwich, but it’s a good sandwich. I think I would go back and do it again.
JimBo Stewart: absolutely. You’re pretty much guaranteed when you go to Popeye’s. So they’re going to be out of something that.
Bob Bickford: They’re out of customer service all the time. Jimbo.
JimBo Stewart: Always, that’s just part of the new Orleans flare. The feel like it gives you the feel of being a new Orleans when you, when that happens. And so, my kids have been noticing on TV Wendy’s has had this commercial that has said we didn’t start the chicken Wars, but we finished it or we ended it or whatever.
[00:02:00] And so my kids have just had this idea. Constantly have we, we got to try this chicken sandwich and see what it is. I just, I know enough. I’ve been around a little while. Um, and I know enough that Wendy’s is Wendy’s is not going to be able to fight in the same league as Chick-fil-A or Popeye’s
Bob Bickford: Here’s what I know if Wendy strolls down to the ninth ward and NOLA, she’s getting shot.
JimBo Stewart: This is true. This is true. so the kids said we got to try this sandwich, dad. So today, uh, there’s a, Wendy’s a one mile walk from my house. And so, uh, we had a little free time today and we made the one mile walk down to Wendy’s tried the sandwich and, uh, the kids were so excited that they ordered and mags the way, the way that mag ordered the sandwich.
She said, I want the chicken sandwich that ended the chicken Wars.
[00:03:00] Bob Bickford: Do the people laugh,
JimBo Stewart: She was no, she was just very confused. I don’t think the lady was aware of the commercial. So we got our chicken sandwiches. We tried them and I was, uh, not surprisingly not impressed. it was like one huge, Wendy’s chicken nuggets. And so, I mean, if you like Wendy’s chicken nuggets, then you might like it, but it’s the same breading, uh, as a Wendy’s chicken nuggets.
So I was not a fan
we gotta, we gotta move on to far more important things, Bob, as we continue to talk about the irreducible minimum. Maybe we need to set aside a whole other podcast where we just talk about our Yelp reviews in and food.
Bob Bickford: I should read. You should read. The last one that I wrote when I was in Tulsa go to a Bob Bickford and Yelp and search up. Uh, I think it’s called Nivas, I’m usually a pretty good Yelper and, and am [00:04:00] discriminatory in my selections, but, uh, nivo has failed me and, uh, Yelpers other Yelpers who reviewed it, failed me as well.
And so I let them know. As only a Yelp elite can do.
JimBo Stewart: There you go. There you go. You are elite. all right. So today we’re talking about the second irreducible minimum of preach the word, to go back. Why are we talking about this? Ministry in 2020 and 2021 for at least for Westerners, Americans has become perhaps more complicated than it has been at least in a very long time.
because there are so many things that are adding complications to it. technology gives us a lot of. Great tools, but it also adds a lot to the plate of the lead pastor. And what we want to do when we talk about these irreducible minimums is, is help you understand that you don’t have to be a social media savant.
You don’t have [00:05:00] to be an influencer online. you can do those things and you should try to figure out how your church is engaging technology. but ultimately when it comes to pastoral ministry, there are some irreducible minimums that if you’ll just make sure you’re doing these things, as well as you can, within your current context, then that’s, that’s the job.
That’s what you need to do. last week, we talked about pursue first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness. And so we want to move this week too. preach the word and to frame these, we are borrowing from the air force leadership model, Peto, P I T O personal interpersonal, team and organizationally.
And so, Bob, when you think about preaching the word to yourself personally, what does, what does that look like? What does that mean to preach the word personally?
Bob Bickford: Well, I think a couple of things. One is I have to proclaim the gospel to myself and [00:06:00] that’s more of the primary things in preaching. The word is, is what are you doing? You’re proclaiming the gospel. So one of my theme verses Colossians one 28, 29, one 28 says. Him, we proclaim, right? So the first message of the church and those of us who are engaged in gospel ministry is the gospel and it’s Jesus.
And so what follows from that is, as I’m preaching the word to myself, I’m preaching Jesus to myself, which, The acknowledgement of Christ in my life means I’m a sinner saved by grace, not by works and it’s all because of his mercy and his obedience and his death, burial, and resurrection that I have a life.
That can be lived in joy and in connection with the father and in the fruit fullness of having a relationship with Christ. So I’m going to start there. Right. And so I [00:07:00] guess, Jimbo, one of the ways that. It, it makes a difference for me is when I’m preaching, my goal is not to design a message that everybody’s going to be impressed with so that they will give me an attaboy on the way out or that my podcast numbers will soar.
My goal is to proclaim Christ and in him alone. And so. Part of my personal preparation is preaching the word to myself. What is this? What is the passage I’m studying? What does it say to me personally, before I start trying to apply it everywhere else?
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I would echo that you you’ve got to let the word impact you before you can share it with others. I would also say, as you preach the word to yourself, make sure that, you’re not just studying the word just to be able to preach it. but that you are applying it personally into your life and that you are studying things that aren’t for.
prep, you are in your own life for your enrichment diving into God’s [00:08:00] word, not for the purpose of teaching a Bible study or preaching a sermon, but for your own spiritual nourishment. And as you do that, make sure you do all the same things for preaching. You, you observe the text, you interpret the texts and you apply the texts that you’re not just, you’re not just a hear of the word or just a studier of the word.
But a doer of the word that you would, John 15 abide in Christ and abide in his love and abide in his word. And so for personally, we’ll move kind of outside of the concentric circle of this leadership model into interpersonally. and so, Bob, what, what does it look like to preach the word interpersonally?
Bob Bickford: You know, when, when we’re doing life with one another, we’ve hit on this the last time in life. Some of the conversations, discipleship, the most effective discipleship is in life discipleship in the context of everyday life. So in similar ways, [00:09:00] preaching the word is bringing the truth of God’s word to bear in all of your interactions with other people, whether they need to be encouraged or exhorted or comforted or reminded, you’re preaching the word, helps them see, how God’s word and the truth of God’s word intersects with our life.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I would say that the key to all of these is making disciples, right? Like we, we, we’ve got to make sure that what we’re doing, in our lives and our ministry is resulting in the making. Of disciples. And so a way to do that is at the very least, if nothing else is one of the thing that I try to tell pastors often when they get really discouraged about what they’re able to accomplish at the very least, which you can do is you can disciple somebody.
I mean, I really, I mean, if you would, if you gave your whole life to making sure that you were discipling people and in that you were equipping them to make [00:10:00] disciples. it may not be a quick boil, but man, when you stand before the Lord one day, I bet you you’ll be surprised by the impact of God’s ministry, three, you through inner, personally making disciples, but also at, at, at home with your family, preach the word.
Now I don’t necessarily mean dragging your family in the living room and set up a pocket and scream at them.
Bob Bickford: Just scream at him with all the rest of that stuff gone. Right.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. So w when I first started at, at redemption church, I was told that there was a Haitian church plant that used our facilities. And, and so I thought, well, I’m going to go sit in one day. I mean, I’d love to hear what this Haitian church plants give us we can partner with. And this is the guy and his family.
And that’s it. But Bob, he had the whole sound system set up and he was yelling into that sound system as loud [00:11:00] as he could. And as hard as he could just preaching hard.
Well, it was just his wife and his kids sitting in there. And man, what a, I thought, what a, what a childhood? Like what was church like with, well, we would, uh, leave our house, go to this fellowship hall, set up a sound system. Our dad would yell at us for 30 minutes.
Bob Bickford: Now three planar. I’ve wondered sometimes when the service starts, if there’s going to be any more than my family there. Right. So I can relate a little bit. Holy cow.
JimBo Stewart: Ask you about what, what would you do? I mean, so say this Sunday, you show up and it’s, it’s just you and Barb. some of your kids showed up and it was just literally you, Barb and your kids. What would you do?
Bob Bickford: We’re going to the Kolachi place. We’re kids,
we’re getting out. like, well, [00:12:00] I guess we’re going to go get kolaches.
JimBo Stewart: How long until how long did you wait until you’d call it?
Bob Bickford: Five minutes.
JimBo Stewart: That’s good. So when we say preach the word to your, your wife and your kids, that’s not what we mean.
Bob Bickford: No, I, you know, I, this makes me think of my grandpa and, um, he was a circuit writing by vocational preacher who sold shoes. and, uh, we would all be in grandpa’s living room. You know, cousins gathered there, maybe Christmas time, Thanksgiving time, you had to be careful Jimbo because if grandpa was talking to you, he caught your gaze.
Didn’t matter, whatever you were talking about. Somehow he was going to start preaching to you and, and you had to be real careful because if you locked eyes with him, the rest of the family was going to let you take that as long as you could take it. That reminds me of preach the word to your family.
JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. [00:13:00] Absolutely. No. Uh, I think, you know what we mean when we say preach, preach the word to your family, live that out, lead your family, make sure you’re leading your family well at home, but also, uh, your team. And we talked about this last week when we speak team, we understand that a lot of these, a lot of you guys are going to be, single staff pastors and, and you may think team and I wish I had a team.
And what we would encourage you with is that you do have a team, right? You’ve got a team and your team and involves those who lead Sunday school, those who lead worship, those who lead children’s ministry. with that team, what does it look like Bob, to, to lead the team, through, with preaching the word.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, where’d you. I just started this, with. Our elders, training up a few of them to preach the word. And so, uh, Monday morning, usually what I do is I’ll read the passage for the coming weekend and I’ll begin to outline it and, put my thoughts together and those sorts of things. So one practical way, it’s not the only way, but one practical way [00:14:00] is I just start sharing my notes with those guys and saying like, here’s, here’s what God’s word.
Uh, here’s the verse in the passage for the week. Here’s my first glance through it. here’s what I’m taking from it and gleaning from it. And so I’m teaching them to, to read the word and outline it and look for key movements and phrases and concepts and those sorts of things. And so that’s one aspect of, of preaching the word.
Another is, several of us have worship leaders and we have a worship leader at our church has been with this for. We’ll say about four and a half years now. he’s a bi-vocational guys. Well, just a great guy. Love him to death. but in our conversations too, when we’re talking about our life, uh, a lot of times what happens is it, and this is true for us as re planters.
We bring the circumstances and the challenges of our life into ministry. So when we show up on Sunday, we may have had a really bad week with our [00:15:00] kids. Maybe something significant happened. We’ve got a parent issue, a health issue, something, and our staff and our team are volunteers. Same thing. Right. And so one of the things that we have just built into our volunteer team culture is you gotta be open and honest and transparent about how you’re doing and where you are.
And in the midst of that, you also have to realize that sometimes in life it’s hard to serve, but if you’re only willing to serve from a place of where everything is good, and then you feel like you can serve, you’re probably never going to serve. And so preaching the word in that kind of context to our team is reminding them that trials and struggles are going to come, that Christ has overcome them.
And that our confidence is not that our week is going to be better next week, but our confidence is in Christ. And so there are small five, six, 10 minute interactions that I have on a regular basis [00:16:00] with all of our volunteers. from time to time where I ask how you doing, how are things going? And, you know, we do a check-in, we pray together, that sort of thing, but it’s also just Fremont listening as a pastor, but reminding them of the sufficiency of God’s word to remind us of who he is and what he’s called us to do.
So in that regard, it’s, it’s not an official training time. You know that we sit down with everybody and Hey, let me preach this sermon to you before we preach it to the rest of the congregation. Jimbo, those are probably some of the more significant times when, when I’ve seen God do some work in their lives, into my life and connecting my life with theirs as a pastor.
JimBo Stewart: Engaging God’s word communally, uh, with your team. The only thing I would add that was so good is, um, and you said it, but one of the things I I’ve worded it to our team, our elders was, uh, everything we do. Every decision we make [00:17:00] has to be informed by God’s word. Right. And so that means when we come to an elder meeting and we have a difference of opinions.
On how we are to approach some issue, uh, or we’re trying to strategize or figure out how we’re gonna make our next move or something like that. Um, it has to be a consult the word of God, first thing, and, and, and let that speak to us. Um, And so I’ve said, so even for instance, you know, for us, uh, ho how we handled, COVID how we responded to it because we had some of our elders felt very strongly, um, in, in one direction about restrictions with COVID and, and some other elders felt very strongly in another direction.
And. It was starting to even, maybe at one point, create some tension and issues in our leadership. And so we had a meeting where I reminded them, Hey, every decision we make [00:18:00] team has to be informed by God’s word, not by our opinions, not by, uh, our perspectives even. Um, but by God’s word. And so I realized there are some strong thoughts here and strong feelings.
So here’s, I, I would love for you to express those. Uh, and so go ahead and express those, just know that that doesn’t. Have any bearing or weight on what we end up actually deciding to do as a team, uh, merely for therapeutic reasons. I want you to just say out loud what it is you think we ought to do in your opinion.
And then let’s move from opinions and let’s, let’s move to the word of God and let’s see, how does the word of God inform how we should respond to this? And so, lastly, we’ll just a couple of minutes left, Bob. Um, organizationally. So we’ve moved from personally leading ourselves by preaching the word to ourselves, interpersonally through discipleship and in our homes to our teams, to our leaders and, and how we’re leading the team.
But then organizationally as you lead the church as a whole, [00:19:00] um, What we could. I mean, obviously we could talk a lot about the role of preaching the word there, but just give me one or two thoughts on the role of preaching the word as you lead organizationally.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, I think the, the big one Jimbo is, um, Preaching. Expositionally right. And you are, uh, preaching through books of the Bible and the regular diet of God’s word, going through books of the Bible. Passage bypasses for it can be by per copy. Those, it helps people study the word of God, right? And one things like last, last Sunday, this past week, we were preaching through Mark one and Jesus calls the disciples to follow him.
And one of the. One of the hallmarks of that passage. You Mark Mark is like the cliff notes of the gospels, right? It’s just this abbreviation abbreviated, [00:20:00] like this happened and then this happened. And so you, you miss some of the, the ex filler material and honestly, Jimbo for years and years. It was when, when I would read, um, the passage where Jesus comes up to Peter and Andrew and James and John, and he asked them to leave and follow him immediately.
I here’s what I thought, I thought. Okay. To date in Mark chapter one from, from the first verse to that point, there’s no explanation of do these guys know Jesus. Have they ever heard of Jesus? Did Jesus does stroll up to the seashore and go, Hey. Um, follow me. And did they just bail out and leave? Right. So as a kid, that’s what I always thought.
Right. It’s like, how weird would that be? Like, you know, and how likely, like, let’s say you’re mowing your yard and some dude rolls up to you and says, follow me. And would you just leave everything? You know? So part of that is I flush that out with our congregation. I said, well, we [00:21:00] need to look at John chapter one.
And so in John chapter one, Um, John, the Baptist, Andrew was one of his disciples. Jesus is walking by, he says, behold, the lamb of God. And Andrew goes and gets his brother. Peter goes, Hey, we think we found the Messiah like let’s and they go spend the day with them and it says, and they spent that day with him.
And so personal. Is you start, they, they spend a day with Jesus. Then Jesus invited them to follow him after that day. And they knew he wasn’t John the Baptist and testified to the was. And they all had grown up in Jewish, religious instruction and expected the Messiah to show up one day. And so there’s a whole context that is behind that.
So in preaching the word of the congregation, one of the things I said, it’s a long way of saying this. I could have just said what I’m going to say next. And we could have been done with all that, but, um, I just simply said this, Hey, whenever you read a passage, scripture, and it’s unclear, you always use [00:22:00] scripture to interpret scripture, right?
So that’s, that’s preaching the word by preaching the whole word. Like here’s what this is versus, but less expand this out and let’s ask questions and let’s see if there’s any other passages, scripture that eliminates it. And so in that regard, uh, you’re teaching your church. How to read scripture, how to ask questions, how to study and how to use the rest of scripture to help, uh, shed light on, on the passage that you’re reading.
JimBo Stewart: The role of not just preaching a sermon, but using that to teach. People how to study the Bible as you preach the sermon, preaching the word and teaching people how to understand the word of God. This is such an important thing, uh, in, in what we do and expository preaching, I think lends itself to that more.
Then there are other forms of just preaching through a book of the Bible, because then you can say, [00:23:00] Hey, you, you know exactly where we’re going to be next week. This is not a cliffhanger. This is not a, uh, what’s he going to, what’s he going to talk about next week? Uh, you know, and cause I remember early on when I first started in ministry, I had no idea about it’s pository or hermeneutics or any of those things.
And, and I remember man, like a couple of months in looking, doing college ministry, looking at my wife and going, I think I’ve run out of things to talk about.
Bob Bickford: Yes.
JimBo Stewart: What else to say, I don’t know what else to do. And, uh, it shows who she says, she says very wise, so she’s a pastor’s kid. And she goes, well, you know, my dad would just like pick a book of the Bible and just preach through it. And I was like, Oh, well, that, that seems really easy. It’s not, it’s not necessarily easier, but man, there’s so much more. And, and, and, you know, we may do a whole nother episode just on why [00:24:00] you should do expository preaching. I think we should do a whole other episode on that. Um, you know, after our Yelp episodes of, uh, of all the places you should dine,
Bob Bickford: Hey, man, I’ve got some hot sports opinions on all that too.
JimBo Stewart: Hey, You know what I’m sure.
I know that you do. I’ve read a lot of your, your Yelp, your Yelp stuff. So, Hey, listen, we would love to hear from you guys, uh, our bootcamp listeners, we really would. One of our favorite things to do on here is answer your questions and interact with you. And as a matter of fact, if you submit a question to us, we might even bring you on the episode and discuss it with you and get your perspective.
Uh, and so if you’d like to be a guest on the replant bootcamp, Man, just send us a word, send us a line, let us know what you’re working through and how we can come alongside and discuss it with you. Uh, and so that we can bring you on the podcast with us.