EPISODE #75 – STAYING ENCOURAGED AS A PASTOR
This week the guys welcome to the bootcamp a long time Replanting friend, Pastor Mark Hallock, of the Calvary family of Churches in Denver Colorado. The guys spend time talking about how to be encouraged as a Pastor during this difficult season we find ourselves in.
- Every person needs more encouragement than they get!
- Pastor-you must stay encouraged yourself!
- Think on Godly things (Philippians 4:8)
- Guard against the overindulgence of ministry and media
- Get outside in God’s creation!
- Spend time in personal worship
- Engage in edifying conversations
- Spend time in prayer
- Encourage those around you
- Be intentional and consistent in your communication with your leaders
- Practice Macro and Micro Shepherding
- Micro-one to one (texts, phone calls etc.)
- Macro-entire congregation
- Pray for and feed the flock God’s word
- Get back to the basics of pastoring your people
- Trust the Lord and ask him to give you Joy
Start the Barnabas Challenge: encourage three people everyday. This will transform your congregation-it is powerful when a church becomes an encouraging church.
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Show notes powered by Descript are an approximation of the verbal content, consult podcast audio for accuracy
[00:00:00] JimBo Stewart: All right here we are back at it again with the replant bootcamp today with a special guests. You’ve got me Jimbo Stewart. We’ve got our wonderful, beautiful Bob Bickford. And then we’ve got our great huggy Halleck friend palette.
Bob Bickford: Yes,
JimBo Stewart: So last episode, I was telling Bob about the best bread pudding. In Jacksonville, Florida. And I was telling Mark about it. He’s down here in Jacksonville with us doing something with Jacksonville Baptist association. And Mark looks at me with disgust and says, what is bread? Nothing about bread, puddings downs, appetizing at all.
Right. And so Yeah. So if you describe what bread pudding is, it doesn’t make it more appetite. And then you say, Oh, will you take stale bread? And you put it in an egg custard, and then you bake it
Mark Hallock: everything about it sounds awful. I mean, everything. So I’m envisioning this and Jimbo’s like, Legitimately pumped. He’s like [00:01:00] really excited about this bread pudding.
And I’m thinking you’ve just described perhaps the worst sounding dessert that I can imagine. I mean, I mean, you had me at stale bread.
Bob Bickford: Yes. I hear you. Barbara Barbara bread pudding. I can’t, I I’m not a fan. And don’t you soak it in rom and isn’t that against our Nam covenant that we signed Jimbo,
JimBo Stewart: Hold on. Hold on. There is some bread pudding uses rum sauce on top of the bread pudding. this bread pudding does not
Bob Bickford: was it used like Dr. Pepper or something like that?
JimBo Stewart: no a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Bob Bickford: Okay.
Mark Hallock: Listen here here’s here’s the truth. It was actually incredible. I was more than shocked. I was trying to be an encouraging friend to Jimbo and just, you know, appreciate his excitement. But I w my hopes that, I mean, that’s an understatement, but I’ll be honest from the first bite [00:02:00] I was captured. I didn’t know what was. I was very satisfying. Dessert was amazing.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Yeah. And so here, when I called, I told him last night, and here’s what I’d tell you, Bob, there’s nothing better. Good bread pudding, but there’s nothing worse than better,
Mark Hallock: dude. I don’t want a t-shirt with that on it.
Bob Bickford: Make you one? Yeah, I just have one question after you guys enjoyed. This fabulous bread pudding. Did you guys just stand up out of the booth and did you just huggy each other for about, you know, Fox to
celebrate the good
Mark Hallock: here’s the truth. I wasn’t going to bring it up, but I guess I will know a hug. Revival broke out a hug revival. I mean, I’ve never seen anything, like just joy upon joy,
JimBo Stewart: everybody in the whole restaurant
[00:03:00] Mark Hallock: just spread like wildfire.
JimBo Stewart: So it’s a, COVID probably did.
Mark Hallock: Men who haven’t hugged anyone for years?
Just crazy with hugs.
Bob Bickford: well for the bootcamp listeners who are not aware of what we’re talking about, our good friend, Mark Hallock is a, he’s an effect in it and jovial and joyful and encouraging brother. And, uh, If you do not want to be hugged, you need to stay and have somebody between you and Mark, and he might fight through that person to get to you and hug you he’s just a good brother.
So we, we love him
JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. And we know when we need a good hug or encouragement, happy huggy. Halleck is where you go. and so we’ve asked, we’ve asked him to come onto the podcast while he’s down here in Jacksonville. And talk to us a little bit about how do we stay encouraged in the midst of all the difficulties of Corona virus in political tension and everything else going on in the country.
And if [00:04:00] anybody can encourage you right now, it’s marked out.
Mark Hallock: Oh, wow. Well guys, here’s the truth. Man. Here’s what I do. Every one of us, the three of us and everyone listening needs more encouragement than we get. That’s just the truth. Every person in our congregations needs more encouragement than they get.
And I just I’m really believe this. I believe encouragements like the secret weapon man, to fuel joy, to fuel hope. And it’s really important. And so, you know, one of my life’s mission is to help pastors grow as encouragers, because not all of us have grown up in an encouraging environment. So we haven’t been around encouraging people.
it can kind of seem weird and awkward and it is, but you’ve got to lean through it, you know? but speaking words of life I think are so important. Yes, pastors. And so anyway, you know what I thought I thought I’d do. And I’d love to just interact with this is basically just talk about, you know, how do first of all, how do we stay encouraged?
You know, like brothers that are listening to this right now. I mean, this is a discouraging time. Like, let’s [00:05:00] just name it. Like I know for me in Colorado, I mean we’re a year into this COVID deal and it’s been hard, man. It has been hard on a lot of levels. Um, It’s hard from a shepherding perspective, a big time.
not being able to see your folks every week, not knowing how everybody’s doing. Um, I mean, this is the called the re planner, you know, we’re visionary shepherds and. A shepherd heart. Shepherd’s heart is a big deal. And anyway, it’s hard. we’re tired of wearing masks. We’re tired of, you know, you know, our sweet kids in Colorado, again are still in doing school from home.
JimBo Stewart: how has it felt for you being in the state of Florida we’re going to restaurants that are packed. We’re going to leave here at this hotel and go eat a Cuban sandwich is going to be glorious. And
Mark Hallock: I meant to tell you, Jim, I actually don’t plan on leaving. I’m here to stay. I’m I’m all in. I’m looking forward to living in [00:06:00] your basement for awhile. No, no, here’s the truth. It’s actually weird because I like everywhere. I like live with a mask and nobody’s wearing a mask on here. and so it’s been freeing, it’s also filled me with incredible anxiety. so I don’t really know what to do, but, you know, we’re thinking of one day at a time, it’s actually been really cool though and refreshing in a lot of ways, but anyway, I’m headed back to the big state.
And so, uh, you know, things are pretty locked down in Colorado. It’s a time though. It’s discouraging for a lot of folks. And so, um, let me just, I just want to share just practically, just some thoughts and we’d love to just get you guys some interaction with you guys on this. And I hope this is helpful.
This is some stuff I shared with some pastors of Colorado recently. basically just want to just hit two things. How did, how do we stay encouraged ourselves? And then how do we, keep help? Keep our people encouraged. And I think this is true wherever you live, wherever you are, as a pastor and a replant or in this time.
So let me just go through a few of these, first [00:07:00] of all, how do we stay encouraged ourselves? First of all, man, we’ve got to think on godly things like this is a time where. We can easily fill our minds with all kinds of ungodly things. I mean, Satan is real. He wants to, he’s a liar. you know, just thinking of verses like Philippians four, eight, finally brothers, whatever’s true.
Whatever’s honorable. Whatever’s just, whatever is pure. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is commendable. If there’s any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these. Things. And so we need to remember who God is. We need to think on him. We need to remember that he’s faithful. He’s sovereign, he’s wise, he’s loving.
I mean, he is our God and we need to meditate on his word. We really do. The battle is in the mind in so many ways. And I know you guys are the same way. I’m just meeting so many pastors who are depressed right now, who are really not in a good place. And so, we, it starts in the mind. What do you guys think about that?
When I throw that out there?
Bob Bickford: Mark, I think you really hit on something that’s super important for [00:08:00] us as pastors. We, we often, because we walk with the sheep and love sheep and tend to sheep. We smell like them. And so if they’re, if they’re hurting and if they’re discouraged, that becomes part of. Our experience too. And so the shepherd in order to continue to be the shepherd into love, to encourage and to care has to get to a place where he himself is cared for.
And so he needs to be with the shepherd, his shepherd Jesus. Right. And so I think part of the, the challenge for me being a guy who likes to keep up with current events and trends and. Likes to stay present with the flock is I can get in a space where man, I am just all that. I’m feeding myself as heaviness and, and care and concern, which is legitimate for me to, to be engaged in.
But it also is crushing to my soul. If I never spend time with Jesus, my shepherd.
Mark Hallock: Man. That’s a good word, man. That’s so true. That’s where we need to be wise with social media. I mean, social media can be a very [00:09:00] great thing and a helpful tool for ministry. We need to be careful. That’s that’s really, that’s really wise. There’s a second thing. I think that’s really important in this time as pastors is, uh, we need to spend time outside and God’s creation.
I mean, I really think that’s vital in this time, especially in quarantine where you’re, you’re in the house all the time and missing this pandemic. But man going outside every time you go outside as a believer, it should point you to him as you see the, I mean, just being here in Florida, man, I’m just amazed by God’s creation the water, the trees, the sky, everything.
And man, part of walking outside the doors of your house, going for a walk go and just breathing the air is you’re reminded. One God is in control of this thing too, that you’re not alone. It reminds us that we’re small and he’s really big, which I think is really important to remember. Um, because when we live in our heads, we can become bigger and [00:10:00] God becomes smaller.
Um, And it reminds us too, that God’s alive, man. He’s alive. He’s with us. He loves us. And so I think there’s something really important as far as our even just self care right now. Um, to be outside, I mean, make an effort to go outside at least once a day. And. Um, I just know there’s dudes that are literally just in doors all day.
And so again, that would be a second way that I think is really important. You know, Psalm one 24 eight says our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He’s created all things to point us to himself. And so. You know, maybe the best thing you can do for your discouragement is walk around the block, you know?
so simple but important. Here’s another, here’s another thing. you know, I feel like in this kind of goes along with the first one that we hit, but I think like filling your mind right now, like with music and teaching that stirs your affections for the Lord. Like that’s the question [00:11:00] I often ask myself is.
What are those things right now that I’m intentionally pursuing that stir my affections or, you know, grow my passion for Christ. I know for me, like listening to worship music is a big deal. Like if I’m just being honest, like. I need time to just listen to worship music, worship the Lord. if I’m listening to a podcast or listening to teaching, I want to make sure it’s edifying to my soul.
You know? here’s what we know, man. There’s enough criticism out there. There’s not a lot of bitter men out there right now. A lot of us that just sucks the life out of us, man. And so what are those things that are going to stir your affections? And so, and along those lines, the thing I would add is.
Edifying conversations with people who love Jesus, like conversations like this. Honestly, this is why this podcast, you guys are such a gift to so many people is like, we need to be with brothers and sisters that love the Lord that will build us up, you know, and that we can build up. And so that’s a big deal fellowships, a big deal in this [00:12:00] time.
And then the last thing I would just say is it’s just the importance of prayer. And I know we know that, but man, If there was ever a time where we needed to be on our faces, pursuing the Lord, man, it’s right now. uh, we need him, we need them for ourselves personally. We need them for our churches. We need him in every way.
And so those are just some things guys. I throw out there as ways to stay encouraged ourselves. You guys have any thoughts on that?
JimBo Stewart: No, I think that’s, that’s solid. like you said, we got to get outside, we’ve got to be mindful of what we’re putting in our mind, what we’re listening to, what we’re, surrounding ourselves with that we’re not spending all of our time on social media or the news or worldly perspectives of everything.
whether we’re in God’s word, we’re listening to things that honor and glorify God and turn our hearts and our minds towards him. And that positions us then, well, to be an encouragement to others. So smart. What would you say is, you know, how do, how do we go [00:13:00] from encouraging ourselves, which is super important when you kind of oxygen mass principle, when you get on the plane and you got to put your max mask on first, but how do we go from there to then.
Being able to courage those around us because there are so many that are
Mark Hallock: yeah, yeah, yeah, no, that’s good. Yeah. There’s several things that cut on my mind and I want to just briefly hit four of these things because I think again, there are all kinds of things we can think we need to focus on right now in our time.
It can be overwhelming. And for some of us as pastors, you know, we talk about being resourceful, generalists as re planters. And man, we’ve get that all of a sudden we’re now tech guys. We’re trying to figure out how to get online and stream our services and all these things. But one of those things we really, really need to focus on, like, what are those top priorities to help get your church through this season in a healthy way?
I would say. And I’m. And let me just mention this, first of all, I would say this. Intentional and consistent. And those are two important words by the way, [00:14:00] being intentional and being consistent in your communication with your leaders, with your leaders, your leaders really need to lead together in this time.
And, and so if you’re going to lead as a team, clarity and unity is huge. And so you need to set, if you haven’t with your key leaders, you need to have regular meeting times to talk through issues and challenges. If that means setting up a regular zoom call each week, I don’t know what it is, but man, we need to be in, we need to bring our leaders in really tight right now because they’re also weary and they’re trying to figure out what’s going on.
And, and in doing that, we need to be intentional about encouraging our leaders and, and, and showing them grace. So that’s our leaders. And then, and so I think flowing from that as the second thing, which is intentional and consistent communication. With your congregation. Like, again, communication’s important right now because people are scared.
People are, uh, if they’re not scared, they’re at least confused. Right. I mean, really [00:15:00] confused. And so, and so we need to let our know, people know that we love them. What’s happening. What’s going on with your church. What’s the game plan, you know, for the spring, into the summer, don’t assume things, people are living in their heads.
They’re worried about the future. You need to go overboard, I think with communication with, with your leaders, with your congregation and then, and also just each individual member. And this is where, when we talk about micro shepherding, right? which macro shepherding is how we care for and minister to the flock as a whole.
On a congregational level micro level shepherding is individual personal shepherding. Okay. So as pastors, we’re responsible for both. Many times, um, in larger churches, to be honest with you, they do a great job of macro shepherding. It’s difficult to do micro shepherding. Well, this is one of the great strengths or should be of small to normative sized churches.
Like most of us are probably listening to this. Um, is man, we have an opportunity to do micro [00:16:00] shepherding really well to know the flock as individuals to know their needs, to know their pains, you know, their hurts, to know how we can pray for them. And their, their families. And, and so what I would say to pastors and lean into this, this needs to be a top priority right now, and spending extra time, checking on your people, making phone calls.
it’s also a chance. I’ll tell you this, the reason a lot of smaller churches right now, if you, if you look over the last year are actually growing in this time is because of this Valley. It’s because there are people who are, who have left churches where nobody’s contact. Nobody knows them, nobody, you know, and they’re so they’re so desiring to be known and to be part of a church where they can be shepherded.
And so I would say to you guys, man, this should be a strength that we have. Um, as pastors. and so then the fourth thing I would just say is just the intentional prayer and feeding to encourage your flock. You know, keep doing the things the Bible tells you to do. You don’t need to be right now. I’m some [00:17:00] rockstar, super Wiz and everything.
Well, you do need to be is a biblical pastor, preach the word work, you know, the word every week, faithfully, pray for your flock. Encourage your flock. Get back to the basics and, and be, and be okay with that because God blesses that and, um, and then be steady in that. So those are just some things, man, for us to, I think, remember in this time where we can be like, man, what in the world am I supposed to do?
Well, get back to basics, trust the Lord and do the things he’s called you to do and ask him for joy, man, pray for joy. And, um, And the last thing I’d say is this guys, um, you know, one of the things that we talk about at our church is the Barnabas challenge. Okay. Barnabas is, you know, was the brother of encouragement, the son of encouragement and the barn of his challenge.
Our church is basically simply this encouraged three people a day. Encouraged three people a day, whether it’s through text message, whether it’s through a [00:18:00] phone call, whether it’s stopping by the house to give him a hug. And so I would say to us, and I’m preaching to me and everybody listening, take the Barnabas challenge, make us a priority.
In fact, if it give you a reminder, if you need that, just take, just put the number three at the top of your phone and push repeat daily. As a reminder, I need to encourage three. And then I would say this issue, that challenge to your congregations. Because, you know what, it’s powerful. When a church becomes an encouraging church for one another, you can’t be the only guy doing this.
And so how do you unleash your church to be encouragers? I think you’ll find that that’ll be a source of great joy for your people.
Bob Bickford: So good, man. I think that, um, Mark, just one of the things you said right up front is encouragement. Is something that every, every person needs and it’s in short supply in our world right now. And probably even before 19, w we have a deficit of encouragement and I think it’s one of the most simple and [00:19:00] basic and wonderful gifts that the church can engage in on a regular basis that can really.
Make the body warm and alive, but also it can be a witness to the gospel in our lives. So we’re encouraged not by what’s happening around us, but because of the risen Christ within us. And man, we just unleashed that on the world. that is an, attractive part of the gospel. And it just reminds me of Matthew five 16.
That’s part of the light shining in us. Right. And the good work of encouragement that exhibits from us, that people just come in. What’s up with those people. Like they are encouraging, they’re friendly. They’re, they’re loving, they’re good folks. And there’s nothing. I think that can really train along with the preaching of God’s word, the regular discipline of practicing, encouragement as a leader and as a pastor and fostering that environment in your church, then that’ll turn the culture of a church completely around.
And, uh, and I just love, I love that you championed that, [00:20:00] uh, and the replanting world, and most of all, I I’m really thankful Mark you body, that person, right. It’s not a, it’s not something that, you just put on, on a stage. I mean, you are always encouraging. And, I’ve been so grateful for your friendship of these past years, that’s just who you are.
and that’s why we love to be around happy. Huggy Hallock. It’s the joy of Jesus inside of you. So, um, thank you brother. Thanks for that.
Mark Hallock: Praise God, man. Thank you. Thanks for that encouragement. That’s you know, it’s huge. And I think Bob, here’s the truth. You know what you say? Just for someone to remember is, For those guys who were like, man, I don’t know if I’m much of an encourager. Well, you are because you’re saved. If you’re saved the Holy spirit of God, you’re made to encourage period.
but I would say this, you know, um, and I mentioned this yesterday to the guys, you know, I think a lot of believers have encouraging thoughts. About people, man, that sermon was awesome. So grateful for how she serves every week. You know, we have [00:21:00] encouraging thoughts. The thing is encouragement. Doesn’t become encouragement until it leaves your lips.
That person is not blessed by encouraging thoughts. Does that make sense? So here’s my encouragement, my encouragement, move those encouraging thoughts to lips because that person’s blessed when they leave that. Don’t let it just be a thought act on it, speak those words, text those words so that they’re blessed by that encouragement.
And I think what you’ll find is once it becomes a habit, I was joke. I said, it’s like Christmas every day, man. I mean, I get it. We get to give the gift of encouragement. I don’t know why this phone is ringing. I haven’t checked out. Oh yeah. Sorry. I’m going to hotel room. Check out time. But anyway, let me just say.
JimBo Stewart: Yes, checking out. Thank you.
Mark Hallock: The first ever, I promise you on replant boot camp,
Bob Bickford: I thought we had a color. I thought we had a live caller calling into
Mark Hallock: Collar from 1978, a real telephone. [00:22:00] We got Bob Brunswick anyway, but anyway, all that to say, guys is, you know, this is a time to grow, man, unleashed encouragement. Let’s do it for the glory of God, have fun.
You people need joy in the city, a way to bring it.
JimBo Stewart: You know, what are you talking about? We need joy. And lay the front desk talks about, we need to check out and you talk about, we’ve got to let the encouragement hit our lips. So I think we got to check out and go let the Cubana cut our lips and it will bring us joy.