EPISODE #71 – EQUIP LEADERS
Bob gets honest about his disdain for Tom Brady, Jimbo has a Chiefs fan in the house and we get down to discussing why equipping your people for ministry is not only a central part of your calling but a joy. Check out the highlights below and consult the show notes for details.
The PITO lens: Personal, Interpersonal, Team, Organizational
Don’t fall into the trap of doing ministry just because you are a single staff leader. We are called to equip the saints for the work of ministry.
- evaluate your motives
- check your definitions of success
- make disciples-identify spiritual giftings and calling
- Discipleship and serving are for everyone, leadership is for a few
- involve other leaders in helping you equip others in the church
- don’t be the “lid” by limiting equipping to yourself
- have an intentional strategy, process and plan
- think broader than your context and your church, develop kingdom leaders
Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome by R. Kent Hughes
Leveling the Church by Micah Fries
Cultivating a Life for God by Neil Cole
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[00:00:00] JimBo Stewart: Here we are back at it again from the base camp of the boot camp in my garage. And you there in St. Louis are, are you as, as a Missouri guy, are you excited about Kansas city? Go into the super bowl again, back to back.
Bob Bickford: Absolutely cause our football team. Up and left us and went to LA and we actually stole them from LA and then they got stolen back. So, you know, I, I didn’t live, I did live here while the Rams were playing, but back then we called them the lambs because they were not very good. And, They were the greatest show on turf at one time, but they were pretty much a giant disappointment.
Uh, when I lived here, uh, when I moved back here in Oh nine. So, there’s a little heartburn, but you know what? I did live in Kansas city and I lived in Kansas city, Kansas city. He was making his playoff runs with, uh, Joe Montana, Elvis Gerber back, rich Gannon, those guys, most of our bootcamp listeners don’t know who those [00:01:00] guys are, cause I’m stinking old, I like me, some Kansas city chiefs.
And so I’m always going to take Jimbo. I would take, I would take anybody over time, Tom Brady. I just would.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, but I mean, he’s the, he’s the leading the first team to get, to play the super bowl in their home stadium. That’s pretty significant.
Bob Bickford: I know, but I don’t care. I don’t care. I put on social media that Tom Brady was like the guy in high school that stole your girl, blocked your dunk, beat you out for valedictorian and got a new Iraq Camaro Z on his birthday.
JimBo Stewart: Seemed like he, I saw somebody posted, uh, you know, it’s like Tom Brady, it seems like you literally picked a team at random and it was like, Hey, want to go to the super bowl?
Bob Bickford: Almost almost, but you know what? There’s no doubting, he’s a smart football player. He’s a unique individual. And. [00:02:00] And in those, you know, those, those, uh, qualities and, and what he’s done in his body of work, um, you have to respect it and you just may not like it, maybe like me, maybe a hater that you just don’t, you don’t care for Tom Brady and that sort of thing.
But, um, there’s no doubt that she should respect the work that he’s done.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. So my son, Cassius decided to started a few games ago, so he wasn’t a complete bandwagon fan. but a few games ago, he just randomly decided, for no discernible reason that he was a Kansas city chiefs fan.
Bob Bickford: Yeah.
JimBo Stewart: He is super excited. I normally couldn’t get him to sit down and watch a whole game with me of, of a football game.
He would always act like he was excited. Watch for a few minutes, get distracted, go somewhere else. But the other day when the chiefs were replay and I was working on my doctoral paper and not paying attention to football and he came and was update me on the score. I was watching the game, telling me all about it.
And I think it’s Patrick, my [00:03:00] homes. And I think it’s actually the reason he likes it is the, the funny state farm commercial Patrick Mahoney. I think that’s why he likes the Kansas city chiefs.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, well, that’s, I’ll take that reason. And that’s a good reason. I know that sometimes. And I saw this on social media, so kudos to cache for liking the Kansas city chiefs. One guy commented on the uniforms. He said he hated the uniforms. He said, they look like they should be working at McDonald’s. that bright yellow and that red and you know, all that gone on.
But, I’m saying I’m part of the chiefs kingdom. Go chiefs.
JimBo Stewart: All right. Um, I’m off. So I’m just, I’m going with cash. I mean, I can’t, I can’t root against them against the saints, but I mean, the saints got destroyed by old Tom Brady. And so it’s, uh, it’s revenge, I guess. And so, um, I’m, I’m with you, I’m rooting for the chiefs for the super bowl.
Hey, bootcamp listeners.
We’d love to hear from you who, who are you rooting for in the super bowl? Let us know in the comments, uh, on whatever social media you see this or whatever. We’d love to know who you’re rooting for, or who we ought to be rooting for [00:04:00] in the super bowl. A Bob today, we’re going to continue in the six irreducible minimums, uh, as we’ve been talking about, and kind of breaking that down through the air force model of leadership, PIDO, uh, personal interpersonal team, organizationally.
And, and so today the one we’re looking at is equipping the saints, uh, such an important part. And this is one I was thinking of the day, if there is a, uh, script sure. Reference, we have alluded to more than anything. Yeah. This one, I don’t know what it would be. I think this is the one we have continued to point to over and over and over again.
And I think one of the reasons is. I I’m convinced Bob, this is, this is the answer to a lot of the struggles that we see a lot of guys, you guys have, especially in single staff, churches, they’re overwhelmed and they try to do everything themselves. And in the process of that, they’ll miss kind of the beauty of what can happen when you focus on equipping the saints, instead of [00:05:00] doing everything yourself.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, you’re totally right. And, and, um, as a single staff, pastor, we, I mean, we do have a worship leader at worship pastor and a custodian. but we, we just recently transitioned away from an administrative assistant, but you’re right. There’s um, you’re kind of it like you are, you are. And so I think sometimes.
the challenge for us is it’s faster for us to do something ourselves. And so we’ll just do it right. Or we think we’re in we’re, we’re imposing on our life lay folks. And, the reality is that that we’re called to share ministry with them. We’re not called to do all the ministry we’re called to equip them.
So I’m excited about. Running this through the Peto lens. And, uh, I was talking and having conversations about how to do it.
JimBo Stewart: I think even what we were talking about there hits on the personal, uh, as far as what does it look like? Uh, equip the saints is so outwardly focused. What does it mean to do that [00:06:00] personally? I think really it’s groundwork. You’ve got to do in your understanding of what your role is as a pastor and in your heart and what your motives are behind things.
And, and so one of the, one of the frustrations we hear often from our listeners, from people we talk to in ministry is that they’re overwhelmed that they have so much going on and so much that they’re responsible for. Part of that we have to check. Our motives is part of that, that we’re micromanaging because we desire.
And I’m not saying that’s always the case, but I think you have to evaluate and check your motives on it. Is it that we desire to control everything and we want an excellent product and excellent aesthetics, uh, the old thing that you always hear, but they just wouldn’t do it as good as I do. but then you got to write, and that was when I’ve wrestled with, but I had to recognize that what I’m being held accountable to by the Lord and by scripture is not that we have a really good looking bulletin in sermon graphics.
And, that my process [00:07:00] is great. Go great. When I’m really working towards it. Am I making disciples in my equipping, the saints as a part of that process? So I think. As far as personally goes in my mind, Bob it’s, it’s really checking your heart, checking your motives. And how do you define success as a pastor?
Bob Bickford: One of the old classic books, arcane Hughes, liberating ministry from the success syndromes, uh, really, is a good resource for us as we think about. Ministry. And I, I was actually reading into another book, on Sunday afternoon that talked about defining success in ministry and. And while the book of acts is descriptive in the early days of expansion of church, and you see 3000 and you see numbers and you know, those sorts of things, the rest of the gospels, you don’t see, you don’t see those numbers, like the letters that Paul wrote, you don’t see those numbers.
What you see is the work of ministry, which translates every single context. And so, you know, we’re talking to [00:08:00] guys primarily as re planters here at the bootcamp. You’re working with normative sized churches. And so, having worked at large churches, you you’ve worked at large churches. I’ve worked at large churches.
Part of the reality is a large church has to have a lot of hands and a lot of helpers. And so equipping is absolutely necessary. And a guy, I think who goes from a large church context to a normative sized church context in many ways is a little bit disadvantaged. Because they haven’t had to develop the muscle of figuring out how do I launch an equipping ministry through a handful of people.
Right. And particularly, I think one of the things too, that the historic nor the normal size church historically, is a committee led church in, oftentimes they’ll do administrative work, but they’ll also serve as advisors about what they want the pastor to do. So there’s sometimes a real interesting dynamic that you have to, um, you know, you have to work out and you have to, uh, to figure out [00:09:00] how to, how to adapt and adjust.
JimBo Stewart: Interpersonally. And, uh, her answer to interpersonally is almost always going to start with make disciples. Who are always going to be pushing you to make sure that you are personally in, in your life, not just preaching about making disciples, that you are sharing the gospel, you are discipling people and you are making disciples.
So in that discipleship making process, make sure that you have an intentional part of that process that involves identifying people’s spiritual giftings and callings, and helping equip them for the work of ministry. And if you will make sure that that’s an intentional part, not to confuse. Discipleship with leadership development, because I do think that those are two different things.
and I appreciate, Neil Cole, especially in, really highlights that idea in a book called cultivating a life for God. I is a great read where he really [00:10:00] heavily emphasizes the idea that discipleship is for everyone. Leadership development is not a, and so if there’s a danger in getting those two confused, because if you get them confused, you’ll start to. Exclude people that maybe aren’t candidates for leadership development and you won’t disciple them, but everyone is called to do the work of ministry. And so as you’re discipling someone, making sure that you’re intentional about that process and making sure that there’s a piece of it, that’s equipping them for ministry.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, what a great point. Discipleship’s for everyone. And serving is for everyone, but leadership is for a few, right? Because if everyone was at the leader level, then you would have a lot of chiefs, right. So to speak Kansas city, you’d have a lot of that going on. A lot of people wanting to direct ministry, but not a lot of people doing ministry.
And so you and I are in an interesting role in [00:11:00] which Jimbo we’re, we’re both. Leaders, but we’re also followers. And in some times it’s, it’s really helpful for us to be in a dual role. So some of our guys, I guess what I would say to them is, is make sure that you’re not always looking at yourself as only a leader, but a servant and a servant leader, and cultivate that in your people as well.
JimBo Stewart: All right. So from personally to interpersonally to your team, as you lead your team, and we’ve highlighted this each week, you may push back and say you don’t have a team. if you don’t, well, then it’s time to start. Building one. and that doesn’t necessarily mean paid staff that very well, probably doesn’t mean paid staff.
Uh, but it means deacons. It means other leaders, Sunday school teachers, worship leaders, children’s ministry leaders, reading ministry leaders, whatever it is that is part of your team. But as you’re leading on the team level, Make sure that in the process of leading them, you’re not just having staff meetings that [00:12:00] are action list and to do list and then evaluating whether they’re doing those things you told them to do or not make sure you are clipping the them one to do the ministry area that they’re leading into to equip others to do the work of ministry.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, this there’s a multiplication factor here that really needs to be stressed in terms of, if I’m the one that is the solo equipper for every area of ministry in my church. There’s going to be a lid that everybody hits and that I hit, and that there’s a level of creativity and excellence that is diminished by me being the lid.
Right. So one thing is I, I really, uh, have learned in many times the hard way is that if I find a good leader who possesses the character and the competencies for their particular role in Christlikeness, and just in terms of the way they approach the ministry, If I can allow them to improve that ministry and administrate it and push [00:13:00] forward and bring their creativity to it, man, they’re going to decide and do things that are well beyond my capacity.
And they’re going to train others to do those things. That are well beyond my capacity or my imaginative creativity. So I think unleashing your team to really improve things. And then also to, to equip others, you’re going to find you, your church moves forward and the ministry load is lighter because you’re not the central liquid.
JimBo Stewart: Absolutely. I think, uh, leveling the church by Micah frees, which we have an earlier episode where we talked to him, um, about that, really emphasizes this idea of making sure that you’re equipping the saints. And that really, that this passage of equipping the saints out of Ephesians four 11 through 16 is the central passage for that book as well.
of making sure that you’re doing that with your team. And then lastly, organizationally, what does this look like? Bob? To, to lead the organization, in equipping the saints.
Bob Bickford: Yeah. One of the great strengths of our, relationship with the North [00:14:00] American mission board is that they have developed something called the pipeline where. You could be at any size church and you could access that, uh, the, the pipeline, which is a leadership development process, which allows you to take somebody from, you know, church member to, to form them, to shape them in a good sound, fundamental biblical doctrine and theology at the same time, you’re, you’re helping them progress into.
A place where they can consider God’s call on their life and become an excellent church member or potentially a church staff member, vocationally, or pastor or planter. And so we all need excellent church members and God has called us also to send out other other folks to start churches and to go to the mission field, et cetera.
And so, organizationally, I guess the question for us is. How [00:15:00] am I developing people, not just for my own local context, but for the kingdom of God. And do I have a strategic process and I want to be careful to, to, um, You know what I’m saying? That you should have a strategic process. A lot of people think, Oh my gosh, I’m going to have to have like up to develop a leadership manual.
I have to do all these things. I have to, you know, all that stuff. Well, a lot of that’s already been done for us in different places like the neon pipeline and some others, we can just avail ourselves of, of those resources and check in with our folks. But I think the big idea is, is having the mindset that our church is not just for our church.
We are for the kingdom of God. And so how do we strategically then raise up good church members, great missionaries and potential vocational pastors, church planters, and leaders.
JimBo Stewart: It’s a great thing to focus on that. Equipping the saints is not just about who, who can serve here in our local congregation, but being able to think about that too. How are we [00:16:00] sending, how are we commissioning and sending out pastors and missionaries and church planters and church re planters and yes, your.
Your small church can do that and should do that. And that multiplication pipeline that Nam has that’s free is a great curriculum. There’s a lot of great stuff out there. our, our friend Keelan cook, who we’ve had on here before has talked a lot about how, it, in, in a modern push to emphasize that you need to be missional with your neighbors and where you are, and that you are a missionary where you are, we’ve maybe lost that.
That alter call piece even of, Hey, have you, do you feel like God’s calling you specifically to vocational ministry in the sense of has God called you to be sent as God called you to go plant a church, to go pastor, to go be a missionary, to go be a youth pastor somewhere that’s not here to go, whatever.
are you, is God. Working in you in some way that we [00:17:00] can equip you, not for our own personal benefit and gain as a congregation, but to send you out to be, a worker in the kingdom, wherever it is that God has called you. And. That’s I, I would, I would love to see that happening more coming out of a lot of our are replanted and revitalized churches and emphasis on raising up people to send them out.
Bob Bickford: Man Jimbo, we’ve covered a lot of great ground here. And, um, I think as we wrap up one of the thoughts I would just have for the guy who’s sitting in his office, that’s a struggling that isn’t thinking he wishes he had a fleet of ready, made leaders. And I just wanted to challenge him to think about this, or also he might think he wished he didn’t have the leaders he had.
Right. But I just want to challenge think in a different way and imagine the people that are in your [00:18:00] congregation right now, equipped and sent and motivated to do ministry the mat, just get that vision in your mind. For what could happen in so much of the time right now? What, what, um, I think, uh, uh, re planter in a, in a present tense context gets frustrated that he doesn’t have the leaders he wants or the leaders he had somewhere else, but there’s an incredible joy that we find in our lives.
So we can find in our lives as a pastor in equipping the people that God has given us to pastor and shepherd and love well, and then seeing them developing them more than. Then you believe they could, could ever become or more than you imagine them becoming. And so I just want to challenge you work, work with the folks you have, and I think God’s going to do some great things to raise up people who are called and equipped to serve the local church, but also ultimately serve called and equipped to serve the kingdom.
[00:19:00] JimBo Stewart: Bootcamp listeners, maybe you don’t fully agree with everything we’ve said. Maybe you think Tom Brady is the greatest of all times. Maybe you think, uh, that the Popeye’s chicken sandwiches, trash, whatever it is we would love to hear from you. We’d love to interact with you. Uh, you can contact us through our website, through our social media channels.
And we’d love to know what’s going on in your world. What’s going on with your questions. Uh, what are ways that you have seen equipping the saints work in your context that could be a blessing to others or what are things that you’re trying to figure out that you’re wrestling with, that we could come alongside, bring you on for an episode and have a great conversation with you.
All right guys, have a blessed day, stay safe, stay sanitized, and uh, go chiefs.