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You Need Leaders So You Can Become a Better Leader
Insights from the “Lead2Serve” Podcast
Season 5. Episode 7

The Impact of Pastors: Lessons from the Life and Ministry of Pastor Jeff Johnson

In our latest podcast episode, I had the privilege of sitting down with Bob Claycamp to discuss a topic that is both deeply personal and very significant: the role of pastors in our lives. This conversation was particularly special as we reflected on the recent passing of Pastor Jeff Johnson, a man whose ministry left an indelible mark on many thousands of people, especially me.

The Role of Pastors: More Than Just Leaders

Teaching and Mentoring

One of the central themes of our discussion was the multifaceted role of pastors. Pastors are not just leaders; they are teachers and mentors who guide us through our spiritual journeys. Bob and I emphasized how pastors like Jeff Johnson dedicate their lives to teaching the Word of God, providing spiritual nourishment, and offering guidance during life’s most challenging moments. Their teachings often serve as a foundation for personal growth and development, helping individuals navigate their faith with wisdom and grace.

Building Relationships

Another important point we explored was the dynamics of relationships with pastors. In different church settings, the relationship between a pastor and their congregation can vary, but the underlying principle remains the same: mutual respect and support. Bob and I shared personal anecdotes about how these relationships have shaped our lives, highlighting the importance of fostering strong, personal connections within the church community.

The Impact of Pastor Jeff Johnson

Reflecting on the life and ministry of Pastor Jeff Johnson, I couldn’t help but share my own experiences with him. Initially, I struggled with pride and haughtiness, finding it difficult to fully appreciate Pastor Jeff’s role in my life in the earlier formative years of my spiritual life. However, over time, I learned to value his guidance and the profound impact he had on my spiritual growth. This experience underscored the importance of serving and encouraging our pastors, and recognizing their efforts while they are still with us.

The Pain of Loss

Losing a pastor is never easy, and both Bob and I have experienced this firsthand. The passing of Pastor Jeff Johnson was a stark reminder of the void that such a loss can create in our lives and communities. Bob shared his own experiences of losing pastors, emphasizing the need to refocus on God during these times of grief. Ultimately, it is the Lord who remains our ultimate inspiration and guide, even as we mourn the loss of those who have shepherded us.

Challenges Faced by Pastors

Our conversation also touched on the unique challenges that pastors face in today’s ever-changing church world landscape. One significant challenge is dealing with people who leave the church for the “latest and greatest” trends in churches. This can be disheartening for pastors who have dedicated their lives to their calling. Bob and I discussed the importance of remaining faithful and steadfast, even in the face of such challenges.

Accountability and Support

Another crucial point we addressed was the need for accountability and personal relationships within the church community. Pastors, like all of us, need support and encouragement. They are often on the front lines, dealing with the spiritual and emotional needs of their congregations. By fostering a culture of mutual respect and support, we can help our pastors thrive in their roles and continue to positively impact our lives.

Honoring Our Pastors

One of the most significant takeaways from our discussion was the importance of honoring and respecting our pastors. They play a vital role in our spiritual lives, and their teachings leave a lasting impact. By acknowledging their contributions and offering our support, we can help ensure that they continue to guide and inspire us.

The Ultimate Guide

Finally, we were reminded that while pastors are essential, it is ultimately the Lord who is our ultimate guide and inspiration. In times of loss and uncertainty, refocusing on God can provide the strength and clarity we need to move forward.

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT UNEDITED

Host (00:00:05) – Calvary Church Presents Lead to Serve, a leadership podcast with editor Taylor.

Ed (00:00:11) – Welcome again to another episode of the Lead to Serve podcast. My name is Ed Taylor. I’m the pastor here at Calvary Church in Aurora, Colorado. I’ve been married for 35 years this year, 35 years this year. I have three kids. They’re all grown. My oldest son, Eddie, went home to be with the Lord ten years ago, almost 11 years ago now. and I also have another son. Josh serves here at the church, one of our administrative pastors, and he has excelled in ministry in ways that I could never excel. I’m proud of him. Well, God’s doing in his life. And my daughter. She also is an expert with communications and social media and so many different things and grateful, to, you know, be alive. Really. It’s the grace of God, to be alive and to have a life. On that is live for the Lord. And today I want to spring a brand new topic.

Ed (00:01:21) – It’s not on our notes. it’s just going to. We’re going to talk as if I pull a brother in my office, and we’re going to talk about this. it’s kind of like how the, podcast is to begin with. Except that I didn’t tell Bob I was going to do this. I’m just going to do it. So first of all, I want to welcome Bob, into our studio today. Welcome again for another episode. Yeah. It’s great. It should be interesting. Are you ready for the surprise? Yeah. Let’s do it. Yeah. I don’t think it’s going to be as big a surprise as you want, but I do think I do need to talk about it. I do want to talk about it. So before we get to it, I want to remind you that the Lead to Serve podcast is designed to help you grow in your servant leadership. of course, we’re coming to you from the perspective of pastors. That’s who we are. That’s how we spend and invest our lives in pastoral ministry.

Ed (00:02:09) – But don’t let that throw you. We’re not merely pastors. It’s like, that’s not the only, we have all kinds of roles in society. And before we were ever a pastor, we were believers. so you can think of it just as a brother, a couple brothers talking to you about life and ministry and how to serve. Well, because I know that’s why you are attracted to this podcast. You want to serve well. So if you’re a pastor, going to be helpful as a pastor, dad, mom, single as a boss, as an employee across the board, pastor Bob Clay camp, he has 50 plus years of pastoral ministry experience. I’m in the 30 year range of pastoral ministry experience. So combined 80 years. But that’s not where the power is. The power is not, in our experience, the powers in the Word of God and being yielded to the Holy Spirit in these conversations is not what they are. They’re not scripted. Although we do have some, we we do have some thoughts of how to, you know, what direction we’re going, for sure.

Ed (00:03:09) – And then we’re seeing a theme develop the theme for this season developing is growing into deeper effectiveness skills to be more usable. Like you’re just asking the question, how can I be more usable? Or I feel stuck in a rut? How can I move forward? That seems to be what this season is. So welcome aboard. Remember, give us your feedback. put a good review on Spotify or Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts, however you get it, because that helps the algorithm. Any feedback, any input, any appreciation, any topics that you want us to cover. Text me (720) 608-0012. That’ll ping my phone (720) 608-0012 or email me ed at Ed taylor.org. That’s EDT. Laura Bob also has an email and a website. Bob Clay camp.com. Or you can email him at Bob at Bob Clay camp com. But anything that comes into me that references Bob, I’ll make sure to get to him, as well. So here’s the topic. My pastor died, Jeff Johnson, and I don’t know what we’re going to end up titling this, but it’s recent.

Ed (00:04:23) – It’s fresh on my mind. I and I want to talk about a few things, related to losing your pastor or watching your pastor die or seeing him suffer or what the future holds. and the first one is, is how much God has put pastors in our lives more than we get to pick our pastor. I think there’s a sense in our culture, this emphasis on independence, this emphasis on my choice and my, that I can go to this church and I don’t like this church and I can’t be fed. So I’m going to go and find me a pastor on YouTube or whatever. I don’t believe, and I’m speaking from personal experience. I don’t believe that really is. God’s heart like I do, believe you can go to another church and God could use that, obviously. But Pastor Jeff Johnson, who pastored faithfully for 50 years at Calvary Chapel in Downey. God chose this man for me. And I’ll tell you how. I’m lost. Could care less about church. I don’t know anything about Calvary Chapel.

Ed (00:05:31) – Neither do I care. Anything like church is like, as far as you can think in my life. I get invited to church, I get saved, and I believe that if God called me there and I didn’t have this concept, like, I wasn’t didn’t even read the Bible yet. I didn’t even own a Bible. When I got saved, I had to go to the store and buy one. But now, looking back and looking at some of the struggles I had in that church and wanting to leave, so I was upset about something like we all do, that God affirmed to me that he chose Jeff Johnson for me, not the other way around. Do you have any initial thoughts on that topic or that thought?

Bob (00:06:10) – Well, I think that especially in those beginning days of walking with the Lord, the Lord uses those men in your life to help lay a foundation. The shock is you initially hold them to such a high standard because they know all about the Bible and you don’t. And then the longer you’re with them, you find that they are human and that maybe they responded in the flesh one time and it shocked you.

Bob (00:06:39) – And you go, well, you know, how can they be anointed by God? And look what they did. And you focus on the error instead of the overall. And I realized that there are abuses. there have been spiritual abuses of leaders. but you can’t throw them all under the bus because a few of them have not behaved well and have not been faithful. And I think that I look back on my life and the people that God put in the first eight and a half years of my life. some of them was some of it was pretty challenging. We were in a Christian youth ministry that, I mean, it was a pretty high self, pretty high sacrifice environment. And sometimes there were things that were done that were just harsh. And I didn’t understand it at the time. But now, looking back on it, given what they had to deal with, that’s that’s how they responded. And, you know, God used it.

Ed (00:07:45) – And I think we need to step back for a second and make some assumptions.

Ed (00:07:48) – No abuse, no sin. no. obviously there are times when you got to leave a church. I’m talking about this sense of the minor things. I don’t like his jokes. I don’t like his his teaching style. I don’t like the preference. We talked about this when it came to worship, you know, a couple of years ago, how we elevate preferences to something other than than what they really need to be, where we live in a day and age, where certainly where the Bible says that in the last days, with our itching ears, we’re going to keep up teachers for ourselves. But that happens in this consumer culture to begin with, where God put a pastor in your life, like, and he put that pastor in your life again, no, no abuse. Obviously, if there’s abuse, you’re not do not submit to that. That is not the heart of God. We’re just talking normal men, like you said, normal mistakes and things that I believe God would put you under the leadership of a particular pastor so that you could see those mistakes and learn from them, so you could respond to that personality and learn from them so that you could learn submission.

Ed (00:08:59) – You can learn honor, you can learn obedience. Even the Bible. The Bible says to obey your leaders and learn how to, live life outside of yourself. And one of the primary tools that God uses in our lives are pastors. And while we may have preferences, it’s important that we accept that God puts pastors in our lives on purpose.

Bob (00:09:26) – That’s true. I think that, I grew so much under my first pastor who was John Higgins. Yes. And, while he has his own way of doing things and his own personality and all that, there were lessons of discipleship and endurance and focus that I don’t know if I would have picked up from anybody else because I watched it. I watched him live it out. I watched the fruit of it. And. God puts those models like like Paul said. Follow me as I follow Christ.

Ed (00:10:05) – One of the things that I like to teach in terms of ministry is where Moses has Aaron and her holding up his arms, and what an uncomfortable place that must have been for Aaron and her to be out on a hot day on the armpits of Moses, knowing that as they position themselves in such a way where his arms were up, there was victory.

Ed (00:10:27) – And when they fell, there was defeat. And they wanted victory. So they did whatever it needed to. And I refer to that as the armpit ministry. And and really, if you think about it, a lot of ministries that way, like, like you’re dealing with the reality. If I’m around Bob long enough, I’m going to see weaknesses in Bob and Bob’s around Ed long enough. We’re humans. And I want you guys listening right now. Even if you’re a pastor, a leader, God put you in someone’s life to minister to them. And one of the reasons it hurts when somebody leaves or bails or quits on you is that you value that relationship. Now, let’s talk relationship real quick. And then I want to talk about my love for Pastor Jeff for a second. But, Pastor Jeff and I were not close. he wasn’t that kind of man. Pastor Jeff was about the age of my dad. And you are as well. You’re probably a little bit younger than my dad.

Ed (00:11:20) – like, Pastor Jeff was a little bit younger than my dad, and he came from a generation. You put your head down, you work. That’s how I express. That’s how my dad expressed love. He worked, took care of the family. Didn’t have to worry about anything. He worked overtime and just go, go, go. If he was sick, he went to work. If he like, that’s just how he was. And that he. He wasn’t super affectionate. There wasn’t a lot of hugging in my life, but I knew he loved me because I. I figured it out somehow. That’s how he expresses his love for me. So Pastor Jeff, very similar. I didn’t I was there for eight years, and in eight years I probably spoke to the man three times. and it wasn’t very substantive because he was fulfilling his call. and if you don’t understand that, you’ll be offended. But he wasn’t mean spirited at all. He was a great guy, very affable, very fun, very funny.

Ed (00:12:11) – he just had a call, to pastor a church of six, 7000 people. and he was surrounded by, I don’t know, 12, 13 pastors, of which those are the ones I did serve with. one man in particular, Rudy Cardenas, who was the children’s ministry pastor. He’s the one I got a lot of time with. Although the time I got with him wasn’t like hanging out buddy buddy going fishing, because guess what? He had a call to, to take care of those kids. I mean, the scope of the ministry at Downey. When I was serving there on Wednesday night, we served over 300 kids, not including junior high and high school. I mean, the place was rocking, man. It was it was unbelievable what we were a part of and it was amazing. But Pastor Rudy also, he had his own calling. And so the time, the most time that I spend with him was serving with him, being alongside of him and going to funerals with him or being in proximity so that I could learn and grow and he could speak into my life.

Ed (00:13:11) – And and so sometimes there’s these expectations that men and women place on pastors that are just unfair and unreal, where, you know, we want to be your friend. And can you come to our house and have dinner? I would love to come to your house and have dinner, but but if I accepted every invitation that I receive from the precious flock that I have, even when the church was much smaller, I would never have dinner with my family. Yeah. And so I have to schedule it. Or I have to say no more often than yes. And Jeff would. Pastor Jeff was like that. so someone had texted me. I’m so sorry that you experienced the loss of Pastor Jeff. I know he was a mentor to you. I want to explain that to. I can say very definitively that he was a mentor to me. However, not how people use that word like. So he didn’t sit me down and say, this is how you’re supposed to do this. You have to do what he did to what he did.

Ed (00:14:08) – How he mentored me is he taught me the Bible. Yeah, that’s what he did. He taught me the Bible. Sunday mornings taught me the Bible. Wednesday nights taught me the Bible. If he had a vacation or a mission trip, guess what? He had somebody there to teach me the Bible, and from a distance I could watch.

Bob (00:14:25) – And from discipleship from a distance.

Ed (00:14:27) – Yes. and the episodes that he had, if he did a leadership thing, then he taught us as a group, like over the years, you begin to appreciate everybody’s different roles so that you also give room for those that are in your life to be who they are without any unrealistic expectations, because pastors, they die the death of unrealistic expectations. and so for Pastor Jeff, I had to receive that this is the man God put in my life, and this is what God wants him to do in my life. Wants me to. He wants that man to pray, study and teach me the Bible. And that’s what he did.

Ed (00:15:05) – And and help me tremendously become a man, a husband, a dad, an employee, eventually a boss, a leader, an elder, a pastor, a church planner. And Jeff would sit down. He’s like, I didn’t know when I did any of that. Like, how did I do that? I was out surfing, you know, I was hanging out with my grandkids. You know, I was living life. Not that in lieu of ministry. Like, I’m being facetious in some regards, although he did get days off. but he’s praying. Studying, teaching. and. I’m in a mode of receiving. And I think it’s important for everyone listening here to know that and not underestimate that. The systematic teaching of the Bible is discipleship. Yeah. It is not replaced even what gets read into the life of Jesus. Jesus in his discipleship was unique. He was training men to save the world. And we fall short. We obviously this is where people take things too far. Well, you should disciple like Jesus.

Ed (00:16:15) – I know, yes, I agree. However, you already begin to make exceptions when you’re not willing to quit your job and live with me for three years. I mean, nobody does that because that’s not realistic. So we come. We approach a first century God in human flesh model with applications that might facilitate our growth.

Bob (00:16:35) – When you plant a church, it’s you and your family opening up your home. Or maybe you and a small team going to a town and the people that first come in and are with you, you have a more intimate relationship with them because of just the size of things. But when you step into a work that’s large, you can’t expect that same level of intimacy with the with the leader. It’s not it’s not practical. It’s it just doesn’t work that way. And and it’s not just about you. It’s about what God is doing in that particular season of of your life or the season of the church life. I mean, I’ve pastored a medium sized church. I’ve pastored a very small church.

Bob (00:17:25) – The dynamics are different. I’m here and this is a larger church, and there are more, a different strategy in, in diving in and getting to know people and clarifying your expectations.

Ed (00:17:40) – That word expectation keeps popping up because as a new believer, I had zero expectation. Literally. I was just wanting to stay out of jail. and maybe my wife won’t leave me, and I don’t even know what changed. I knew I was a bad person, but really had no knowledge of how bad I really was until the word of God and and not even in a negative way. Just a reality way. And I had no expectations. However, as things began to get cleaned up, as I became a different man, as a born again believer, as I began to know the Bible, as I listened to the Bible and sermon on the radio or whatever, all of a sudden I have these expectations. All of a sudden I approached Jeff when I first watched, walked into that church. Is this what you guys do? Okay, I’m ready to do it.

Ed (00:18:30) – This is what you guys do, okay? We’re ready to do it. What is this community? Is what you do okay. And some were subtly down the road. Oh, is this what you guys do? I don’t like it. Is this what you guys do? I don’t I don’t know what happened to me. What happens to us, where we go in wide eyed and expectant from the Lord. And now we our expectations become very, very selfish and self-centered. And we blame the pastor for things. We blame the church for things that it’s nothing to do with the pastor of the church. It’s all you.

Bob (00:19:03) – But that’s human relationships. Yeah. I mean, all of a sudden you meet this girl and it’s just, like, amazing. And then. And then you spend time with her and she with you. And after a while, you know, it’s amazing that things that you first saw is enchanting and so, so cool after a while become kind of different. And then and then even after a while, it’s like, they’re so annoying, those very same things, you know? Now they’re annoying and they’re like, break your ready to break relationship.

Bob (00:19:34) – Because how how odd. You know, what kind of an odd bird is this? And but those are the same things that drew you. I mean, is this human relationship of course.

Ed (00:19:44) – When it comes to the church, maybe you’re pastor listening and or a leader and you had somebody leave, you know, the in a Bible teaching church like ours, the thing that we hear the most is, oh, yeah, I’m not being fed anymore. You know, that’s like taking somebody to a buffet and they sit at the table. Yeah. I’m not. I’m hungry. I’m not being fed. The food’s right there. It’s all served for you. Like, just pick it up and put it in your mouth. Like, what’s trying to be communicated is something completely different than not being fed. There’s preferences and everything. But I just think back, as I’ve been thinking about Pastor Jeff since his passing, just God chose that man for me, and I had to learn to appreciate that. after I became so haughty and high minded and prideful because I didn’t start out that way in the beginning, it was like, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, something changed and I’m like, oh no, no.

Ed (00:20:38) – And you know, you hear people too. You hear gossip, you hear complaining, you hear and like, oh, I didn’t know. Yeah. It’s like what I wore in our church, like, stop gossiping like you don’t even those folks were just living their life like loving the Lord until you came and started soiling their mind with this stuff. Now they’re upset like you are, and they weren’t upset before you showed up. So stop it. Stop sending. It’s defiling. But I think back to those years and now, 30 years later, and the relationship that we did develop. And the more I did get to understand him and his wife and and the more I did get to sir, I mean, geez, I got to serve alongside of him. I served at conferences with him. I taught him, I taught at his church while he’s sitting there with his like, to your own, your own pastor. But then I learned that although he is always my pastor, there was no semblance where I got to serve alongside of him.

Ed (00:21:27) – We were co laborers together where I didn’t just hold up his arms, but I held up his arms by filling the pulpit that God entrusted to him. And so, you know, it’s a bummer when a good man dies. You know, we had Pastor Avon passed away here in our own church recently. And, and when I shared it, the memorial I shared, like, when a good man dies, like with Isaiah. When? Everything changed for Isaiah when King Uzziah died. That’s when everybody’s eyes opened up, and that’s when Isaiah, his very well, could have had his eyes on the king. And when his eyes were off the king and back on the Lord, he saw the Lord high and lifted up. And so it’s hard if you ever lost a pastor in your life in the last few years like that to death.

Bob (00:22:12) – some friends, some colleagues.

Ed (00:22:13) – Colleagues.

Bob (00:22:14) – Charlie Johnson, started, almost. He was in Apache Junction, Arizona. Called labored a long time there. He always had heart issues.

Bob (00:22:28) – No. I’ve had, Some other people that you just sense. Actually the Phil personas over in England. Right. That was a big blow. He was the one that and I watched him go down. he had he had stomach cancer and then he had sepsis. And I watched him go down and it was, You know, kind of rocked my world because he was quite a visionary. On what could have happened in the southwestern part of England and what that voice no longer there. I had to get my eyes back on the Lord and saying, Lord, it’s you and me. And although I like that, that he was there and spoke into my life and all and was an inspiration, the Lord is my has to be my inspiration ultimately. And so it was a reminder for me, you know, we were over there when pastor Chuck passed away. We knew that day was probably coming, but then it’s like a slap in the face. It does hurt. Oh, yeah? Yeah. And then a year later, Phil went.

Bob (00:23:32) – And so it was like boom, boom. And. Yeah. So I mean, that’s but it’s just the reality of life though. It is.

Ed (00:23:39) – And we have to be ready for it. I would even add to that that while our pastors are alive, we should, remember them, encourage them, serve them like that. That’s important. And even if you’re a pastor listening right now and you’re kind of like, Amen, Amen. Even in your role as a brother, you have that opportunity to pour into your pastor or encourage, you know, of course, if you have lost your pastor because of of abuse or something, then develop a real close relationship where you invite someone into your life to speak hard things to you or to give you direction because you also need you. You also need someone in your life, like Paul, that can speak forth the Word of God into your life in a fresh way. Not well, you know, my pastor is on the radio or my pastors that that’s not technically possible.

Ed (00:24:28) – Pastoral ministry and relationships are personal, not technological. So it has to come. Second.

Bob (00:24:35) – There’s no accountability when you’re just doing it online. Right? There’s and God has designed that accountability and the body of Christ. And without that you’re kind of a loose cannon. Yeah.

Ed (00:24:46) – Well, I just want to thank God publicly for Pastor Jeff Johnson. he’s happy, we’re sad. And and as I remind, and, and really, as we’re talking about some of these difficulties, I really never had a problem with Pastor Jeff. I question a couple of his of of his choices, as pastor before, where I that’s only because I was so desperate to be on staff. I wanted so desperately to be a staff pastor. And he would bring up somebody not. They got it, and I didn’t. They bring up someone, they got it, and I didn’t. But that was not a Pastor Jeff problem. That was an ad problem. that was all me. And I had to learn that, though.

Ed (00:25:24) – I had to learn that. I’ll give you a quick. We’re winding down today. I got two things to share on this episode, but, on the last guy he he brought up, he called him as Timothy and and, and it was just, I was so upset, and I’m like, doesn’t even know who I am. Doesn’t you know what I do? All that it was so it was so bad. And and I had decided we are going to another church. This, this. And I had all my reasons that were invalid completely. but on the way out, I had to tell my overseeing pastors. And so the first guy I go to, he was overseeing me in a couple ministries, and I made an appointment with them. And, and I went in and I’m out of here and he goes, where are you going? And I’m like, no, I’m serious. I’m leaving this church. And I, you know, because the so-and-so’s a new pastor here, and Jeff doesn’t know me, and he just lets me talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.

Ed (00:26:18) – And he pauses there in his office. I have a visual memory. So I remember it, and I don’t remember the exact words, but I got the whole visual sitting in his office there, and he looked me talk and he says, okay, so where are you going? I don’t know anywhere but here. I don’t know yet. Oh, so you know your God’s going to lead you out of a church, and your family is going to be out there. Alright? You know, he’s giving me great counsel, but kind of being edgy about it because I was edgy about it. And then he told me something that that he wasn’t really known for these nuggets of truth, but this was a nugget that I’ll never forget. He looked at me after everything was said and done, and we’re pretty much wrapping up. And he said, so you think your pastor is bigger than God? Like, what are you talking about? What are you talking about? Yeah, it’s really sounds like you.

Ed (00:27:05) – You’re giving Pastor Jeff way more credit for what’s going on than God. Because obviously God’s doing a work here and and he’s doing a work with that guy that’s up on the stage. But look what he’s doing with you. and I’m like, oh, man, I didn’t even make the appointment with the other pastor. Like, I like, I’m like, you’re so right. I’m so wrong. I mean, I’m tearing up thinking about it. I was so wrong. It had nothing to do with my pastor. It had everything to do with me. And then God put one of his assistants in my life, Glenn, who was just speaking for it, like, just talk, talk, talk. And he’s like you, you know? And really, the word he wanted to tell me is God is bigger. You can trust God. God’s doing something here. And now. I look back, I can see a couple of things he was doing. And one of them was he didn’t want me on staff there.

Ed (00:27:54) – He wanted me to keep my job. Yeah, and there’s probably a lot of reasons, but one of them is he wanted to keep my job because through a lot of those, that’s how I moved to Colorado. That job. Yeah, he wanted me to be on that teaching that I still listen to Pastor Jeff almost every day. he. That’s the man that God gave me an ear to hear his teaching. and that’s the man that God would surround him with and have these people pastor me. And that’s how I like I can go through to run away because somebody even offered me, in those early days, an assistant pastor job. And I see the potential in you, and you’re going to be a great pastor one day. And I’m telling you, man, I was so tempted because that’s all I wanted was notoriety in the title, and I didn’t want the Lord. And fortunately, I had enough sense, and so did Marie to help me as my wife. Just. And it was young.

Ed (00:28:43) – I was like a couple of years on the Lord, like I was all jacked up. Still, I still like I needed a lot of maturity. And maybe this pastor did see something in me that’s great, but it wasn’t the will of the Lord. It wasn’t. God had work for me to do. And and so I want to thank God for longevity. I thank you for the 29 years you gave to North Phoenix. I thank God for the 50 years that Pastor Jeff gave to Downey. And I mean, he’s one of those low key under the radar. Doesn’t get a lot of attention, pastors, but the fruit from his ministry, there are literally people around there. I was just texting or excuse me, emailing with a brother, Jeff, and his wife, Christina, who’s serving in Georgia. They were the cutting edge families that planted all the churches and Vladimir maybe even connected to when you lost your lost or left your wife in Siberia on purpose. yeah.

Bob (00:29:37) – It was not perfect.

Ed (00:29:39) – but, you know, I was just texting with Jeff. And what God’s doing here. And Jeff’s brother’s in Idaho doing a great work in Twin Falls and and on and on. I mean, there’s so many people in Colorado that came out of Downey pastoring churches here as well. So just wanted to get that out. It’s been on my mind, kind of a spur of the moment, topic. But God picks your pastor for you. and you should do what the Bible says. Remember your leaders who have taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives and follow the example of their faith. Obey your spiritual leaders. Do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit. And finally, greet all your leaders and all the believers there. The believers from Italy send their greetings. So remember, obey, greet them, love them, serve your pastors.

Ed (00:30:41) – And if you’re a pastor and you’re really going through it right now, we’re sorry. it is hard seeing people leave the newest latest thing. They got this youth group and you don’t have a youth group, and they got this, and you don’t got this, and you, but you be faithful because God has called you to a calling. And you’re right, you’ll probably never have a youth group like that, because that’s not what God’s will for you, as they probably don’t teach the Bible. So like what? What is it that you want? You spend all that time teaching the Bible. They use the Bible, but they don’t teach the Bible. And and you know, I was thinking this too, because we have people, leaving the church here all the time for the latest and the greatest. There’s always some new church, some new big things, some new popular thing, new building, whatever. And one of the things many years ago that the Lord just reminded me of is, you know what? You were the new church once.

Ed (00:31:30) – It’s okay. Let me do what I want to do with my sheep, even let them make mistakes or whatever. Let me take care of the flock and you tend the flock that is under your care. And it’s, you know, that’s okay, that’s okay. There are new things because new people are being reached. And we just need to pray to be faithful in what we’re doing. And I have a pastor, Jeff Johnson, who’s in the presence of the Lord. We’re praying now for his wife, Karen. Tara, Kristy on the grand kiddos and everyone connected to them that the Lord would encourage them and strengthen them. And of course, bless pastor Art and all that God’s doing in the new leadership, because he had just handed it over to a young man to take this church into the new generation. And, may the Lord continue to do what he wants to do. Amen, Amen. All right. Well, thanks for sitting in through this impromptu session. but I want you to learn how to appreciate your pastor.

Ed (00:32:24) – Love on them, serve them, tell them that. Write them notes, text them, give them gifts, whatever it might be. Let God use you to be an encouragement to your pastor. Don’t lop on them all these unrealistic expectations. It breaks relationship. let the pastor be who God’s call him to be. This is another episode of Lead to Serve. If you have any feedback, give it to us. If you have. If you want to leave a great review, please do that. It doesn’t take long. Just hit the five stars or write a little note that the Lord’s blessing you. And then the computer algorithm picks that up and shoots this to people that are looking for podcasts just like this. You can text me directly (720) 608-0012 email me at Taylor. Org. My website is at Taylor. Org or the church website Calvary Coat Church. So lots of information, but, the Lord bless you, encourage you, strengthen you. And until next time, stay close and stay in the grace of Jesus.

Host (00:33:24) – Thank you for. Joining us for this episode of Lead to Serve with Pastor Ed Taylor, a leadership podcast from Calvary Church in Aurora, Colorado. If you have a leadership question you want to hear answered on a Future Lead to Serve podcast, please email it to Pastor Ed at Calvary Coat Church. And if you like our podcast, please subscribe, rate or review us on iTunes and share us with your friends on social media. Thanks again for joining us, and we’ll see you next time right here on the Lead to Serve podcast.

 

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