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Episode 64: PD Conference | Experiencing God through Church Planting, Michael Tyson

July 24, 2018

Episode 64: PD Conference | Experiencing God through Church Planting, Michael Tyson

Pastor Michael Tyson, from Bedrock Church in Montana, explains what it looks like to serve and be humbled through Church Planting. What it takes to realize it’s not about you and your perceptions vs all about Him. How false humility and lack of trust in His plans can create a wedge in the church and His calling for you. Church Planting can be the painful yet fruitful journey where the Lord shapes you into the leader He wants you to be.

EPISODE RESOURCES

GO DEEP INTO THE DIMES DROPPED, CONNECT WITH THE SPEAKER, AND CHECK OUT THE LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  1. Instagram: @michaeletysoniv
  2. Facebook: @bedrockbozeman
  3. Email: michael@bedrockbozeman.com

Episode Quotable

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Episode 64 Transcript

Mingo Palacios:

What’s up PD Podcasters. This episode is from the recent Purpose Driven Church Conference. Every conversation is full of ways to capture a vision and pathway for your church’s local and global impact. I hope you enjoy it.

Mingo Palacios:

Hey everybody. Welcome to the PD Podcast. My name is Mingo and as I jump into this, the reason why is because we have been having a conversation for the last 14 minutes unbeknownst to me, the cameras are running, but the audio is not. So, let me catch you all up. If you’re listening on the podcast one, I’m so thankful for your time. I know if it’s like mine, that it is not something that you have robust amounts of that. It is of value. So just the fact that you’re giving us a little bit of it, it makes such a huge impact on me as a host and as a pastor. I do believe some of the best conversations that I have heard concerning leadership and emerging leaders and what it looks like to serve and be humble and humbled as you’re chasing down what God has put in your heart has happened across this table, over these microphones. Today, we have the great luxury of an old friend. Man, I don’t get the opportunity of talking to too many old friends, but Mike Tyson was somebody that I had met. That sounds crazy. Michael Tyson church planter from Bozeman, Montana, I met randomly because he was bold enough to say hi at a random barbecue mixer two years ago. Three years ago? This will be our third year of knowing each other. And he says, “If you’re ever in Bozeman, Montana, you’ve got to stop by.” I made it a point to get to Bozeman, Montana. You treated me like family, opened the door to your house. I met your kids. I met your wife. I met the mates that you did ministry with. I got an amazing sweep of the town. You, my friend, are top notch you, I capital human being, and I’m thankful you’re on the podcast today, Michael Tyson. One of the things that you do so well is I think that you can look backwards and articulate that which God has shepherded you through. I think of him as a good shepherd and I certainly believe that he shepherded you through this last season as a church planter and it’s something that I’ve really enjoyed us talking about. For our listeners, can you give them a little context on who you are, what it’s like as you have led the plant of a church in an incredible city and some of the things that God has been teaching you recently as you’ve been reflecting back on that process?

Michael Tyson:

Yeah, so I would say that God has shepherd me through it, but one of my mentors, Dave Minton says, “Almost every problem God solves with a leader.” And so God has allowed me the privilege of having coaches and mentors and friends in my life like Dave Minton through awesome times and hardships. And so I think it’s crucial just to have that relationship with people no matter where you’re at, if you’re a pastor or a person in life. That’s why Jesus was all about discipleship. You have to have a friend that you’re pulling up and somebody pulling you up. And even when you don’t know you need to be pulled up. You’ve got to be developing that relationship and investing in that friendship so that when you need to make a withdrawal, there’s something in it.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s so good. You know what’s so funny is I think that, you know, we are in a culture that thinks that there could be a transaction for every happenstance in our world. And this is the critical difference from those that walk and journey and do life together when something happens, whatever that may be, somebody’s there active. They’ve got context prior to whatever it is that happened and they’re surely going to be there after whatever it is that happened and so it’s something that you get to navigate together instead of being solo rider. Right? And then something happens and you think, “I need to get some friends to get me out of this ditch. I’m out of the ditch. Thanks. I’ll continue on my solo way.” I actually think more leaders are burning out because of the latter description than what you had just articulated in committing to being known through the process that God has you in. That to me is the critical difference that I see between leaders that make it and leaders that don’t.

Michael Tyson:

Yeah. And I still haven’t really answered your question yet, but I think this is really important too. I talked to people all the time and they say, “Well, I don’t have a mentor. I don’t have a coach or someone who doesn’t understand me or my situation close to me.” Get over it. Go find them. Like, why are you sitting around waiting on somebody to find you?

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah.

Michael Tyson:

You’re the one in need. Go find help. Like Dave Minton to talk about him more-

Mingo Palacios:

Yes.

Michael Tyson:

He lives like nine or ten hours away from me. I went and visited him like six or seven times last month or last year.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. You needed the help, you went and found him.

Michael Tyson:

I paid. I went. So, don’t make excuses for why you’re not getting discipled. If you’re a pastor, you still need to be discipled. You need a coach. You need somebody to pour into you, a mentor. You need a coach, somebody to pull out of you what God’s put in you and to kind of work through that stuff. Stop making excuses for the priorities that you’re supposed to have.

Michael Tyson:

I feel you’re speaking incredibly passionate or you’re speaking direct to somebody who might be waffling on their progress. Is that passion coming from a place of personal experience? Did you waffle as a leader for a little bit or have you always been so charged up to find a mentor?

Michael Tyson:

I have always been charged up to find a mentor and a coach. It’s how I learn best and it is something that God called me into ministry when I was 14, so I instantly started seeking out mentors.

Mingo Palacios:

You just set that space and that pace.

Michael Tyson:

But I’ve seen and heard so many people say, “Well, that’s just amazing. How do you have these relationships in your life?” Because I started that.

Mingo Palacios:

Being proactive.

Michael Tyson:

Yeah, I went up to this dude sitting at a table eating a hot dog and said, “Hi, my name’s Michael.” And because I walked across a field, you came across the country to my house.

Mingo Palacios:

Yes, that happened.

Michael Tyson:

So, be nice to people and meet new people.

Mingo Palacios:

So good. Keep going, keep going.

Michael Tyson:

Ask me your original question and I’ll get to that because I think that’s-

Mingo Palacios:

You just soap boxed the crap out of this episode right now.

Michael Tyson:

Hey man, I took over, sorry.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, but it’s okay. Take over. I asked you the question. I actually can’t even remember the question I asked you now because it was so blown away by the fact that we need people to take initiative. Nobody’s going to build it for you. Nobody’s going to create your best future for you. Unfortunately, there’s probably been a lot of people whose moms and dads sat in that seat for a long time and then when they hit like reallife.com, it just comes to a screeching halt and you realize that you’ve got to roll your sleeves up and you have to make something. That sounds really “soap-boxy”. But I’m just saying if you want a place inside of a ministry for somebody who’s clearly doing the hard work already, you can’t just get a free ticket to ride. I’m looking for leaders. Me, if you’re an emerging leader listening to this, I’m looking for people who bring value to a place. I’m not looking for somebody who just wants to sit and watch. I’m looking for somebody who’s interested in saying, “I’m not the best yet, but I’m on my way.” And if you would entertain me for a season or two, I’d gladly give you what I know in exchange for the ability to grow.

Michael Tyson:

Yes. And you said you want emerging leaders for their value. So many people don’t feel that they have something to offer, that they’re valuable.

Mingo Palacios:

Really good.

Michael Tyson:

But the most valuable thing that you have is your coachability and desire to grow. Something I teach a leadership class and one of my quotes is that, “If you pursue change in your life, you will rarely have lasting change. And if you do, it’s going to be painful and agonizing and you’re going to fight it the whole way.” Proof of this, ask somebody who’s had a heart attack and the doctor told them that they needed to stop smoking or drinking or their eating habits.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah all the vices are the hard part.

Michael Tyson:

Over 50 percent of people that have a heart attack and are told that don’t make lasting changes to those things.

Mingo Palacios:

Interesting.

Michael Tyson:

Because people don’t like change, but if you pursue growth and development, you can’t help but change, but it’s a byproduct that you don’t even recognize.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, that’s good.

Michael Tyson:

You start lifting weights, well, what’s your growth and purpose in that way? Then the changes happen.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. Yeah, it’s the effect of that purposeful change.

Michael Tyson:

So, the most valuable thing that anybody can have, because I’m not the smartest, like I’m not the smartest, the most valuable thing that you can have is your willingness to learn, your willingness to see a need, meet a need, your willingness to stay late, your willingness to be early. Put yourself around somebody that you want to learn from.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s so good.

Michael Tyson:

Do not expect them to come to you. Do not be flaky.

Mingo Palacios:

Oh, we’re getting it all out right now. We’re getting it all out right now, Michael, and I love it. I love it. Why… not why, what has been in your perspective, the critical difference between who you were when you first started this process and who you are as you relaunched the metamorphosis of this process. Because you haven’t even given me your church, how you got there, how the Lord is using you in it, but we’re getting to that space. We already like dropping all kinds of depth. Who are you? Who were you when you started this? And who has God shown you that you have become in the hardship and the pain of launching a church? Because it’s a desire that a lot of people have to pioneer something to be the first to arrive somewhere with something you have put on display that it’s not a one and done effort. The ministry that God has called you to in particular has been a long, hard, taxing, heartbreaking one. But in that pain there are so many people who are discovering their purpose. Get us into that.

Michael Tyson:

So, we planted a church in Raleigh, North Carolina and we planted with another pastor. I was in seminary at the time. And when God began to call us away from there, I felt like a complete and total failure. And so God just continued to impress Bozeman, Montana. I had never been further west than Oklahoma City. Grew up in Tennessee, went to college in Virginia, Liberty University, go Flames. And this concept of moving to a cold place that my closest family member was 2000 miles away and my wife and I have the only grandkids on either side. Five boys.

Mingo Palacios:

I didn’t realize that.

Michael Tyson:

Yeah so the grandkids are 2000 miles away from my family, like 2,800 miles away from my wife’s family.

Mingo Palacios:

Far from security. Far from familiarity.

Michael Tyson:

Yeah. And so I had all of, I had every legitimate and non legitimate excuse for why God did not want me to go to Bozeman. “God I am too young. I don’t know enough. I’m a failure.” I felt like a failure in so many ways in Raleigh and I didn’t even feel anointed anymore.

Mingo Palacios:

Wow, that’s a big confession dude.

Michael Tyson:

I was still called. I never felt like God had called me.

Mingo Palacios:

Just like that snap, like that ministry magic. If I could just wrap some funky words around it. God’s hand paving ways for you. You felt like that wasn’t on you at the time.

Michael Tyson:

Yeah and specifically evangelism. Okay. So our community, we focused heavily just on this two mile radius where we were at. That was very non church access in this two mile radius. Very diverse racially, economically. And the whole time that we were there, personally in my personal life, not preaching, did not lead a single person to the Lord and I just felt like a complete failure. And so anyway, I put my resume out to five mentors of mine who I thought I could learn from like, “Okay, God, I need to learn. I’m pursuing this mentorship.” So I was going to be a worship pastor in South Carolina and both I and the pastor thought it was going to work out and then in our time with God, He made it clear it wasn’t. So we met up at a Smithfield’s Chicken.

Mingo Palacios:

I love all the shout outs.

Michael Tyson:

Yeah. He was like, “Michael, I’m sorry man, but God just won’t to let this happen. And I was like, “Dude, Danny, that’s exactly what I was going to say.” And he leaned back and he said, “Have you ever thought about planting a church in Bozeman, Montana?” And so Ariel, my wife and I, we had just done a 40 day fast and God had been putting Bozeman on her heart and we had all these excuses and that was like the final confirmation. It was like, “Okay God, I know for sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’re calling me to Bozeman. There is no turning back. I will follow You. Let’s do this.” And so that’s how we got to Bozeman. And so I think when you make it about you and you aren’t good enough, you have no value and you’re a failure and you are not what God thinks you are.

Mingo Palacios:

When you start buying your own news.

Michael Tyson:

Like, “God, you don’t really know who I am. You don’t really know what I’m good at or not. You’re calling the wrong guy.”

Mingo Palacios:

Right.

Michael Tyson:

When you do that, it’s called false humility.

Mingo Palacios:

Oh yes.

Michael Tyson:

You’re making God’s church and His call all about you. It’s not about you, it’s about Him. It’s all about Jesus. So I had all this cinema life that I didn’t even know was there that I thought was like humility, but it wasn’t, it was false humility and sinfulness in my heart and lack of faith and trust in what God was asking me to do.

Mingo Palacios:

Wow that’s good.

Michael Tyson:

And so man, like the transformation from that to now and being in Bozeman over four years, I can’t even tell you like how I’m different. I would just say I’ve grown and developed astronomically.

Mingo Palacios:

Yes.

Michael Tyson:

And a lot of that has been through pain.

Mingo Palacios:

This is a key component. If I’m going to capitalize anything, Rick says it all the time that his greatest development has not been through fame, but through pain. He’s like, “I don’t feel like I grew leaps and bounds when I was well known speaking everywhere. I grew leaps and bounds when it was me in the grind, being ground, being tested and flexed on.” When he went through some of his deepest pains, he felt like that was where the Lord was really shaping him for the leader that he is confidently operating as today. That’s huge.

Michael Tyson:

And growing through that pushed me deeper into coaching.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, you had to on the receiving end and also probably the output end as you’re trying to figure out what it is that you’re navigating.

Michael Tyson:

Yes. I would say there was definitely a season last year where I had to put a hold on some things and invest that time more in being coached and discipled myself.

Mingo Palacios:

So good.

Michael Tyson:

Listen, if you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not going to be there to take care of anyone else. It’s like being on an airplane. What do they say? “Hey, if you need oxygen-

Michael Tyson:

Yep, put it on first. As pastors we so easily forget that. And then all of a sudden our kids don’t believe in Jesus and our wife’s gone.

Mingo Palacios:

And that’s reality.

Michael Tyson:

Priorities.

Mingo Palacios:

You spoke something, and I’d love to get this in before the end of our 20 minutes together is about strongholds because you feel like there’s a progression in it. There’s a progression at least that you’ve experienced in how the enemy plays to strongholds when it comes to your personal belief or existence. Unpack that for us as we close this episode down.

Michael Tyson:

How many more minutes do we have?

Mingo Palacios:

I don’t know, give me five minutes on strongholds.

Michael Tyson:

First of all, the bible says that there are principalities that rule certain regions. So wherever your city is at, there are demonic forces at work in that place. So your demonic forces are going to have unique personalities. The principality that I believe and since that kind of rules our valley is something that definitely takes on this angel of light perspective. So our city is so wholesome. I probably shouldn’t say this publicly because people might be able to look up my address, but I didn’t even own a key to my house for the first two years I owned my house.

Mingo Palacios:

Oh my gosh. John said it so good the other day. He said it’s full of good people.

Michael Tyson:

Just good people. Good. Like it’s nice. And if they’re not nice to you, it’s awesome because it means they don’t like you and you know it. But so lost. So lost. And so this principality in our place starts with greed and distraction of stuff. There’s so much to do in Bozeman. So much like, “Let’s go skiing, let’s go hunting, let’s go fishing, let’s go-

Mingo Palacios:

Hiking.

Michael Tyson:

Yeah, let’s be outside. Summer’s short. Wintertime is long. And so especially in the summer, fall, spring, like as soon as it’s above 30 degrees, we’re gone. So distraction. We’ve seen people come move to Bozeman that are like church people. Before they move, they’ll come visit our church, come to church say “Yeah, church is important to us. We’re trying to find a church before we even move here.” They’ll come to our church for like three months. Then they’ll disappear. Come back a month later, “Hey man, what’s up?” “Oh yeah. You know, life, just we’ve been camping.”

Mingo Palacios:

Distraction.

Michael Tyson:

Distraction. What we discovered was, it’s not a Bozeman curse, it’s what’s really on the inside of people coming out. It was not culturally acceptable in the south where they moved from to not go to church, but now like all these wholesome people aren’t going to church. So, “Hey, I don’t need to go.”

Mingo Palacios:

The influence is like subliminal.

Michael Tyson:

Yes. So the enemy distracting people, if it can’t distract you, we’ll try to discourage you. You aren’t good enough. You’re not fulfilling, you’re a horrible husband. Montana is the number one state for suicide in the entire country. Second is Alaska, and then it’s like not even close after that.

Mingo Palacios:

They outrank them.

Michael Tyson:

Montana is number one. Most people think it’s Alaska. Montana is number one. So discouragement is insanely huge and if it can’t discourage you, it will try to destroy you. And that has been the progression of the principality and how I have noticed that he works, this demonic force. And the Bible says in the book of Matthew Jesus talking about demonic oppression and possession. He says, “You don’t first enter into a strong man’s house to steal his stuff without tying him up.”

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah.

Michael Tyson:

The only way to defeat the enemy is to pray to Jesus. The disciples were like, “Hey, we can’t cast this one out.” And He comes or they bring this guy to Jesus and He’s like, “This kind only comes out by prayer and fasting.”

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, that’s good.

Michael Tyson:

And so whatever stronghold you’re having in your life, first of all, maybe you’ve got things in your life that you’re inviting that in. You’ve got some kind of sin going on.

Mingo Palacios:

Proximity exposure.

Michael Tyson:

Seek God first.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s good.

Michael Tyson:

What you look at is what you long for. What you long for is what you live for.

Mingo Palacios:

What? That was so good. Thank you for that one more time.

Michael Tyson:

What you look at is what you long for. What you long for is what you live for. Well, just think of a quick star or something like that. What did he say? A dream board, like, “Hey, I’m going to own this house one day.” Put it on your fridge. What I’ll look at it is what I long for and what I long for is what I live for. All my money goes to it. My time, my extra thoughts. I’m building this business because I want this object.

Mingo Palacios:

Yes, yes. yes.

Michael Tyson:

What do you want for eternity? What really matters to you? Do you really want a relationship with Jesus? Start looking at it.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s good. That’s really good. You talked about high places, praying from high places.

Michael Tyson:

Yes. I think that where you’re at is really important. Jesus always went to a specific place to have a serious prayer time. Garden of Gethsemane, wilderness. And in our place we have a mountain and on top of that mountain is the wiccan sacrifice rock. They literally make sacrifices on this rock looking over our entire valley. And so I have a high place where I can look out over the valley-

Mingo Palacios:

An elevated elevation.

Michael Tyson:

And see my city and just cover it in prayer.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s great.

Michael Tyson:

And I think that’s really important. And man, we could dig into that.

Mingo Palacios:

I think that’s huge. When we met, I loved that that was like so clearly in the forefront of your mind when it came to offensively working against what the enemy was clearly pushing into your space and you personally experiencing it, understanding the principalities that are working against you and your ministry efforts and having a proactive posture of prayer from an elevated place going over it and praying way over it, right? That that’s clear as day to me. You don’t have to be a scholar to understand it. You don’t have to be somebody who was highly disciplined to practice it. You just go and do. That to me is like apply today. When you’re done with the episode, you do it.

Michael Tyson:

Fight. Jesus says you’re a warrior. You are in a battle, so fight.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s good.

Michael Tyson:

And He also says that the gates of hell will not prevail against you. Gates are defensive tools. We’re on the offensive stop living a life of defeat and defense because if you’re a Christian, if you’re born again, you’re on the offense. Start living like you’ve got the ball and you’re trying to score.

Mingo Palacios:

So good.

Michael Tyson:

Stop holding up like this shield of fear and timidity.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. It’s fear and timidity. Yeah, and then scripture you already know what it’s telling you about those.

Michael Tyson:

Yeah. Did you know that there’s over 8,000 promises in the Bible that God has for you?

Mingo Palacios:

Oh wow. Here we go.

Michael Tyson:

Over 8,000 promises in the Bible, and yet we don’t thank Him for them.

Mingo Palacios:

Wow.

Michael Tyson:

They’re like uncashed check but they’re written out. That’s literally written out. Start thanking God for the uncashed promises in your life.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s so good. Dude. You’re preaching to me right now, dude.

Michael Tyson:

I love podcast stuff. I can talk for two hours or 20 minutes? What did you say?

Mingo Palacios:

We’re going to split this into two episodes now real because we at like the 40 minute mark. Okay. I’m going to ask you one word to an emerging leader. Somebody who’s in the grind. He’s not “the guy” he’s “a guy” in the organization, or maybe he’s yet to arrive. He’s hungry, he’s pursuing. What do you say to that one guy?

Michael Tyson:

Don’t be selfish. It’s not about you. It’s not about you. And if you are the leader, it’s not about you, it’s all about Jesus. Your service is all about Jesus, no matter what position you’re in. Do your best and support the leader that God has had you served with. And I’ve been there before.

Mingo Palacios:

On both sides of that coin.

Michael Tyson:

When I was not the lead, I prayed that God would send me someone when I was, who was like me when I wasn’t. And He has.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s amazing.

Michael Tyson:

And man, just be faithful. God has given you an opportunity. You have a privilege to serve Him. Don’t be a complainer. And I would say put yourself around your leader.

Mingo Palacios:

You said it, wrap yourself around the people that you want to be influenced by the people that you see ahead of you as that what you want to become. That was super sharp. That was a clear picture to me.

Michael Tyson:

I also want to go back and say something, talking about how I felt like just horrible at evangelism. So the thing that got me out of that was, Paul and Apollos. There are, I believe, five people listed in all of scripture that Paul personally led to the Lord.

Mingo Palacios:

Interesting.

Michael Tyson:

But Apollos was like this amazing evangelist and so it’s in first or second Corinthians, they’re talking about some people are like, “Yeah, we follow Apollos and we follow Paul.” And others are like, “We follow Jesus.” And Paul’s like, “Listen, it’s not about me. I water or I plant seeds and he waters, but it’s all for God’s glory. “Do what you are supposed to do. Spiritual gifts, the body you have a part to play.

Mingo Palacios:

And you’re speaking about comparison. You’re speaking towards comparison and how poisonous it is. You start comparing yourself to the people or the talents that you see around you. That can derail you so fast. Okay. I need to wrap this up. If people want to hear more from you, Michael Tyson, the way that you longed to hear from Dave Minton, how do they find you?

Michael Tyson:

Facebook, Instagram, email Michael@bedrockbozeman.com.

Mingo Palacios:

Perfect.

Michael Tyson:

Bedrockbozeman.com is the website.

Mingo Palacios:

Bedrock Bozeman dot com. That was your song, Bro.

Michael Tyson:

Yeah, we got it recorded.

Mingo Palacios:

Hey Dude. Thank you so much for cracking open your guts and thanks for giving us clarity on really how the Lord has been shepherding you through the process of being a believer bold enough to plant a church. At the end of the day. That’s who we are. We’re believers and the question is how bold can He woo us? How much can He draw us into that warrior spirit that you spoke about and I just appreciate that so much. Thanks for talking about the strongholds that you’ve identified in your city. I’m hoping for our listeners that they’d be keen enough to see them in their own places and spaces and that they would trust that place is a big thing. So if they can elevate, if they can pray, if they can see perspective and get clarity on who they are and Whose they are. Man, I feel like they could avoid some ditches maybe that you and I have fallen in in our own ministry tenure.

Michael Tyson:

Amen. Yeah. There’s not a single decision in scripture that isn’t confirmed by a physical move.

Mingo Palacios:

Wow, that’s good.

Michael Tyson:

Baptism.

Mingo Palacios:

Yes.

Michael Tyson:

So don’t make decisions in your heart and then not actually act on them physically.

Mingo Palacios:

Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth.

Michael Tyson:

Yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. I feel that. Michael, thank you so much, Bro. I love you. Until the next time we get together for our listeners, I appreciate you guys so much. We’ll talk to you guys soon.

Mingo Palacios:

We hope today’s insights left you feeling inspired and propelled towards your greatest potential. Thanks again for joining us for another episode of the PD Podcast. Until next time.

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