Episode 90: Messy Middle Part 2
Seasoned youth pastor and podcast host, Justin Herman believes that every person has a story to tell. His mission in life is to help others tell their stories, especially those that are about how messy ministry can find order in chaos through God’s grace. He is the host of “Controlled Chaos” — the highest-rated youth ministry podcast on iTunes.
GO DEEP INTO THE DIMES DROPPED, CONNECT WITH THE SPEAKER, AND CHECK OUT THE LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Mariner’s Church: marinerschurch.org
- Sandals Church: sandalschurch.com
- Instagram: @heyjustinherman
- Twitter: @heyjustinherman
- Controlled Chaos Podcast
- Book: How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge by Clay Scroggins
- Book: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Seasoned youth pastor and podcast host, Justin Herman believes that every person has a story to tell. His mission in life is to help others tell their stories, especially those that are about how messy ministry can find order in chaos through God’s grace.
Ironically, it’s shock-jock Howard Stern who taught Justin the importance of listening vs speaking, in order to glean from those who have wisdom to share. Recently he read Stern’s new book, who at the age of 65, went through a transformation and reflection of regret. One event in particular involved an interview with comedian and actor, Robin Williams.
“Howard looks back at that time in his life with a lot of regret,” says Justin. “—When he overshadowed Robin Williams at every turn, as if to think that Robin couldn’t share a compelling story or hold the attention of his audience. I think there is so much wisdom in that for us as young leaders. We put pressure on ourselves to think that it has to be about us.”
Along with that pressure comes expectation and then doubt that those around us might actually have something compelling to say. Through that lesson, Justin has learned to speak less, and listen more, especially when those around have great wisdom to share.
“We talk a lot about leadership and influence, but we don’t talk enough about wisdom,” he says.
That burden of sharing wisdom often falls on the shoulders of seasoned leaders, he explains, through equipping, developing, and creating an environment where young leaders can become “owners.” Ultimately, this practice will help put leadership on a level playing field.
To facilitate this mindset, Justin first examines who a church puts on stage, to see if that person is a reflection of their over all ministry. Secondly, he evaluates mentorship as an opportunity to gravitate toward older leaders, something that counters the common practice of listening to podcasts for growth. True mentoring can’t simply come from a book or third-party conversation, he says. It must come from seeking out and pouring into the next leader.
“The best gift you’ll give a young leader being a mentor,” says Justin. “It’s about passing on the wisdom you’ve learned. If you have all this experience, but you just hide it, to me that is a sign that you’re a leader who is insecure —fearful that you’re going to give away your secret sauce, and then the next young-buck leader is going to take it and replace you.”
If these habits continue to breathe in the church, the future of leadership will remain shallow and undeveloped. Relationship is key, he says, especially in a high tech, low touch culture where interpersonal dividends will outlast our own ministry.